GNOME Foundation To Focus On Fundraising After Years Running A Deficit

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 26 April 2024 at 09:26 AM EDT. 118 Comments
After several years of the GNOME Foundation running at a deficit (loss), the GNOME Foundation is going to be driving a push for greater fundraising.

Robert McQueen, the President of the GNOME Foundation, put out a blog post today providing an update on the GNOME Foundation board. One of the key issues is that the GNOME Foundation has been running at a deficit for several years with spending away their reserves. This also sheds more light on the role of Holly Million as the new GNOME Executive Director that was hired last October.

McQueen wrote in today's blog post:
"As you may be aware, the GNOME Foundation has operated at a deficit (nonprofit speak for a loss – ie spending more than we’ve been raising each year) for over three years, essentially running the Foundation on reserves from some substantial donations received 4-5 years ago. The Foundation has a reserves policy which specifies a minimum amount of money we have to keep in our accounts. This is so that if there is a significant interruption to our usual income, we can preserve our core operations while we work on new funding sources. We’ve now “hit the buffers” of this reserves policy, meaning the Board can’t approve any more deficit budgets – to keep spending at the same level we must increase our income.

One of the board’s top priorities in hiring Holly was therefore her experience in communications and fundraising, and building broader and more diverse support for our mission and work. Her goals since joining – as well as building her familiarity with the community and project – have been to set up better financial controls and reporting, develop a strategic plan, and start fundraising. You may have noticed the Foundation being more cautious with spending this year, because Holly prepared a break-even budget for the Board to approve in October, so that we can steady the ship while we prepare and launch our new fundraising initiatives."

Holly is working on a fundraising plan for stabilizing the GNOME Foundation with new revenue.

US dollars in front of GNOME desktop

More details on the GNOME Foundation fundraising plans and other board updates -- such as going from 7 to 9 members -- can be found via this blog post.
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