Welcome to DebConf fundraising

Debian is an operating system consisting entirely of Free and Open Source Software. The Debian Project is dedicated to remaining 100% free and to being a responsible “citizen” of the Free and Open Source Software ecosystem.

DebConf is the annual international gathering of Debian developers, contributors, users and enthusiasts with the common purpose of discussing technical topics, collaborating on joint projects and working on improving the Debian Linux distribution and its derivatives. The conference takes place in a different country and city every year. The location for the conference is chosen based on bids that different groups propose and that are evaluated in public meetings and decided upon by the DebConf committee.

The DebConf fundraising team which is also called sponsors team is in charge of acquiring funds for each DebConf. The fundraising team is made up of the global team, which is typically experience former DebConf organizers and the local team that changes every year and typically organizes their first DebConf. Still the local fundraising team often has experience from fundraising for smaller local events e.g. Mini-DebConfs. Because of the new local team every year, documentation of the fundraising processes is important to transfer knowledge and document best practices. Fundraising is an essential part of DebConf planning.

DebConf typically does email campaigns to announce the annual fundraiser and follow up with sponsor leads. During FLOSS conferences the fundraising material is often distributed in paper copies e.g. FOSDEM. The email templates are documented in the sponsors git repository. The annual fundraising brochure and flyer are located in the fundraising sub-directory of the annual DebConf git repository. To join the fundraising team members therefore need access to both, the private sponsors git and the public annual DebConf conference git repository. Additionally sponsor logos are published on the DebConf website which is another public repository per year. To access the git repositories you need to create an account on the Debian Gitlab system which is called salsa.

The DebConf team communicates via mailings lists. The most important ones are:

Near real time communication is done via IRC on the OFTC network like the rest of Debian channels. Again here a public channel #debconf-team and a private channel #debconf-sponsors exist and are used in parallel. Joining the #debconf-team channel is also important to participate in the team meetings which are scheduled every month at the start of DebConf planning, then every two weeks for most of the time and then every week as the conference approaches. It is very advisable to have a permanent IRC connection as the global team is distributed around the globe and important discussions may happen during any time.

The fundraising team keeps sponsor contact information and names of unconfirmed sponsors (=leads) confidential. This is why there are both private and public communication channels / data repositories in email, IRC and git.

Further details about the communication channels can be found in the communication wiki page.

The main tool in the daily fundraising work is the sponsors git repo which contains a collection of files, one per sponsor/lead. The format for these files is standardized so that scripts can be used on these files similar to a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. Find more details in the sponsors workflow wiki page.

To make sure the whole fundraising team is aware of the status of sponsors and outstanding work please document every update regularly in the sponsors git repo.