No no, I'm talking about general funds. Not sure if GNOME would withhold funds specifically given to us, that is a slighly different situation. I am talking about funding from GNOME's general pool of funds. Also, I don't actually expect them to do something like this. GNOMe wants to help us.
A non-profit that receives a restricted donation is legally prohibited from using it for any purpose other than that stated in the restriction. If the non-profit receiving the donation is unwilling to accept the restriction, it must refuse (or return) the donation.
So if you give money to the GNOME Foundation with a codicil that it be used to further GIMP development, they can't legally use it for any other purpose. However, the codicil is interpreted pretty strictly, so "to further GIMP development" is too vague and they could use that to cover administrative costs on the grounds that that "furthers GIMP development". You'd have to give money with a pretty strong codicil ("these funds shall be used only to pay the wages of not more than five developers to work on the implementation of feature X in product Y") to ensure that all the money you give will get to the project you want. And most donors simply don't bother to have their lawyers go over their gift endorsement before signing the check.
I'd be very surprised if the GNOME Foundation passed along *all* funds untouched donated with a simple earmark for the GIMP to the GIMP people; I would fully expect them to take an "administrative fee" of between 5% and 50% (maybe even more). You might want to have an agreement in writing on this point before you start using them to fundraise.
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