Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash.


  • Daniel S. Katz
  • Anne Claire Fouilloux
  • Ben van Werkhoven
  • Frank Löffler
  • Stephan Druskat

This blog post is intended to talk about how different RSE associations financially function (purely volunteer; income from membership, events, sponsors, etc.; costs for events, staff, other).

While it is now being posted as a blog, it’s really a snapshot in time, as we expect the RSE associations to change their financial models over time. This post may be useful to the existing organizations that want to consider changes, and to new organizations that need to make financial decisions.

  • be-RSE: The Belgian Research Software Association is not a formal organisation yet, nor is it financially independent. All efforts are driven by volunteers of various organisations. At the moment, two organisations, VIB and KU Leuven are driving the activities.

  • de-RSE: Is a formal association with charitable status (includes tax exemptions), financed through membership fees (€60/year for full membership; €30/year for discounted membership), used exclusively to support chartered aims, e.g., local groups, national conference, etc. Financial support for deRSE19 came from corporate and charitable sponsors and the Gesellschaft für Informatik. Society uses academic and commercial infrastructure for work (GWDG’s chat and cloud, GitHub).

  • Nordic-RSE: Does not have its own finances as of yet. All efforts are driven by volunteers from various organizations. No membership fees yet.

  • NL-RSE: Is not a formal organization in any way. Membership is only to the mailing list. NL-RSE is backed by the Netherlands eScience Center which has promised a community manager to actually organize events on behalf of NL-RSE. The Netherlands eScience Center has also paid for the venue costs at the NL-RSE conference in 2019. We had several companies approach us for sponsoring the 2019 conference, but since we are not a formal organization with a bank account we couldn’t accept any sponsoring at the time.

  • RSE-AUNZ: Is not financial as yet. All effort is volunteer. We are interested in finding out about paths that get us to a place where we can begin financing our own website, media, events, etc.

  • Society of RSE: Is registered with the UK Charity Commission as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation with Charity Number 1182455. As such, it has a bank account and annual reports finances to the government and to its membership (e.g. in 2020).

  • US-RSE: Is not currently a formal organization in any way. Membership is only via our mailing list. As of early April 2021, we are in the process of setting up a financial account for the organization via Open Collective Foundation.