Software Freedom Conservancy Support

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Software Freedom Conservancy Support

Jon Kalb-3
Software Freedom Conservancy Support
This is not a technical message, but instead focuses on Boost Administration.

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 organization’s programs. It has become obvious that Conservancy must move to a Supporter-driven funding model, where individuals who believe in Conservancy’s mission of supporting open source projects, such as Boost, make a personal commitment to support that effort.

Conservancy's fundraiser, found at, 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 “bare minimum” of services to its projects.

What does this mean to Boost?
Boost receives a myriad of important services (see ) from Conservancy.  We’ve
relied on Conservancy since 2007 to provide them.

Here are some of the things that Conservancy does for Boost that are in the “bare minimum” 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 we’ve 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 money.
  • 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 organization.

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 policies.
  • 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 non-profit.

As you can see, Boost really relies on the important work of Conservancy.

Support from Boost
Boost, like all of Conservancy’s projects, contributes 10% of our revenue to Conservancy’s 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 Conservancy’s member projects doesn’t 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 I’m 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 Conservancy’s 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:

If you are able to join the others from the Boost community that are making this gift, please let me know. I’d like to personally thank you.

Jon Kalb
Chair, Boost Steering Committee

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