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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 have a number and a way to justify it, then we can deal with concerns if we regularly overshoot and continue to make more money year after year.

    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.

    As you well know and point out, a good portion of that balance is the NLNet grant which we've started paying out on. You're correct that there was a lull in activity so we weren't releasing money as quickly as we wanted to.

    We do spend money on things other than grants, but we haven't done a good job of explaining to people where it goes. We're working on that so people know better what they are supporting when they support TPF.
    • 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 mone