20 JULY 2012: The X.Org Foundation is pleased to announce that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service has determined that the X.Org Foundation qualifies as a public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. This allows for contributions to the Foundation to be considered tax deductible for U.S. taxpayers.
The Foundation's Board offers our deep gratitude to our legal counsel at the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), including Karen Sandler, Justin Colannino, and Aaron Williamson, for their hard work, guidance, and assistance throughout the multi-year process of applying for this status.
Contributions to the X.Org Foundation are used to further our mission to support the development of the open source graphics stack based on the X Window System, and to educate students and developers about the technology in the stack. The X Window System is one of the oldest Open Source software projects in the world, since its creation at MIT in 1984, and has become the standard graphical interface across Linux & Unix workstations and servers, and has been included in a number of mobile phones and tablets as well. Foundation members and contributing developers continue to enhance and maintain the existing X software base, while also researching and developing next generation open source graphics technologies such as the Wayland project.
The Foundation is currently funding stipends for several students to learn about open source development, developer community participation, and the various portions of the graphics stack via X.Org's “Endless Vacation of Code” program, which allows students to spend breaks between semesters participating in open source development on the graphics stack.
Funding from the Foundation will also be used to hold the 2012 X.Org Developer Conference, hosted by SUSE Linux GmbH, in Nuremberg, Germany from September 19 through 21, including helping cover travel and lodging expenses for developers and students who could not otherwise afford to attend. This year's conference will include a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the release of X11, the current core standard upon which the window system is based.
Since its founding, the Foundation has also supported "hackfests" to gather developers together for focused meetings to advance specific areas, held a book sprint to create documentation to better educate users & developers, helped members and students travel to other open source conferences such as FOSDEM to present their work to wider audiences, and obtained access to standards documentation and technical specifications for members to use.
Membership in the Foundation is open to those who have contributed in some way to the X Window System. Members may vote in annual elections for the Board of Directors and other questions put to the Foundation membership. Further details are available at Membership.
Significant funding for the Foundation has come from Intel, Google, and Oracle (previously Sun Microsystems), as well as from the previous X.Org industry group that was run by The Open Group. With the determination of charitable non-profit status, we will be looking for contributions from a wider range of donors. To contribute, or for any other questions about the Foundation, please contact the X.Org Board of Directors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public information about the Foundation and its projects may be found on the web site http://www.x.org/ - public disclosure of such documents as required by the Internal Revenue Code is at http://www.x.org/foundation/.