Boost Interest :
Subject: [Boost-interest] Software Freedom Conservancy Support
From: Jon Kalb (jonkalb_at_[hidden])
Date: 2015-12-22 12:40:34
This is not a technical message, but instead focuses on Boost
Software Freedom Conservancy in a Financial Fight for its Life
Software Freedom Conservancy, the non-profit home of Boost is facing an
existential threat. Historically, Conservancy has been funded by corporate
donations. This works great when it works, but a management shake-up, change
in priorities, or a bad quarter at a large donor can derail the
organization¹s programs. It has become obvious that Conservancy must move to
a Supporter-driven funding model, where individuals who believe in
Conservancy¹s mission of supporting open source projects, such as Boost,
make a personal commitment to support that effort.
Conservancy's fundraiser, found at https://sfconservancy.org/supporter/, is
centered around asking individuals who care about the work that Conservancy
does to donate $120/year, or just $10/month, to support the organization.
Conservancy seeks about 2,500 Supporters to continue its current work, and
750 Supporters to continue a ³bare minimum² of services to its projects.
What does this mean to Boost?
Boost receives a myriad of important services (see
https://sfconservancy.org/members/services/ ) from Conservancy. We¹ve
relied on Conservancy since 2007 to provide them.
Here are some of the things that Conservancy does for Boost that are in the
³bare minimum² category:
* Dealing with all the financial and contractual details regarding our
annual C++ Now conference. It was BoostCon that brought Boost and
Conservancy together. C++Now 2016 will the the tenth annual BoostCon and it
is a tribute to what we¹ve accomplished working together.
* Handle our Google Summer of Code payments and travel, including handling
all financial transactions with Google to receive and then disperse the
* Coordinating travel reimbursements for Boost contributors (both developers
and students) to attend conferences.
* Receiving and tracking all donations to Boost.
* Keeping the non-profit status for us so that we don't have to form our own
org and file our own paperwork. As the Chair of the Boost Steering
Committee, I cannot overstate how important this is to our existence as an
Here are some of the services Boost has received in the wider category:
* Dealing with questions from the community (including license-governing
bodies like OSI) about Boost's license.
* Discussing the issue of copyright governance and contributions with large
corporations who want their employees to contribute to Boost but need legal
assurances or have questions relating to Boost's license or contribution
* Reviewing and handling licensing terms of third-party software that relate
to Boost in some way, and giving us feedback and answers about issues
related to it.
* General legal consulting on issues that we run into as an open source
As you can see, Boost really relies on the important work of Conservancy.
Support from Boost
Boost, like all of Conservancy¹s projects, contributes 10% of our revenue to
Conservancy¹s general fund. (The other 90% is maintained and administered by
Conservancy at the direction of the Boost Steering Committee to advance the
Boost project.) But that 10% of revenue from all Conservancy¹s member
projects doesn¹t add up to enough to even employee one full time person, let
alone the already overworked staff of three that Conservancy has. Donors
must make up the difference.
When Conservancy launched its fundraising effort, I sent out a request to
past BoostCon/C++Now attendees asking for support and I¹m proud and
delighted to say that a number of Boost community members have already
stepped up. One told me that her company will be matching her support.
Boost is one of Conservancy¹s oldest and largest projects, so it is right
that Boost community members make up a fair proportion of its supporters. I
encourage you to choose Conservancy as one of your charitable gifts this
holiday season. (Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) charity incorporated in New
York, and donations are typically deductible on U.S. taxes.)
Please visit: https://sfconservancy.org/supporter/
If you are able to join the others from the Boost community that are making
this gift, please let me know. I¹d like to personally thank you.
Chair, Boost Steering Committee