- 1 What makes us a non profit or Public Benefit?
- 2 Corporate Entities - what is our structure?
- 3 What is our organizational governance structure?
- 4 What is module ownership?
- 5 Who is on the Steering Committee and what is their role in governance?
- 6 Community governance?
- 7 Decision Making Process
- 8 Ongoing governance
What makes us a non profit or Public Benefit?
We will always be an organization of people who believe in these goals and a community of thousands of developers, engineers, students, artists, entrepreneurs and others who have a vision of Internet life centered on individual empowerment. Mozilla became a non-profit so that we could align our efforts behind a public benefit mission instead of a goal of making money on behalf of shareholders. Our latest Annual Report has more about what our mission is and how we are working to advance choice and opportunity online.
Corporate Entities - what is our structure?
Mozilla is a non-profit organization, but there are actually  several different legal entities] that exist as part of that structure in order to allow us to operate a worldwide community. Other international non-profit organizations are also structured this way. For instance, Greenpeace is a collection of largely autonomous organizations that operate in a number of different countries.
What is our organizational governance structure?
In addition to being a non-profit organization, Mozilla is also an open source community that has a structure that complements the structure of the legal organization. This involves a series of roles, policies and a set of modules that are used to assign responsibility. This isn't documented as well as it could be, but information about the project's governance can be found at
What is module ownership?
This page describes Mozilla's module ownership structure.
This page lists all of Mozilla's modules and their owners:
Who is on the Steering Committee and what is their role in governance?
Members of the Mozilla Corporation Steering Committee are listed here:
Mitchell describes the Steering Committee's goals and roles here:
Local Mozilla communities worldwide each have their own (usually informal) governance structure. There is no formal governance structure for all Mozilla communities that is implemented globally. Each community is free to structure themselves as they would wish to. The Contributor Engagement team does provide guidance and advice regarding community governance.
Decision Making Process
Delegation of authority is a key concept in the Mozilla world and there is a lot of freedom to make decisions.
It can be confusing about how to make decisions. Sometime you need to influence another employee and sometimes you need to influence a volunteer. Sometimes there is no one to influence and you need to step in and take authority and make the decision yourself. The Module Ownership system is the structure for decision making in the project. Learn more about it and help us expand it as the project grows to cover new areas where decisions need to be made.
If you have any questions after looking over that, take part in discussions on the Governance forum at