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facilitating donations

i just received a donation for debian from a fan in the UK through
paypal, because donating to debian from anywhere but the US and
Germany is a pain. but talking to Joey about it, i just had this idea
that i'd like to propose for general discussion. please try to keep
this down to the point - we all have the tendency to make some threads
grow so ridiculously massive that in the end they aren't productive
nor can you find any info.

what about entrusting two people per country (as far as possible) with
the position of donation recipients in the name of debian. two simply
because one might be out of town, and it's a good way to help each
other out by keeping an eye on them.

now, instead of transfering each and every donation separately, these
two people start establishing a fund, and report to the SPI treasurer
in regular intervals. this fund can be used for national debian
events, after permission is granted by the treasurer. or, if the
treasurer wants, any part of the current sum can be transferred to the
US on request.

this is basically how germany handles it. but i do see a problem
(actually, Joey told me) - this does not work for people who want to
deduct their donations from taxes, because there isn't a charitable
organization to receive and write receipts for the donations.
moreover, you have to be a charitable organization to be able to
receive donations, or else you'll be in trouble for receiving money
that you don't pay taxes for.

i think the first solution is soluble. if the recipient gets the
donation, s/he notifies the treasurer, who'll then write a receipt and
send it off to the donor. as for the second part - well, as long as
such private donations are not exceeding the usually low (way too low)
amount, one could well do that via a private account. only when the
sums grow bigger (any doubts they will?) then we get into trouble.

however, being basically a receiving tentacle of SPI, i wonder how tax
laws would digest that. i can check...

in any case, donating to debian is *way* too US centric, and while
europe almost sees no more distinction between national and
intracontinental transfers (and even asia isn't hard to transfer to
and fro), the US/Canada just happens to have the least compatible (and
most awkward) banking system of the universe IMHO. donating to debian
should be easy. the donor shouldn't have to jump through hoops and put
effort behind his generosity.

but: the SPI is already discussing ways. paypal is (a) too US centric
and infeasible outside the US, and (b) it's expensive. and there
aren't any other ways really. so i say - delegate, branch, take on the

martin;              (greetings from the heart of the sun.)
  \____ echo mailto: !#^."<*>"|tr "<*> mailto:"; net@madduck
you will be run over by a beer truck.

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