One other possibility (at least in the US) is to join forces with an existing 501©3 with a related mission for fundraising / awareness building purposes. This gives you the ability to raise tax-deductible funds for specific goals and projects while reducing your overhead and giving you the flexibility to also endorse or commit resources toward for-profit FOSS projects. Partner nonprofits typically ask for a percentage of funds raised, but with crowdfunding and online giving this arrangement can still be quite effective. And then you have another organization to tweet, repost, and help spread the word.
FWIW I think this is exactly the role that OpenCollective is meant to play.
Edit: we have an OpenCollective account, by the way!
Funding, getting paid, and designing for FLOSS
Restarting this thread based on above + other chats elsewhere- seems the consensus is: we do not need either a US based 501c3 nor a DE based eV. The primary reason being, our OpenCollective account is sufficient, as evident with @Incabell recently getting a donation from Wikimedia DE for the OSD Summit.
However, I know a lot of fundraising (especially larger donations / grants) use their donation as a tax deduction. This holds very true in the USA, but I am not sure of Germany / EU. I wrote to OpenCollective inquiring about this, as their FAQ does not mention tax-deductions. Pia Mancini wrote me back:
Contributions can’t be tax deductible.
We offer that option for some collectives that are fiscal sponsored by a
foundation but Open Source projects will be sponsored by a non profit that
is not a charity and therefore can’t offer tax deductible receipts.
The IRS doesn’t fit open source in one of the charitable purpose
Currently, we do not have anyone who is specifically trying to raise us funding / donations. Yet, that was the whole point @mkfnch pushing for a 501c3, IIRC. Mike, are you still interested in joining up, helping raise funds with US based companies / orgs?
Regarding my involvement, I’ve already forwarded the ‘opendesign.io’ domain to ‘opensourcedesign.net’ and I made an announcement on the @OpenDesignIO Twitter account (https://twitter.com/OpenDesignIO/status/923990916758691841) that I was folding this project into Open Source Design. I’m stretched a bit thin with a few other projects right now, but am definitely happy to help this group however I can.
Oh awesome! Thanks Mike!