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Re: On Debian not using its money (was: Q to all candidates: SWOT analysis)

also sprach Lucas Nussbaum <lucas@debian.org> [2015-03-15 12:40 +0100]:
> I agree that it should be possible to improve on identifying a
> recurring, plannable, dependable income. But there hasn't been much
> response to requests for help in the related areas. For example, I only
> got one answer to the call for help for the partners program, which
> has been stuck for months now. The auditors team is also clearly
> under-staffed.

I think the problem with both partners programme and auditors is
that it's not entirely clear what the roles and the potentials are.
I mean, what would it mean nowadays to "help the partners

And our auditors are not just auditors, I think they're also
expected to be accountants and controllers. By your theory that it's
good to separate decision-making (DPL) from auditing (with which
I agree), I think it's also important to separate auditing from the
actual trade of keeping books and handling the money.

> Regarding fundraising, we actually force the ones willing to
> organize DebConf to do our fundraising, while it would be much
> more sensible to have a 'Debian fundraising team' that just
> collects funds for Debian, have Debian allocate funds to the
> DebConf team for DebConf organization.

Right, the regular Debian contribution to DebConf could be much
higher, and we could either just give our partners the advertising
space, or we could offer DebConf sponsorship packages at big
discounts to existing partners.

> But if we decide now that the DC16 team doesn't need to do
> fundraising because a Debian team will do that, and call for help
> to build such a Debian team, I fear that we might not get enough
> volunteers ;)

I would assume it to take us a good 2 years to set this ship in
motion; meanwhile, DebConf fundraising needs to continue as it
doesn, but maybe the contacts can already be prepared for the future
plan, so that the handover from DebConf fundraising to Debian
fundraising will be as smooth as possible.

> So, unless there are people who are willing to do more work in
> that area, I fear that we will be stuck in the statu quo, and
> discuss this again during next year' DPL campaign.

I think it's a matter of creating an arena that's large enough, if
I may use this metaphor. We're all fantastically proud of Debian and
our achievements. If those of us with trades(wo)men's blood in their
veins would be allowed to conceive of ways to monetise that and know
that they can play the arena after conceptualising the game, then
I'd be surprised if we didn't find anyone enticed by it.

DC15 fundraising wasn't the activity of my dreams at the start, but
engaging with sponsors and being able to tell them about how awesome
we are, and then seeing money come in in return for the sales job
was also a satisfying experience.

Much of this IMHO had to do with entrepreneurial freedom. We tried
a few new things this year and some didn't fly, others did. Under
such conditions, even fundraising can be a fun job; not, however, if
all you're expected to do is grunt work without the ability to make
any decisions yourself.

But just like with accounting and other grunt work, there are
professional fundraising agencies out there. We could also outsource
this if we didn't think that fundraising is an entrepreneurial
activity. ;)

 .''`.   martin f. krafft <madduck@d.o> @martinkrafft
: :'  :  proud Debian developer
`. `'`   http://people.debian.org/~madduck
  `-  Debian - when you have better things to do than fixing systems
"writing a book is like washing an elephant: there no good place to
 begin or end, and it's hard to keep track of what you've already
                                                        -- anonymous

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