Re: Question for the candidates : money !

On Tue, 2010-06-01 at 15:11 -0500, Brian Cameron wrote:
> Lionel:
> > I've a question about GNOME business model and sustanability. As we have
> > seen with the fundrising to hire a sysadmin, money is often a blocking
> > point. The current business model seems to be donations.
> Actually, The GNOME Foundation acquires money from several sources:
> - Advisory Board fees
> - Sponsorship for particular events or programs
> - Profit from events (such as GUADEC)
> - Donations (such as Friends of GNOME and the upcoming mobile donations
>    program being discussed on the marketing list)
> The GNOME Foundation has invested a fair amount of effort in the Friends
> of GNOME program to increase donations and with good success.  However,
> donations are a small overall percentage of revenue.
> Also note that The GNOME Foundation is a charity.  So, we do need to
> ensure that money that we receive is used in ways that are aligned with
> The GNOME Foundation charter.  This does restrict how The GNOME
> Foundation can raise and spend money to a degree.
> > Do you think that donations are good ? Good enough ?
> With more money, the GNOME Foundation can do more exciting things, so
> the GNOME Foundation is always looking at ways to improve how money is
> raised.
> In the past year, the GNOME Foundation doubled the advisory board fees
> and this was a significant step making the organization more profitable.
> > Do you plan to work on this business model ? Do you have any proposals ?
> There is a lot of work going on to improve how the GNOME Foundation
> raises money:
> - Statistics show that most money received via Friends of GNOME comes
>    from GNOME users, not people in the GNOME development community.
>    The GNOME Foundation is planning to start a campaign to more
>    effectively reach out to users to make them aware of the Friends
>    of GNOME program, and consider donating.
> - The board is currently working to develop a program to allow
>    companies and organizations to donate money.  This program would
>    be directed at organizations that are not currently advisory board
>    members.  This could be something like a "Friends of GNOME" program
>    for organizations instead of individuals.  This could, for example,
>    provide a link exchange, advertising, mention as a sponsor of an
>    event, or other forms of recognition as an incentive to donate money.
> - By making events more profitable.  We are constantly working with
>    event organizers to encourage them to find ways to make events
>    more profitable, or at least sustainable.
> - Typically sponsorship money that the GNOME Foundation receives is in
>    exchange for some service, such as by organizing a hackfest to get
>    work done in an area that benefits (directly or indirectly) those
>    organizations interested in providing sponsorship.
>    With GNOME 3 approaching, the GNOME Foundation has been working hard
>    to organize a rich set of hackfests to focus on work that needs to
>    get done for GNOME 3 to be successful.  The GNOME Foundation needs to
>    continue working hard in this area.
>    However, more can be done.  For example, the GNOME Foundation received
>    some sponsorship money last year to upgrade bugzilla.  The GNOME
>    Foundation needs to continue to find ways to provide services that
>    will continue to bring in sponsorship money.
> - Currently the GNOME Foundation is organizing a Women's Outreach
>    Program.  Getting more involved with organizing humanitarian events
>    like this could open the doors to finding new sponsors with an
>    interest in promoting humanitarian causes.
> - Grants are another possible source of revenue.  We have done some
>    considerable work preparing ourselves to pursue them.  Building a
>    community of volunteers to help with this has been slow going, but
>    our hope is that we can make grants more a part of our revenue
>    generation in time.
> Brian

I think Brian has done a thorough job answering the question for all the
candidates.  :)

One last thing to add, as a small point about fundraising. After J5's
email last year, and the Sysadmin campaign this year, we've learned that
we do have the ability and the community to do small, focused
fundraising campaigns that can raise significant amounts of money.  It
is our goal to continue to do that, probably no more than twice a year.
As it was pointed out, Friends of GNOME contributions primarily come
from our users, and we don't want to ask too much of them, so running
very short, very targeted campaigns twice a year with a specific purpose
is something we'd like to do moving forward.


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