Gentoo Archives: gentoo-nfp

From: "William L. Thomson Jr." <wlt@××××××××××××××××.com>
To: gentoo-nfp@l.g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-nfp] Tax return and accounting discrepancies
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2011 18:49:58
Message-Id: 1300992580.13807.51.camel@wlt
In Reply to: Re: [gentoo-nfp] Tax return and accounting discrepancies by Rich Freeman
On Thu, 2011-03-24 at 14:35 -0400, Rich Freeman wrote:
> So, I'm not going to go point by point as this is getting out of hand.
This whole thread is way to much. There really should have only been a single reply to my initial post. Providing links or access to the information I am seeking. That nothing has come forth, and this thread has grown quite substantial. Just makes me further doubt the current wellness of things all around.
> First, I'm inclined to trust the current trustees until I see evidence > that we shouldn't. Certainly if elected I would ask to see evidence > that filings have been made, and I'm sure that in this capacity > everybody would be cooperative.
Given the clear lack of knowledge and experience on these matters, thats blind faith which I do not have. Since I do have knowledge of said matters. If the filings had been done, proof would be very easy to produce in variety of ways. Which I have mentioned more than once.
> Second, my points in general were that we need to focus on moving > forward and not in correcting mistakes ages ago that might not be > correctable.
Yes, and the first thing is financial accountability! Which for some reason hasn't happened in years. Like the bylaws state annual financial report to membership. Thats never happened, and there is no annual financial reports published, just quarterly. Which the bylaws make no provisions or requirements for quarterly reporting. Much less if annual filings with New Mexico and the IRS have been done, then duplicating that info in guidexml, or what ever would be a minor task.
> I wasn't trying to suggest that we can afford to not follow the law. > I'm just saying that we need to have our current ducks in a row before > we try to fix the past. From the sound of things this may already be > in order, and so we can look into the past at our leisure.
There is no proof things are in order. That a trustee said Gentoo does not exist with the IRS is a major red flag! Any legal entity has to be filed and exist with both. You can't exist with a state only and not the federal government. Its impossible!
> My example of what can go wrong with community-driven projects wasn't > intended to suggest that we shouldn't accept money, or that these > problems are going to happen. My point was that we aren't Canonical, > and that what works for Canonical might not work for Gentoo.
Well again there are many NPO's out there, and I was looking at quite many. I did not want, and had no intention of getting Gentoo's structure to mirror any other. I was simply looking to cherry pick, and the main ones were FreeBSD, Debian, and Gnome. Which all are NPO's have great structure, funding development, etc.
> I certainly support expanding the foundation, and its financial > impact. I'm even fine with paying for more consistent professional > help with the books if it makes sense.
Well most can be done in house, with using an outside professional for review purposes. Which should reduce any costs even further.
> I'm not sure that funding a > bunch of devs makes sense right now, though perhaps it could in the > future.
Thats moot to me, and up to others to make a reality, if that ever happens which I seriously doubt. But it would be wonderful if Gentoo did get its act together enough and could fund development. The GSoC tends to be a good thing for Gentoo. Gentoo doing the same for itself would only be that much better.
> I'd rather see money spent on hardware, infrastructure, or > perhaps on expenses if they're judicious and don't create a lot of > resentment if some benefit more than others. A Gentoo conference is > nice in theory - although people who aren't near clusters of devs > might feel left out (how likely is a dev in Zimbabwe to get to attend > a local conference ever?).
What if devs had free tickets to the event? Paid for by the Gentoo Foundation. Or what if Gentoo provided developer hardware? ;) Keep in mind any conference would be towards the user base, with regard to attendance. Gentoo developers would be more staff at the event.
> Bottom line is that spending money can create problems in a community, > and we need to think about that. This isn't a reason to never spend > money - it is a reason to keep this in mind.
Well many other communities do not have such problems on the money front. But I am more concerned with financial accountability and required legal filings relating to such. That would have to come long before Gentoo even considered paying people. Which that comes with other things, like payrol tax, etc. Which even a NPO pays payrol tax, thats different than income tax. Even if all devs were 1099 contractors, still bunch more financial paperwork when paying people, vs buying or spending money on stuff. -- William L. Thomson Jr. Obsidian-Studios, Inc.