Fundraising for Charity Status!

As you may be vaguely aware, we have been working on some structural changes to the operations of the parent organisation behind freenode. And I am happy to announce that Peer-Directed Projects Center Ltd is now incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales.

This makes the administrative and organisational side of things a lot easier and manageable for us and will not in any way disturb the services we provide to our users currently.

However, we wish to register as a charity with the Charity Commission, but in order to do this we will need some help! We need to be able to meet a minimum support threshold of £5,000.00 per annum in order to be eligible for charity status.

While we historically raised a fair amount of money through various online fund raisers, we have not actively solicited for donations in the last two years, causing a massive drop in donation levels leaving us well below the threshold.

Now, there are several reasons for us not actively soliciting, for one our outgoings have over the past two years been a lot lower than previously as we no longer have any paid staff — all members of freenode and the PDPC are involved on a volunteer basis.

If you are considering donating, you will no doubt have some questions, some of which we will try to answer here:

  • If you are no longer employing anyone, what outgoings do you have, why do you need money? — Our outgoings are fairly low indeed and limited to hosting one server, registered office fees, telephone/fax, stationary expenses, domain renewal fees and other administrative overhead. We do intend to put any amount which exceeds our administrative expenses to use for the community.
  • What plans does freenode/PDPC have for “giving back to the community”? — There’s a few different programs we would like to be able to add to our current services, top of the list currently is arranging ‘live conferences” in Europe and America (if you are interested in learning more about this, helping out with planning, during the events or corporate sponsorship please drop us a line to live at freenode dot net).
  • Do I get any tax relief if I donate? — When we meet the treshold for charity status and enter the register, you will be able to write off tax on any donation made to us, and we will be able to claim tax relief of 28% per donation made from a UK tax payer!
  • Do you provide any receipts of donations? — If you donate through paypal you will automatically receive one then, however, for donations of £30.00 (approximately $50.00) or over we will also provide a separate receipt electronically or as a hard copy if you prefer.
  • Why do you want to be a charity anyway? — We want to be able to provide the services we currently provide to our community, we also wish to do future programs and we wish to get involved with working to “promote FOSS in the real world”, as a registered charitable organisation we can also apply for various grants and other support in order to reach these goals and provide a better service to the community.
  • Does this mean you will start spamming us with global notices begging us to donate all the time? — No! We believe that global notices should be reserved for messages relating to the status of the freenode network, not for soliciting funds. We may mention our fundraiser in #freenode and #defocus or other freenode owned/operated channels, and we may in future blog again and talk about it in our channels.

You can make your donation here.

While we only mention “freenode live” as a future program above, we do have other irons in the fire and if you’re curious about them, or have a suggestion for how we can better help our communities, why not come have a chat with us either over in #defocus or drop us an e-mail to ideas at freenode net

Any help, however big or small will be gratefully received! Thank you for considering donating, and to those of you who have supported us in the past and those continuing to support us a massive thanks for helping us help the community! If you have any questions, or want to discuss other levels of donating or other ways of helping out freenode and the PDPC — or getting involved with future programs, why don’t you drop me a message on IRC? You can find me online as christel.