We learned today that The DevOps Collective, Inc., (the company that officially owns and runs PowerShell.org, the PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit, etc.) was accepted by the US Treasury as a 501(c)(3) public charity.
That means that the company is quite literally owned by the American public now, and run by its Board of Directors. No human or business entity owns the company and its assets, which is exactly our intent. Further, no human or business entity can profit from the company, which is also our exact intent. Regardless of who’s running it, it’s now big-time illegal for any Director (for example) to just partake of the organization’s money. Previously, it was merely unethical, but completely legal, as the company was technically for-profit. So we’re right where we want to be.
Donations to the corporation are now tax-deductible, charitable contributions. However, a donation is when you get nothing of value in return; unfortunately, Summit registration fees – since Summit itself is of considerable material value – are not charitable contributions. Your registration is likely still deductible as a business expense (namely, education, along with your travel expenses), something you or your organization’s accountants should determine. Sponsorships – given that sponsors don’t receive anything of material value from us – are considered deductible contributions in most cases.
I’m very proud to have brought the organization to this point, and I want to point out that it’s due in part to Microsoft’s own recent activities, such as bringing Core CLR, the WS-MAN stack, DSC client, and other bits to non-Windows operating systems, as well as their progress in open sourcing so many critical pieces. Those activities – and our expanding focus on DevOps in general – have taken us away from being an organization that supports a commercial product (MS Windows) to a much broader organization that was qualified for this beneficial status. I also want to offer a big shout-out to my fellow Directors, and especially Jason Helmick, who put in a lot of work with our own accountants to get this all in order for the IRS.
For the organization itself, it means our main revenue activity – Summit – is now nontaxable for us. That means we get to keep all of our money to spend on organizational operating expenses, instead of losing some of it to taxes. That gives us a 15-25% boost in being able to operate our TeamCity public build server, this very website, our TechSession webinars, and other activities. This new status also, I believe, places us firmly on a path toward long-term existence. PowerShell.org is now, in a very binding legal way, something we all own, and something it’s on all of us to continue growing and supporting.
Thank you for that support, and Happy New Year!