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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • As we've discussed before, there also needs to be a comfortable year to year balance. As with any checking account, there is a cyclical up and down and you need to be able to accommodate this without going negative. In our case, for example, we need some cushion for funding down payments for YAPC. We also need to be conscious of the money we need to support some legal costs to manage Perl trademarks, etc.

    So what is that number? I don't know and I'd appreciate any guidance on how to arrive at it. Once we hav
    • But keeping right around that balance should be the goal, no? I don't think you're suggesting we spend down to zero each year. But you don't like the 100k number. So I guess we should have something in between.

      It's not the specific number that concerns me, it's seeing a year-to-year increase in the bank balance without a clear sense of why that's happening. That's all. Maybe 100k is the right amount of cushion, in which case that's great, TPF has reached that goal, and should make sure that in the future it spends enough to keep the balance right around there.

      Personally, I suspect that's a bit high, and that a balance of maybe $30-50k is probably best. That should be more than enough to cover down payments on a

      • I wouldn't worry too much about the amount of money in the bank.

        At the very worst, this money is earning extra interest (it is in a cash-generating fund right?) that strengthens the position of the TPF, because it's created more of the all-important cash flow.

        If I was Mozilla, I'd be sitting 50 or 100m in the bank generating the operating cash.

        Further, with that money available, at least you HAVE the option of spending it if something comes up down the track that deserves it.

        If you feel too much pressure to
        • I wouldn't worry too much about the amount of money in the bank.
          I wouldn't care much if TPF didn't do things like solicit people to "rush the stage" at YAPC to donate money, and things like that. Basically, why is an organization that is accumulating profits year to year begging for money in that manner?

          Mostly, it's a question of transparency, like I've already said. If I knew there was a long-term plan that required $200k in the bank, then that'd be fine. As it is, there is this weird pressure to donate at YAPC and similar events, without any reason why TPF needs money right now.

          Also, more and more, I'm convinced that TPF should be focused primarily on seeking large donations from businesses. As an individual developer, my main contribution to Perl's health should be through using it and improving it, not cash donations. And of course, individuals also do things like organize YAPCs
          and workshops.

          If I was Mozilla, I'd be sitting 50 or 100m in the bank generating the operating cash.
          AFAICT, most of Mozilla's income goes to the Mozilla Corporation, which is a real business, and can act like one. The money that Mozilla has is from business activity, not individual donations. When your funding comes from individual donations, that also comes with an obligation to those donors.

          Each 50k in the bank means one more grant funded per year.

          That can't be a bad thing.
          If that's the plan for the money, great, say so. I wouldn't object to TPF trying to accumulate an endowment for the sake of funding things off the interest.