Python Software Foundation

The Python Software Foundation just recently elected a new Board of Directors and Allison Randal was also elected. She also chairs the Parrot Foundation and is still on the board of The Perl Foundation after being the president for several years.

Membership

There are 3 membership types:

  1. Nominated members are nominated and elected by existing members from the Python community. This is free of charge. There are currently about 150 nominated members.
  2. Sponsor members need to be approved by the board and they also have to pay an annual fee ranging from 2-20,000 USD/year. There are currently 28 sponsor members.
  3. Emeritus members are former nominated members who are no longer active. They have no voting rights.

Both Nominated and Sponsor members have a single vote for electing the board.

Control

The nominated and sponsor members elect the Board of Directors (13 ppl) who in return elect the Officers (6 ppl). The Directors and Officers hold monthly virtual meetings on IRC with one face-to-face meeting a year and even there not all directors participate.

Management

Directors are unpaid volunteers. Some Officers (Treasurer and Secretary) receive a nominal salary though it is unclear to me how much is that and how much work is expected in return. Apparently most of the job is done (or not done) by volunteers.

Reporting

There are some public records that include the IRS tax returns (990) up till 2006. It is unclear to me why there are no more publicly available tax reports and I have not found an easily readable budget on financial reports.

The most recent entry in press releases section is from 2005.

There is a blog called the Python Software Foundation News that has frequent entries, including the announcement on the new board and a report about 2009 that does NOT provide all the details. For example January and December are not even mentioned in the report nor is there information about the revenues and the total expenses of the foundation.

Funding

The funding comes from both the annual fees of the sponsor members and from random people who give sponsorship. The memberships fees are due at the beginning of the fiscal year, all at the same time. There are 1147 donors listed on the donors page.

I have not found any up-to-date financial reports to see how much money the foundation has and how do they spend it. Actually there are some details in the blog entry called Chairman's Report for the Year 2009 that lists several grants the PSF provided during 2009. That amounted to about 38.000 USD.

Based on the out of date Executive summary in 2006 the PSF had 168,000 USD revenue and it spent 158,000 USD, 67% of which was spent on PyCon 2006. Its assets were standing at 310,000 USD. Back then, the revenue came from PyCon registration and PyCon sponsor fees (51%). The PSF sponsor fees were (17%) and individual donors gave (13%). Google Summer of Code program gave (14%).

Actions

The PSF provides funding (sponsorship) to various Python events and to a few other events where Python has interest.

It is also providing funding to several Python projects.

Related entries

The FreeBSD Foundation

About the GNOME Foundation

Comparing the Eclipse Foundation with The Perl Foundation and EPO

Published on 2010-05-14 by Gabor Szabo
Code::Maven
Python, JavaScript, Node.js, Ruby, and more.

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