[Global_chapter_committee] Chapter Committee Policy Discussion

Kate Hartmann kate.hartmann at owasp.org
Thu Mar 22 12:39:37 UTC 2012

Ivy asked an interesting question that connected two points for me.

She asked about the requirement of the chapter to use owasp services (regonline).  In one of the other threads I read a point that the local chapter events support the global events through increased attendance and participation in global events.

If a local chapter does not use one of the foundations infrastructure tools, then the chapter is working in a silo.  Essentially, those potential global attendees are lost.

I see the marketing potential to the local attendees as a tangible benefit to the global org.  So, using a centralized registration system is important.

In areas where this can not be done (china) I would like to see some list sharing.

Kate Hartmann
OWASP Operations Director

On Mar 22, 2012, at 5:20 AM, "Ivy" <ivy at owasp.org.cn> wrote:

> My ideas:
> 1. Inactive chapter: I think only those chapters didn't have 2 events a year can be treated as inactive.
> 2. "stale" funds:  chapters funds continously stays above a certain amount(e.g. $5000)  can be reallocated to Chapter committee as "start-up" funds. However, when this chapter become active later, they can get priority to apply for "star-up funds" from Chapter committee.
> Question:, is there email notification to chapter leaders the amount of funds in its chapter account?  Actually, i even don't know there is any funds in OWASP China chapter account. And there isn't any remarks in Handbook to let leaders know how can they get the funds or how much there are.( I am not sure, maybe just because i missed some policies.)
> 3.  Foundation Cost: I suggest we get an actual number and compare with conference profit each time, and then choose the smaller one.  As different area may get different profit. If the conference only have a small profit, they can choose to pay smaller amount of money for OWASP services.
> Question: Can a chapter choose OWASP services? for example, if a chapter don't use regonline, or don't ask for help from Foundation?   I point out this is because in China, we could not use regonline because of international transfer problems. We could not transfer USD freely to other countries. Also there is language barriers, we could not ask for much help from OWASP support stuff.
> 4. Start-up fees: Just mentioned in #2 that we can use those stale funds to set up start-up funds.
> 5. loss:  try best to prevent loss. However, if there is some special cases, we can use "start-up" funds, if there are.
> ------------------
> Ivy Zhang
> ------------------ Original ------------------
> From:  "Tin Zaw"<tin.zaw at owasp.org>;
> Date:  Thu, Mar 22, 2012 08:09 AM
> To:  "Josh Sokol"<josh.sokol at owasp.org>;
> Cc:  "global_chapter_committee"<global_chapter_committee at lists.owasp.org>;
> Subject:  Re: [Global_chapter_committee] Chapter Committee Policy Discussion
> Josh,
> Thanks for the good news -- that we are all on the same page. I aways
> almost lose my breath after reading long emails :)
> Here are my points.
> * I think chapter inactivity should be based on the activity, not
> movement in budget. If a chapter has less than two activities--
> meeting, conference, training -- for a year, it should be marked as
> inactive, per the current handbook's mandatory requirements. In
> addition, if the leader gracefully steps down (by notifying us) or we
> know as a fact that the leader has moved on (without notifying), we
> can discuss and possibly mark it inactive.  Stale budget should raise
> a red flag, but should not be a reason for getting marked as inactive.
> Case in point: a chapter may have $5000 stable in its account, but it
> held 5 meetings with ~30 attendees in each meeting last year. It's an
> active chapter. Good for them that they get sponsors for these
> meetings. They can use that $5000 for sending folks to the Summit,
> etc. LA and Belgium chapters chipped in to sponsor Gustavo to the
> Summit last year.
> * The foundation should charge 10% administrative overhead for the
> GROSS revenue of the admission fees. If the chapter charges $10 for a
> ticket, $1 goes to the foundation. That is before profit and loss is
> calculated. It is fair because the foundation underwrites the event
> from legal and contractual perspective, regardless of P&L.
> Open question: Should 10% of sponsorship money go to the foundation
> too? It gets murky when the sponsor pays for food, venue, etc.
> directly. I would say no here.
> * The net income (or profit) should be shared with the foundation, at
> 10-20%, if the event is self-supported.
> * For events that require financial investment by the foundation --
> i.e., the chapter has $1000 in bank but the event costs $2000, and the
> foundation has to "invest" $1000 in the event, the profit should be
> shared 50/50 (suggestion, can negotiate), after the foundation's
> investment ($1000) and the foundation's admin overhead (10% of ticket
> sales) are covered.
> I am thankful to you all that we are discussing this in a civil,
> collegial manner. Let's hash out the details.
> On Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 1:36 PM, Josh Sokol <josh.sokol at owasp.org> wrote:
> > I'm renaming this discussion to further separate it from the other one.  I
> > agree with both what Kate and Seba have said so far and it seems like we're
> > driving toward a consensus on a new Chapter Committee policy which is
> > excellent.  So here's what I'm thinking:
> >
> > * We need to update "Chapter 6: Chapter Activity" of the chapter handbook to
> > include additional verbiage on Inactive Chapters.  Currently we only say
> > that a chapter will be tagged as inactive if they have not hosted a meeting
> > or event in over a year or if the leader abandoned and nobody stepped up to
> > take the role.  We have identified some additional things to consider for a
> > chapter to be tagged as inactive and should probably try to hash those out
> > further.
> >
> > * Not necessarily a part of the handbook, but it sounds like we need to
> > create some GChapC policies around the flags we are looking for, how we
> > intend to handle them, etc.  You are absolutely right in that we should be
> > looking at some of these things as warning signs pointing to areas where we
> > could better engage with the chapters.
> >
> > * I like the idea of reclaiming funds from inactive chapters in order to
> > strengthen other chapters.  Again, not necessarily part of the handbook, but
> > should become GChapC policy.
> >
> > * In terms of covering Foundation costs, I agree that the Foundation
> > provides value in services, assets, and general things like insurance.  I
> > also agree that we need to cover these costs before profit is ever
> > realized.  The thing I've never been able to get a good answer on is what
> > are these things worth.  If we say it's a 90/10 split then we're effectively
> > saying that these resources are worth 10% of something, but that something
> > could be $0 or it could be $20k.  This is why I have tried to avoid
> > percentages and try to get an actual number.  Something that I can apply
> > regardless of event type, regardless of attendee fees, etc.  I think that we
> > can probably come up with a number that would be acceptable here, but if the
> > majority thinks 90/10 (or some other fractional split) is the way to go,
> > then I can support that.
> >
> > * In terms of startup fees, I agree in principle, but I'll give you an
> > example where the no startup doesn't always work.  Assume a chapter has $0
> > in the bank, but wants to hold an event to raise money.  The first thing
> > they need, before they can find a sponsor, is a venue and a date.  Typically
> > to lock a date in with a venue, it requires a deposit.  So....perhaps our
> > committee should treat this as a "loan" and if the chapter does not have
> > enough money to cover the deposit we, as a committee, can evaluate what they
> > are doing and determine whether to assist them (if the budget is available)
> > until they can find a sponsor to pay it back.  This loan needs to be paid
> > back immediately once the funding becomes available.  Thoughts?
> >
> > * For loss, I agree that it should be next to impossible to lose money under
> > the LASCON model.  That said, this model does require leaders who are
> > willing to stick to the plan and follow through.  This could be handled by
> > some minor accounting controls just to make sure that expense is never
> > greater than revenue + chapter account balance fora chapter.  Thoughts?
> >
> > The good news is that I think we are all on the same page here in terms of
> > what we want the outcome of this discussion to be.  We just need to work
> > through the finer grained details.
> >
> > ~josh
> >
> > On Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 2:06 PM, Seba <seba at owasp.org> wrote:
> >>
> >> see my remarks inline
> >> --seba
> >>
> >>> 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
> >> chapters.
> >> 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 year
> >> 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
> >> happens.
> >>
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Global_chapter_committee mailing list
> > Global_chapter_committee at lists.owasp.org
> > https://lists.owasp.org/mailman/listinfo/global_chapter_committee
> >
> -- 
> Chapter Leader and President, OWASP Los Angeles Chapter
> Member, OWASP Global Chapter Committee
> Google Voice: (213) 973-9295
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/tinzaw
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