Fund-raising organization for Koha
After discussing with many of you within the Koha project for many years and countless times, I’d like to bring forth the idea of having a fund-raising organization for Koha. It’s about time the project raised money to help meet the needs and goals of the community. This idea and concept can only be a strong option with the support and help of many of us in the community. We believe that we have great organization to stand behind this great proposal in Horowhenua Library Trust (HLT) as a non-profit-organization (NPO) to help manage the funds for the Koha community in the most responsible way (For the good of the community).
Please read below for some of the ideas and thoughts – and I would like to bring to this to a vote at the next General Meeting on if we should all as a community move forward with creating a Koha-Fund to use towards and only towards Koha. These are just thoughts and ideas and we can all move forward and work on the details and rules and laws etc after we get a “YES LET’S RAISE MONEY HOWEVER WE CAN TO SPEND ON KOHA‚Äù.
Organization for Fund raising:
Currently the Koha project generates more patches for enhancements and bugs than the collective community has time to work on. There is a need to raise funds so that more resources can be purchased to accelerate development. All funds that are raised via the project are to be used for improvement in the project.
Koha has become a large international free software and open source software project. There are many projects and needs for a project this large. Many of the responsibilities that are needed for the future need to be funded and can not rely on the volunteer hours of the many participants of the project. For example, the current number of patches to be tested far outnumbers the amount of volunteer hours that we as a project are able to put towards that. Also in the future there are many software fixes that need to be completed that need funding, which can not be expected to be led by the users of the project. The current method of development and fixes of the software are led by the funding from the users, I propose that we fundraise from within the community and external to the community for being able to solve many of these large un-met needs.
The fundraising entity should be a non-profit organization so that all donations are not taxed and if possible the donors can have tax-deductions (if that is applicable for your local tax laws). The goal of this fund organization is to gather many many small donations to lead to an effective pool of funds available to support Koha development.
Some thoughts so far towards identifying the appropriate fund raising entity is using the Horowhenua Library Trust (HLT) (Which we now have the full support of and Joanne can fill us in more about that).
This new fund should be governed by a board. That board should be made up of volunteers, that are interested to continue/champion fund raising efforts for the Koha project. The most important aspect of any board member would be to introduce new avenues for pursuing donations. Ideally the board would be representatives from all around the world so that board members could lead fund raising efforts in their local regions. This board will also be responsible with managing the funds that are donated, and will look for recommendations from the general meetings in Koha. The board will also be responsible for reporting the status, funds available, and goals of the Fund during each general meeting.
The Board will establish a Grants Committee, with the purpose of making decisions about the allocation of funds to advance the work of the Koha project.
Members of the Grants Committee may be members of the Board or other persons with suitable qualifications and experience as determined by the Board. The Board will determine a Charter for the Grants Committee that will describe the procedures to be followed to promote efficacy, efficiency, equity and transparency in the allocation of funds.
The Board will publish at least annually the details of grants allocated with sufficient detail to ensure transparency.
(These can all be adjusted based on recommendations from Koha Community)
First goal should be to hire a person to complete sign-offs and only sign-offs for the community development process.
Further goals will be decided in time and as funds increase. Board members will decide on future improvements with recommendations from the Koha community general meetings.
Another longer term possibility – is that the fund can sponsor some community members for attendance at international conferences/hackfests, students for attending local KohaCons, and sponsoring schools/universities with leading 2 week Koha academy sessions for getting more people interested/involved in the Koha project.
Avenues for Fund Raising:
Donate money now button on the homepage of Koha – and code for that button will be made available for anyone to put that on their own home pages, etc.
Reach out to all support companies that are listed on the Koha community website for donations to help seed the fund.
Board members from around the world will be responsible for leading local/regional fund raising campaigns
Board members will pursue and write grant proposals for alternative fund generation. Think Mellon grants here.
This paper is presented to the community for endorsement of the idea, so that we can move forward promptly toward this goal. Let’s definitely discuss during the December General Meeting and we can vote then or if the community decides – vote in January. This will only be a vote on YES move forward, NO do not do this (nothing about structure etc.).
Read more by Brendan Gallagher