|Founded||15 August 2000|
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.
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. She was replaced in June 2011 by Karen Sandler, who served until March 2014. The position remained unfilled until February 2017, when former Debian leader Neil McGovern was appointed.
The Executive Director is selected and hired by the GNOME Board of Directors. 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'. Spending for non-essential activities was therefore frozen to allow the cash reserves to recover throughout 2014. This led to various rumors that the GNOME foundation had gone bankrupt, which the GNOME foundation has clarified never happened.
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.
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.
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 2018, Advisory Board members include: Canonical Ltd., Debian, Endless Computer, Free Software Foundation, Google, Private Internet Access, Red Hat, Software Freedom Law Center, Sugar Labs, SUSE, The Document Foundation and System76.