Re: What's the point? (or,"What's the Emperor wearing?")
In addition to what Jess said, a foundation provides a vendor neutral (or as close as we can get) location for a project. Competitors on products and services have a place to work together on projects that are not controlled by a single vendor in its governance.
I think this is one of the biggest reasons for a foundation. Not everything needs this. But, some foundational things benefit from it.
Then there is being frank on the politics. People are trying to game the system for career advancement, getting money for startups, more tag lines in marketing campaigns, for bragging rights, and more. In this highly competitive marketplace with money being thrown to the degree it is, I don’t know if we can avoid this all together.
But, we can put a target on being useful and building useful things. For this I mean Jakob Nielsen’s definition whose gist is useful = usability + utility. Projects and people can be promoted for the useful.