[Numpy-discussion] NumFOCUS fiscal sponsorship agreement

Nathaniel Smith njs at pobox.com
Thu Oct 8 01:57:00 EDT 2015

Hi all,

Now that the governance document is in place, we need to get our legal
ducks in a row by signing a fiscal sponsorship agreement with

The basic idea here is that there are times when you really need some
kind of corporation to represent the project -- the legal system for
better or worse does not understand "a bunch of folks on a mailing
list" as a legal entity capable of accepting donations, or holding
funds or other assets like domain names. The obvious solution is to
incorporate a company to represent the project -- but incorporating a
company involves lots of super-annoying paperwork. (Like, *super*
annoying.) So a standard trick is that a single non-profit corporation
acts as an umbrella organization providing these services to multiple
projects at once, and this is called "fiscal sponsorship". You can
read more about it here:

NumFOCUS's standard comprehensive FSA agreement can be seen here:


and we have the option of negotiating changes if there's anything we don't like.

They also have a FAQ:

I've read through the document and didn't see anything that bothered
me, except that I'm not quite sure how to make the split between the
steering council and numfocus subcommittee that we have in our
governance model sync up with their language about the "leadership
body", and in particular the language in section 10 about simple
majority votes. So I've queried them about that already.

In the mean time, I'd encourage anyone with an interest to look it
over and speak up if you see anything that you think should be changed
before we sign.


Nathaniel J. Smith -- http://vorpus.org

More information about the NumPy-Discussion mailing list