Re: Mission Statement

On Wed, 2014-08-06 at 20:19 +0100, Emmanuele Bassi wrote:

On 6 August 2014 19:49, Michael Hill <mdhillca gmail com> wrote:

"crippling weight" [citation needed].

"This hasn't only exposed us to substantial financial risks; it has
caused actual financial problems for the project.  This year, GNOME
temporarily ceased funding of hackfests in order to recover from the
cashflow problems caused by the size of OPW." -- Ryan Lortie

Result: day to day operations of the Foundation disrupted.

the disruption has been put in place to recover reserves that we
burned through; those reserves were burned through because of a
reduction in the cash flow of the Foundation in general — i.e. our
finances have been shrinking for the past few years. the OPW was an
expenditure to make up for invoices not being paid, but *any*
expenditure (hackfest, conferences, travel assistance) could have
caused the freeze.

The order of magnitudes are different.  For OPW (40 interns), GNOME has
to allocate $220,000 to be able to pay the interns. For a hackfest,
GNOME has to allocate between $1,000 to $15,000.

For OPW there are contracts that states with an exact date of payment.
For hackfests/travel assistance just good intentions on when (likely)
there would be a reimbursement.

From the advisory board, GF likely receives less than $200,000 a year on
fees.  Maybe less than $150,000. And possibly less if they don't pay on
time.  Therefore, I hardly see how a hackfest/travel
assistance/conference could freeze GF funds.

To increase the number of interns in OPW will depend on how good the
GF's finances are to back it up, regardless of how many sponsor would be
willing to pay... because it's a matter of cash flow.  In that sense,
the size GF can play against OPW itself.

in general, the freeze that has less to do with OPW and more with our
own issues in tracking payments and invoices, and handling our own
accounting. the whole issue could have just as easily happened if we
didn't have OPW, to be fair. in a way, the OPW growth and this whole
finance situation has forced the board to get a better handle on the
foundation's own funding and processes, to streamline them, document
them, and track them.

This sounds too abstract to me. Who are the responsible to track
invoices?(*) How long do they take to get paid? How is GF build reserves
that don't affect running the project in the future?  How long is it
going to take to build that reserves?

May GF do factoring? (that would solve the cash flow problem and chasing
the organizations to pay).

(*) I would not expect the treasurer to chase invoices.

now that things are tracked properly the remaining effect of the OPW
growth is the administrative burden on our own administrative
infrastructure; that still needs to be fixed, and it would be good to
have ideas on how to increase our volunteer base.

Please, may you be more precise. Volunteers to do what in concrete?


Germán Poo-Caamaño

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