About the FSFE's Fellowship

What is the Fellowship?

The Fellowship is the way people can identify with and support the Free Software Foundation Europe. Fellows are FSFE's sustaining members that enable our financial autonomy and empower our work. Every Fellow is important to us, motivates us, supports us and gives us valuable feedback for our work.

I just would like to donate money to FSFE - how do I do that best?

If you would like to donate money to the FSFE but you do not have interest in community activities, still the most efficient and best way would be to join the Fellowship. This is, because you keep our administrative overhead as low as possible if you donate by joining the Fellowship. During the registration process, you will be asked if you are looking for contact to local Fellowship groups. Just leave this box unchecked and we will not bother you with any community news. In Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, your Fellowship donation will be tax deductible just as any usual donation or a single donation to us.

How do I become a Fellow?

To become a Fellow you have to join FSFE's Fellowship. To join the Fellowship you can easily fill out our online form. You will then receive a mail with further instructions about payment methods and your registration process. Payment can be done monthly or yearly. As a last step, you pay whatever you have stated to contribute as your donation. That's it - welcome to the Fellowship!

Is the Fellowship contribution tax-deductible?

We have set up a page with information about TaxDeductibility of Fellowship contributions in some countries.

How do I get a new Fellowship card?

Please contact and describe the reason why you want a new card.

Besides being part of FSFE's community - do I get something?

Yes. You get access to our system and can use our infrastructure. A good starting point is the FellowshipServices page, where you can find all services that you as a Fellow can use.

My Fellowship account

Can I change my username?

Changing your Fellowship username is actually possible; it will take some manual work (also from your side), depending on the amount of data you created in the Fellowship services.

Please note that this procedure has some disadvantages, notably:

If you understood the above, and you are still interested, please let us know your desired new username, and follow these instructions:

When you have finished these tasks, please don't change anything else in your Fellowship account, write to and we will deactivate the old username and activate the new username, after which you can setup your services on the new account.

I've lost my password. How do I get a new one?

Just go here and enter your Fellowship user name or primary e-mail address.

That is: click on the Forgot your password? link in the Fellowship login page.

I've received a message that my Paypal subscription was cancelled, how do I set up a new one?

Paypal has the bad habit of cancelling all subscriptions if the bank account or credit card information for a Paypal account changes, e.g. when your credit card expires and you have to set up a new credit card. We have no possibility of avoiding this.

It is of course possible for you to set up a new subscription once the bank account or credit card information has been updated. However, please note that Paypal immediately does the first transfer when you set up a subscription, so do not set up a new subscription before your next Fellowship contribution is due, otherwise you will pay too early.

If you are not sure when your next Fellowship contribution is due, log in to your Fellowship account, go to the "Personal settings" page, and click on the "Request Setting" button. You will receive an email which, among other things, contains the date when your next Fellowship contribution is due. At the same time, this email contains a link you can then use to set up a new subscription.

I want to end my Fellowship. What do I have to do?

Local Fellowship groups

What is a Fellowship group?

Fellowship groups are people that meet in real life in a certain area. These local meetings often consist of Fellows as well as non-Fellows. Fellowship groups undertake activities ranging from a comfortable beer to running a public awareness event, take part in a campaign or give and hear a talk during their meetings. One big point about these meetings is to get to know the people in your area that feel strong about software freedom and to interconnect each other. When you sign up for the Fellowship, you will be asked if you like to get in contact with a local group. If you do so, our Fellowship staff will get in contact with you and connect you with your local group - if there is one.

Is a Fellowship meeting only for Fellows?

Of course not. Fellowship meetings shall be public meetings and open for everyone interested in Free Software and the work of FSFE. In fact, it can be really interesting to gather people from different groups and to profit from synergy-effects.

Is there already a Fellowship Group in my area or can I start one?

A list of existing groups can be found on the Wiki. If there is no existing group in your area, maybe you would like to start one? Please take a look at "Starting a Fellowship Group" for help and information about best practice of how to start a Fellowship group. Feel also free to contact us to get help and information.

How to name a local Fellowship group

There is not one name for all Fellowship groups, rather Fellowship groups can decide about their name on their own. Most groups call themselves "FSFE local group $Cityname". Please do not name yourself "FSFE $Cityname" as there might be confusion between the legal association of FSFE and your local group of supporters.

Fellowship communication

Is there any kind of online communication between Fellows?

Yes, we have various mailing lists and an IRC chat to offer online communication between Fellows.

How can I get in contact with other Fellows in my area?

The FSFE will not hand out any data of our Fellows. Still, you have plenty of possibilities to get in contact with other Fellows. First, you can have a look if there is already a Fellowship Group in your area. Usually, Fellowship groups share a common mailing list. Hence, if there is a Fellowship group in your area, you can get in contact with them via their mailing list. If there is not a local group in your area, you might be able to contact your FSFE's country team, which you can also find listed on the wiki. You can ask them who else is in your area or how you can get in contact with them.

How do I know about FSFE community events?

FSFE aggregates and promotes community events by supporters of FSFE. You can find them directly visible at FSFE's home page in the section "Events" as well as on the wiki.

How do I invite the public to FSFE events?

Use our announcement tool where you fill in a web form and submit the details to us. Our team will then upload your event often within 24 hours so it's visible on our web pages. If possible, we are happy to upload translations in other languages as well.

== How can I send a mail to all Fellows in my area? === For special purposes, there is the possibility to send an email to all Fellows in your area or in another specific area. "Special purposes" are all kind of Fellowship activities like: finding Fellows to set up a new group, participate in a FSFE campaign, held a meeting and everything you plan to do collaboratively and you are looking for Fellows to join you.

To contact all Fellows in a specific area, please write an email to the Fellowship team including:

Can I contact FSFE Fellows with some news or an event?

If your news or event is non-commercial and relates to Free Software, please send information about it to our team. If it is appropriate, they will forward your information to Fellows.

Can I use the FSFE logo?

The FSFE logo can be used in association with any Free Software related activity performed by FSFE Fellows, or to promote FSFE. However, if you do not have a mandate by FSFE, we ask you not to create the impression that you speak officially for FSFE, or that FSFE has certified or endorsed you in any way.

Where can I get promotion material?

If you like to spread the word about FSFE, the Fellowship and Free Software, we happily offer you to order FSFE's official promotion material. Just look around what material you are specifically interested in, use the given form to order and get it delivered for no cost.

Fellowship activities

What are Fellowship activities?

Fellowship activities are various. Actually, each Fellowship group is different and has a different cultural background. So, there is not a list of general Fellowship activities. However, many Fellowshipgroups prefer the following activities every now and then:

Setting up a booth: If there is a Free Software conference in your area, you can apply for setting up a FSFE booth at this conference. Being present as FSFE with a booth is a very important activity for spreading our word and is fun. Many Fellowship groups have done so successful in the past.

Can I use Fellowship services for my project or event?

Yes, please do so. Fellows are encouraged to use FSFE' services to coordinate Fellowship and other Free Software related events. Of course you can also ask us if you are unsure about our services.

Can the Fellowship sponsor activities?

Yes. FSFE might be able to help you or your Fellowship group to cover travel, material or activity costs. Of course, we will only sponsor a Fellowship or FSFE related activity and not any kind of miscellaneous Free Software activity (although they are also important). To boost our community and the relationship between different groups, FSFE is also very likely to sponsor different kinds of visits and travels between local FSFE groups or their coordinators, respectively.

To get a sponsorship for your local activity, please use our Expense Request Form and fill out the following (see Screenshot for an example):

All the rest Just leave the rest blank as it is

Now lean back and wait for your answer. Be aware, that it is unlikely to receive an answer over the weekend. If you did not receive an answer after one week, please contact us.

If your request gets approved, you will receive an email about this, including the Expense request number. After spending the money, you need this number for your reimbursement. To get reimbursement, please get in touch with our financial team using and they will guide you in the process.

Can I sell FSFE merchandise at an event?

In general: Yes. But it helps if you've been part of another team doing this before. And be aware, that it is a lot of administration to sell merchandise. If you are still interested in selling merchandise please contact us. Fellowship card

What is the Fellowship card?

The Fellowship card is a so-called "smart card", it is used as a crypto-card and requires a smart card reader for your computer. Please read all information about the card on "The Fellowship Smartcard" page

Where do I get a Fellowship card?

When you sign up as a Fellow you can get a Fellowship card as a gift. If you lost it, you can contact the Fellowship team to order a new one.

How do I use this wiki?

See the Wiki user guide


TechDocs/FAQ (last edited 2017-02-16 14:30:53 by jonas)