[Global_chapter_committee] [Owasp-board] ProposedConferences/Chapters policy changes

Seba seba at owasp.org
Wed Mar 21 19:06:31 UTC 2012

see my remarks inline

1) How do we, as a committee, define what constitutes "stale" chapter
> funds?  Is it a timeframe?  Is it an active/inactive chapter status?
> ****
> I believe it is important to focus on the chapter that the funds are there
> to support.  If the local chapter has funds but isn’t using them, then this
> shows that support exisits for the chapter (individual contributions or
> corporate donations) but the volunteer support is not at a strong enough
> level to energize the chapter.  Perhaps maybe changing the focus from the
> funds to the people might get to the root of the solution.
this comes down to a key question: how do we differentiate active/inactive
There should be a couple of easy metrics to raise warning flags: e.g.
1) the budget (if above 0) does not change over a period of 6 months or one
2) the chapter does not announce or organize a chapter meeting over a
period of 6 months or one year
3) a chapter budget continously stays above a certain treshold: e.g. $ 5000
As Kate rightly points out: we have to focus on the people.
If one of the above warning flags is raised (we have to automate this as
much as possible) we ask the chapter leaders how we can help them and point
out that they actually have a budget they can use to get back on track.
Only when a chapter becomes inactive = the current chapter leader(s) step
down, we could reclaim the budget. But I'd focus on finding new chapter
leaders and reserve the remaining budget for the restart.
If the chapter budget stays continously above the treshold (a luxury
problem in my opinion): we kindly ask the chapter to spend it on chapter
growth or sugest a list of donations (other chapters, GPC, Educations,
Summit, ...)

2) If "stale" chapter funds are reclaimed, where do they go?  To the
> Foundation?  To the Chapters Committee budget to reallocate?  Can a chapter
> ever get those funds back?****
> I have always been an advocate of absorbed funds from local chapters
> remaining in the hands of the chapter committee.  Should a chapter then
> need to access the funds as seed money, they can appeal to the committee of
> their peers – less intimidating than “the mothership” As I have said
> before, perception is 99% of reality, so maintaining that chapter support
> group seems like it would be critical
I'd say: the chapter committee to spend on startup chapters. In the event
we have excess budget, the committee can re-allocate this to the board for
other goals.

> 3) What are the Foundation costs (hard and soft) that could be associated
> with running a Chapter event?  Can we put a dollar value on those such as
> $X per paid attendee?  That would make it easy for chapters to absorb them
> as part of the event fee.****
> The amount it costs for an attendee to attend a particular event will
> vary  depending on a number of fluctuating criteria.  There is the
> registration cost – depends on registration vendor, the Insurance cost (all
> chapter events, conferences, meetings, etc globally are covered in the
> Foundation policy), support staff time (varies depending on event and
> effectiveness of local planning team), financial oversight, direct cost of
> attendee (food, coffee, etc) which is usually covered by sponsorships, and
> the use of the OWASP Brand.  The last item seems to be the most difficult
> one to quantify.  How successful would Bill and Teds Application Security
> conference be compared to Bill and Ted’s OWASP AppSec Event?  Can we
> measure this?
This will vary depending on the type of event, the event size, location and
local versus global support.
In practice the venue and catering make out the biggest costs: the local
chapter board has to assure that these are covered with a good "business
plan" for the event and look for sponsors upfront.

> 4) How do we handle startup fees if the chapter does not have money in
> their accounts?****
> See answer to #2****
> The chapter committee can “budget” annually for startup fees for local
> chapters.
In general a chapter should not need money to start up: we have organised
50+ attendee chapter meetings for years with zero budget. Once the chapters
grows in number of attendees and chapter meetings, findings sponsor and
budget becomes easier (ie attractive for the sponsors)

> 4) How do we handle profit (ie. after both event and Foundation costs are
> paid) from chapter events?  I've seen examples in OWASP of both 60/40
> splits (membership) and 90/10 (chapter sponsorships).  I've also seen 50/50
> tossed out there and Ivy's 80/20 from below.****
> See answer to #2****
> The Chapter committee can have the ability to directly support local
> chapter activities through the donations from local events.  Again,
> perception is important and I believe that local chapters may be less
> critical with funds returning to the foundation if they had the comfort
> level that it will go directly to support other chapters than be absorbed
> by the Foundation.  The chapter committee then needs to understand their
> own budget and be prepared to provide support for the hard and soft costs
> back to the foundation on behalf of the local chapters.
I woud put a minimum of 90/10 to cover the general administrative support
costs and leave it up to the individual chapters on how they want to split
it. I think we will be positively surprised on how much we can raise
through a "volunteer" split.

> 5) How do we handle loss?  More importantly, how do we ensure that events
> don't lose more than a chapter has in their account?****
> See answer to #2****
> The chapter committee will have visibility to events that require
> contracts, deposits, etc.  These events can receive additional support from
> the committee (updates, reports)  The best way to prevent loss is to plan
> adequately.  I think that the LASCON team has worked out a great formula
> for a revenue generating local event that could be scaled globally.  Start
> with a break even, bare bones event and then as sponsorships increase, the
> event can be added to (thinking last minute addition of mechanical bull
> sponsor in 2010)
In general we should never have a loss, for the exceptional occasion we
should cover this with the chapter committee budget and research the root
cause with the chapter in question. A good case is Spain: here we should
cover the loss and make sure they organize events again: now nothing
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