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Gentoo Officially Not-For-Profit 227

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the call-jerry-lewis dept.
iswm writes "The paperwork for the Gentoo Not-For-Profit entity was approved by the State of New Mexico today. This means that as of today, the Gentoo Foundation is an official Not-For-Profit Corporation in the United States. The process of becoming a Federally-recognized not-for-profit entity, which will take about six months for approval, can now begin."
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Gentoo Officially Not-For-Profit

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  • by anonymous coword (615639) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:14AM (#9364421) Homepage Journal
    Remember that Gentoo now supports binary packages for those giant software such as KDE and OpenOffice.org. Also check the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] about Gentoo.
  • by JaF893 (745419) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:24AM (#9364484) Journal
    As far as Linux and Gentoo are concerned this can only be a good thing and it is certainly a very positive step. For those interested in finding out a bit more about what this actually means here are a couple of Wikipedia links:
    Non Profit Corporations [wikipedia.org]
    Non Profit Organizations [wikipedia.org]
  • yay for gentoo (Score:3, Informative)

    by vmircea (730382) <vmircea@tjhsst.OOOedu minus threevowels> on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:26AM (#9364494) Homepage
    I personally love Gentoo, hopefully now that they won't have to pay taxes and get other benefits they will be able to give the Gentoo users a little bit more, although they've been doing a great job so far. And for people who don't know what Gentoo is, since it's pretty popular but not everyone knows about it. It is a Linux OS that compiles most packages (except for open office, unless you're crazy, like me). Take a look at it here [gentoo.org].
  • Re:donations (Score:3, Informative)

    by EvilTwinSkippy (112490) <.yoda. .at. .etoyoc.com.> on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:29AM (#9364522) Homepage Journal
    In New Mexico, possibly. But the federal paperwork is just starting, and they don't get 501c status until all the goats have been sacrificed.
  • Re:no more taxes (Score:4, Informative)

    by kfg (145172) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:29AM (#9364531)
    Hey, this makes them tax exempt.

    In New Mexico.

    The blurb was badly written. They are not tax exempt in the United States and the standards for state tax exempt status are usually somewhat different and easier (fill out the forms) than the federal standards.

    About six months from now Gentoo may or may not be nonprofit in the United States.

    KFG
  • by EvilTwinSkippy (112490) <.yoda. .at. .etoyoc.com.> on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:35AM (#9364573) Homepage Journal
    Working for a non-profit, its all about donors. Many benevolent organization (Pew, Carnegie, etc) really prefer to give to an official non-profit (assuming it's not mandated in their charters.)

    NFP status also makes Gentoo eligable for numerous government research and education grants. That's money with not strings attached, save to do the work as stated. No corporate tie-ins, no funding pulled because you are competing with their product. Of course there are political issues that are difficult to negotiate, but you have a development and giving department to handle that.

  • by zanderredux (564003) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:37AM (#9364591)
    Gosh, I had mod points but I'm giving them up so I can reply....

    Basically, being a NFP will relieve much of the money-making pressure on Gentoo, so they can fulfill their Social Contract [gentoo.org], without having to compromise it so they can mmet some aribitrary profit targets imposed by shareholders and so.

    NFP also is a testimony to their commitment on giving back to the community instead of giving to some high-profile exec or a limited bunch of anonymous shareholders.

    In principle, it's a good thing, but let's see how they can get a cash flow going (not necessarily profit, but they should have at least the means to keep paying their bills on time).

  • by klieber (124032) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:43AM (#9364633) Homepage
    That's inaccurate. We are a not-for-profit organization right now. Today. The Federal status (which is mainly for tax purposes) will take another 6 months to formally complete.
  • Re:donations (Score:5, Informative)

    by klieber (124032) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:46AM (#9364653) Homepage
    It depends on what 501 status we pursue. 501(c)(3) organizations are considered "charitable" organizations and donations to these entities are tax deductible. 501(c)(6) is a trade organization and organizations to these entities are not tax deductible.

  • by LittleKing (688048) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:46AM (#9364657) Homepage

    I think there are several people that do not understand what a Not for Profit company really means. Not for Profit doesn't mean they do not make money it only means that they cannot have 'extra cash' on hand at the end of their fiscal year. They can still have money in savings because you can budget money into saving. Also at times, working for a NFP company can be a benifit since they can't have 'extra cash' then they sometimes pay really well.

    Take Blue Cross Blue Shield (an American insurance company), they are actually a NFP organization. Most people don't realize this but it is true.

  • Re:donations (Score:5, Informative)

    by bgeer (543504) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:49AM (#9364677)
    No, incorporating as not-for-profit doesn't necessarily make you tax exempt. All not-for-profit means is that you don't distribute dividends to shareholders, but rather reinvest any profits (or funnel it to management...)

    In order to be able to receive tax deductable contributions you have to apply to the IRS to be a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. The blurb on Gentoo.org doesn't say what section they're applying under, but it would be pretty surprising if the IRS granted them charitable status. It's usually reserved for charities, artistic or literary foundations, churches, etc.

  • by irexe (567524) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:49AM (#9364683)
    Gentoo is for people that want the ease of use of Debian's apt-get with the benefits of source compilation (optimization for your specific machine, smooth integration with source compiled packages) and support for The Latest Stuff.

    Gentoo is as easy to maintain as Debian, but it is generally more geared towards people that want the latest stuff on their desktops (whereas Deb is not very desktop-friendly). In comparison to the desktop distro crop (Redhat, Suse, Mandrake, etc.), Gentoo stands out favorably (IMHO) in that it is much more accessible and maintainable from the command line. This may scare noobs, but tweaking the ol' config file is a lot more deterministic and promising than dealing with dialogs like 'there was a problem with your network device' and with custom vendor kernel weirdness.

    So, to sum it up: Gentoo combines the best of both worlds: it is a very hard-core, clean, unixy distro with a very refreshing attitude towards desktop usage. IMHO, the only thing that beats Gentoo on your desktop will be OS X!
  • by The Ape With No Name (213531) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @09:25AM (#9364992) Homepage
    They just can't pay a return on the money they make. They can disburse it charitably, reinvest it, etc. There is such a tough regimen of oversight in the American non/not-for profit. If only Enron and those evil fucks had to live by a 503's rules.

    I used to run a non-profit environmental journal. We made money on occasion and when we had excess we had this nifty idea called: giving it to the poor. Problem is: that makes you a hell-bound commie in Merika.
  • Re:no more taxes (Score:4, Informative)

    by RazzleFrog (537054) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @09:46AM (#9365209)
    Non-profit and not-for-profit can be used interchangeably. You will rarely hear any accountant refer to a company as non-profit. Not-for-profit is the current "politically correct" term.

    In order for a not-for-profit to receive tax exemption it has to qualify under the IRS codes section 501(c). The most common being 501(c)(3) for charitable organizations.
  • This needs to change (Score:4, Informative)

    by Progman3K (515744) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @09:48AM (#9365236)
    We live in a climate and culture where a young man like Bill Gates can become unimaginably rich by first buying someone else's work and fobbing it off on the public, but where people of vision like Daniel Robbins nearly loses everything he has trying to bring to the public a product that will benefit everyone.

    Donate to Gentoo, I did, and even if I gave them $100 a year, it'd STILL be a much better deal than if I was able to get Windows for free, forever.
  • by RazzleFrog (537054) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @09:49AM (#9365246)
    In order to be a corporation in the US you only need to incorporate in one state (Delaware being very popular for tax reasons). In order to qualify for tax exempt status (which is what they mean by federal recognition - the IRS) you have to qualify under 501(c).
  • I'll second that (Score:2, Informative)

    by SnappingTurtle (688331) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @11:18AM (#9366395) Homepage
    I'd be surprised if they weren't granted 501(c)3 status. 501(c)3 status covers a broad range of organizations. The production and coordination of open source software would surely fit into the IRS's category for 501(c)3.

    BTW, churches usually don't try to get 501(c)3 status, although the charitable organzations they run often do. See this FAQ [nonprofits.org] for details.

  • by Bombcar (16057) <racbmobNO@SPAMbombcar.com> on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @01:12PM (#9367812) Homepage Journal
    Gentoo provides a very important thing to the Linux community.

    They basically make it very easy to beta-test new software, which results in improvements for everyone.

    In fact, I'd say it is almost because of Gentoo that so many compiler warnings have been fixed in source code packages all over the world.

    And it also helps verify that software is truly cross-platform.
  • I have both (Score:3, Informative)

    by kardar (636122) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @02:35PM (#9368692)
    I use both Debian testing (Sarge) and Gentoo 2004.0, just recently installed (two different machines)

    It's frustrating, because I have to choose one or the other; I like them both so much.

    The thing I like about Gentoo is that it is much easier (some folks actually recommend) to keep current "piecemeal", which would be better for dialup. You can update one package at a time, or, more precisely, one package and its dependencies at a time.

    Debian is sort of easiest (in my experience) to upgrade all at once, which, depending on the last time you upgraded your system, might require some serious downloading of stuff. There are many benefits, especially if you just want to do it and get it over with, to upgrading all at once, but this whole process is made significantly faster and easier if you have a fast connection.

    I think Debian Sarge and Gentoo are both excellent, but if I had to use dial-up, I would be tempted to go with Gentoo because the upgrades are easier to do package by package, and I could just run an update to a package in the background every now and then. The command-line nature of emerge and the --pretend switch are extremely helpful in picking and choosing exactly what you want to update, port by port. And the forums, and the installation instructions are just downright wonderful.

Truly simple systems... require infinite testing. -- Norman Augustine

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