chaos.social is run by Leah and rixx. For tax and bookkeeping purposes, there is an association (a German Verein) handling incoming donations and server costs. Leah and rixx are the sole members of the board. That’s the tl;dr, you can also have a look at the (German, sorry) statutes.
Q: Why can’t I be a member of your association?
A: The association, chaos.social e.V., was really only founded for bookkeeping purposes. Having members means having a member list, tracking membership fees, handling addresses and mass mailings and arrears and all sorts of unpleasant work. We may reconsider if the donation model doesn’t work out.
Q: What’s the association’s structure?
A: We have some founding members, as required by law, and a board consisting of Leah and rixx. Read the reasons for this minimal structure above. You can also read our (German, sorry) statutes.
Q: Why aren’t you registered as a charitable organisation?
A: We are not registered as charitable, though of course we don’t intend to make a profit and we do think running chaos.social is generally a charitable purpose. But running a charitable organisation means more complex bookeeping and paperwork (regular checks by the tax office), and we’d rather not.
Q: Why no gGmbH like mastodon.social?
A: A gGmbH requires capital, which we don’t have. There is a smaller alternative form, which would take up 25% of any profit until it turns into a gGmbH – which we don’t even really want to be. Plus, we would have to deal with regular checks that charitable organisation are subject to, which is a lot of paperwork.
Q: That doesn’t sound terribly democratic?
A: chaos.social has never been a democratic instance – it’s a hobby project run by Leah and rixx. This structure didn’t change when we founded the association, it was just formalised. It may look unusually dictatorial for an organisation like this. However, this is a very good proxy for how chaos.social was and is run. Leah and rixx are always (happily!) open for discussions about moderation and administration, but the final say is theirs.
Q: That doesn’t sound terribly transparent?
A: Once we’ve handled the initial setup, we hope to publish at least yearly finance reports detailing our income, expenses and balances. The income will be just donations, and the expenses will go to our servers, domains etc. (And maybe some stickers, if there is money left at the end of the year.)