Ziko van Dijk, 29/12/2012 17:36:
I'm confident to see soon a Wikimedia Medicine as
the model for some
other thematic organizations, and I am curious how it will evolve.
Maybe I will never understand what is a "foundation" in the US. In the
Netherlands or Germany, we distinguish between an association (with
members) and a foundation (without members, only the board members).
In the US, it seems, both can be a "foundation" and decide wether to
allow members or not.
Members are not really the point, those are things which can vary a lot
across countries and different kinds of foundations in the same country.
In extremely general terms, I think it can be safely said that a
foundation exists for the sole purpose of preserving its assets for a
scope, while an association is a group of persons with some common scope.
[Of course I know nothing on the topic and terms/forms can be stretched
so much... but no less than Machiavelli (1511) supports this according
to my etymological dictionary, and he's even more esteemed in USA than
Italy/continental Europe. ;-)]
See e.g. the WMF whose sole scope is preserving and increasing the value
of the trademarks and whose board is self-appointed and self-perpetuating.