09.29.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

EFF: Sitting on a Massive Pile of Money and Members Are Less Than a Third of the Revenue

Posted in EFF, Finance at 4:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

How much of an impact/sway/voice do pertinent members (individuals) have in the EFF?

EFF grants
Income and revenue disclosures. Several more millions go on top of that, making the total nearly $16 million (see below).

Summary: As part of our series which explores non-profits turning against their goals (sometimes in pursuit of money, even if that means sellout) we take a good look at the EFF in this age of unprecedented consolidation of wealth and power

THE FSF says that about half of its revenue comes from members. That’s not too bad compared to a bunch of other non-profits we’ve studied closely over the years. At the FSFE, by contrast, the full-time staff has become almost like a corporate European outpost for Americans, partly a lobbying operation, as noted by Daniel Pocock (he saw it from the inside, taking stock of Fellows’ diminishing involvement). Google plays a big role at the FSFE. It also pays the EFF. Google was a top sponsor of the FSF for a number of years. No need for a Microsoft fixation when Google itself is also problematic (it censors communications, silencing dissent, truth and so on).

“They’re slightly involved in Europe (“foreign activity”), albeit nowhere as much as in the US.”While it’s publicly known today’s EFF is funded partly (maybe mostly) by oligarchs and monopolistic corporations, how much exactly is not publicly known, as there’s no detailed breakdown. We’ll come to that in a moment. This isn’t the first time we examine the EFF’s finances (it’s about the fourth time in recent years). They’re slightly involved in Europe (“foreign activity”), albeit nowhere as much as in the US. They never ever speak about EPO corruption (not in their financial overlords’ personal interest… super-rich people like Mark Cuban).

Earlier this month someone published “Firefox usage is down 85% despite Mozilla’s top exec pay going up 400%” (we had highlighted a similar problem a year ago). To quote:

One of the most popular and most intuitive ways to evaluate an NGO is to judge how much of their spending is on their programme of works (or “mission”) and how much is on other things, like administration and fundraising. If you give money to a charity for feeding people in the third world you hope that most of the money you give them goes on food – and not, for example, on company cars for head office staff.

Mozilla looks bad when considered in this light. Fully 30% of all expenditure goes on administration. Charity Navigator, an organisation that measures NGO effectiveness, would give them zero out of ten on the relevant metric. For context, to achieve 5/10 on that measure Mozilla admin would need to be under 25% of spending and, for 10/10, under 15%.

Mozilla is a basketcase and not really the subject of this particular post. For Mozilla see what we wrote last year, based on our findings. They claim to be all about privacy, but they’re doing the opposite. They’re rather dishonest about the whole thing.

Today, without further ado, we present the latest available IRS form [PDF] (bar Form 990-T, which we’ll come to later).

Since the death of the EFF’s prominent co-founder Cindy Cohn has managed the EFF. She’s still in charge, listed in the filings as the EFF’s chief. No surprise there. She nets over a quarter million in annual salary (excluding the bonuses, listed separately), with about $200,000 for her deputy. That’s nowhere as obscene as Mozilla giving several millions to its head. Like we said, Mozilla became one heck of a basketcase, full of basketcases. One person from the EFF, Daniel Nazer (their patent expert), leapt from the EFF to Mozilla a couple of years ago. Reason unknown, but ever since then the EFF hasn’t said much about patents (nowhere near the prior frequencies).

The EFF’s salaries apparently use up about 10% of the total revenue, a lot less obscene than the Linux Foundation, where the chief pockets about a million bucks a year — to the point where this foundation operates at a loss! Apparently $100,000,000 isn’t enough for this utterly rogue foundation…

The EFF’s financial folks are more financially prudent; the EFF sits on over 40 million dollars in the bank whilst asking members to donate some more; they don’t name the big sponsors (‘donors’). These savings keep increasing at about 3 times the inflation rate (they receive more money than they can spend). Interest rates alone pay almost as much as members’ fee adds up to. Here’s the breakdown:

EFF totals

For those who want to read lots of pages we’ve included the full original document, as well as another from the start of 2020 (Form 990-T) [PDF]. It’s not particularly interesting; it’s about repeal of “parking tax” provision, explained as follows less than a year ago:

The U.S. Senate today passed government funding legislation for the 2020 fiscal year. The legislation includes a measure to repeal what is commonly referred to as the “parking tax”—that is, section 512(a)(7) that requires tax-exempt organizations to include in unrelated business taxable income the amounts they pay or incur on qualified transportation fringe benefits.

All in all, the EFF is definitely not rogue, but questions need to be asked about its mission and who exactly pays the “Big Money”. What are those sponsors looking for in return? This can help explain why the EFF touches particular areas (or issues) and not others.

“In pursuit of money for supposed ‘growth’ institutions like these typically get worse, not better, over time (as they’re run by people looking to justify and increase their own salaries/bonuses).”We should add a closing note about the cautionary tale which is the Open Source Initiative (OSI), an institution which this year banned its very own co-founder (the other co-founder had left in protest). 95% of the OSI's money comes from corporations such as Microsoft and the OSI is run by a major hypocrite who might also be a Windows user (hard to tell by his wallpaper what he uses, but it’s almost definitely not Open Source like BSD or GNU/Linux). The OSI became a ‘washing machine’ of Microsoft money. Microsoft ‘donates’ and this money is then funnelled, tax-free, to Microsoft employees in GitHub. Well, no wonder OSI’s GM quit this past summer, without even waiting for a successor to be appointed. Microsoft has always been a lot more of a cult than a company, looking to take over its opposition. Microsoft’s “success” did not require any technical excellence at all, just subversive and illegal tactics. The way we see it, Microsoft killed OSI with bribes but finally sealed the deal (OSI becoming a casualty) this year with various new bizarre appointments, a lack of purpose, and resignations. The lack of identity, or defection to working against one’s own goals, is why it’s apt to call this year’s OSI a Microsoft ‘washing machine’ (or launderette, like tax evasion and influence peddling). Where is antitrust involved? No such thing under Donald Trump. In fact, the Linux Foundation’s Jim Zemlin went out of his way to help Microsoft take over GitHub (and by extension a lot of projects that compete against Microsoft).

Going back to the EFF, we’re not yet seeing the characteristics or symptoms of complete corporate takeover (not any more than in prior years), but it’s crucial to understand what the EFF truly is and how it works. It can get worse over time. In pursuit of money for supposed ‘growth’ institutions like these typically get worse, not better, over time (as they’re run by people looking to justify and increase their own salaries/bonuses). In the EFF’s case, it’s now run by someone who had nothing to do with its creation (genesis). Barlow died and he left the EFF in hands that might become sympathetic to the EFF’s foes (such as Google).

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. The Future of Techrights

    Futures are difficult to predict, but our general vision for the years ahead revolves around more community involvement and less (none or decreased) reliance on third parties, especially monopolistic corporations, mostly because they oppress the population via the network and via electronic devices



  2. [Meme] UPC for CJEU

    When you do illegal things and knowingly break the law to get started with a “legal” system you know it’ll end up in tears… or the CJEU



  3. Links 20/1/2022: 'Pluton' Pushback and Red Hat Satellite 6.10.2

    Links for the day



  4. The Web is a Corporate Misinformation/Disinformation Platform, Biased Against Communities, Facts, and Science

    Misinformation/disinformation in so-called 'news' sites is a pandemic which spreads; in the process, the founder of GNU/Linux gets defamed and GNU/Linux itself is described as the problem, not the solution to the actual problems



  5. Links 20/1/2022: McKinsey Openwashing and Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 19, 2022



  7. Links 20/1/2022: Linuxfx 11.1 WxDesktop 11.0.3 and FreeIPMI 1.6.9 Released

    Links for the day



  8. Links 19/1/2022: XWayland 22.1 RC1 and OnlyOffice 7.0 Release

    Links for the day



  9. Links 19/1/2022: ArchLabs 2022.01.18 and KDE's 15-Minute Bug Initiative

    Links for the day



  10. When Twitter Protects Abusers and Abuse (and Twitter's Sponsors)

    Twitter is an out-of-control censorship machine and it should be treated accordingly even by those who merely "read" or "follow" Twitter accounts; Twitter is a filter, not a news/media platform or even means of communication



  11. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 18, 2022



  12. Links 19/1/2022: Wine 7.x Era Begins and Istio 1.12.2 is Out

    Links for the day



  13. Another Video IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    It seems very much possible that IBM (or someone close to IBM) is trying to purge me from Twitter, so let’s examine what they may be trying to distract from. As we put it 2 years ago, "Watson" is a lot more offensive than those supposedly offensive words IBM is working to purge; think about those hundreds of Red Hat workers who are black and were never told about ethnic purges of blacks facilitated by IBM (their new boss).



  14. What IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    Let's 'Streisand it'...



  15. Good News, Bad News (and Back to Normal)

    When many services are reliant on the integrity of a single, very tiny MicroSD card you're only moments away from 2 days of intensive labour (recovery, investigation, migration, and further coding); we've learned our lessons and took advantage of this incident to upgrade the operating system, double the storage space, even improve the code slightly (for compatibility with newer systems)



  16. Someone Is Very Desperate to Knock My Account Off Twitter

    Many reports against me — some successful — are putting my free speech (and factual statements) at risk



  17. Links 18/1/2022: Deepin 20.4 and Qubes OS 4.1.0 RC4

    Links for the day



  18. Links 18/1/2022: GNOME 42 Alpha and KStars 3.5.7

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 17, 2022



  20. Links 17/1/2022: More Microsoft-Connected FUD Against Linux as Its Share Continues to Fall

    Links for the day



  21. The GUI Challenge

    The latest article from Andy concerns the Command Line Challenge



  22. Links 17/1/2022: digiKam 7.5.0 and GhostBSD 22.01.12 Released

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 16, 2022



  24. Links 17/1/2022: postmarketOS 21.12 Service Pack 1 and Mumble 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] Gemini Space (or Geminispace): From 441 Working Capsules to 1,600 Working Capsules in Just 12 Months

    Gemini space now boasts 1,600 working capsules, a massive growth compared to last January, as we noted the other day (1,600 is now official)



  26. [Meme] European Patent Office Space

    The EPO maintains a culture of illegal surveillance, inherited from Benoît Battistelli and taken to a whole new level by António Campinos



  27. Gemini Rings (Like Webrings) and Shared Spaces in Geminspace

    Much like the Web of 20+ years ago, Gemini lets online communities — real communities (not abused tenants, groomed to be ‘monetised’ like in Facebook or Flickr) — form networks, guilds, and rings



  28. Links 16/1/2022: Latte Dock 0.11 and librest 0.9.0

    Links for the day



  29. The Corporate Cabal (and Spy Agencies-Enabled Monopolies) Engages in Raiding of the Free Software Community and Hacker Culture

    In an overt attack on the people who actually did all the work — the geeks who built excellent software to be gradually privatised through the Linux Foundation (a sort of price-fixing and openwashing cartel for shared interests of proprietary software firms) — is receiving more widespread condemnation; even the OSI has been bribed to become a part-time Microsoft outsourcer as organisations are easier to corrupt than communities



  30. EPO's Web Site Constantly Spammed by Lies About Privacy While EPO Breaks the Law and Outsources Data to the United States

    The António Campinos-led EPO works for imperialism, it not only protects the rich; sadly, António’s father isn’t alive anymore and surely he would blast his son for doing what he does to progress his career while lying to staff and European citizens


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts