[Owasp-board] Profit Sharing Policy for Local Events

Josh Sokol josh.sokol at owasp.org
Thu Aug 29 18:13:05 UTC 2013

To clarify one thing here, LASCON 2010 and 2011 were both OWASP conferences
run by our local chapter.  In years past, with no policy or requirement to
contribute funds back to the Foundation, we have donated $5k or more.  Our
donation to the OWASP Foundation wasn't an afterthought, a suggestion, or a
mandate, but rather, a line item in our budget.  We want to support the
Foundation, but feel like this new policy is a misguided attempt to address
a "ring-fenced funds" issue by limiting a chapters ability to make money,
rather than influencing how they spend it.  Not only that, but it provides
no scaling of profit based on size of the event nor financial need of the

In terms of staff resources, we utilize the bare minimum of staff resources
which is required by the Foundation.  Being an OWASP event, we are forced
to run our events through CVENT, forced to use the Foundation for taking
money in and writing checks, and forced to use the Foundation for signing
contracts.  In the past, we have also paid (out of the conference budget)
for Kate to come and assist us during the conference with registration.
Other than that, the entire conference is planned in relative isolation
from the OWASP Foundation.  All website activities, volunteers, trainings,
presentations, marketing, graphics, sponsorships, and more is performed by
members of our local planning team.  The only thing that we could do less
of in terms of utilizing Foundation staff resources is removing Foundation
mandated activities or not having Foundation staff onsite the day of the
conference.  I don't think either of these would be an issue if the Board
preferred that.


On Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 12:50 PM, Jim Manico <jim.manico at owasp.org> wrote:

> I support this proposal. Josh had a very solid conference with significant
> profit before it became an OWASP conference. We are pretty lucky he agreed
> to make his already success conference OWASP branded. This is also a
> significant experiment in seeing how a chapter can build serious funds so
> they can fund a major national-level conference without needing foundation
> funds or risk.
> I would not support this for any OWASP event, but I do think Josh has
> demonstrated his dedication to his OWASP chapter and spreading the word on
> AppSec in a fairly independent way.
> Josh, since you will be getting additional profit, perhaps you will need
> less of the full time staff resources?
> But yes, I support this.
> - Jim
> > Board,
> >
> > In preparing to sign contracts for our LASCON 2014 event, it was brought
> to
> > the teams attention that we had to agree to a new profit sharing policy
> in
> > order to proceed.  The problem is that because $5k is used as the margin
> > between a 90/10 split and a 40/60 split, the new profit sharing policy
> > takes our chapter cut of the LASCON profits down to somewhere around 50%.
> > We've had several objections from our core team members on doing that
> much
> > work and realizing such a small cut of the reward.  Since the new profit
> > sharing policy was designed without scale in mind, I'd like to ask that
> for
> > the LASCON event only, we raise this margin to $10k.  Here's some rough
> > math based on 2011 numbers:
> >
> > *Current Model*
> > $17k profit
> > $5k margin
> > Chapter Cut = $4500 (90/10 split) + $4800 (40/60 split) = $9300
> > Foundation Cut = $500 (10/90 split) + $7200 (60/40 split) = $7700
> > Realized Percentage Split = 55% Chapter / 45% Foundation
> >
> > *Proposed Model*
> > $17k profit
> > $10k margin
> > Chapter Cut = $9000 (90/10 split) + $2800 (40/60 split) = $11800
> > Foundation Cut = $1000 (10/90 split) + $4200 (60/40 split) = $5200
> > Realized Percentage Split = 69% Chapter / 31% Foundation
> >
> > This still amounts to a realized 70/30 split between the Chapter and
> > Foundation which, IMHO, is still a lot of money considering the limited
> > assistance provided to us by the Foundation.  As an additional reference
> > point, it is also more money raised for the Foundation than any other
> > Chapter organized activity.
> >
> > I had really hoped that the Board would have come up with a profit
> sharing
> > model that did not require us to be granted an exception year over year,
> > but despite clear objections from me and a "NO" vote from Tom, the
> > remaining Board members appears to have passed the proposal anyway.
>  Thus,
> > my request that before we sign the paperwork guaranteeing a LASCON 2014,
> we
> > raise this margin from $5k to $10k for our event only (leaving the
> > percentage splits in tact).  This will provide enough revenue for our
> > chapter to continue to thrive and innovate as we have done in the past
> > while at the same time ensuring that the OWASP Foundation receives an
> ample
> > cut for any of our borrowed resources that we cannot directly expense
> back
> > to the conference.  Does this sound agreeable?  Thank you for your time
> and
> > comments.
> >
> > ~josh
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Owasp-board mailing list
> > Owasp-board at lists.owasp.org
> > https://lists.owasp.org/mailman/listinfo/owasp-board
> >
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