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The Distributed Proofreaders Foundation

This document provides some basic facts about the Distributed Proofreaders Foundation (DPF). DPF is the not-for-profit corporation that receives and processes donations to Distributed Proofeaders, and seeks fundraising opportunities.


The Distributed Proofreaders Foundation has been formed to support the Distributed Proofreaders (DP) website (www.pgdp.net) which has existed, in one form or another, since about October, 2000. DP volunteers transcribe books and periodicals that are in the public domain into electronic texts using software that has been developed by DP volunteers. These electronic texts are freely distributed for the benefit of anyone who can use them.

While currently DP only transcribes text into ebooks, related activities that might be included on the existing website in the future, or supported by DPF in some fashion, include transcription of musical notation, cooperative translation, and public access to the scanned material produced by DP volunteers. In this sense, DPF's mission goes beyond simple support of the DP website to the wider goal of transcribing, into digital form, freely distributable material that is currently only available on paper.


DPF is a not-for-profit corporation registered in the state of New Jersey. The registered office address of the corporation is:

Distributed Proofreaders Foundation
319 Park St
Montclair, NJ 07043

Tax Status:

DPF applied for tax exempt status by the IRS under section 501(c)(3) of the US Internal Revenue Code on July 31, 2006. Tax exempt status was granted on October 10, 2006, retroactive to April 7, 2006.


Now that DPF has applied for and received 501(c)(3) status, donations are tax-deductible as per the dates above. All of this only matters to donors who file US tax returns.

The PayPal donation button on the PGDP website directs donations to DPF. Donations made by check should be made payable to "Distributed Proofreaders Foundation" and mailed to the above address. DPF also gladly accepts donations of stock.

DPF will report on its finances regularly (at least yearly, more often if it seems appropriate) to the volunteers.

Use of Donations:

Money donated to DPF will be used to support this website, and possibly other DPs, as determined by the Board.

In the past, expenses which PGLAF incurred on behalf of DP have included registration of domain names, buying high-speed scanner set-ups, buying our server, and paying for the hosting of our server. Hosting costs have been paid by PGLAF for this year (through Feb, 2007 I believe). DPF will, of course, be assuming responsibility for our future expenses. DPF has requested that PGLAF transfer ownership of the DP domain names to DPF.

It is unlikely that DP will have any paid staff in the foreseeable future. Some software development may be contracted out, as necessary. Funds raised by DPF will be used to support the website, recruit new volunteers, improve the custom software, buy additional hardware as needed, and for such other items as the Board determines are appropriate.

Board Members:

There are currently three board members:

  • Charles Franks
  • Juliet Sutherland
  • Greg Newby


DPF currently has no employees.

Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation:

  • DPF's Bylaws
  • DPF's Articles of Incorporation

These documents are currently in paper-only form, and will be made available electronically as soon as possible.


When Distributed Proofreaders (DP) was founded by Charles Franks in 2000 it was just a website hosted on his home computer. He accepted contributions towards the operating costs of the site, but they were not tax-deductible. Sometime around July 2002, he decided to officially associate the website with Project Gutenberg, so that PGLAF (Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation), which already existed as a non-profit, tax-deductible donation-accepting organization, could deal with the financial matters. Charles turned over the money that had been donated to DP to PGLAF and from that time, PGDP operated under the financial umbrella and corporate protection of PGLAF.

Since then, DP has grown enough that it makes sense for us to become our own legal identity and have financial independence. The incorporation documents and by-laws have been written to be as generic as possible, allowing great flexibility on the part of the Board. This will allow the Foundation the maximum opportunity to grow and change as time and circumstances dictate.

As indicated by the presence of Greg Newby (CEO of PGLAF) as a Trustee, the establishment of DPF does not imply any change in DP's support of, or alignment with, PG's mission. DPF simply formalizes what has been true all along, that DP is a separate organization from PG.

Contact Information:


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Donate to the Distributed Proofreaders Foundation

Distributed Proofreaders was founded in 2000 by Charles Franks to support the digitization of Public Domain books. Originally conceived to assist Project Gutenberg (PG), Distributed Proofreaders (DP) is now the main source of PG e-books. In 2002, Distributed Proofreaders became an official PG site. In May 2006, Distributed Proofreaders became a separate legal entity and continues to maintain a strong relationship with PG.

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