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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: Making donations to the project
Date Wed, 19 Oct 2011 14:05:14 GMT
On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 9:14 AM, Ross Gardler
<> wrote:
> On 19 October 2011 13:13, Rob Weir <> wrote:
> ...
>> b) We're not able to say anything to potential contributors about how
>> the donations would be used.  All we can say is they will not be used
>> for the benefit of any specific project, i.e., the donations cannot be
>> targeted.  We probably lose 90% of the donations right there.
> Rob, before making statements like that I suggest you find out where
> the money goes. The ASF accounts are public, take a look (I'll save
> you time, it goes to ensuring that all our projects have the
> infrastructure, not development, they need to be successful - they
> ask, the ASF provides).

Ross, I'm sorry if my statement was confusing.  Here, as in other
discussions we had on ooo-private, I'm talking about the user visiting
the page, and where they get lost to us when the "abandon" the page.
I'm talking about clicks and conversions.  IMHO, if we cannot say
something about how AOOo-solicited donations are used for the benefit
of AOOo then we will lose 90% of the potential AOOo donations right
there.  Ask any fundraiser.  Having a vivid, attractive message for
how your donations will be used is critical.  Do we think a single
message works equally well for an admin downloading Hadoop as an end
user downloading OpenOffice?

> In your statement above you are assuming that any monies donated via
> OOo users will be a large proportion of what the ASF receives and thus
> "90%" of it will be used for other projects benefit. I seriously doubt
> this would be the case.

Sorry, I'm not making that assumption.  See above.

> I have no idea how much money arrives via the OOo donate button, but
> then I'm not the one making statements full of such gross assumptions
> about the balance and use of ASF funds.
> Can we please stick to what we know and, more importantly, what we don't know.

I've heard numbers for OOo legacy contributions, and I've seen the
Apache numbers, and I wouldn't be so dismissive about what AOOo could
raise.  But I'd urge us to decide policy based on principles, not on
numbers.  Numbers only confuse the issue.

> For example, I still don't know why people feel that the model that
> works for every other ASF project won't work for AOOo. That model has
> worked for longer than the project has existed in its
> many forms over the years. What stops it working for AOOo?

I think the question we should be asking, in addition, is: what makes
us think that the model that OOo used historically might not work even
better?  I don't think anyone is saying the Apache model doesn't work.
 The question is whether other models work even better for end-user
facing projects.

> [and before anyone reacts, that is an open question, please don't read
> assumptions about whether I believe the current model works, just
> answer the question as best we can]


> If it turns out the existing ASF model will not work for AOOo then we
> can start looking at new models that will work. If it turns out it
> will work then we just have to educate those affected by the change in
> model.

I don't have a strong opinion here.  I'm just trying to raise, in a
sympathetic tone, the points that others closer to the issue have
raised with me off-line.


> Ross

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