Some time ago a form was added to ubuntu.com in which users can donate money to the Ubuntu project.
Jono Bacon, the Ubuntu Community Manager, has recently been working to finalize a fair and transparent plan for how the money raised from the community, upstreams, and flavors sliders can be used to benefit the most valuable projects and efforts within the Ubuntu and flavors community. Jono prepared a plan and reviewed it with the Community Council who were happy with the programme he proposed.
In a nutshell, it works like this:
- The donations are broken into six month cycles. As an example, from 12.10 to 13.04 we collect donations and they will be spent in the 13.04 cycle. When the 13.10 cycle opens up we will then spend the donations from the 13.04 to 13.10 period.
- There are three pools of donations (one for each community-orientated slider on the donations form): Community, Upstreams, and Flavors. The funding for each slider will be reserved for that part of the community. Budget figures will not be published upfront as we feel this could cause people to want to game the system. Full budgets will however be published in the report at the end of each funding cycle.
- Any Ubuntu Member is welcome to apply for funding for projects that will benefit Ubuntu and/or our family of Ubuntu flavors. Funding requests cannot be an arbitrary amount of money for a person or team (e.g. $100 for Joe Bloggs or ubuntu-foo LoCo Team) but are instead intended to pay for things (e.g. $100 to pay for train travel to exhibit Ubuntu at FooConf).
- Those wishing to request funding will fill in a form that captures the application and details of the request.
- The Community Team will then coordinate and review these requests and solicit any additional details from the applicant and/or from our governance boards to determine the validity of the request and either approve or reject the request.
- At the end of the six month funding cycle a full report will be published providing (a) a summary of the available budget (b) a list of items where money was spent with the dollar amounts, and (c) any remaining budget that will be carried over to the following funding cicle. This report will be made available to all on the web and published every six months. This will provide a good overview of how the money was spent.
This programme should provide a simple, transparent, and efficient way of ensuring the funds are distributed well to many different projects and teams within our community, and to ensure they are as evenly distributed as possible. We want the donations to benefit as many different teams and projects as possible and to bring real value to our wider community, as the original donors would have originally intended.
You can read full details of the programme here on community.ubuntu.com where you can also read how to apply in more detail.
Contributed by Jono Bacon