it is almost a year ago that I suggested to create a charity organisation around openHAB. Although the legal entity has been founded in May already, it took us a while to get everything up and running (official register entry, charity status at the financial authorities in Germany, bank accounts, website, membership application forms, etc. - this all is much more work than one would imagine…).
The good news is: The Foundation is now operational and I would be delighted to welcome many of you as members!
Let me give you some details on what this is all about:
- The openHAB Foundation e.V. is a non-profit organisation that promotes the project in all possible ways. It e.g. hosts and runs this forum here, so that information can be easily shared, it runs the build and demo servers, publishes apps in the app stores (already available by the Foundation for iOS, Android and Pebble), etc. The only remaining service that is not yet done by it is my.openHAB, but you will soon get a separate update about that.
Please take a minute and read http://www.openhabfoundation.org/ to understand the full mission of the Foundation.
- It is important to note what the Foundation is NOT: It does not deal with the source code itself, i.e. it does not hold a copyright on any of it, it is not involved in architectural decisions or the general governance. These topics are left to the developer community as a whole, which decides who is maintaining the code and how processes look like and decisions are taken. The Foundation wants to support planning and managing releases (e.g. by collateral marketing activities), but not involve itself in what exactly is in it.
So who should become a member of the Foundation? Well, everyone that loves openHAB and would like to contribute to its success apart from any code contributions. We would love to have people helping on organizing events, deal with marketing and media, design the webpages and many more topics - it is all up to your creativity on how you can make the biggest impact! People taking such an active role should become “full” members - they have voting rights and thus decide on where the Foundation is going in future. You of course do not have to play any active role as a full member, this is fully up to you. But it will at least give you the chance to easily involve yourself and potentially take on some task at any time. Full members can be recognized here in the forum through a green smiley on their avatar:
Anyone that might not have the time or skills to take an active role, but still want to support the initiative can become a passive (sustaining) member - the membership fees are only 2 EUR / month (plus a one-time 10 EUR admission fee), so we hope that many will decide to support us this way. Sustaining members can be recognized by an orange smiley on their avatar:
It is worth to mention for all Germans that the openHAB Foundation e.V. is an “anerkannter gemeinnütziger Verein”, which means that all membership fees and donations are deductible from your income tax.
For anyone that does not want to become a (permanent) member, but only wants to do a one time donation, this is of course also easily possible; the best way is to donate through Paypal at www.paypal.me/openHABFoundation.
Again, I would be delighted to see many of you supporting this initiative and becoming a member - if you have any questions on the why and where and how, please feel free to ask!