Nivenly Governance

Nivenly's governance is built on 3 equally balanced branches of membership which make up the Nivenly senate.

Nivenly focuses on lightweight decisions, which we believe should be formed organically by each branch of governance. Each branch has direct control over a specific area.

In the event consensus cannot be formed by a vertical branch of governance, a special senate meeting is established in which 2/3 branches must agree.

The Board of Directors

In the early stages of bootstrapping the foundation, the board of directors serves as the main facilitators of due process. At this time the board of directors will reserve total control of the organization.

Our intention is to delegate out as much control as possible from the board of directors to the member branches as structure and governance process harden over time.

General Membership

Nivenly believes that communities should have as much control, influence, and authority over our organization as any corporation or sponsor.

We asked ourselves how do we ensure that our community members have the tools and resources needed to influence the organization and impact our decisions?

This is why Nivenly is structured much like a traditional cooperative or co-op and why we have called out a special General Membership class which is governed democratically.

Who can be a general member?

Any interested person that abides by The Nivenly Covenant is welcome to become an official member of the organization.

How much does general membership cost?

General Membership is $7.00 USD a month.

All general members will have a vote in our general elections, while also knowing they are helping to fund our projects such as Hachyderm Social Media.

How do I sign up to be a member?

Individuals may sign up to be a general member on Nivenly’s Open Collective page.

What are the requirements for general membership?

General membership does not require anything more than enthusiasm for our cause, and access to a computer with internet access. No coding or other project contributions are required for general membership.

Do I have to be a general member to participate?

Yes, you do need to be a member to participate in elections and governance.

Do I need to be a general member to use Nivenly’s software and services?

No, you do not need to be a general member to use any of our free services such as Hachyderm.

How are general elections held?

At any point any member of Nivenly can call for a general election on any topic they chose to suggest. Elections will be facilitated by Nivenly and the board of directors at their discretion.

Communities have access to diplomacy and process for problem-solving. We hope to bring balance and reason to “The Mob of Angry Townsfolk” mentality, by giving our communities access to a light weight democratic process.

Trade Membership

A trade membership is a more expensive sponsorship class reserved for entities such as corporations. We base the price of membership off the size of the entity which we believe will help us offset the impact.

Tier 0Tier 1Tier 2Tier 3Tier 4
Entity SizeExempt0-99100-499500-9991,000
Annual Cost$0.00$7,500$15,000$30,000$60,000

Nivenly takes a pragmatic and realistic approach to managing our trade memberships. We understand that a healthy relationship with the industry is critical for success, while we also understand the risk of our community organization turning into a showroom floor.

We believe corporations can find harmony with communities, given the right conditions and structure.

The trade membership committee is tasked with organizational steering while also given controlled access to community spaces, project spending and approval, and our various community resources.

We find the best trade members are members who have a vested interest in the success of key Nivenly projects, services, or communities.

Project Membership

The Nivenly foundation exists to support open source projects.

As projects are brought to the foundation, each project is given an opportunity to appoint a set of delegates.

The project delegates are given a seat in the same senate as the trade members in exchange for their continued work on their respective projects. The only path to a project delegate seat is by contributing to a Nivenly project. Project seats cannot be purchased.

Projects operate autonomously and are able to elect their delegates as they chose. Delegate seats are approved by the board of directors to roughly match the number of trade sponsors the organization takes on.

The Nivenly trade committee and project steering groups are tasked with accepting and approving new projects for the organization.

If you are interested in discussing a potential future project please email