[Debian-sponsors-discuss] Debian fundraising thoughts.

Moray Allan moray at sermisy.org
Sun Mar 10 11:38:53 UTC 2013

On Sun, Mar 10, 2013 at 12:03:54PM +0100, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> The status quo is that we have recently started doing that for hw
> replacement, thanks to DSA yearly replacement plan. But we do not do
> that for DebConf: DebConf organizers are pretty much on their own for
> finding the money needed to run the conference. Something like the above
> would change that. (Some caution would be needed here; at the very least
> the amount of money allocated to DebConf will likely need to be changed
> year after year, depending on the conference location.)

Yes, different locations have different costs, but it might still be
rational to set a (maximum) budget even before a location is decided.

Even if we believe that additional funds can be raised to pay for
DebConf in a very expensive location, I suspect that we should think
about our fundraising potential as a limited resource.  Of course it
makes sense to make as much use of that resource as we can, and not to
let potential benefit be wasted, but at the same time if we harvest
too much of the resource for one area, we will reduce the amount of
the resource available to other areas.

There is some correlation between more expensive locations for DebConf
and ones that are higher-profile for sponsors, and so may genuinely
increase the amount they are willing to give, but I think that as you
move to more expensive possible locations these returns start to
diminish.  At the extreme, sponsors will be *less* willing to give if
they feel that we are being wasteful.

> The money allocated for this will be taken out of money that Debian
> fundraise yearly, with no specific earmarking.

I think makes sense on the process side, but at least initially I
think we will need a system that motivates existing DebConf
fundraisers to work on building up the central fundraising facility,
and we certainly need to avoid a system that motivates them to compete
with it.

> Still, the volunteer motivation for doing mission-specific fund-raising
> will remain, as it is what will allow, say, DebConf organizers to have
> extra cool (but costly) stuff at DebConfXY. What do you think?

Yes, but note my reservation about possible limited fundraising
resources.  It might make sense to limit this "extra" fundraising to
sponsors who are not yet part of the central fundraising program.


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