About the Foundation for Public Code

Stages to becoming a founding member

This index


  1. 1. Expression of interest
  2. 2. Founding membership proposal
  3. 3. Founding membership contract (2019 only)
    1. Assumptions
  4. 4. Membership of the Foundation (2020 onwards)
    1. Assumptions

This outlines the stages by which a public organization becomes a founding member.

1. Expression of interest

At this stage, the public organization confirms their interest in becoming a member by signing the expression of interest. This grants both parties the right to discuss this collaboration publicly. It’s signed by a policy lead and/or technical development lead in the public organization.

This stage may include information about founding membership.

This stage is over when the expression of interest has been signed.

2. Founding membership proposal

At this stage, the Foundation and the public organization work together on the founding membership proposal.

This includes:

This stage may include a founding membership workshop.

This stage is over when both parties agree to the proposal.

3. Founding membership contract (2019 only)

At this stage, public organizations become founding members by signing a founding membership contract. This contract consists of the proposal agreed in the previous stage, along with any extra legal framing required. This commits both the member and the Foundation to the mutually agreed proposal.

Founding members are co-owners of the Foundation and help shape its future activities and regular membership structure.

This stage is over after 2019, when the founding members have shaped the Foundation’s activities and regular membership structure.


  • The Founding Membership Proposal may require extra legal framing to make it a contract.
  • This will be governed by Dutch law.
  • These contracts will not automatically roll over into regular membership contracts as these are structurally different.

4. Membership of the Foundation (2020 onwards)

From 2020, each member has a regular membership contract.

With regular membership, members become co-owners of the Foundation. This means members can vote in the general assembly and are responsible for and steer the Foundation’s operations, including priorities and annual budget for the organization. Read more about Foundation governance.

All members pay membership yearly dues. See financial model. Failure to pay can result in termination of membership as stipulated in the association bylaws.

A mediation structure will be set up to handle any disputes that may arise between members and the Foundation or between individual members.


  • This contract will be governed by Dutch law.
  • Members will not pay dues through procurement or tendering procedures.
  • The procedures members use to pay their dues will differ based on local legal context - for example, some could use a grant.
  • Members will not incur obligations to the Foundation beyond paying dues.
  • The Foundation will not incur obligations to individual members by accepting membership dues, other than the governance process set out in the assocation bylaws.

Disputes about Foundation activites could include, for example:

  • Codebase stewardship: excessive delays to development due to codebase stewardship activites
  • Codebase auditing: malicious or unprofessional advice on code, leading to codebase failure
  • Codebase marketing: libel or false advertising about a codebase
  • Codebase support: failed procurements based on Foundation advice