thanks a lot for your interest in and feedback on the topic!
1. Why it isn't possible for TDF to fulfill the activities, the TDF
subsidiary should fulfill? In German law there's the possibility for a
foundation to have a "Wirtschaftlichen Geschäftsbetrieb" or - as a
better solution - a "Zweckbetreib".
indeed, a nonprofit in Germany can have several parts. One is the
nonprofit part, the tax-exempt "Idealbetrieb". This is where we get
donations and fulfill our nonprofit mission, it is by far the largest
part of TDF in terms of income and spendings.
Then there is something best described as a tax-reduced, limited
business part directly related to fulfilling the mission, with some
constraints, which is called "Zweckbetrieb". TDF currently doesn't have
any activities there. Other entities with an educational mission e.g.
collect (educational) conference attendance fees via this part. Another
sample, if I remember correctly, is fees for retirement homes run by a
nonprofit, although I am not 100% sure of that.
The third part is a regular and taxable business entity, the
"Wirtschaftsbetrieb". TDF already has such a part, this is e.g. where we
handle conference sponsorships, t-shirt sales commissions or advisory
For details on the financial breakdown between the various parts, you
can find our ledgers at https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/TDF/Ledgers
The tax regulations of all these entities are different, as money is
taxed differently. The key rules of the statutes are always applicable,
as all these entities are inside TDF. TDF itself is bound by the donor's
will expressed e.g. in the statutes and the next-decade manifesto these
are based on.
There are further conditions on the various entities, e.g. cross-funding
is not allowed.
The choice of entity and which route to take is something the board is
currently discussing, but I hope the above sheds some light and gives an
Florian Effenberger, Executive Director (Geschäftsführer)
Tel: +49 30 5557992-50 | Mail: email@example.com
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