GNOME Foundation

The GNOME Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Orinda, California, United States, coordinating the efforts in the GNOME project.

GNOME Foundation
Founded15 August 2000
Revenue (2014)
Expenses (2014)$499,322[2]


The GNOME Foundation works to further the goal of the GNOME project: to create a computing platform for use by the general public that is composed entirely of free software. It was founded on 15 August 2000 by Compaq, Eazel, Helix Code, IBM, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, and VA Linux Systems.[3]

To achieve this goal, the Foundation coordinates releases of GNOME and determines which projects are a part of GNOME. The Foundation acts as an official voice for the GNOME project, providing a means of communication with the press and with commercial and noncommercial organizations interested in GNOME software. The foundation produces educational materials and documentation to help the public learn about GNOME software. In addition, it sponsors GNOME-related technical conferences, such as GUADEC, GNOME.Asia, and the Boston Summit, represents GNOME at relevant conferences sponsored by others, helps create technical standards for the project, and promotes the use and development of GNOME software.


Between 2008 and 2010, Stormy Peters served as the Foundation's executive director.[4][5] She was replaced in June 2011 by Karen Sandler,[6] who served until March 2014.[7] The position remained unfilled until February 2017, when former Debian leader Neil McGovern was appointed.[8]

The Executive Director is selected and hired by the GNOME Board of Directors.[9] Following Sandler's departure, the GNOME Board announced that cash reserves had been drained due to a cash flow problem, as the GNOME Foundation had to front the costs of late payments from sponsors of the 'Outreach Program for Women'.[10] Spending for non-essential activities was therefore frozen to allow the cash reserves to recover throughout 2014.[11] This led to various rumors that the GNOME foundation had gone bankrupt, which the GNOME foundation has clarified never happened.[12]

Board of directors

The Foundation's Board of Directors is elected every year via elections held by the GNOME Foundation Election Committee. In 2016/2017, Board members are: Alexandre Franke, Allan Day, Cosimo Cecchi, Jim Hall, Meg Ford, Nuritzi Sanchez, and Shaun McCance.[13]

Notable former board members


All GNOME contributors can apply for Foundation membership. All members are eligible to stand for the Board of Directors, vote in Board elections, and suggest referendum for voting.[14]

Advisory board

The Foundation's Advisory Board is a body of organizations and companies that wish to communicate and work closely with the Board of Directors and the GNOME project. Organizations may join the advisory board for an annual fee of between US$11500 and US$23000, or be invited as a non-profit.

As of 2019, Advisory Board members include: Canonical Ltd., Debian, Endless Computer, Free Software Foundation, Google, Private Internet Access, Red Hat, Sugar Labs, SUSE, The Document Foundation and System76.[15]


  1. Lois G. Lerner (2 August 2002). "Gnome Foundation IRS 501(c)(3) Determination letter" (PDF). Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  2. "GNOME Foundation Inc" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  3. ""Red Hat Joins Industry Vendors as a Founding Member of the GNOME Foundation"" (Press release). GNOME. 15 August 2000. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  4. "GNOME hires Stormy Peters as Executive Director" (Press release). GNOME Foundation. 7 July 2008. Archived from the original on 23 December 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  5. "Changing Roles". 2 November 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  6. "Karen Sandler Named New Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation" (Press release). GNOME Foundation. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  7. "Karen Sandler Steps Down as GNOME Foundation Executive Director". GNOME Foundation. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  8. "Neil McGovern Named New Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation". 1 February 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  9. Peters, Stormy (1 June 2009). "The GNOME Foundation Is All About People". Open Source Business Resource. Talent First Network. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  10. Walton, Zach. "GNOME Foundation Has Run Out Of Money". WebProNews. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  11. "GNOME Foundation Current Budget FAQ". 16 April 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  12. "GNOME Foundation was never bankrupt". GNOME Foundation. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  13. "GNOME Board of Directors Announced" (Press release). GNOME Foundation. 17 June 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  14. "Foundation Members" (Press release). GNOME Foundation. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  15. "GNOME Advisory Board" (Press release). GNOME Foundation. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
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