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Hi Drew,

Disclaimer: I am wearing a double hat here, since I am in the board of directors at FrODeV, so I have to consider both sides (TDF and FrODeV).

drew wrote on 2011-09-20 14:51:

My understanding was that was accepting donations that could
be earmarked for TDF - if it has turned out that 100$ of said donations
were so earmarked, well that is hard on sure - the
association ( should address that internally.

legally, all money is donated to FrODeV, because it is the legal entity capable of accepting donations. SPI is another entity collecting donations for TDF.

Since donations are legally bound to certain reasons, FrODeV has set-up a separate account "for TDF". Quotation marks, because at the moment, TDF = FrODeV in legal terms, so both accounts belong to FrODeV. However, two accounts make it easier to track the donations for one specific reason, as we are legally bound.

The problem is: Nearly 100% of the donations FrODeV as legal entity received in the last months are for "the TDF". That means, that for other activities of FrODeV, like their own web site, event participation, production of merchandise and the like.

If is still paying bills for TDF our of the
working accounts I would ask Why and suggest they stop.

You'd better not ask this question, since otherwise, they may indeed stop. ;-)

This is important in my mind - TDF becoming a legal entity is, I hear,
getting close... so are you saying that it is not in shape to stand on
it's own feet, financially, at this point?

This doesn't solve the problem. The money needs to belong to one entity, someone needs to register domains and trademarks etc., and this entity currently is FrODeV. TDF cannot stand on its own feet as long as it is no legal entity.

So, if you ask FrODeV to stop, that means that *ALL* activities would need to be shut down *IMMEDIATELY*, until another organisation taking care 1. of donations/handling money and 2. acting as interim legal entity is found.

Is to continue some financial role after TDF is legal?

There are no fixed plans yet. FrODeV and TDF will be to separate entities and each has to find their positioning. Sure, FrODeV might donate to TDF and vice-versa, but this is a topic for the future.

Among other concerns (which I've edited out of this email), I am worried
about the precedent this sets.

It seems to me that there are numerous places in the current website
where a link to the website could be integrated and I would
be all for that - but the actual pitch for a donation, for,
should IMO be at that site.

I think most people are not aware what FrODeV does and how important this is for us.

Again: We have an association acting as interim legal entity. Without this association, *NOTHING* of what we do here at the moment would be possible. Due to the tremendous success of TDF, this association has a problem - all donations coming in are bound to TDF, since many people do not know the difference.

That's what we from FrODeV want to address, and therefore, we would like to add a donation button to (only) the German websites, so people are actually aware of that association.

Sure, this is an exception that others might ask for as well. However, people should keep in mind that FrODeV has a somewhat special role at the moment.


Florian Effenberger <>
Steering Committee and Founding Member of The Document Foundation
Tel: +49 8341 99660880 | Mobile: +49 151 14424108
Skype: floeff | Twitter/ @floeff

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