[Owasp-board] Budget for FY17

Andrew van der Stock vanderaj at owasp.org
Tue Sep 6 06:06:18 UTC 2016

Hi all,

I want to start the process for the FY17 budget now, so that we have an
entire quarter to get it right and approved in concert with the new
incoming Board members in December, so we can hit the ground running in

This year, the biggest change I need us to make is a pie based budget
instead of just adjusting last year's numbers, as last year's numbers
reflect the strategic goals of 2013, not what we want to do.

I propose two pies, for 501 (c) 3 reasons:

Administrative pie, capped at 10% of our total budget
Mission pie, capped at 90% of our total budget

This means that it becomes possible for us to show that we are spending a
goodly amount of our budget on mission, and capping administrative back
office costs at 10% of our overall budget. This will require staff who are
currently paid from general revenue to be allocated within the budget to a
specific strategic goal, with truly only OWASP Foundation core staff (Kate
and Alison, primarily) paid from the administrative budget.

We as a Board need to make decisions around the makeup of the mission pie:

   - Education
   - Outreach
   - Conferences
   - Projects
   - Website redesign

I personally think that the above strategic goals should each get 22.5%
each of the pie, with 10% of the remaining budget for the website redesign.
Conferences, being a profitable area for us should look to increase the
number of global events to four in 2017, and increase the number of
regional events. If anything, giving conferences a budget is more like a
float rather than a spending requirement, as they return funds to the
organisation, which I also hope training will do one day, too.

So how big is this pie? We need to make a budget that stretches us to make
$3m in FY17, which means we need to look at all sources of income, and what
we need to do to make that a reality. Our revenue in 2015 was $2,478,184.
If we say we can do $2.7m this year (possible, depends on AppSec USA
profitability), $3m is within our grasp. So 10% is $300,000 administrative
costs, and then $610k each for education, outreach, conferences, projects,
and up to $270k for the website. That is with no contingency, and assumes
AppSec USA is at least 10% more profitable than last year's.

Income measures will require a properly planned membership drive,
particularly in desired outreach groups (developers), a proper marketing
campaign to encourage donations and sponsorships, and I think we should
invest in a grant writer to get funds for projects, and use some of the
project funds to do a grant linked work program. We should also be looking
at using our contacts as a Board to develop relations with other large
organisations, to properly fund us as we look to grow to $5m per year in a
few years.

Chapters have many existing sources of income, and they continue to do well
without additional funds being allocated to them, so I propose that none of
the mission pie is redirected to chapters as they have more than 75% of the
available funds already. In fact, the spending pie above does not take into
account the fact that chapters will be getting funds before anyone else.

So I *would* like us to enforce our already approved vote to force chapters
with large balances to come up with plans to spend the cash, or to sweep it
back into general revenue, so we can use those unused funds to grow the
organisation in meaningful ways. This affects a tiny fraction of all
chapters. Denver is already taking measures to spend their funds on a local

So for those of you on the Board who are the champions of a particular
strategic goal, I'd like you to come up with a plan of action for 2017,
with associated costs. Let's put it into the budget, and get it done.

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