On Tue, 6 Mar 2018 10:30:41 -0800
Bryce Harrington <br...@osg.samsung.com> wrote:
> I work with both SPI and SFC (SPI via X.org board where I serve as
> treasurer, SFC via Inkscape where I serve as chairperson).

Are you the liason? That was the only real limitation I saw to
organizations. Having a single point of contact. I cannot recall if SFC
has the same or not.

Seems SFC is more flexible with projects leadership

"How are “project leaders” defined with respect to Conservancy?"

> The fees charged by the two organizations are on income only.  SPI
> charges 5% on donations, SFC 10%.  That is in addition to paypal or
> other banking fees.  If the project has 0 income, there are 0 fees.
> They both provide a variety of services at no additional fee.

IMHO those are VERY reasonable and cheap fees for accounting and legal.
Hiring a CPA and/or Attorney would likely cost considerably more. Plus
they specialized in tech, where most do not. Hiring ones that do are
even more expensive....

> In general, I've tended to find SFC much more responsive to inquiries
> and issues than SPI. 

I always liked the SFC more for its connection to SFLC. SPI came about
mostly for Debian and then grew from there. No to take anything away
from the SPI. They just came about via different means.

> For example, I can get financial transaction
> data from my SFC-based project within a week or two lag, whereas for
> SPI-based projects the lag can be many months (but they're working on
> improving that).  

That maybe due to how they came about. The SFC had a different
mission/agenda from the start. SPI has more evolved.

> Email responses from SFC tend to be return in a few
> days; SPI can be a week or two and may require a couple followups to
> get a response.  Faster followups and more timely access to
> transaction data would be nice, but I've otherwise found both
> organizations helpful and adequate to my projects' needs.  Be aware
> that there can be some drama of various sorts, but as my projects
> haven't ever been affected I have no comment or concerns personally;

Drama within those organizations?

> I was involved in both the X.org Board prior to joining SPI, and the
> Inkscape Board prior to joining SFC, and will relate that in both
> cases the move has been beneficial.  Not having to deal with taxes and
> assorted non-profit paperwork removed a HUGE headache, gaining the
> ability to accept donations as tax deductable with no fuss.  Tapping
> them for handling finances enabled both increased donation activities
> and improved expenditure handling, moving from donation amounts in the
> $1's and $10's up to $1000's and $10,000's.  Having them on hand to
> deal with legal and contractual issues is an enjoyable convenience.

Great information! Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge.

I have spoken with both SFC and SPI a few times regarding Gentoo
back in the day. I never did interact with any other projects that were
utilizing their services. Really good to hear from first hand
experiences. You may want to post on Gentoo's -nfp, as SPI and SFC come
up all the time.

One problem Gentoo has, which I think neither SFC nor SPI wants, is a
history and mess to clean up. Gentoo has not had its filing with IRS
done likely ever since first filing. It has some major issues, that
will require time due to neglect for a long time.

Thus IMHO it is better to go with one of these entities sooner than
later before the mess gets to big to clean up. Their costs to clean up
will be to great, and I feel it will be a no go. Likely why Gentoo has
never proceeded with either SFC or SPI.

Words of caution. They provide great services at really low rates. But
that is only for those without messes. Messes are costly to clean up.

William L. Thomson Jr.

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