Merit Guidelines

Membership applications are evaluated based on merit. This document establishes broad guidelines to evaluate merit and help in judging it.

Judging merit is an important step in evaluating a Plone Foundation membership application. However, this evaluation is subjective. To assist the evaluation, and to explain the criteria to applicants, the following guidelines can help determine merit.

Note that the main goal of the Plone Foundation is to provide long term and foremost legal stability for Plone. The Foundation does influence the development of Plone only as a last resort if the community is not able to reach a consensus on something.

Key Criteria

The Plone Foundation is looking for members that have made significant contributions that benefit thegeneral Plone community. Also these contributions have to be enduring.


  • "Significant" means the outcome of the contributions have benefited Plone in a major way. All contributions will gain you respect in the community but to ensure the foundation's mission, we have to set a rather high bar on this.
  • "General" means the contributions serve the community and not the narrow self-interests of an individual or company. While self-serving contributions can still be valuable, they are not an adequate illustration of serving others.
  • "Enduring" means the applicant is committed to Plone, as shown by the duration of involvement. To a degree, the contributions themselves need to be enduring, meaning the contributions have met acceptance and not resistance.


Many wonder if code is the key criteria. The Plone Foundation values code but also other contributions. To meet the "significance" part of these guidelines you must have contributed in one of the following areas, preferably in more than one. To be sure that your contributions are enduring, you should have contributed to Plone for at least a year.

  • Code. Have you added significant functionality to Plone ? Are you maintaining one or more of the products or packages which are part of Plone Core ? Have you contributed and maintain an add-on widely used by the community (like LinguaPlone, PloneFormGen or membrane in the recent years) ?
  • Documentation. Have you written and are you maintaining freely-available documentation for Plone ?
  • Community. Have you organized community events like conferences, sprints, workshops or user groups ? Do you serve the Plone Foundation ? Are you helping others in IRC channels or on mailing lists ?
  • Marketing. Are you actively contributing to the general marketing of Plone ? (Note: Marketing that promotes a company first and Plone second isn't sufficient.)
  • Translations. Have you translated Plone into one or more languages and keep these translations up-to-date ?
  • Infrastructure. Are you maintaining any technical infrastructure the community is depending on (like servers, mailing lists, ...) ?
  • Installers. Have you created installers or helped in packaging Plone for different platforms ?
  • Maintenance. Have you formally tested pre-releases and provided patches in the bug tracker? Have you written unit tests and maintained them ?

If you feel other examples of contributions should be included in this list, please contact the Membership Committee mailing list.