[Owasp-leaders] 60/40 Membership Drive @ OWASP

Booth, Rex Rex.Booth at GT.com
Tue Dec 9 12:03:13 EST 2008

I think that the existing model works fine in general, but it does limit our potential contributor population.  Many people aren't going to fork over $100 simply because they believe in a cause.  If we're going to retain the "public radio" model (a reference that may be lost on our non-US friends), then I think we need to adopt something akin to what Dirk has suggested: a tiered membership with corresponding benefits.

These benefits don't have to be something inaccessible to others - I like the idea of a mailed and branded copy of the Live CD or of various other resources.

My biggest concern is that $100 is a bit steep for many people without either 1) corporate sponsorship or 2) an incentive to join.  I recommend lowering the price to $50 for 6 months and seeing if we get an increase in membership.

Rex Booth, CISSP, PMP
Global Public Sector
Grant Thornton LLP

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From: owasp-leaders-bounces at lists.owasp.org [mailto:owasp-leaders-bounces at lists.owasp.org] On Behalf Of edm.dnj
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2008 11:03 AM
To: Owasp-Leaders at Lists.Owasp
Subject: Re: [Owasp-leaders] 60/40 Membership Drive @ OWASP

I'm relatively new here but thought I'd jump into the discussion.  While we may be calling it "Membership", we're really pursuing "Sponsorship" or simply a source of funding our projects.  I'm no expert, but based upon what I've seen with other non-profits, this use of "Membership" is a mechanism to solidify an ongoing stream of contributions or sponsorship.  If somebody is a member of something, they are more likely to contribute funds when their "Membership" expires (perception impacts giving patterns).  I completely agree with Jeff that it is very similar to the public radio model which also uses membership as a mechanism to drive sponsorship based fund-raising.  Leveraging the public radio model, here are some potential benefits that we could offer members:

Level 1 Membership

 *   Membership card (kinda cheesy, but some people like this sort of thing)
 *   Member newsletter (spoon feeding members with information that is probably already available on the website)
 *   Special member notifications of new projects, events, releases, etc.
 *   Discounts to OWASP events
 *   Listing in on-line membership directory (opt-in)
Level 2 Membership

 *   All Level 1 benefits
 *   Special Member Gift (logo mug, t-shirt, etc.)
 *   Single prominent (main page) on-line recognition of gift on OWASP site.
 *   Invitation to special Member-Only Events (Jeff or some other OWASP celeb to give special dog & pony show)
Level 3 Membership

 *   All Level 1 and Level 2 benefits.
 *   Additional Member Gifts (more mugs, t-shirts, etc.)
 *   Mail CD/DVD version of selected released projects (like Live CD, etc.) to member (this will make some people feel special)
 *   Free admission to Level 2 special Member-Only Events
 *   Special Events for Level 3 Members only
 *   Permit use of a special OWASP Sponsor Logo on member's website.
 *   Rotating prominent (main page) on-line recognition of gift on OWASP site.
So, there are lots of possibilities and there could be as many or as few membership levels as desired.  Another thing to think about is asking existing sponsors to do matching donations for new members.  This is a very useful tactic to expand the base of members.  As the base of members grows, the members become an easier target of direct marketing in future fund raising efforts.  For corporate members, the use of "challenges" can also help...this works by marketing directly to an existing member's competitors and appealing to their desire not to be overshadowed by their competition.

All that said, we need to make sure that we don't go overboard in raising funds.  We need to remember what our mission is and not be distracted by the chase for funds.  In the end, we're a non-profit organization that exists to contribute to the greater good of the community, but we do need money to effectively meet our mission.  We also need to ensure that these members (regardless of sponsorship level) should not have any undue influence over our direction, mission, etc.

Okay, that's all I can think of right now.


From: owasp-leaders-bounces at lists.owasp.org<mailto:owasp-leaders-bounces at lists.owasp.org> [mailto:owasp-leaders-bounces at lists.owasp.org] On Behalf Of Jeff Williams
Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2008 12:38 AM
To: 'James Wickett'; 'Tom Brennan - OWASP'
Cc: 'Owasp-Leaders at Lists.Owasp<mailto:Owasp-Leaders at Lists.Owasp>'
Subject: Re: [Owasp-leaders] 60/40 Membership Drive @ OWASP

Hi James,

OWASP has chosen a model where everything is free and open, so in one sense there's no benefit to becoming a member. Anyone can use whatever they want without paying anything.

It sounds nuts, but we believe that we can reach more people and better achieve our mission with this strategy.  People interested in creating a world where software isn't ridiculously vulnerable can support us by becoming a member. 100% of membership money goes towards application security projects.

I've found that the easiest way to explain it to people is to say that OWASP is like public radio, except that we don't have annoying membership drives that interrupt service all the time :)  Actually, there are a few minor benefits for members, such as discounts on conferences.

How do other people on the list respond to this?


Jeff Williams, Chair
The OWASP Foundation<http://www.owasp.org/>
work: 410-707-1487
main: 301-604-4882

From: owasp-leaders-bounces at lists.owasp.org<mailto:owasp-leaders-bounces at lists.owasp.org> [mailto:owasp-leaders-bounces at lists.owasp.org] On Behalf Of James Wickett
Sent: Friday, December 05, 2008 1:12 PM
To: Tom Brennan - OWASP
Cc: Owasp-Leaders at Lists.Owasp<mailto:Owasp-Leaders at Lists.Owasp>
Subject: Re: [Owasp-leaders] 60/40 Membership Drive @ OWASP

What is the value proposition for a person or company to become a paying member of OWASP?

People and companies in Austin have asked me about this, and I am not really sure what to tell them.


J.H. Wickett
General Manager, impactnews.com<http://impactnews.com>
Community Impact Newspaper
Local. Useful. Everyone Gets It.
(512) 989-6808 - Main Office
(512) 989-6809 - Fax
(512) 465-2623 - Austin Bureau


On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 9:04 AM, Tom Brennan - OWASP <tomb at owasp.org<mailto:tomb at owasp.org>> wrote:

The OWASP Foundation board has unanimously approved at our December Board
Meeting (
http://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_Board_Meetings_December_Agenda )an
amendment to the current individual/corporate membership model for 2009.
The concept builds on the accomplishment of centralized processing of local
chapter donations using the integrated button that is currently on every
chapters wiki page.

We are doing a MEMBERSHIP DRIVE FOLKS  - kicking off Jan 2009 - Dec 2009
with a 60/40 split. 60% of the raised funds would go towards OWASP
Foundation operations, grant projects, events, global committee budgets
etc., and 40% of the funds would be ear-marked for your local OWASP chapter
that with a scanned or receipt will be reimbursed with 30 days.

MEMBERSHIP - http://www.owasp.org/index.php/Membership


* The purpose of this MEMBERSHIP DRIVE is to encourage local chapters start
evangelizing OWASP to local chapter members as well as corporate/educational
members to join the mission to have measurable growth in 2009.

* Additional funding of Grant Projects - http://www.owasp.org

* This split model enables a funding model that the local chapters can
utilize to fund events, refreshments, give-aways, video-cameras, provide
"chapter grants" and more to meet the mission of OWASP Foundation regionally
and utilize the global "bank"

Devil in the details.....
* We are still working out the logistical items of this announcement however
we felt that with the holidays and the new year coming we needed to announce
this NOW to get you thinking about it creatively for your local chapter and
region.  If you see a road-block to the end result, please identify it and
recommend a solution to the problem.  You can also contact your regional
representative of the OWASP Global Membership Committee

* Kate Hartman will be the primary point of contact for this effort in
handling the money/invoices and questions in tracking this effort see:
http://www.owasp.org/index.php/About_OWASP#Structure  Today you can steer
individual members and corporate members to your chapter wiki page to make a
donation online OR they can request a invoice from Kate Hartman or mail a
check the "old fashion way"  In the end your local chapter will be given
credit for the efforts with 40% of the income earmarked.

If you have direct questions you are more then welcome to call me at
973-795-1046 or email tomb at owasp.org<mailto:tomb at owasp.org> - OR simply reply to this unmoderated
professional discussion with 275 people on it.

Semper Fi,
Tom Brennan

OWASP-Leaders mailing list
OWASP-Leaders at lists.owasp.org<mailto:OWASP-Leaders at lists.owasp.org>



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