Organization Donation FAQ
For many years VATSIM did not solicit for, or accept monetary donations from the users. Why is the network now open to receiving them?
For the previous 20 years VATSIM was financially supported by a very small group of individuals. Their monetary contributions along with the generous support of individuals who donated servers over the years allowed VATSIM to keep the network running and not burden the users with having to donate.
Several years ago the decision was made to bring all VATSIM services in house to provide for better continuity and security. There was good and bad with this decision. The good: VATSIM now has control of all the servers and can access them freely, make timely updates, and realize greater flexibility with the network architecture. Essentially the network became more robust and allowed VATSIM to increase services. The bad: bringing all the services in house caused the cost of the network to increase over triple what it had been.
The small group that was funding VATSIM initially absorbed the increases and kept the status quo; but as time progressed it became apparent the group would not be able to sustain these costs by themselves over time, especially as the network traffic continued to climb and record levels were being set almost weekly. It was clear that VATSIM infrastructure needed to grow more and with that the cost would increase.
In 2020, the compelling need for a robust, sustainable succession plan became apparent. The number of Founders that were engaged and/or even with us was dwindling, and the financial burden of VATSIM was growing with fewer people to carry the load. The decision was made to move towards a nonprofit in an effort to position VATSIM to accept donations and relieve the small group from carrying the financial burden of VATSIM, build revenue to pay for increased services and develop a succession plan from the original Founders.
The nonprofit was officially formed in January of 2022, and received 501(c)(3) tax exemption status in April of 2022.
What will donations be used for?
All donations will go towards VATSIM server infrastructure, maintenance, improvement, and growth of the VATSIM Network. It currently costs approximately $1000 USD per month to keep the core network operating, but that cost will increase as membership and network usage increases.
VATSIM runs on a robust infrastructure to support daily operations, from connecting you to the network, providing data feeds, to supporting the various web properties and systems we operate.
It is important to note that the founding documents for the non-profit corporation prohibit any director from collecting any remuneration from the network in perpetuity. 100% of the donations received by VATSIM will go solely towards maintaining and improving the network.
If I donate, will I receive any additional privileges?
No additional privileges will be given to users who make a donation to VATSIM, Inc. Records of all donations will be separate from any network resources, and no link will exist between the donator and their network CID.
Will VATSIM, Inc. publish the financials of the corporation?
As is required by the IRS, VATSIM, Inc's financials will be filed annually via IRS Form 990 and available to the public. VATSIM will provide a link to this document when it is available. Additionally, a yearly financial statement will be available to the community to show a gross income and expense summary.
Are donations tax deductible?
VATSIM, Inc is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. Donations may be tax deductible for US citizens and corporations. Consult a tax professional for more information.
VATSIM, Inc. Board of Directors
VATSIM, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation based in the state of Delaware within the United States of America, and is operated in accordance with Delaware law. The current Board of Directors are:
- Richard Jenkins, President and Treasurer
- Gunnar Lindahl, Vice-President
- George S. Marinakis, Secretary
- Richard Critz
- Mike Evans
- Timothy Barber
Will the VATSIM Board of Governors and the VATSIM, Inc. Board of Directors be independent of each other?
The VATSIM Board of Directors is responsible for administering all management functions of the corporation, and through it, the entire network. In the corporate bylaws, the Board of Directors has delegated the administration of the day-to-day operations of the network to the existing VATSIM Board of Governors. The Board of Governors is responsible to the Board of Directors. To facilitate communication and cooperation between the two bodies, one seat on the VATSIM, Inc. Board of Directors is reserved for the current President of the VATSIM Board of Governors.
What about the Founders?
The Founders have given their ownership rights to the newly formed VATSIM, Inc. non-profit organization. They will continue to be listed as the VATSIM Founders and maintain their current VATSIM IDs and ratings. Essentially, they will have a ceremonial role and from time to time be asked for their advice on matters pertaining to VATSIM; but will not have any administrative authority.
How can I donate to VATSIM?
Donations to VATSIM can be made here