I am copying a few lists on this, so all teams are informed. *Please* do
continue discussion *solely* on the appropriate lists, e.g. website for
website related tasks, design for design related tasks and so on, do
*not* Cc all the lists when replying. :-)
At the moment, The Document Foundation  is no legal entity by itself,
but the German non-profit association OpenOffice.org Deutschland e.V.
, despite its name, is holding the legal assets, accepts donations,
and pays for the infrastructure and other things.
The fact that the Foundation has not been set-up at first place was on
purpose, to leave doors to potential contributors open and allow
everyone to participate in shaping it. One of the results of this
Community process are our Bylaws , which will also serve as basis for
the Foundation's statutes.
During the last weeks, the Steering Committee  of The Document
Foundation evaluated various options for setting up the legal entity. In
a public Steering Committee Phone Conference , the following decision
* The Foundation should be established in Germany in the form of a
o Foundations have quite a good tradition in Germany, and the
benefits in terms of taxes and credibility are high. In addition, the
German model provides a high security and stability, as the Foundation's
statutes cannot be changed, or at least not in major parts.
o In contrast, a German association would be much easier to
set-up, but the majority of the members can easily change the statutes.
This is something we want to avoid, in order to provide safety and
stability for our users and the whole Community.
o The drawback of a Germany-based Foundation is that we need
at least 50.000 € for the capital stock, ideally it is even 100.000 €.
That money can not be used for daily work, but needs to stay in the
stock. This is required for the safety of a Germany-based model.
* The Steering Committee set itself a deadline for getting the
required funds, which will be end of March 2011. If, by that date, we do
not have enough Funds in donations, or confirmations by sponsors, the
Foundation then can not not be set-up in Germany, but we will rather go
for a legal entity in the United Kingdom.
o A legal entity in the UK is not as desirable as in Germany,
as in the latter one we have many active members, the roots of the
product originally lie here, a lot of support from corporations and
governmental bodies is expected. In addition, a German "Stiftung" is
generally perceived as something very trustworthy and stable.
o However, if by the end of March 2011, we will not succeed
with a Germany-based model, it is unlikely that we will manage it later
on, so that deadline is fixed.
In order to achieve our goal, we need to start a fundraising. Perception
of The Document Foundation and LibreOffice has been very well, we
received lots of supportive words from private end-users, corporations
and governmental entities, however, donations in terms of money  came
in mostly by private users. This has various reasons:
* Getting support in terms of resources from corporations is much
easier than getting money.
* Many corporations do not want to invest in the capital stock, but
rather in the daily business. However, without a capital stock, a
Germany-based Foundation is not possible. This is somehow a
* We did not start an actual fundraising up to now, except a call
Within the next days, we plan to start a public fundraising, targeted at
corporations, governmental entities, as well as private users, in order
to collect the needed funds.
After this very long introduction, serving that we're all at the same
page, I'm coming to the point. :-)
I have set up a dedicated wiki page for collecting ideas at
would like to encourage all of you to add and contribute ideas. As the
deadline is approaching quickly, we need to start acting soon in order
to get things up and running, and any help is very much welcome.
In order to have efforts coordinated, please do *not* start working on
your own without asking on the lists. We all have been through tough
discussions regarding these issues the last weeks, so this one should
work more coordinated. :-) If you have an idea, and you can actually
work on it, add your name to the wiki. After we decided which
fundraising actions to take, we then can start working on it and also
involve the press. Again, in order to have the best press coverage, we
need to work coordinated.
Thanks a lot to all of you for your help in this next important step of
Florian Effenberger <email@example.com>
Steering Committee and Founding Member of The Document Foundation
Tel: +49 8341 99660880 | Mobile: +49 151 14424108
Skype: floeff | Twitter/Identi.ca: @floeff
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