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gabor (1626)

gabor
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http://szabgab.com/

Perl developer and trainer [szabgab.com]
Test automation using Perl [szabgab.com]

Journal of gabor (1626)

Wednesday December 17, 2008
03:30 AM

TPF fund drive for grant money

[ #38104 ]
I was very surprised and disappointed to see that TPF does not have the money to fund all the usual 10,000 USD for this quarters grants. (Luckily Vienna.pm chipped in.)

The TPF has a way to receive funds but AFAIK it is hardly advertised. Besides, something that is always on throughout the year is not really a drive. Looking at the current status of this fund drive it seems that the Perl Development drive has just 10,000 USD.

So I'd like to first ask the people in TPF to provide an explanation what are those funds used for so we - the Perl community - can have a better understanding.

Then, I'd like to see a real fund drive similar to what Wikipedia does. It does not have to target 6,000,000 USD. TPF can target 100.000 USD or as a first round can even target 40,000 USD just to cover the costs of quarterly grants for 2009.

For this

  1. TPF only needs to decide on it.
  2. Either we use the Perl Development category on the TPF donation site or someone in TPF needs to setup a new category.
  3. Someone (Alberto?) has to write down the list of achievements from the previous grants. At least for 4 quarters.
  4. Someone has to create an image we can put on our web sites (Something that can show the progress of the funds and which can be easily noticed.
  5. Site owners will have to put the image with the link on their site.

Personally I would be glad to put it on CPAN::Forum and a textual version on the Perl community adserver.
I am quite sure some of the bigger Perl related sites would be ready to do the same.

I would even volunteer to contact all the site maintainers personally and ask them to promote the fund drive.

If Alberto does not not have the time for it I can even create the list of achievements.

So can this be organized or are we too afraid of not getting enough funds?

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  • If you have, you should mention it. Otherwise it looks a bit odd that your primary way of communicating with them is a blog post that they may or may not read (but that plenty of others will).
    --
    mirod
    • A week ago I wrote that TPF needs more transparency [perl.org] to which Allison replied [perl.org] that basically this is the best way to communicate with them in a public place.

      In both cases I sent e-mails. For the post a week ago I sent a link to all the people in the Board of Directors. This time I added a few more people whom I thought are also relevant to this issue though I have only included Alberto from Grants Committee Members as I did not want to SPAM sooo many people.

      Besides, I don't have the e-mail of all of them

      --
      • OK, thanks for the info. I guess that's the new protocol then.
        --
        mirod
    • Yes, Gabor sent an email to most people from the Steering Committee, asking to discuss this issue publically. Use.perl seems a good place for that :)
  • I agree that TPF funding is not working well enough. Some time ago I suggested to put the link for the funding page with some emphasis.

    This fund raising seems a good idea.

    Now, about what you ask me,

    • We do not have that much grants finished in the last four grant rounds. I can try to have a report on running grants, but unfortunately grantees are not that resposive. I have the same problem from times to times with some grant managers. But people have their lives :)
    • I can help on bringing a report on that, bu
  • Actually, I seem to recall that when I ran the committee, we were not funding much more than $5,000 per round, sometimes less (yes, there were exceptions). Alberto created a new voting process internally and it's done a great job of pushing the envelope and expanding what we do, but that means more money. And as Alberto points out, many of the grants have not finished yet. If we're to be good stewards of the community's money, we need to make sure it goes to projects which are both worthwhile and will be

    • Hmm, I seem to remember a post about the fact that TPF wants to award 10,000 USD/month to the grants but now that I was searching for it I could not find such post.

      So if there was no such post then let's have one.

      Let's target 10,000 USD / quarter for community driven grants for 2009.

      On the other note, I think TPF should only pay out the money after the final conclusion report about the project was posted for any grant. Projects should also have a time limit. Eg. if the project is not finished with 6

      --
      • The $10,000 USD limit was just for one quarter. Maybe you meant this post (http://news.perlfoundation.org/2008/06/help_tpf_fund_grants.html)

        I'd like to help you with the fund raise. I can "promote" it on some websites and in the german perl magazine.
        Something like this has to be prepared well. You need a press release in several languages. I can prepare one for german media.

        @TPF: Do companies get a receipt when they sponsor TPF?
      • As Ovid noted, we have too many running grants. This isn't specially bad if all grantees and grant managers reported at least once per month. Unfortunately things go out of control from time to time.

        I tried to wipe-out old grants, and I consider that was a success. From the "taking excessive time" list, all grants were finished or canceled. The only exception was Ingy with the pyYAML port to perl that was maintained, but a "hard deadline" was set (in a week, if I recall it correctly).

        I hope to do that kind

        • Can you collect the following information of the grants for the last year or two?
          • Person Name
          • Grant Name
          • URL to proposal
          • Grant Manager
          • Amount requested
          • first submission date
          • status (rejected, postponed, accepted, finished)
          • acceptance date
          • latest progress report date
          • latest progress report link
          • finished date

          Maybe other fields are interesting too. e.g. maybe a list of all progress reports (url + date)

          As a starter you can create a publicly readable spreadsheet on Google.

          If you'd like to I can help with

          --
          • I have most of this information in a Google spradsheet, but I'm not making it public. Email me to get access to it.

  • Send me an email when you've got the image and I'll put it on perldoc.perl.org [perl.org] (which I'm currently updating for Perl 5.8.9).

    perldoc.perl.org [perl.org] gets ~170,000 unique visitors per month so hopefully a few of them will contribute!

    Cheers,

    JJ