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Re: two questions: fund raising money and publicity

Hi Ana!

On 19/03/14 at 10:21 +0100, Ana Guerrero Lopez wrote:
> Hi,
> Two unrelated questions. Feel free to reply in separate emails.
> * Fundraising
> DebConf is one of the biggest expenses of Debian, every year we look
> for sponsorship and we had (and have) sponsors who were sponsoring
> DebConf as a way of giving their "annual donation" to Debian and
> not necessarily funding DebConf itself.
> (Do you agree with this part, BTW?)
> In recent years, we have started to invest more Debian money in stuaff
> such like sprints and minidebconfs¹ that sometimes look for external
> founding. This has lead to some  cases where sponsors have been
> contacted for separate teams in Debian which can be confusing.
> If you think this is a problem. How do you think we can improve this?
> ¹ Both investments are a great idea BTW

I agree that we should improve our fundraising/donations infrastructure.
It's actually part of the overall goal of improving Debian's financial
status, so that all money-related decisions are easier to make -- that's
something that I plan to work on if re-elected, as mentioned in my
platform (section 3.3.1).

There's a number of things to do to improve the way we manage our funds,
deal with reimbursements requests, etc. But for fundraising
specifically, I think that:
- We should have a more organized infrastructure for tracking and
  advertising Debian's recurring sponsors.
  https://www.freebsdfoundation.org/donate/sponsors is a great
  example (thanks to Luca Filipozzi for the pointer).
- More of our activities (including DebConf, and maybe some MiniConfs)
  should be funded by Debian directly, instead of through target-specific
  fundraising. The trick here is that target-specific fundraising is
  also useful to attract sponsorship from local organizations -- we
  probably need a way to combine Debian's recurring sponsors and local
  sponsors where needed.
- The value of non-monetary donations (hardware, hosting, services such
  as SSL certificates) should be assessed and included in the overall

There's a lot of work to do; and as I said above, I think that it's
important for the next DPL to work on that, together with auditors and
other interested teams/people (using the debian-sponsors-discuss@
mailing list).

> * Publicizing Debian
> We have several officials ways of publicizing stuff in Debian:
> press releases, identi.ca, bits.d.o and the DPN. We also have the bits
> from the DPL that sometimes overlap with the above sources and announce
> stuff that should be announce somewhere else instead of mixed with the
> DPL activity.
> That said, the coordination between the above sources doesn't work very
> well, all of them have a lot of room for improvement (and I say that
> being closely involved in one of them) and I have seen Debian contributors
> lost about what to do when they want to announce something, sometimes
> being played as a ping pong ball between teams.
> I would love to know your vision about how publicizing Debian should work
> and if you think you can do something as DPL to improve the current
> situation.

The big question here is: does it hurt? I think that it's better to have
something published twice, rather than not published at all. Of course,
it would be better if we used all our official ways of publicizing stuff
in a perfectly coherent and organized way, but I'm not sure that the
current situation is so bad at the moment: our official communication
mediums work pretty well, and are quite complementary. So I'm not sure
that more organization here is worth the effort. Do you have specific
issues in mind that you think should be solved?


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