Details of the sponsorship request process


  • Major events (GUADEC and GNOME.Asia). it is advised that the Travel Committee announces a deadline for receiving sponsorship applications. The preferred method is an email to

    • Set a deadline for receiving applications. Ideally, the deadline should be 6 weeks or more from the event.
      • However, the deadline cannot be set before the program committee informs the list of approved speakers. Speakers who are also foundation members should have higher priority to sponsor.
      • Usually the air fares are stable until a month before the travelling date, and the Travel Committee needs time to process between 20 to 60 applications, and try to accommodate everyone within the event budget.
  • Hackfests: For awareness purpose, the Travel Committee members should keep track of hackfest page. Eventually the hackfest organizer will get in touch with the Travel Committee if they foresee sponsorship requests.

    • Check the dates scheduled for the hackfest. If they are close (4 to 6 weeks), get in touch with the organizer(s) to verify any potential sponsorship request, and to encourage the organizer to talk with the interested contributors to apply.

When there are potential applications:

  • Create a folder in GNOME's !Nextcloud instance for the event. The events are stored in their own folder within Travel sponsorship, according to the US fiscal year (from October to September of the next year), and should be named in the format YYYY-MM-Event. For example, Travel sponsorship/2018-10 to 2019-09/2018-11-Random-hackfest.

  • Copy the spreadsheet template Travel sponsorship/hackfest-template.ods within the hackfest folder.

  • The spreadsheet should contain information about status of the contributor (foundation member or not), amount requested (accommodation, travel, or both), amount offered, status of the application, total amount in receipts, amount reimbursed, and notes or observations.

Additionally, check if the folder corresponding to the current fiscal year contains a travel-budget.ods spreadsheet. If not, copy it from Travel sponsorship to the fiscal year. Add there the starting budget for the fiscal year, which should be informed by the Board (usually is USD$20,000 to cover all hackfests and small events during the year). Use the spreadsheet to keep track of the people sponsored, event, amount granted, and remaining funds.

Application submission

1. Contributor fills and send the application form

  • . The travel-committee email is an alias that will send the email to:
    1. Request Tracker (the current issue tracker the Travel Committee uses for sponsorship requests), which can either:
      • Creates a ticket, for which it will send an email to every Travel Committee member, Executive Director, Director of Operations, and some board members (liaison to the Travel Committee).
      • Discards the message silently.
    2. Every Travel Committee member, Executive Director, Director of Operations, and some board members (liaison to the Travel Committee).
  • The Travel Committee members must check that received the email twice (from contributor, and from Request Tracker). When Request Tracker does not send an email, check the Request Tracker's dashboard, and create the ticket manually copying and pasting the text from the contributor's email.

2. The Travel Committee should acknowledge within 72 hours that received the application. After 72 hours, the contributor can try to reach the Travel Committee to bring awareness of the application, and eventually to fix any outstanding issue.

Application review and processing

For every application, the Travel Committee must check:

  • The details in the application form are complete, in particular, the information for reimbursement. If necessary by, ask for more details by replying in the corresponding issue on Request Tracker.

  • Check if the travel fare is reasonable. Sometimes there are cheaper fares, but at the cost of a night or day in an airport (this is unreasonable, unless there is no other alternative). Use and/or to verify flight prices.

  • Whether the contributor is a foundation member.
  • When the contributor is not a foundation member, someone should vouch for them, and explain why is important for the GNOME Foundation to sponsor them. For an intern, ask to a mentor. For a hackfest, talk to the organizer. You can ask them on IRC, and then add a comment (not reply) on the corresponding ticket if there is an outstanding issue.

  • Fill the spreadsheet for the event with the details take from the form.

Once having the information gathered, and verified. The Travel Committee must decide to whom sponsor and for how much.

  • When the budget is tight (usually major events), prioritize: keynotes, speakers (full talks), foundation members, interns, regular contributors, occasional contributors, everyone else (sometimes with no record of any participation on GNOME). In doubt, ask (other Travel Committee members, or even project maintainers).
  • Consider that sometimes flights have cheaper fare if people travel arrive one day before or leave one day after. If the difference in comparison to an accommodation night is considerable, talk to the contributor. The Travel Committee could offer an extra night, and use the difference to sponsor someone else.
  • For major events, usually there is at least one recommended accommodation, and the Travel Committee uses the cost of a shared room as a reference.
  • In case of being unable to sponsor the amount requested, the Travel Committee be tactful while keeping in mind that money (e.g. USD$50) is different for someone from a first world country than from someone from a third world country. The former is more likely to afford it, while the later might not be able to attend. But also, it is different for a contributor who is currently unemployed regardless of the origin.
  • The Travel Committee can excess the budget assigned up to %20 per event. Historically, some contributors who had requested sponsorship later have declined the reimbursement. However, the Travel Committee must assess it according the budget available, and leave enough to cover the (potential) events for the rest of fiscal year.

For assessing the sponsorship,

  • Fill the spreadsheet in NextCloud with the amount to sponsor each contributor, or whether to reject an application.

  • Reply on Request Tracker The Travel Committee might use one of the several mail templates.

  • For offered sponsorship, the contributor can respond by accepting, rejecting, asking for reconsideration. The funds of rejected offers can be re-assigned if needed.

Reimbursement process

The reimbursement will proceed after the event, and once the contributors send the receipts, and links to a report (e.g. a blog post) following instructions on the travel sponsorship page.

  • To submit the receipts in Request Tracker, the contributor must reply one of the email received by the Request Tracker (e.g. the one offering sponsorship).
  • The receipts must be reasonable small (less than 3MB in total), otherwise, they will be silently discarded by Request Tracker. They can be sent separately if needed.

  • The Travel Committee will send an email confirming the reception of the receipts. It might inquiry more details afterwards.
  • The Travel Committee will must take the reimbursement information from the application form, and copying it in a private wiki page. The amount to reimburse will be the smaller amount between the receipts (in USD) and the amount offered as sponsorship.
  • Once the information for reimbursement were added to the private wiki page, the Travel Committee will resolve the case in Request Tracker, and must inform the contributor that the reimbursement has been queued.

  • The receipts must be stored in !Nextcloud inside the folder of the event with the name of the contributor. These must be inside in one of the following directories:
    • Temp directory, for queued reimbursements, or for those contributors who still have pending receipts to submit.

    • Finish directory, for reimbursements that have been confirmed (Check the private wiki page when the reimbursement took place).

  • The Travel Committee must update both spreadsheets (event and fiscal year budget) to reflect the current status.

The reimbursement queue in the private wiki page is later handled by the Director of Operations, who performs the bank transactions. Delays may occur, sometimes because of issue with the insufficient or incorrect information provided in the application form, unavailability of the Director of Operations (holidays, travelling, etc.)

The reimbursement wiki page has three queues:

  • Send now.
  • Future (don't send yet). Used when there is pending a report, some receipts, of when the information was received before the event (and therefore, the report would be missing).
  • Processed. Used by the Director of Operations to move items from Send now to here, and to add the date of the transaction.

The Travel Committee should check regularly the reimbursement wiki page if there were any outstanding issue.


For different reasons, some people do not follow the process of sending the receipts, and request the reimbursement. For that purpose, and using Reply in Request Tracker:

  • Send a friendly reminder to submit the receipts. It could be done right after the event, or within 2 weeks or so.
  • Send other reminders every one or two months before the previous one. In this case, the Travel Committee will ask if the reimbursement is still needed (sometimes contributors withdraw the sponsorship after the event).
  • After six months without contributor's feedback, cancel the sponsorship, let the contributor know it, and close the issue.

The Travel Committee must update !Nextcloud's event page accordingly.

Source of possible confusions

In the past there has been some miscommunication issues, especially when one person is negotiating sponsorship for several contributors. Even though when there is agreement with such person to sponsor several specific contributors, each contributor must submit the application form. This is because the Travel Committee needs the information for reimbursement, and to cross-check that all the information needed is in place and verified before the event.

Other source of confusion may occur when a sponsorship is dealt separately, that is not following the process described above nor keeping the Travel Committee informed. If the individual requires the Travel Committee processes the reimbursement, they must fill and send the form, provide the receipts, and links to the report(s).

Travel/ApplicationProcess (last edited 2018-11-14 18:04:03 by GermanPooCaamano)