DSF membership now recognizes a much broader range of contributions to Django

Posted by Jacob Kaplan-Moss on January 10, 2024

Recently, the DSF made some changes to our bylaws to change the definition of DSF Membership. You can read the legalese of the new language in the meeting minutes for the October 12 board meeting, but here’s the short version: previously, individual membership required contribution of intellectual property (e.g. code or documentation) we’ve changed it so that individual membership now recognizes broader contributions to the DSF’s mission. That still includes code and docs, but now also includes many more activities: organizing a Django event, serving on a Working Group, maintaining a third-party app, moderating Django community spaces, and much more. (Corporate membership hasn’t changed; this just applies to individual membership.)

The DSF’s mission, as described in our bylaws, is: 

The Foundation's purposes shall include, but not be limited to, developing and promoting the Django framework for free and open public use among the worldwide web development community, protecting the framework's long-term viability, and advancing the state of the art in web development.

Membership, then, recognizes material contributions to that mission. This is deliberately broad and inclusive: we want to allow as broad a definition of “contribution” as possible – including, critically, contributions to the community as well as code contributions. But we do want those contributions to be “material”: we want to recognize substantial or sustained contributions, not one-offs or “drive-by” contributions.

Because this definition of “material” is somewhat deliberately vague, we’ve prepared an FAQ that outlines several examples of things we believe do and do not qualify someone for membership. Ultimately, though, if you’re not sure: please apply anyway! We generally try to err on the side of saying “yes”.

To join the DSF under these new, more inclusive rules, fill out the application form here. The Board approves new members at its monthly meeting, so you can expect to hear back within about a month.

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