Meeting of the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors, 16 March 2020, 14:30 UTC




  • Approve minutes of 10 February
  • Fiscal year 2019-20 budget
  • Requirements for committees
  • Future of the engagement committee
  • Add travel budget notes to the conference guidelines


  • Approve minutes of 10 February
    • Approved.
  • Fiscal year 2019-20 budget
    • Neil: The FY2020 numbers are split up into a "base" and a "prediction" column, and there is also a column of FY2021 estimates which are intended to give context. In FY2020 we intend to run a deficit, and in FY2021 a slightly larger deficit. Those who remember the initial plan for expansion of the Foundation, will be aware that is deliberate.
    • Rob: The changes we asked for have been made. It's now clearer where we are drawing down the restricted expenses such as the Challenge, and it's clear that we are running a deliberate deficit.
    • Allan: According to the budget the deficit is going to take us down to the limit of the reserves policy, but since we budget conservatively, we don't actually expect that to happen.
    • Neil: Note that the level of the reserves policy doesn't mean that we don't have any money, it means we can operate normally for one year with zero income.
      • Federico: Does "zero income" count advisory board fees?
      • Neil: It's really zero income, so no advisory board fees.
    • Tristan: We spent significantly more than expected on GUADEC in 2019, but what about it being late?
      • Neil: It was GNOME.Asia that was late enough to be moved into the next fiscal year.
      • Tristan: But then what about the budgeted amount for GNOME.Asia?
      • Neil: That refers to the GNOME.Asia that already happened after the start of the fiscal year.
    • Federico: If we run a deficit, and if fundraising is low, then will that be enough to carry us into next year?
      • Neil: If fundraising were low then we would start running into problems in 2022, and therefore our fundraising plans are based on increasing the fundraising before that point.
    • Philip: This question is likely irrelevant due to the coronavirus situation, but we had discussed increasing the travel budget to accommodate more people requesting the financial aid package. We also predicted an increase in funding requests for GUADEC travel, should it be able to go ahead.
      • Neil: Looking at the line items for travel grants and travel, there is an increase in travel expense budget. We could increase it further. However the actuals for 2019 are well below the forecasted amounts.
      • Philip: Let's note that we can amend the budget when GUADEC comes around in case it turns out to be necessary.
    • Allan: There are questions from Carlos, sent separately, which we should discuss. We'll make our vote contingent on Carlos' approval so that we don't approve a budget without the treasurer's approval. Neil will talk to Carlos separately and he can notify the board if he approves.
    • VOTE: Approve FY19-20 budget, subject to the treasurer's approval

      • +1 unanimous
  • Requirements for committees
    • Allan: I suggest that we should approve what we have, which is a draft set of requirements for committees, and at a later date we can build that out.
    • Philip: I notice that Allan gave some feedback which I hadn't yet incorporated. Should we defer this until the next time?
    • Allan: If my feedback is the only feedback then I'm fine with proceeding.
    • Allan: Is anyone not prepared to vote on this today?
      • Tristan and Britt would like more time.
    • Allan: Let's defer this until next time.
  • Future of the engagement committee

    • Britt: The summary is that the engagement committee was created to approve engagement team spending, so that the board didn't have to. However, Kristi now has that power, and she is chair of the engagement team. The engagement committee hasn't needed to meet in over a year.
    • VOTE: Since it is no longer required, disband the engagement committee. The board thanks the members of the engagement committee for their contributions.

      • +1 unanimous
  • Add travel budget notes to the conference guidelines
    • Allan: In the past it's been unclear whether a conference budget includes travel sponsorship or not. We discussed in the past that it does. The amendment at would require that conference organizers consider the travel sponsorship in their budget as a part of the total picture of costs.

    • VOTE: Adopt the requirement that conference budgets should include travel spending as part of their expenditure, and amend the conference requirements policy as described here:

      • +1 unanimous


  • Neil - Discuss the budget with Carlos.

  • Britt - Inform the engagement committee of its disbandment.

  • Allan - Update any relevant wiki pages to remove the engagement committee.

  • Allan - Update any relevant wiki pages and sample spreadsheets to include travel sponsorship in conference budgets.

  • Neil - Notify Kristi of the requirement for travel sponsorship in conference budgets.

FoundationBoard/Minutes/20200316 (last edited 2020-03-30 16:04:38 by PhilipChimento)