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Re: General Resolution: Liquidate donated assets as soon as possible

Louis-Philippe Véronneau <pollo@debian.org> writes:
> On 2022-06-18 21 h 45, Russ Allbery wrote:

>> There also seemed to be a lot of consensus on debian-private.  Do we
>> need a GR?  I would expect the project delegates to be responsive to
>> the consensus on debian-private and that we would only need a GR if
>> there were some sort of conflict.

> I disagree that GRs are heavy hammers that should only be used when we
> don't agree. I think "quick" GRs that spawn from strong consensus are
> beneficial for the project.

I think you're about to discover the problem with that in this case, which
is that a lot of people have strong opinions about how investing works
without knowing much about it, or about how financial management for
non-profits is normally done.  Deciding on an appropriate investment
strategy for the project via majority vote is going to be rather tedious.
I would rather we delegate the problem to (ideally) people who have a
conservative, careful attitude and prior experience.

The conclusion that I reached from the previous discussion is that:

(a) Debian should have an investment plan for how to manage its funds.
    The amount of funds are large enough to warrant having a plan but are
    not large enough to warrant doing anything unusual, so this should be
    an ordinary, extremely boring investment plan for a small non-profit
    that doesn't have a proper endowment but does have enough money that
    we're not going to spend it all at once.  (My understanding is that
    the typical investment plan for such an organization emphasizes not
    losing donor money or getting into any sort of speculative investment,
    and instead putting the money somewhere boring and insured.)

(b) Debian should periodically reallocate its funds to match the
    investment plan if it's the sort of plan where things could get out of

(c) If people give us stuff outside the parameters of that investment
    plan, or which would put us out of balance with the investment plan,
    we should immediately sell those assets and reinvest them matching the
    investment plan.  This will come up because sometimes there are tax
    advantages to the donor for donating appreciated assets rather than
    money, but (at least in the US) once SPI has the asset it can sell it
    without tax consequences.

This is made a bit more complicated by having multiple Trusted
Organizations in different tax regimes and different investment
environments, so it may make sense for the larger TOs to each have their
own investment plans.  (The smaller ones should probably just hold cash in
an insured bank account because anything else is going to be risk and work
for no really appreciable gain.)

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)              <https://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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