Re: Membership dues [ was: Re: Advisory Board Letter ]

Well folks, I'm not sure we're going to get full consensus on this one.  Some
people (Mike, Andy, Joe Shaw, for example) don't like the idea of membership
dues.  Others (Maciej, Rusty, Chris, Jim Gettys, myself, for example) feel
pretty strongly that my last proposal is the right way to go.  And some
people (Havoc, Dave) are willing to go along with the proposal but would be
even more excited if the membership fee was $5k.

I think we've had a pretty rich and full discussion about this, and we're now
starting to go in circles, so it's time for closure.  If someone has a better
way of achieving closure, please let me know.

I think Chris, Jim, Nat and Frank have expressed the reasons why I think it's
a good idea to have corporate dues much better than I have, so I'm going to
just second their statements.

Andy: you commented about the Apache Foundation.  Well, one of the reasons I
feel strongly about this issue is that I asked Brian Behlendorff what lessons
he has learned there, and he felt pretty strongly that they should have a
budget and a staff person.

I think we should stick to the proposal I made yesterday and have $0
membership dues for non-profits and companies with less than 10 employees,
and $10,000 membership dues for other companies.  The board will have to
approve all members of the advisory board and may waive membership dues upon
request (based, for example on other contributions the company has made to
the Gnome project).  I agree that the contribution that the Red Hat hackers,
for example, are making to Gnome is much more important than the $10,000 we
are asking Red Hat to contribute.  So if Red Hat, for example, would prefer
not to pay the membership fee, I would be totally OK with that.


Chris DiBona wrote:

> I don't think it's wise to collect money only when desparate immediate
> needs. Please see below for some other thoughts.
> --
> > > So I think it makes sense to move slowly as we add structure to GNOME.
> >
> > Followed by some very sensible slow moving stuff, and then...
> >
> > > Still, it's always nice to have some money available.
> >
> > I like the foundation as a receiver of donations.  I am becoming more
> > convinced that it should never solicit funds without a substantial and
> > immediate need.  In fact, it might still be best for such solicitations
> > to be performed outside the context of the foundation itself.
> See my last email, if we are going to create a foundation, then we
> shouldn't do it halfway. The Gnome foundation wshould be flush enough with
> money that the foundation is -endowed- not always desparate. Our bproblem
> should always be how to spend it and now where to get it.
> >
> > Ummm, anyone following the IBM Developer solutions thread on
> > gnome-hackers...paid vacation, Las Vegas, Wayne Newton, Sexy Showgirls,
> > no takers.  So perhaps paying people to staff the booth would make it
> > more appealing?  Let's leave the evangelism to the folks that distribute
> > Gnome, or even better, have the board encourage evangelism by our
> > advisory board members.
> I think that trade shows can be very useful, and , for a non-profit in the
> linux space, very inexpensive. The point of the foundation is to
> evangelize in places and consistantly when the member corporations may
> have other things on thier mind.
> > > buy servers if we need to pay,
> >
> > VA and sourceforge, oops, not supposed to talk about that here. ;-)
> Why not? (oh, right...)
> > > pay bills when we have a press conference
> >
> > To announce what?
> New revs, technology changes, niguel changing his hair color, anyhting
> that will engage the press, doign the pre conference calls, being
> avaialble for comment on a moments notice, this stuff cost -$- big time.
> So there you go.
>  Chris DiBona

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