A fundraising event (also called a fundraiser) is an event or campaign whose primary purpose is to raise money for a cause, charity or non-profit organization. Events are used to increase visibility and support for an organization as well as raising funds. Fundraising is an essential part of DebConf planning. The Fundraising team has a predefined workflow to follow:
When you contact sponsors make sure to use a @debian.org or @debconf.org email address because it looks more professional than using private email address. @debconf.org email addresses can be created at the request of a member of the global fundraising team.
Each and every action you make with regards to a sponsor should be recorded in the sponsor file. It is a good idea to make sure you understand how the sponsor file format works before doing anything else.
The sponsor file is our main tool so please make sure it is up to date. For each update add a comment that includes the date and your name and gives a short summary of what changed. Diligent managing of these files is a good way to track the work you have done and make sure we don't contact a sponsor twice by mistake or your colleagues are working based on outdated information.
- Check the files in the current year's sponsors-list directory in the git repository in order to see the status of the potential sponsor and addresses
Send an email to the contact and CC email@example.com. This email should include:
- a modified version of the email template for the current year (available in the git repository)
the current year's sponsorship flyer (usually available at https://media.debconf.org/dcYY/fundraising/debconfYY_sponsorship_flyer_en.pdf)
a link to the current year's sponsorship brochure (usually available at https://media.debconf.org/dcYY/fundraising/debconfYY_sponsorship_brochure_en.pdf)
- Update the sponsor file in git following the sponsor file format from above
It's a good idea to contact a potential sponsor another time if they haven't replied to your first email after a month or two. There are different email templates to contact sponsors that haven't committed. Find them in the sponsors git repository. There is a recommended timeline given in the Welcome to fundraising page.
For each update don't forget to update the sponsor file accordingly!
Finalizing the deal
Once the potential sponsor confirms at what tier they want to sponsor us we need to:
- Update the sponsor file accordingly (change status, add tier, amount, write a comment etc.)
- Make sure the invoicing address we have is the right one. If there is no previous invoicing address in the sponsor file, we need to ask for one and add it.
- Ask the sponsor in what currency (and thus by what TO) they want to be invoiced in.
- Make sure the logo we have for them in the logo repository is the right one. If there is no logo, if it's not a logo in a vector format or if the logo has changed, we need to ask for a new one and add it in git.
- Update the logo's .yml file adding the sponsorship level and the sequence number of the sponsor in the current level. The sponsors are shown on the webpage in the sequence in which they committed within their sponsorship tier.
- Make sure the logo link that will be posted on the website is the right one. If there is no link, we need to ask for one and add it in git. We ask for the link as some sponsors prefer to link to dedicated Open Source pages or career pages over just a general link to their homepage.
Create a Merge Request on the current year's website to add the logo and the matching .yml file to the sponsors sub-directory .
Ask the chosen TO to invoice the sponsor. Since TOs have different invoicing workflows, please refer yourself to the How to invoice a Sponsor section for more details.
- Update the sponsor file in git by adding a comment and changing the status when the TO confirms they have received the money.
During the conference
The fulfillment team which is typically staffed from members of the fundraising team and local team members, takes care of the sponsors on site and off site during the conference. This means fulfilling requests that have been articulated before the conference and making sure sponsor attendees are catered for when they are on site. This often means establishing contacts between representatives of Debian teams and associates working for a sponsor. The job fair is also a period of time where the sponsor representatives may look for support from providing power or a wired network access to additional space to sort t-shirts by size and allow for easier distribution.
During the conference the fulfillment team together with the registration team/front desk should also pack boxes with swag that the sponsors have requested as proof of their logo placement. This is best done during the conference and not afterwards. It's much easier to pack everything during the conference, collect missing contact info and getting boxes shipped. You can expect to be overworked in the last days of the conference. Make sure during the conference that all invoices have been sent and all the committed sponsors have paid their invoices.
After the conference
The sponsorship team should send a thank you note to the sponsors (a template is available at the sponsors git repo). Double check all invoices are paid and accounted for and that all promised perks and contractual obligations have been delivered. The final tasks that have been left over from the conference should also not be forgotten.