|Python Software Foundation Lowers Cost Of Membership|
|Written by Mike James|
|Tuesday, 10 January 2023|
The Python Software Foundation has introduced a sliding scale for membership fees in order to further its goal of diversity. You can now become a member for as little as $25 per year.
Python is a highly popular general-purpose programming language which you may well have used - but how about becoming a Supporting Member of the Python Software Foundation (PFS), with voting rights so that you can have your say in the future of the language.
Established in 2001 the PFS is a non-profit with the mission of fostering development of both the Python language and the Python community. It is responsible both for developing the core Python distribution, PyPI, and for organizing PyCon.
The PFS receives much of its funding from sponsors and in 2021 we reported on a new category of support - Visionary Sponsors - for organizations making a donation of at least $150K per annum. Google became the fist such sponsor and was soon joined by Bloomberg and Microsoft.
Funds also come from its membership and prior to the introduction of the sliding scale the cost was set at $99 per annum, or more for those wanting to add an extra contribution. Now while there are the same classes of membership there's a new minimum of $25 for becoming a voting member.
A blog post last month explained the rationale for the sliding scale option:
we want to make membership more accessible for more people and to increase the size and diversity of our voting membership.
While the low rate is primarily to cater for Pythonistas who live in a country with lower average incomes than the US or Western Europe together with those who are currently students or are currently unemployed or under-employed it is also open to anyone who finds the suggested $99 membership rate a financial burden.
Basic membership of the PFS remains free and for this all you need to do is supply an email address with user name and password on www.python.org.
You gain voting rights by becoming a Supporting Member and there are higher categories of membership for those more involved with either the language or the community. You are eligible to be a Managing Member if you dedicate at least five hours per month working to support the Python Software Foundation or the Python community, for example by organizing Python events, working on PSF projects or participating in one of the PSF's working groups, etc. You qualify as a Contributing Member by spending at least five hours per month working on projects which advance the mission of the PSF by creating or maintaining open source software available to the public at no charge. Upgrading to either of these levels is a matter of filling in a form, whereas to become a Fellow, which confers eligibility to vote in PFS elections, entails being nominated for "extraordinary efforts and impact upon Python, the community, and the broader Python ecosystem" and being voted in. It doesn't impinge on the annual cost.
The announcement of the new sliding scale membership makes it clear that the intention is to increase the diversity not just of the community but also its leadership. In her blog post, Deb Nicholson writes:
Part of our mission at the PSF is to “facilitate the growth of a diverse and international community of Python programmers.” One area where [PSF effort] hasn’t “trickled up” as much as we’d like is our leadership. Supporting Members can vote for our Board of Directors. If our roster of voting members can more accurately represent the entire Python community, then we can more reasonably expect the make-up of the Board to follow.
So becoming a voting member shouldn't be limited to giving the PFS your financial support but you also need to use your vote to redress imbalances in diversity.
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|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 10 January 2023 )|