[Debian-sponsors-discuss] Debian fundraising thoughts.

Brian Gupta brian.gupta at brandorr.com
Wed Mar 27 03:50:53 UTC 2013

On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM, Stefano Zacchiroli <leader at debian.org> wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 04:55:32PM +0100, Dr. Michael Meskes wrote:
>> > Yes and no.  How would you value the donations that the workplaces of
>> > DSA effectively give by letting people handle emergencies?  If you value
>> > that at market rates, even a single standby sysadmin is probably well
>> > about $20kUSD/year, even before they do anything.  I think just valuing
>> > the donations we are getting from hosters (in terms of bandwidth,
>> > cooling and remote hands) is going to be hard enough even before you try
>> > to cater to the difference in wages between different places in the
>> > world, different competence levels between DDs, etc. There's also the
>> > issue of ensuring the reports are accurate.
>> That I totally agree on. Maybe we can have those companies be listed as
>> sponsors but only hand out benefits for donating companies?
> That's totally doable. In essence, it would mean credit differently
> "service" (or employee time) donors and "money" donors. I think that
> would be OK. In fact, that is the same principle we use to differentiate
> partners: http://www.debian.org/partners/ --- which is, btw, an
> initiative that is essentially idle, and that's bad. It's something we
> should reassess and possibly merge into the changes we are discussing
> here.

My apologies for kicking this off and then not following up, as I've
been pretty busy with local NYC community stuff. Also forgive me for
replying only to the last email in the thread.

OK, so I think that finding a way to allow this is really challenging.
However, I do think that if we want to incorporate this, the real
question becomes, how do we recognize and reward sponsors that
contribute to Debian, DebConf and various other initiatives. IE: I get
the sense that those that are paying staff to work on Debian are
*largely* doing so, because it aligns with their business needs, but
that doesn't make those contributions any less valuable. At the heart
of this we have to ask ourselves why would sponsors contribute to
Debian (in any form), and can we expand those reasons?

>From my point of view, there are a number of closely related reasons:
1) A person with the ability to sign a check wants to see Debian
succeed in a general sense. (A fan if you will.)
2) Debian is critical to their business, and they have specific needs
they are willing to put resources into.
3) They recognize that the value they have received from Debian is
priceless, and want to give back.
4) They want to buy good will in the Debian project.

I think narrowing the scope of our discussion and trying to narrow
down a list of "reasons sponsors contribute" would be a great first
deliverable for this discussion, as it will frame the bigger
discussion. (Rather than how to recognize them and reward them, as
understanding motivation, I think, will help with understanding the
recognition/reward question.)

Side topic - In a bit of news, we (we meaning "Debconf sponsors team",
and my company Brandorr) are experimenting with the Matching fund idea
I mentioned earlier. (It's a matching fund for DebConf contributions
for now, but the idea could be expanded to general DebConf fundraising
for future drives.) You can read about it here:


P.S. - I'm wondering if we need a wiki, to help consolidate thoughts?
(Can someone help here?)

More information about the Debian-sponsors-discuss mailing list