Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-foundation (71 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-foundation] Purpose of the Foundation; help refine the definition


On 1/24/2011 at 11:18 AM, in message
<AANLkTimxQhL5Yxgd4XS4j+MfAd3dimTbHjBm_RWCCW91@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Greg Freemyer
<greg.freemyer@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 12:18 PM, Alan Clark <aclark@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:


On 1/24/2011 at 04:02 AM, in message <ihjm7c$67s$1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Per
Jessen <per@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Vincent Untz wrote:

Le lundi 24 janvier 2011, à 10:25 +0100, jdd a écrit :
Le 24/01/2011 10:02, Per Jessen a écrit :
jdd wrote:

We may also very quickly be obliged to hire some lawyers,
secretary, even some room (managing money in may be millions
dollars need cautions, how do Mozilla do?)

According to wikipedia, the Mozilla Foundation has 150 employees.

sure, but how is it managed? (not that I hope so much cash very soon
:-))

We can look at Foundations that manage thousands instead of millions
as a start...

That might be more realistic :-)

Of course, the management principles remain the same, it's just the
amount of workload that differs.

The GNOME Foundation and the KDE eV both handle that
very well, with a board and a part-time/full-time administrator. (The
GNOME Foundation also has a part-time sysadmin and a full-time
executive director.)

A foundation is just a special kind of legal entity - the practical
aspects of how it is managed is the same as any other business.

You are right in that we do need to figure out how to manage the funds. The
legal entity does have to account for them to the members. We will need to
develop a very 'light weight' process to manage it. That's why I put a
placeholder topic on the wiki. Think simple - aka spreadsheet. The
interesting part is that the project hasn't really tracked funds (as a
project) in the past, so we have a learning curve ahead of us. Where we have
spent money in the past should help define how to categorize the funds in the
future.


I'm fine with a spreadsheet as a starting point.

Has the board/project had visibility into the Ambassadors funding, etc.?

ie. I believe ambassadors get giveaways, some travel expenses, booth
expenses, etc.

Has all that been handled internal to Novell and there is has no
visibility to the openSUSE board, or is it something that is known and
reported on to the openSUSE board?

I don't think we need to delve that deep. My point was to keep accounting a
simple task while tracking and reporting the items at a level that is of
interest to the community. If you look at Gnome.org and KDE.ev for example,
the tracked categories of expenses are different as the questions the
communities wish to most easily answer are different.

Understanding at a high level, the expenses of the past plus knowing what is of
interest going forward helps identify the right categories.
Typically you want to keep it to 7-8 categories.

Typically a small organization, such as this, will want to keep the number of
categories down to 7-8 categories. To best identify the expense categories we
need to understand the questions we want to most readily answer and track.

Greg, to capture and add to your thoughts, I created a wiki page[1] (linked to
the Foundation portal), listing out a strawman proposal for expense categories.
I know what I wrote on the wiki isn't the right set of categories, but it's a
start. I also tried to capture some of the questions you raised.

The proposed categories on the wiki are:
* Travel Support
* Marketing Materials
* Administration
* Infrastructure
* Contingency/Misc.

Those categories make it easy to identify a travel budget, a marketing budget,
etc. It is a bit more work to identify expenses tied to a particular event -
for example to ask the question, How much did we spend on SCALE?.

Take a look at the categories on the wiki page and recommend changes.

-Alan

[1] http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Accounting


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