good riddance to PayPal

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Re: good riddance to PayPal

mlrx
Le 06/05/2016 17:06, Steve Marquess a écrit :

> [...]
>
> That is definitely true, which is how I was able to get our local U.S.
> bank here to allow signature access to our accounts by non-U.S.
> colleagues. It's important that our OpenSSL funding not be accessible by
> only one person, as that person could be run over by a beer truck.
>
> Unfortunately a U.S. bank is less than ideal for a non-U.S. centric
> organization with funding largely originating from, and spent, outside
> the U.S.
>
> We have been less successful in finding a non-U.S. bank willing to have
> us as a customer, and not for lack of trying. If you know of a
> *specific* bank that would help us please name it (offline if need be).
> If we haven't already tried them we will.
>
>> Throw in the prospect of earning transaction fees on an
>> associated Merchant account, and motivation can grow
>> further.
>
> The U.S. payment processors I've talked to don't like the fact that our
> web servers are all located outside the U.S. Based on an offline tip
> from another user I've spent a good part of this morning on the phone
> with a global payments provider; we're at the familiar "uh, we'll have
> to run this by underwriting" stage.
>
> -Steve M.

Hello,

Maybe the french ethical and cooperative bank "LA NEF" ?
<https://www.lanef.com>
Their views must be reconciled with the "free world." Their status
has recently changed to become a full-power rights bank; their range
of service is not yet complete but they are working hard to make them
born.

best regards,
--
benoist

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Re: good riddance to PayPal

Jeffrey Walton-3
In reply to this post by Steve Marquess-5
On Thu, May 5, 2016 at 4:41 PM, Steve Marquess
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> We've had a PayPal account for years, as the most convenient way for
> individuals to send small donations. However, as the person who has
> managed that account I can attest that PayPal has always been rather
> annoying to deal with, and I've finally hit my limit.

PayPal is renowned for poor customer service; confer,
http://www.google.com/search?q=paypal+sucks.

Get some bumper stickers and pins made up with the OpenSSL logo. Sell
them on Amazon and eBay for the value of a donation - $10, $25, etc.

Based on some estimates, Amazon and eBay will provide the Foundation's
presence at online retail stores that handle 75% of online spending
(c., http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-will-account-for-more-than-half-of-2015-e-commerce-growth-says-macquarie-2015-12-22).

Jeff
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Re: good riddance to PayPal

Steve Marquess-5
In reply to this post by Steve Marquess-5
On 05/05/2016 04:41 PM, Steve Marquess wrote:

> We've had a PayPal account for years, as the most convenient way for
> individuals to send small donations. However, as the person who has
> managed that account I can attest that PayPal has always been rather
> annoying to deal with, and I've finally hit my limit. I'm in the process
> of closing that account (something PayPal makes unnecessarily difficult
> and protracted). I was able to refund most of the recent donations that
> we were unable to recover, leaving a balance of $259.45 that will either
> be forfeited to PayPal or (hopefully) refunded by them back to the
> original donors.
>
> The PayPal donate link ("button") on our web site has been removed. I've
> asked PayPal to block any future inbound transactions while we fight
> over the account closure, but can't be confident that was done. Please
> do not donate via PayPal to any account claiming to represent us; such
> donations won't go to us and may not ever be returned to you.
>
> This closure of the only convenient means of receiving small donations
> does not mean that we do not value such donations. Those of you who have
> donated via PayPal, many via recurring donations, have our gratitude and
> thanks. I regret that there is no clear alternative to switch to instead
> (suggestions welcome if there are options I'm unaware of).
>
> -Steve M.
>

After another half hour of "your call is important to us" recordings, I
have apparently succeeded in closing our PayPal account. I was promised
that the 29 donations totaling $258.48 that I was unable to either
withdraw or refund will be refunded directly by PayPal.

Thanks again to all the donors who have support OpenSSL, via PayPal or
other means. I'm looking into alternatives for account free online
payments, so far without success.

-Steve M.

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+1 301 874 2571 direct
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Re: good riddance to PayPal

Johann v. Preußen
In reply to this post by Steve Marquess-4
Marquess:

your treasury re-alignment might be simplified a bit if you look to an
on-line-type bank such as Ally Bank. while they are not on the SWIFT network,
they use Chase -- like many intermediate-sized banks -- and benefit from having
the "wholesale" rate between themselves. this enables Ally to give you free
in-coming SWIFT and free in-coming/out-going domestic US wire transfers.
out-going SWIFT is only $10. out-going ACH is also free, but they do not provide
an API for in-coming ACH so that would require a third-party processor to make
that happen on a web-site or automated/directed basis.

fortunately, such a processor is dwolla which has several API's in different
codings and offers free in-/out-processing with clearance that usually happens
no later than the second day after initiation. since ACH has a built-in deferred
relay of the next business day after preliminary settlement, this speed is about
as good as it gets. since using a dwolla API also lifts the PCI responsibility
from openssl, you would receive all your US-based donations at no-cost, quickly,
and without much regulatory worry. in fact, dwolla allows you to tie in more
than a single bank account so that you can choose where to "sweep" accumulated
funds according to momentary needs.

dwolla also has a "white-label" API that totally obscures their role in the
process. they do charge for this, but the fact that your org is so prominent in
the net security field would no doubt favorably prompt them to throw this
service in for free just so they could tout openssl as a client. i am also
certain they would be more than happy to provide free app customization tailored
to openssl's specific needs.

if multi-currency is a concern, Citibank offers primary bank account and card
services in NYC and London permitting a wide range of denominations (USD, GBP,
EURO, et cetera) from which to base such transactions. also, NYC/London do not
have to be the same denomination and enjoy free inter-account transfers. from my
experience, Citi also runs currency translations with much narrower spreads than
other large banks and third-party gateways. as might be expected for this mega
bank, their basket of services over-flows and they are lower-cost than other
major banks when the services are not free!

you have mentioned server-siting and non-US personnel as control agents as
somewhat problematic. i might suggest a simple and very low-cost means of
obviating these concerns. if openssl were to incorporate as a type IRS Reg
501(c)(3) it would satisfy US Treasury Reg's and make life a lot easier. in
California (one of the lowest-cost states) that would cost you $30 to
incorporate, $20 to file the SI-100 info form, and $25 to register with the FTB.
you would also have to register with the CA Attorney General, but that is free.
thus, for a start-up fee of $75 and a bi-annual SI-100 fee of $20 you would be
in business and could open any US-based bank account your heart desires and make
possible using a bank such as Citibank with accounts both in NYC and London to
meet your international banking needs. since the corporation is a domestic one,
bank signature cards can be initiated for anyone no matter where they may be
citizens/domiciled. server siting is no problem for ACH since the natural
limitation of the sending/receiving accounts being US-based means where the
servers might be is totally unimportant.

at this time, i am not a client or agent of any of the firms herein mentioned
and i do not look to receiving any remuneration resulting from any of my
suggestions.

--
Thank you,

Johann v. Preußen


On 2016.May.06 08:06, Steve Marquess wrote:

> On 05/06/2016 10:29 AM, Jakob Bohm wrote:
>> On 06/05/2016 15:26, Steve Marquess wrote:
>>> On 05/06/2016 09:14 AM, Jakob Bohm wrote:
>>>> On 06/05/2016 13:45, Salz, Rich wrote:
>>>>>> Consider having the non-U.S. person do the account setup too.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Banks are as scared of US jurisdiction as crypto engineers.
>>>>> Yeah, we've done that.  Even to the point where one of the team was
>>>>> going to get on a plane to fly to the Isle of Mann.
>>>>>
>>>>> It's amazingly painful and difficult and so far not productive.
>>>>>
>>>>> If folks want to give OpenSSL money, mail a check or cash.
>>>> I was thinking of the more simple solution of setting up
>>>> the account in the same non-US bank where the team member
>>>> does his other business.  Lots of this tends to get easier
>>>> when the person is an existing customer and the bank is
>>>> nearby.
>>>>
>>>> Each non-US team member presumably has at least one existing
>>>> bank relationship and presumably knowledge and/or easy access
>>>> to information on how to set up an independent legal entity
>>>> in his/her own country.
>>> Personal bank accounts, yes. But, we don't want to entangle OpenSSL
>>> funds with any team members personal finances. Those funds need to be
>>> held by an independent OpenSSL legal entity (of which there are already
>>> several). Also keep in mind that most of my colleagues are hardcore
>>> geeks best suited to wrangling OpenSSL code. I try to handle as many
>>> paperwork hassles as possible to free them for that more important
>>> activity.
>> I was trying to say that retail banks can be very helpful
>> when an existing personal account holder wants to set up a
>> business account with themselves as a signatory (but not
>> owner).  Especially if the legal entity (new or existing)
>> is also within their jurisdiction.
>>
>> Things like checking if the person is who his says he is,
>> checking if the initial deposit is from a suspect source
>> etc. become much simpler when the bank recognizes the
>> person as someone they have worked with for years and the
>> initial money source as an account that was the
>> correspondent with past checks or other traceable
>> transfers to/from that known person (all according to the
>> banks own records).
> That is definitely true, which is how I was able to get our local U.S.
> bank here to allow signature access to our accounts by non-U.S.
> colleagues. It's important that our OpenSSL funding not be accessible by
> only one person, as that person could be run over by a beer truck.
>
> Unfortunately a U.S. bank is less than ideal for a non-U.S. centric
> organization with funding largely originating from, and spent, outside
> the U.S.
>
> We have been less successful in finding a non-U.S. bank willing to have
> us as a customer, and not for lack of trying. If you know of a
> *specific* bank that would help us please name it (offline if need be).
> If we haven't already tried them we will.
>
>> Throw in the prospect of earning transaction fees on an
>> associated Merchant account, and motivation can grow
>> further.
> The U.S. payment processors I've talked to don't like the fact that our
> web servers are all located outside the U.S. Based on an offline tip
> from another user I've spent a good part of this morning on the phone
> with a global payments provider; we're at the familiar "uh, we'll have
> to run this by underwriting" stage.
>
> -Steve M.
>


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Re: good riddance to PayPal

Steve Marquess-4
On 05/11/2016 02:46 PM, Johann v. Preußen wrote:
> Marquess:
>
> your treasury re-alignment might be simplified a bit if you look to an
> on-line-type bank such as Ally Bank. ...

It's a U.S. bank. We already have multiple U.S. bank accounts.

> you have mentioned server-siting and non-US personnel as control agents
> as somewhat problematic. i might suggest a simple and very low-cost
> means of obviating these concerns. if openssl were to incorporate as a
> type IRS Reg 501(c)(3) it would satisfy US Treasury Reg's and make life
> a lot easier. ...

Yes, it would indeed, and if I had a nickel for each time I've heard
this suggestion I'd had enough beer I'd need never face sobriety again.

We have pursued 501(c) with several attorneys, all of which have advised
us that our chances of successfully obtaining 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6)
status are nil. Apparently the IRS does not look kindly on our type of
open source project.

That is one of the reasons we need to relocate outside of U.S. jurisdiction.

-Steve M.

--
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1829 Mount Ephraim Road
Adamstown, MD  21710
USA
+1 877 673 6775 s/b
+1 301 874 2571 direct
[hidden email]
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Re: good riddance to PayPal

Johann v. Preußen
i am somewhat surprised your attorneys have not mentioned the most simplistic solution. if the sole purpose for incorporating is to implement banking, there is actually no need to register for an IRS letter. if you satisfy the state regulations and obtain an EIN you are fine. the IRS letter does give safe harbor to donors that the amounts given are federally deductible. of course, to your major donors who provide moneys under grants and/or contracts there is no practical tax-wise difference between "gift" and "business expense".

if you would like the specifics re CA, here are the applicable links granting freedom from CA taxation and franchise fees and establishing subsequent Federal tax-filing status:
the state equivalent of IRC 501(c)(3):
https://www.ftb.ca.gov/businesses/Exempt_organizations/Types_of_Exemptions.shtml#d23701
your qualifications under "Scientific" endeavors:
https://www.ftb.ca.gov/businesses/Exempt_organizations/Types_of_Exemptions.shtml#Scientific
your qualifications under "Educational" endeavors:
https://www.ftb.ca.gov/businesses/Exempt_organizations/Types_of_Exemptions.shtml#Educational_org

all of that said, there are plenty of examples of open-source org's that are already IRS-recognized under IRC 501(c)(3) such as Software in the Public Interest, Apache, Eclipse Foundation, Open Source Initiative,
Linux Foundation, Software Freedom Conservancy, and many more. i have noticed, though, what your attorneys have related to you in that the IRS has recently seemed to turn a blind eye to the "public benefit" clause when it comes to open-source software. this is a trend of just a couple of years and turns from the path they had followed for decades in granting acceptance. if someone took the time to copy/edit one of these org's by-laws and submitted to the IRS they would be hard-pressed to deny based on the facts and would have to reveal a decidedly philosophical reason which would be wide open to appeal. naturally, i have no idea if any of this extra effort would yield anything meaningful to openssl. certainly, qualifying for non-profit status in CA actually grants you what you really need and does not require any extra efforts.
--
Thank you,

Johann v. Preußen


On 2016.May.11 13:00, Steve Marquess wrote:
On 05/11/2016 02:46 PM, Johann v. Preußen wrote:
Marquess:

your treasury re-alignment might be simplified a bit if you look to an
on-line-type bank such as Ally Bank. ...
It's a U.S. bank. We already have multiple U.S. bank accounts.

you have mentioned server-siting and non-US personnel as control agents
as somewhat problematic. i might suggest a simple and very low-cost
means of obviating these concerns. if openssl were to incorporate as a
type IRS Reg 501(c)(3) it would satisfy US Treasury Reg's and make life
a lot easier. ...
Yes, it would indeed, and if I had a nickel for each time I've heard
this suggestion I'd had enough beer I'd need never face sobriety again.

We have pursued 501(c) with several attorneys, all of which have advised
us that our chances of successfully obtaining 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6)
status are nil. Apparently the IRS does not look kindly on our type of
open source project.

That is one of the reasons we need to relocate outside of U.S. jurisdiction.

-Steve M.



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Re: good riddance to PayPal

Steve Marquess-5
On 05/11/2016 04:56 PM, Johann v. Preußen wrote:

> i am somewhat surprised your attorneys have not mentioned the most
> simplistic solution. if the sole purpose for incorporating is to
> implement banking, there is actually no need to register for an IRS
> letter. if you satisfy the state regulations and obtain an EIN you are
> fine. the IRS letter does give safe harbor to donors that the amounts
> given are federally deductible. of course, to your major donors who
> provide moneys under grants and/or contracts there is no practical
> tax-wise difference between "gift" and "business expense".
>
> ...

State taxation isn't a problem; OpenSSL Software Foundation is
incorporated in Delaware which has no tax. U.S. tax deductibility is
largely irrelevant to our donors, most of which are outside the U.S.

>
> all of that said, there are plenty of examples of open-source org's that
> are already IRS-recognized under IRC 501(c)(3) such as Software in the
> Public Interest, Apache, Eclipse Foundation, Open Source Initiative,
> Linux Foundation, Software Freedom Conservancy, and many more. i have
> noticed, though, what your attorneys have related to you in that the IRS
> has recently seemed to turn a blind eye to the "public benefit" clause
> when it comes to open-source software. this is a trend of just a couple

Bingo.

> of years and turns from the path they had followed for decades in
> granting acceptance. if someone took the time to copy/edit one of these
> org's by-laws and submitted to the IRS they would be hard-pressed to
> deny based on the facts and would have to reveal a decidedly
> philosophical reason which would be wide open to appeal. naturally, i
> have no idea if any of this extra effort would yield anything meaningful
> to openssl. ...

Be my guest and go for it, but I do have a good idea if it would yield
anything meaningful because I've been working this issue in detail for a
couple of years now. Our attorneys (we've checked with several, and with
ones experienced with 501(c)) don't see a viable path worth the
substantial investment it would cost us.

-Steve M.



--
Steve Marquess
OpenSSL Software Foundation
20-22 Wenlock Road
London N1 7GU
United Kingdom
+44 1785508015
+1 301 874 2571 direct
[hidden email]
[hidden email]
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Re: good riddance to PayPal

Johann v. Preußen
i am sorry if i have wasted your time on non-profit formation and taxation
issues when i put my CPA hat on. i originally meant to point out some banking
alternatives and how to make certain you could qualify and control such with the
non-profit formation as a means and California as a low-cost conduit.

if you are already set up in DE, you can take advantage of the free in-/out-ACH,
web API's, and mass-pay at dwolla (tied to any existing bank account(s) you have
now or in the future) and internationally-scoped banking through Citi or some
such. i suggested Ally Bank only because they offer free services: in-bound
SWIFT, in-/out-bound domestic US wire transfers, and checking. also, their $10
fee for out-bound SWIFT is the lowest i know of for non-analysis (low
running-balance) checking acct's.

--
Thank you,

Johann v. Preußen


On 2016.May.11 14:15, Steve Marquess wrote:

> On 05/11/2016 04:56 PM, Johann v. Preußen wrote:
>> i am somewhat surprised your attorneys have not mentioned the most
>> simplistic solution. if the sole purpose for incorporating is to
>> implement banking, there is actually no need to register for an IRS
>> letter. if you satisfy the state regulations and obtain an EIN you are
>> fine. the IRS letter does give safe harbor to donors that the amounts
>> given are federally deductible. of course, to your major donors who
>> provide moneys under grants and/or contracts there is no practical
>> tax-wise difference between "gift" and "business expense".
>>
>> ...
> State taxation isn't a problem; OpenSSL Software Foundation is
> incorporated in Delaware which has no tax. U.S. tax deductibility is
> largely irrelevant to our donors, most of which are outside the U.S.
>
>> all of that said, there are plenty of examples of open-source org's that
>> are already IRS-recognized under IRC 501(c)(3) such as Software in the
>> Public Interest, Apache, Eclipse Foundation, Open Source Initiative,
>> Linux Foundation, Software Freedom Conservancy, and many more. i have
>> noticed, though, what your attorneys have related to you in that the IRS
>> has recently seemed to turn a blind eye to the "public benefit" clause
>> when it comes to open-source software. this is a trend of just a couple
> Bingo.
>
>> of years and turns from the path they had followed for decades in
>> granting acceptance. if someone took the time to copy/edit one of these
>> org's by-laws and submitted to the IRS they would be hard-pressed to
>> deny based on the facts and would have to reveal a decidedly
>> philosophical reason which would be wide open to appeal. naturally, i
>> have no idea if any of this extra effort would yield anything meaningful
>> to openssl. ...
> Be my guest and go for it, but I do have a good idea if it would yield
> anything meaningful because I've been working this issue in detail for a
> couple of years now. Our attorneys (we've checked with several, and with
> ones experienced with 501(c)) don't see a viable path worth the
> substantial investment it would cost us.
>
> -Steve M.
>
>
>


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Re: good riddance to PayPal

Steve Marquess-5
On 05/11/2016 06:04 PM, Johann v. Preußen wrote:
> i am sorry if i have wasted your time on non-profit formation and
> taxation issues when i put my CPA hat on. i originally meant to point
> out some banking alternatives and how to make certain you could qualify
> and control such with the non-profit formation as a means and California
> as a low-cost conduit.

Not a waste; despite working these issues for some time I remain ever
hopeful that there is indeed a simple solution that has to date escaped
us. Or even a complex one for that matter.

I have also conflated other issues in what started out as an online
payment thread :-)

>
> if you are already set up in DE, you can take advantage of the free
> in-/out-ACH, web API's, and mass-pay at dwolla (tied to any existing
> bank account(s) you have now or in the future) and
> internationally-scoped banking through Citi or some such. i suggested
> Ally Bank only because they offer free services: in-bound SWIFT,
> in-/out-bound domestic US wire transfers, and checking. also, their $10
> fee for out-bound SWIFT is the lowest i know of for non-analysis (low
> running-balance) checking acct's.

Citibank and Ally are both U.S. banks, we already have multiple U.S.
bank accounts. We don't do a lot of transactions (other than online
donation payments) so the per-transaction fees are not a major
consideration, nor are they onerous with our current U.S. bank.

Dwolla I'll call when they open for business. I suspect we'll run into
the U.S. web server location issue, but I'll check.

-Steve M.

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London N1 7GU
United Kingdom
+44 1785508015
+1 301 874 2571 direct
[hidden email]
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Re: good riddance to PayPal

Steve Marquess-4
On 05/12/2016 09:39 AM, Steve Marquess wrote:

> On 05/11/2016 06:04 PM, Johann v. Preußen wrote:
>> i am sorry if i have wasted your time on non-profit formation and
>> taxation issues when i put my CPA hat on. i originally meant to point
>> out some banking alternatives and how to make certain you could qualify
>> and control such with the non-profit formation as a means and California
>> as a low-cost conduit.
>
> Not a waste; despite working these issues for some time I remain ever
> hopeful that there is indeed a simple solution that has to date escaped
> us. Or even a complex one for that matter.
>
> ...
>
> Dwolla I'll call when they open for business. I suspect we'll run into
> the U.S. web server location issue, but I'll check.
>
> -Steve M.
>

That was a short call; Dwolla only handles payments from within the
U.S., and the great bulk of our donations come from outside the U.S.

-Steve M.

--
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OpenSSL Validation Services, Inc.
1829 Mount Ephraim Road
Adamstown, MD  21710
USA
+1 877 673 6775 s/b
+1 301 874 2571 direct
[hidden email]
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Re: good riddance to PayPal

Johann v. Preußen
dwolla: yes, i keyed off your comment re getting your last $'s from paypal and thought they would work for your donations: US, at least. and then somebody like Citi (a globally top-three credit card issuer) could handle accounts in GBP and EURO in London with a relatively small translation cost for Nordics and other Euro-peripherals into either London pool.

the rest of the globe would probably be cheaper to come into NYC in USD. if you spend in GBP/EURO you would do so from those accounts with no translation costs. of course, you can concentrate the funds where ever you might need them as the need arises.

OK, that type of a system takes a bit of effort to get going; but then it is quite low-cost and easy to actually run. however, if you are looking for some sort of a paypal "drop-in" one that i am familiar with is propay.
  • they have some concessionary pricing for non-profits (you can just provide proof of your "exempt" DE status).
  • i am not sure what their currency translation hits might be since i only know about a US set-up.
  • they do non-swipe cards at 2.2%+$0.25 (no surprise: except for Am Ex which you do not have to accept).
  • they do ACH, but have a percentage applied (less than 1%) instead of a much lower per-transaction fee.
  • transaction fees might get even lower if your volume is attractive to them.
  • no other fees at all.
  • they also have a bunch of API's you can choose from.
  • one added feature that may interest you is they have a means whereby you can post an anchor in social media sites to capture donations back to their system.
  • they also do the maximum PCI isolation so that you do not have to worry re that.
  • they have an "auto-sweep" function every couple of days for depositing into your current bank account which can be altered to your own preferred schedule.
  • you can establish multiple accounts if you have FX disbursement needs such as GBP and/or Euro and then there would be no attendant translation costs.
of course, this is also a place where you can leverage your org's rep to possibly get even better terms. you could start at their non-profit page and look on from there and see if there are more features i do not know about:
http://www.propay.com/affiliate/charity/?refid=charity
--
Thank you,

Johann v. Preußen


On 2016.May.12 09:42, Steve Marquess wrote:
On 05/12/2016 09:39 AM, Steve Marquess wrote:
On 05/11/2016 06:04 PM, Johann v. Preußen wrote:
i am sorry if i have wasted your time on non-profit formation and
taxation issues when i put my CPA hat on. i originally meant to point
out some banking alternatives and how to make certain you could qualify
and control such with the non-profit formation as a means and California
as a low-cost conduit.
Not a waste; despite working these issues for some time I remain ever
hopeful that there is indeed a simple solution that has to date escaped
us. Or even a complex one for that matter.

...

Dwolla I'll call when they open for business. I suspect we'll run into
the U.S. web server location issue, but I'll check.

-Steve M.

That was a short call; Dwolla only handles payments from within the
U.S., and the great bulk of our donations come from outside the U.S.

-Steve M.



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Re: good riddance to PayPal

Tucker Moreau
In reply to this post by Steve Marquess-5
Hey,

Have you considered reaching out to a group like Software in the
Public Interest and accepting donations through them? It's how Debian,
Arch, and several others take donations exactly so they don't have to
deal with the trouble of banks that you're going through now.
Admittedly, it sounds somewhat worrying that OpenSSL itself wouldn't
hold the funds directly this way, but I suppose it's better than
having the funds indefinitely locked in PayPal or not being able to
take donations at all.

On Thu, May 5, 2016 at 1:41 PM, Steve Marquess
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> We've had a PayPal account for years, as the most convenient way for
> individuals to send small donations. However, as the person who has
> managed that account I can attest that PayPal has always been rather
> annoying to deal with, and I've finally hit my limit. I'm in the process
> of closing that account (something PayPal makes unnecessarily difficult
> and protracted). I was able to refund most of the recent donations that
> we were unable to recover, leaving a balance of $259.45 that will either
> be forfeited to PayPal or (hopefully) refunded by them back to the
> original donors.
>
> The PayPal donate link ("button") on our web site has been removed. I've
> asked PayPal to block any future inbound transactions while we fight
> over the account closure, but can't be confident that was done. Please
> do not donate via PayPal to any account claiming to represent us; such
> donations won't go to us and may not ever be returned to you.
>
> This closure of the only convenient means of receiving small donations
> does not mean that we do not value such donations. Those of you who have
> donated via PayPal, many via recurring donations, have our gratitude and
> thanks. I regret that there is no clear alternative to switch to instead
> (suggestions welcome if there are options I'm unaware of).
>
> -Steve M.
>
> --
> Steve Marquess
> OpenSSL Software Foundation
> 20-22 Wenlock Road
> London N1 7GU
> United Kingdom
> +44 1785508015
> +1 301 874 2571 direct
> [hidden email]
> [hidden email]
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Re: good riddance to PayPal

Steve Marquess-5
On 05/13/2016 10:35 AM, Tucker Moreau wrote:

> Hey,
>
> Have you considered reaching out to a group like Software in the
> Public Interest and accepting donations through them? It's how Debian,
> Arch, and several others take donations exactly so they don't have to
> deal with the trouble of banks that you're going through now.
> Admittedly, it sounds somewhat worrying that OpenSSL itself wouldn't
> hold the funds directly this way, but I suppose it's better than
> having the funds indefinitely locked in PayPal or not being able to
> take donations at all.

We have considered this approach, in detail, and the comfort level isn't
there. A requirement of their 501(c) status for such organizations is
that they can't make any commitments as to how funds raised in our name
will be spent. We would have to trust their good judgment in deciding
how those funds were used. We found that such arrangements haven't
always worked out as intended, and at any rate the OpenSSL team places a
very high priority on maintaining independence from undue outside
influence. If this outside charity were to accumulate a significant
amount of funding then that would constitute undue influence.

FWiW when this was discussed I made exactly that argument to my
colleagues; that we'd be better off entrusting a third party with
donations than losing them entirely. But, there was a strong consensus
that clearly established independence trumped any hypothetical financial
gain. We have turned down other donations-with-strings opportunities in
the past for similar reasons.

Also, while we value the individual donations received via PayPal, the
bulk of our donation funding has been received via bank transfers
(Swift/ACH), and that is unaffected by the closing of our PayPal account.

-Steve M.

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Steve Marquess
OpenSSL Software Foundation
20-22 Wenlock Road
London N1 7GU
United Kingdom
+44 1785508015
+1 301 874 2571 direct
[hidden email]
[hidden email]
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Re: good riddance to PayPal

Wouter Verhelst
On 13-05-16 16:56, Steve Marquess wrote:
> We have considered this approach, in detail, and the comfort level isn't
> there. A requirement of their 501(c) status for such organizations is
> that they can't make any commitments as to how funds raised in our name
> will be spent.

AIUI, the reason for that is solely that they cannot agree to make any
payments that could be considered to be illegal. This is for obvious
reasons; other than that, SPI does not set any rules on what member
projects choose to do with their funds:

   "Member projects are free to use the funds allocated to them at their
    descretion, as long as such usage is consistent with U.S. laws and
    regulations, and within the constraints of SPI's certificate of
    incorporation and bylaws"

(from http://spi-inc.org/donations/)

The certificate of incorporation and bylaws do not seem to impose any
further restrictions--but don't take my word for it (they're both
available on their website).

> We would have to trust their good judgment in deciding
> how those funds were used.

Actually, as a member project, you would gain the right to vote or stand
for election in SPI's internal elections, and in doing so would be able
to exert influence over SPI's decisions.

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Wouter Verhelst
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