Policy for travel sponsorship and ranking people receiving it
About the Need and Models for Cutting Costs
At the time of writing (end of jan 2006) there is a demand of 85-90k for travel sponsorship. The final number is expected to be lower because people won't come, will forget to claim their money or manage to get money from elsewhere.
We try to raise the remaining 35kUS to satisfy the demand but we should prepare to cut costs if we dont manage to raise enough money which at the same time provides a smooth upgrade path to full sponsorship.
One such model could be to have everyone pay a part of the accommodation and food themselfs and depending on the money situation at the start of debconf draw in that money from people or sponsor them completely.
Possible ranking criteria of sponsorees
The budget spreadsheet provides the option to introduce a rank for every sponsoree. With help of that rank it is possible to investigate how to balance the budget by modifying the cut-off rank.
These criteria can help to assign an individual's rank in an objective and reproduceable way:
- Organizers must attend and therefor are prioritized
- Speakers should have a higher rank then normal mortals
- People from america (and especially from latin america) get priority over people elsewhere, since this is the american Debconf.
- People who did a lot for Debian during the past year get priority over people who are less involved.
- People who did not received sponsorship before get priority over those that got sponsored earlier.
- People who want to organize the next Debconf (should be organizers, anyway) but should get priority (this might apply to the Süd-Tirol students)
There is the option to pay people's travel costs before Debconf. The drawbacks are:
- People could not show up and the money could be wasted (and chances to get it back are slim)
- We should not spend money before we have it, or the organizers or umbrellar organization can go bankrupt (as other sad examples illustrate)
However there can be strong reasons to pay travelcosts ahead of time:
- People can not attend since they plainly can't afford it, otherwise.
So if the above risks are small (e.g. if the person is known to be reliable and trustworthy) and the financial situation seems solid chances for sponsorship ahead of time are much better.