Yesterday Matt Mullenweg announced the establishment of the WordPress Foundation. It's goals, among others, are "to further the mission of the WordPress open source project: to democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software".
He further elaborates:
The point of the foundation is to ensure free access, in perpetuity, to the projects we support. People and businesses may come and go, so it is important to ensure that the source code for these projects will survive beyond the current contributor base, that we may create a stable platform for web publishing for generations to come. As part of this mission, the Foundation will be responsible for protecting the WordPress, WordCamp, and related trademarks. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the WordPress Foundation will also pursue a charter to educate the public about WordPress and related open source software.
We hope to gather broad community support to make sure we can continue to serve the public good through freely accessible software.
He cites sources of inspiration that include the Free Software Foundation, the Open Source Applications Foundation, and the Mozilla Foundation. I agree that all do laudable work, and I actually support some of them (as well as Creative Commons) financially as well as with my moral support.
Matt, I wish you much success with your mission and your funds raising!