Re: Budget and plans (2010)

On Fri, 2009-12-11 at 16:15 +0100, Dave Neary wrote: 
> Hi Germàn,
> First off, great work! This is by far clearer than any budget I've ever
> seen come out of the foundation (including the two I did).
> Germán Póo-Caamaño wrote:
> > On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am sending to you the GNOME
> > Foundation budget and plans of the next fiscal year (2010).
> > 
> > It was prepared on September, but it could not be sent before because we
> > were discussing the raising of the Advisory Board member fees.
> > 
> > Attached you will find two files: a summary and the spreadsheet with
> > details.
> You don't mention whether you expect/want feedback on the budget - I'm
> assuming you do :)

Yes, of course.  I did not think I should have mentioned it :-)

> I have a few questions:
> First, the budget only goes to September next year. Is that deliberate?
> Is the advisory board year also September to September?

Yes.  The fiscal year in US is from October to September.

> We're planning on leaving only a $6,000 from GUADEC this year, if I read
> correctly ($96,000 income, against $42,000 travel & lodgement & $48,000
> organisation costs). Is that a good idea? Is there a GUADEC budget that
> you can show us where the $48,000 is going? Have you thought it might be
> wise to budget for a bigger margin of error?

You read it correctly.  However, you should note -as it is stated in the
summary- the income for GUADEC is conservative.  The costs are near the
real expenses we expected to have (before the bid).  The budget is not
static and I hope to provide regular updates on it.  In the spreadsheet
you will find a waterfall sheet, where we will fill the actual income
and expenses by month, the value projected and the correction for the
rest of the term.

Regarding to GUADEC budgets, they are available at

You will find a consolidated budget, where you will can compare the
income and expenses of each year (from 2006 to 2008).

FWIW, we consolidated the budget in order to provide the information to
people who sent bids for the next GUADEC in order to ask them to fix
their budgets.  With this information we started to negotiate with them
and because of this negotiation the decision for the next GUADEC was
delayed.  We preferred to having this fixed at that time to avoid
surprises later.

We are confident that having this information public will help to
improve next bids and it let the foundation members be aware of our

> I notice in the advisory board income that you have budgeted $180,000
> income. In the explanatory notes, you mention that this is the way
> advisory board fees arrived in 2008-09 - do you have a projection for
> advisory board fees for 2009-10? Are there any anticipated changes in
> the advisory board because of the increased fees?

When we prepared the budget, we did it to approach the Advisory Board to
request them the increase of the fees.  They mostly were fine because of
the clear roadmap about what we were doing (as Foundation) and the
activities we would like to accomplish.  I must say, Stormy played an
important role in the negotiations with them.

> In employee expenses, I see that Stormy is paid $8,000 per month, with a
> discretionary bonus of $1,500 per quarter. Last year she also received a
> substantial "annual goal-related bonus", IIRC - I don't see this in the
> budget, though. Could you explain how the bonus figure for 2008-09 was
> arrived at, and give an idea of how much that bonus might be, if the
> budget happens as planned, in 2010?

We are working in a detailed plan that will make clear how the Stormy's
bonus works.  You should expect a new email coming in the next days (or
weeks :-).

> Bank charges: Are we really paying $3,000 a year in bank fees? Is there
> any way we could bring that down?

We do a lot of transfers across the year, mostly transferring money to
people who received travel sponsorship.  Both, the Foundation and the
contributor pay fees for the transfer.

Obviously, we appreciate any suggestion for how to decrease the bank

> Finally, as you're aware, there is a GNOME Store opening soon in Zazzle
> - have you any idea how much income that might bring in, and what effect
> it will have on the affiliate income from Hackerthreads?

I would expect a similar income than Hackerthreads, but I am
conservative with the income until we have a real number or a clear
tendency as we have now with Friends of GNOME.

> Thanks for your time! And really, outstanding job. The explanatory notes
> are great, and the budget overall is very good. It's definitely a good
> thing that it balances :)
> One other question - how was the bank account at the start of the
> period? Do we have money in the bank for a rainy day, if everything goes
> pear-shaped?

Over the past few years we built up a large stockpile and our accountant
has been recommending we bring it down. We spent some of it in the past
year but we still have plenty to carry us forward for a while if anything
drastic were to happen.

Nevertheless, I would like to show more details in a next report.


Germán Póo-Caamaño
Concepción - Chile

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