A separate sprint budget is new this year. These funds will be used to jump-start strategic development, increase community participation and bring Plone to more places than ever before. Sprints bring new energy to the group and increased visibility in the Plone community and beyond. The majority of this money is earmarked to assist with strategic sprints. These sprints are planned by the community teams including Framework, QA, Security and UI.
The marketing budget is slightly higher than last year, due to an increase in promotional materials budget and plans to place advertisements in strategic publications.
The budget, as currently planned, spends more money than was raised in previous years. If sponsorships do not increase, the year will end with a financial loss.
This will not endanger the Plone Foundation, as there is a surplus of money from previous years, but it will not be sustainable unless sponsorship revenues increase.
The Board plans to raise more money. There will be a new sponsorship drive. The goal is that all Foundation members and users will help secure the financial future of Plone. We’ll need assistance planning and executing the fund drive. We will also need you and your companies to contribute.
The Board recognizes that in order to earn sponsorships, we will need to show the real value that is being created for Plone and the Plone ecosystem by the increased sprint and marketing spending.
In the case of Sprints, we feel the value is obvious. Sprints are by far the most cost-effective way to get a diverse group of programmers working to improve Plone. It increases the skill set of our development team. We believe increasing the number of developers and improving the talent pool will provide companies with hiring opportunities.
Marketing is vital to remain visible to prospective clients. We compete against a variety of platforms, both proprietary and open-source, some of which are heavily dominated by one company. This gives them a big advantage in marketing efforts.
The goal is to increase our marketing effort. This will require more income, which will only happen with more visibility.
These are the reasons it is important to not stand still, but invest money to increase both our developer mindshare and our marketing visibility.
The Board proposes to keep a very close watch on how things are developing, in order not to jeopardize the financial situation of the Foundation. To achieve this goal there will be a budget review in June 2013. This review will assess if the marketing and sprint efforts are paying off. There will also be an analysis to see if sponsorship levels have increased to meet the budgetary needs of the Foundation. Necessary adjustments will be made at this time to keep the Foundation financially secure.