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non-financial donations (was: call for help: partners program)

also sprach Lucas Nussbaum <leader@debian.org> [2015-03-16 09:45 +0100]:
> Also note that one of the tricky parts of the partners role is the
> ability to consider non-financial contributions (e.g. hardware,
> hosting, sprint hosting, etc.). This is largely orthogonal, but
> must not be forgotten. The pending partners inquiries are all of
> that nature.

Well, this is indeed a very hard subject, and also includes hardware

There's the easy case, which is when Debian needs something and then
there's demand and presumably a market price (hardware donations and

If Debian had a wishlist, we could let partners join by donating
hardware on this list — until the need is higher and we cannot wait
and have to buy the hardware ourselves, so this would need to be
actively managed.

Wrt sprint hosting, I'd refrain from asking the potential hoster for
a price to use their offices before accepting them for free, so here
I'd rather use some sort of formula that takes into account
geographic location (travel costs), amenities provided, food, etc.
to determine the actual worth of the hosting to us.

I'd reject sponsors who want to give us products instead of cash
when there's no concrete need.

The biggest challenge IMHO here is though not the valuation of
a single donation and slotting it in with our offerings. Instead,
I think the biggest challenge are the different "lifetimes", e.g.
gold partnership lasts one year and let's just say we would award it
in return for a specific SAN by SANManufacturer Ltd. with a 5 year
SLA. What then? Does the partner get degraded the next year?

All in all, I think the way to solve this is by fixing the rules in
the brochure and not to make exceptions, i.e. to become a dependable
and predictable peer to our sponsors. And to get there, we probably
need to engage with them and shape the product, which will be
a longer process.

 .''`.   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
"i love deadlines. i like the whooshing
 sound they make as they fly by."
                                                      -- douglas adams

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