- it is a good idea to establish a way that allows donations/funding
Yes. From a sustainability standpoint a distinct legal entity is a must-have.
- it should be a non-profit organization
For the purposes of this discussion I assume this entity would be based in the U.S.? (That’s where my experience is domiciled). To be clear, in the U.S. there are a few different kinds of nonprofits, and Foundations and nonprofits aren’t necessarily interchangeable. A Foundation usually denotes a nonprofit organization that sources contributions from a smaller pool of funding, for example one or two companies, a family, a single donor. So I think we ultimately are talking about forming a nonprofit versus a foundation?
- there is a need to prevent hostile attacks on the project (is this requirement related to donations/funding?)
This has a lot to do with #2. Funding of the organization is a tactical control consideration (e.g. if the money dries up, the bills can’t be paid this month), but strategically, protecting the Board from unwanted influence is the strongest protection for the organization. These are two tacts that work together.
Board members by default in many U.S. jurisdictions are required by law to put the best interests of the organization first, which is why it’s important for them not to be conflicted, and having a larger board helps to ensure that the board is empowered to prevent rogue members from becoming detrimental.
For example, strategically if doesn’t matter where the money comes from if the board itself “gets bought” and tactically it doesn’t matter what the board decides if we can’t pay the bills and our vendors close our accounts.
- it is unclear who is supposed to administer (own) the non-profit organization
I sort of assume Greg Kurtzer would be an initial incorporator of the legal entity, but that is obviously up to him. Thankfully nonprofits are not exactly owned, so once a board is elected, whatever governance structure we put into place, if well executed, will safeguard against that kind of attack.
- it is unclear whether the form should be a Foundation or another maybe simpler form
See above for my other point about this.
Regarding the Community protection by Democracy ideas, these are good starting thoughts. Generally an organization can arrange how its decisions are made in any way it likes that don’t interfere with whatever requirements are set in the relevant jurisdictions’ laws on how nonprofit organizations may function. It would be important to get legal advice in how the board is structured and what other groups have what kind of power, so that down the road we don’t end up outsmarting ourselves.
My original disclaimer applies.