More about Pachli and the Nivenly Foundation

Last month the Pachli project was accepted to join the Nivenly Foundation.

Read on for more information and what this means for the project.

The information below has also been included in the About page.

What is the Nivenly Foundation?

The Nivenly Foundation is a non-profit co-op organization that seeks to provide governance and support to Open Source Projects. Our belief is that more active collaboration will improve open source projects, and our goal is to provide spaces and supporting mechanisms that enable communities and maintainers to work together.

One of the goals for starting the Pachli project was to provide and model good project governance. As a Nivenly project we get a leg-up in this respect, and can draw on a wider pool of expertise.

Do I need to be a Nivenly member to contribute to Pachli?

No, you do not need to be a member of Nivenly to contribute to this project. Contributions are always judged on their own merits.

Do I need to be a Nivenly member to participate in governance decisions for Pachli?

Yes, you do need to be a Nivenly member to participate in governance decisions.

And that’s the point. When I started this project I hewed to the 7 cooperative principles, the first three of which are:

  1. Voluntary and Open Membership

    Cooperatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

  2. Democratic Member Control

    Cooperatives are democratic organisations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are also organised in a democratic manner.

  3. Member Economic Participation

    Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

The Nivenly Foundation provides the infrastructure to support points 2 and 3.

What does “Economic Participation” mean?

You subscribe to become a “General Member” of the Nivenly Foundation.

Nivenly Governance has the full details, the short version is you agree to follow the Nivenly Covenant and subscribe to the “General Membership - Individual” level at the Nivenly Foundation Open Collective for USD 7.00 per month.

As a Nivenly General Member you have a say in the governance of all Nivenly Foundation projects, not just Pachli.

How will the Pachli project spend any of this money?

Right now, it won’t, and it won’t until there are transparent expense and grant policies in place. When they are in place one of the things I hope the broader membership will contribute is proposals for how funds should be spent, voted on by the membership.

For example (these are hypothetical suggestions):

  • Fund an accessiblity review of Pachli, highlighting changes to improve its overall accessibility
  • Fund an internship, perhaps via a programme like Outreachy

Can I just donate to Pachli without being a member?

You can (Pachli Open Collective), but if you do that you do not have any say in project governance, it’s more like a tip jar.

And while that’s appreciated I hope you’ll be more interested in participating in the project’s ongoing governance. Any monetary contributions that are not in the form of Nivenly memberships will not convey extra rights or responsibilities.

And again, until there are transparent expense and grant policies in place no money from third parties – whether it’s from membership fees, or donations – will be spent by the project.

Any other questions?

Pachli is a Nivenly Foundation project