Proposal: Dispursing Sponsorship Funds

Hi everyone,

I wanted to propose a way forward with our sponsorship funds (through open collective) currently at $4,122.94 USD . Ongoing contributions are low, but not zero at about 35$ per month (7 people x 5). It’s just sitting there, when it could be impacting our goals.

My proposal is inpired by the FOSS Fund, which I run at Microsoft, but which was started (and also runs at) Indeed. That is to collect a list of nominations for people, projects or communities in need of funding around DEI, and run a vote of community members (registed in this Discourse) to take the top 4 and issue $1000.00 each.

This has a dependency on those listed in ‘our team’ on that collective page agreeing to dispurse those funds accordingly. Some of whom my not be active.

thoughts?

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The project I’m involved in has about the same amount of money earmarked to improve diversity. It proved challenging to find useful ways to spend it.

The language barrier is the current focus. There are many people who are unable to convey their brilliant ideas simply because they do not speak English fluently. As a Free Software project, this is our loss. As a community this makes us less inclusive.

In the past few months the project started an experiment that involves hiring interpreters to provide simultaneous translation from French & Chinese to English during webinars or monthly updates. The rationale for choosing these two languages is because the French and Chinese communities are strong within the project. It’s still too early to know if this initiative will have a positive effect. But I can already say it’s been a friendly and enjoyable experience for everyone involved :slight_smile:

The cost of running this experiment is compatible with a budget in the range of a few thousand $/€. One hour of an experienced interpreter with knowledge of CS terms is between 50€ and 200€. Preparation for the interpreter to go over the agenda, slides etc. is also required and the hourly rate is less (-20% to -50%).

If anyone is interested in checking how it goes first hand, they are kindly invited to the forge federation webinar that will be held from 10:00am to 11:59am UTC+1 January 19th, 2022.

My hope is that it will inspire other Free Software projects to try to bring down the language barrier that non native English speakers are currently facing.

P.S. And native English speakers will immediately know by reading this message that I am not one of them. Trying to write non borken English is a lot of work and it should not be so hard on everyone :slight_smile:

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I like the proposal to put the money to some use. I would suggest we might think if there are some internal uses we require some budget for or that we leave a slightly larger amount in the pot in case we later need some of the money. For example if there is any chance to have an in person event this year like our previous Hackoctober event? Or to pay speakers for a series of workshops (could also be online) like @dachary mentioned which we could open to the community. We haven’t currently (to my knowledge) had a process for withdrawing money so I think it would be good to discuss this in addition to if we want to issue grants and how that process would look, what do you think? Thanks for kicking this off @emma.irwin

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I just stepped down as Symfony Diversity Lead. Its not clear if someone will follow in my foot steps. We also have some money collected and ongoing donations. So they may decide to join.

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Flagging that this or any intiative around funding is blocked due to lack of governance , suggested there be a minimum viable governance established to move forward, but I am not sure who has capacity to investigate status of orginal project leads, and next steps.

github/MVG: MVG = Minimum Viable Governance

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Thanks @emma.irwin ! As one of the financial contributors, I would also like to see this get unblocked, the governance improved, and the steering committee or maintainers to be responsive to requests like this.

The MVG is amazing - I hadn’t see it before.

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Hey, I’m part of a project that donated some money to your project in the past and as we’re having an election right now (on which projects to donate to in the next round) I was wondering whether it makes sense to send you more money.

If not: Are there “similar” projects you recomend?

@dachary Could you give us an update on how it went, I was not able to attend but I’m curious to hear back from you. During the last elections of the board members at TDF, we hold live Q&A sessions with the community, one session with Japanese members, another with LATAM members, with live translations during the sessions. Translators were not paid, they were done by community members, and it appeared that the exercise was sometime difficult.

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Everyone spoke English so… inconclusive and not useful unfortunately. I expanded on why and what to do next in a followup comment in the forgefriends forum.

The next videoconference will be in February and there are a few ideas on how to improve things. Can I suggest you watch this topic to continue the discussion? I would be very happy to discuss this further but I’m afraid it would quickly become off-topic here :slight_smile:

P.S. Simultaneous interpretation requires a lot of training to be done properly and I’m not surprised that non-professional volunteers struggled.

I believe I would be able to help as I am listed in the ‘my team’ section, though I am not particularly active. Full disclosure I do not know how open collective works and my availability is limited due to my other community and professional commitments. I will also reach out to the others on that list that I know personally, though please all kindly bear in mind that we are all volunteers so it might take some time.