The (Legal) Future of Privacy Guides

I would be worried about doing this, espcially consdiering the problems we’ve had with domain control in the past.

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I don’t really understand what happened. Can someone describe in easy words?

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Unfortunately, over the past year, we have learned that Open Collective Foundation’s business model is not sustainable with the number of complex services we have offered and the fees we pay to the Open Collective Inc. tech platform.

Open Collective inc is for-profit, they build all the systems.
Open Collective Foundation (non-profit) uses Open Collective Inc to support other non-profits.
Open Collective Foundation ran the numbers on the spreadsheet and saw they were going to be bankrupt and there was nothing they could do about it (that fit within their morals)

This bot is not a lawyer, and might not even be a robot.

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Key factors in this decision seem to be:

  1. How much income PG foresees receiving annually in the future
  2. Deciding how much work the team is willing to do (versus pay other to do)
  3. Timing

Since PG is already accustomed to behaving like a non-profit organization, this might be a good opportunity to consider forming a separate 501(c)(3) organization.

Forming a 501(c)(3) non-profit in the US seems to involve a few main steps:

  1. Organization structure: Writing documents about the proposed organization (mission statement, bylaws and forming a board for oversight and fundraising)
  2. Applications: Filling out forms for a few agencies: national (IRS), state (forming a corporation) and 1-2 others depending on which state the organization is based in
  3. Annual filings: Annual filing of forms electronically

Organization structure

Creating the required organization documents might involve brainstorming, getting input from the community and the team making decisions. Probably needing some project management skills to keep things moving-- especially if there’s a deadline due to OCF dissolving. Maybe some of this has been done already under the fiscal host, but it might be a good opportunity to revisit.

The documents could be brief. The mission statement should be specific enough to make donors confident about what donations would be used for but not too constraining that it would need to be changed much as the organization evolves over years. Sample bylaws documents are available.

Applications

This would require research on the proper forms to file with a few agencies. In some US states, it’s simpler than others. From a privacy perspective, some personal information might be required.

Annual filings

If the annual gross income is below $50k, the filing is a very simple electronic form (990N). For annual income below $200k, there’s the 990EZ. States might have similar requirements. Some states might have additional annual registration (including small fees) for charities to fund the state’s oversight. Organizations usually use a tax professional to file these and the fees would likely vary depending on which form needs to be filed. A tax professional might charge a several hundred dollars if a 990EZ and state form is needed. Another consideration is whether a regular accountant would be used for monthly/quarterly financial reports to the board which would also support the annual tax filings.

Other considerations

Establishing a separate checking account would most likely be necessary which would require some officers (e.g. President, Treasurer) to provide personal KYC information (SSN, residential/business address etc).

Purchasing insurance might be considered (e.g. Directors & Operators liability insurance) which would be an additional on-going expense.

Timing

Depending how long it takes for this discussion and other discussion for the corporation docs, the timing could be tight to get this done by the end of the calendar year.

If the team has access to someone who has done this before who is willing to provide guidance, that could speed up the research and some decision-making.

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Less than 50K which would qualify us to submit form 1023-EZ while incorporating and (as you mentioned) form 990N annually. I’m currently thinking this path is definitely worth exploring.

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Only open collective foundation was dissolved others are still fully functional and sustainable like open collective inc, open source collective. I would support joining open source collective as they have many other foss projects, Regarding the announcement to dissolve Open Collective Foundation Contribute to Open Source Collective - Open Collective

Just for info Proton wants to contribute to privacyguides community, we think you have helped a lot of people to start with their degoogle journey and please don’t let the opencollective news stop you. Let me know what is the best way to do it. I think other companies in the space will be willing to do that too.

Son from SimpleLogin & Proton Pass

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Since it doesn’t seem to have been mentioned here yet, I’ll suggest checking out the Software Freedom Conservancy as a possible option:

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. . .

Hesitate to say on my first post, but … something like ?

A key funding crowdfunding ‘app’ for @privacyguides
is - unexpectedly - shutting down.

Impact: more hours, countless. For one researcher. A whole lot of rejigging bank accounts, funding channels, website links, auto-forwards - literally a myriad misery. In other words, major impact, and my description ^ barely scratches anything !

Context : a security researcher that archived their reddit after privacy changes, and set this up.

Solutions … that’s for higher paygrades than me, but one might simply be go to where donors are. Respond to the myriad with myriad funding options, as an emergency response.

If funding picks up again, build or apply the transparency app that shows funding app sources, and ultimate sources.

Just?
Be there.

edit: someone else already mentioned librepay - yes!
and every alternative possible, think funding mesh, not funding app

. . .

Would be keeping an eye here, but unfortunately even though I’m studying for a profession that specializes in corporate law I cant be of much help here as I am not from USA.

I would like to add some thoughts and volunteer to help stabilize without compromise.

I am reviewing the prior comments and may reach out on matrix then post my thoughtß for all to consider