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Re: Finding sponsors for Debian

On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 03:16:42AM +0800, Thomas Goirand wrote:
> Hi,
> This is a question for all candidates.
> Over the years, I've always been very surprised to see that there's very
> little money that Debian is able to get.

I don't agree with that assessment. I do think Debian is able to get the
money it needs; we don't need a lot.

Of course, it's unfortunate that the full details are not available.
There's been work on making Debian's monetary details more transparent,
but AFAIK there hasn't been anything made public on that yet. I suppose
this is something that will require some sort of follow-up with the
Auditors, who've been working on this.

> I'm convinced that this
> situation could change with a bit of involvement from the DPL, and that
> such money could help a lot the project. For example, sending open
> letters to big companies, and letting them know that we do accept
> monetary contributions could help.

I believe we already do such active searching for sponsorship in the
context of DebConf.

In addition to that, we're getting a lot of sponsorship in ways that are
not direct money: e.g., hardware, connectivity, or office space for
things like meetings and BSPs are also invaluable ways of helping the
project without spending money.

There are some problems with having too much money. If you, as an
organization, start having too much money on a bank account, you cannot
be considered a nonprofit anymore in some jurisdictions. Additionally,
if we have a lot of money, we could become a potential target for the
likes of patent trolls. We don't want that.

Having said all that, provided we don't overdo it, having more money
isn't necessarily a bad thing. If there are ways to attract more money
from donators, we should do so. I don't think sending letters to
companies is going to accomplish that, but that doesn't mean we
shouldn't try other things.

The volume of a pizza of thickness a and radius z can be described by
the following formula:

pi zz a

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