But there is obviously an issue with how the whole undertaking relates
to the OSMFs financials for this year. The labelling itself doesn’t
really matter (if you call it the 2023 or 24 donnation drive), but if
the plan leads to drawing down reserves systematically without a plan to
replenish them, then that would not be good.
The overall plan is simple, details will follow in the form of a FAQ.
The Foundation decided in 2021 to employ a full-time sysadmin, which
started mid-2022 and results from 2023 on in yearly minimum viable
expenses of about 300.000 GBP.
The exact amount can be discussed, but the important observation is that
the recurring income of the foundation in 2021 and 2022 has not nearly
been that amount.
The board of 2022 has therefore decided to set fixing the finances as
top priority. Traditionally, corporate memberships are the lion’s share
of the Foundation’s income, hence scaling these is the most prospective
short to mid term candidate. In addition, donations from individual
members assert the Foundation’s independence.
Money from governments or wealthy individuals is a source that similar
organizations tap. But given that we have zero experience there, it
would be unlikely to achieve results in 2023 or even 2024 from that
direction. Building a network of trust is the first step there.
The volunteers Mikel, Courtney, Kate, and several others have been
extremely hard-working and successful in building a donation campaign.
But as explained before, this is a highly dynamically process, and not
all income from there is already visible. The corporate tiers have been
risen by 50%, and this has at large been accepted by our corporate members.
There is a good chance that we will meet the target for recurring income
from 2024 on.
It has been understood already in 2022 that we are unlikely to fix the
income situation in 2022 or even in 2023. The income situation in the
incomplete year 2023 is already better than 2022.
A side effect from the various efforts to ensure the Foundation’s budget
is to make sure everyone understands where the money goes. There is
still much room for improvement, because the forms of presentation used
so far all have confused people one way or the other. We have by far
underestimated the number of ways the presented numbers can be
misinterpreted. I’m sorry for that. Our next approach is a FAQ to set
every figure into context.
So no, there is no plan to jeopardize the Foundation’s reserves. What we
have seen last year and see this year is the consequence of accepting
growth, having a full-time employee, and the work to get funding in line
with that. As the gap is real, but closing and still a fraction of the
Foundation’s reserves, we can overcome this difficult years of growth.