Software Freedom Conservancy, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization incorporated in New York. Software Freedom Conservancy helps promote, improve, develop, and defend Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects. Conservancy provides a non-profit home and infrastructure for FLOSS projects. This allows FLOSS developers to focus on what they do best — writing and improving FLOSS for the general public — while Conservancy takes care of the projects' needs that do not relate directly to software development and documentation.
FLOSS projects whose applications are accepted become part of the Software Freedom Conservancy (akin to a separate department of a large agency). Once joined, the “member project” receives most of the benefits of existing as a non-profit corporate entity without engaging in the arduous work of forming a separate, new organization. Conservancy aggregates the work of running a FLOSS non-profit for its many members.
Conservancy provides many important services for its member projects. Member projects can take directed donations, which allows donors to earmark their donations for the benefit of a specific FLOSS project. Conservancy provides fiscal oversight to ensure that these funds are spent in a manner that advances the project and fits with Conservancy's 501(c)(3) mission to promote, advance, and defend software freedom.