Unlike Canonical, the Foundation does not play an active role in the day to- day life of Ubuntu. At the moment, the Foundation is little more than a pile of money that exists to endow and ensure Ubuntu’s future. Because Canonical is a young company, some companies and individuals found it difficult early on to trust that Canonical would be able to provide support for Ubuntu for the time frames (e.g., three to five years) that it claims it can. The Ubuntu Foundation exists to allay those fears. Time and consistency has also contributed greatly to the confidence of companies and individuals in Ubuntu, and the foundation will remain to ensure that consistency in the future.
If something unexpected were to happen to Shuttleworth or to Canonical that caused either to be unable to support Ubuntu development and maintain the distribution, the Ubuntu Foundation exists to carry on many of Canonical’s core activities well into the future. Through the existence of the Foundation, the Ubuntu project can make the types of long-term commitments and promises it does.
The one activity that the Foundation can and does engage in is receiving donations on behalf of the Ubuntu project. These donations, and only these donations, are then put into action on behalf of Ubuntu in accordance with the wishes of the development team and the Technical Board. For the most part, these contributions are spent on “bounties” given to community members who have achieved important feature goals for the Ubuntu project.
Source of Information : Prentice Hall The official Ubuntu Book 5th Edition 2010