[Owasp-leaders] Membership funds

Sarah Baso sarah.baso at owasp.org
Thu Jun 6 14:27:29 UTC 2013

Eoin (and others) -

I have tried to capture some of the comments received on the board list
about this below to get the conversation up to speed. Thanks to everyone
for your constructive input so far (and sorry in advance if I missed anyone.

*Eoin Keary *
Maybe richer chapters get a sliding scale %
This will encourage the dormant funds to be used.
*Tom Brennan*
Many of the board members are or have been chapter leaders so leading by
example is important here.  Many staff have no concept of what it takes to
run a chapter+ this is the purpose of the board list discussion.. Hence
discuss + talk on the monthly call

 Today there is a split on memberships BOTH individual and corporate

60/40 Split

$50=$20 per chapter
$5000=$2000 per chapter

So from the chapters perspective you have two options

1. Enable local chapters to set there own local membership fee and
non-profit incorporate status

2. Change the global percentage 40/60 25/75 or other

Either way the chapters are the local face of owasp in the community and
that needs to rewarded and highlighted.  "Elimination" was a poor choice
but clearly has gotten the attention look forward to the board call

Chapters can pack up and become joes InfoSec club but that's not what is in
the best interest of the community. But this does and will happen with to
much micromanagement and those interested in robinhood asset seizure ;) a
balance is needed - starts with a telephone call to the chapter to say
SPEND IT on the mission <insert spend guidelines>
*Eoin Keary*
I am also against "Eliminate Foundation/Chapter or Project Split on
Individual Memberships".

*Seba Deleersnyder*

I am against the proposed "Eliminate Foundation/Chapter or Project Split on
Individual Memberships".
For 2 reasons:
1) chapter are our "feet on the street" and main drivers to push individual
membership, the current split is a great incentive for the chapters
2) this provides much needed income for the smaller (or poorer) chapters

I recommend rethinking on how to activate the dormant chapter budget.

   - Focus on the chapters with a high dormant budget
   - Challenge these chapters on spending / budget plan
   - Ask if they can adopt one or more chapters or projects and donate some
   of their budget and support to these

*Andy Willingham*
I agree with the point that eliminating the split is a bad idea. If there
are chapters with large balances then it would be a good idea to talk with
them individually rather than eliminate the split. I would imagine that
many chapters have low balances and part of that is because they are in
small population areas and actually use their funds for chapter activities.
Chapters that are in a large population areas have lots of companies to get
to sponsor their meetings and don't need the money to buy pizza or pay for
a venue. They also usually have a higher percentage of members and
renewals. Don't punish all for the success of others.*

*Josh Sokol*

   - Proposed policy to eliminate individual membership split - 100% to
   Foundation. * *This needs details fleshed out and discussion, but is a
   starting point to raise awareness into the large amount of money that is
   sitting in the chapters and project funds (over $260,000 USD).

Seriously, WTF?  Who do you think is out there pimping memberships to begin
with?  Looking at the current memberships, the Austin Chapter holds more
membership than any other chapter other than NYC.  Know why?  Because we
require them for LASCON attendance in order to 1) Add something of value to
becoming an OWASP member and 2) raise funds for the chapter.  If you
eliminate the chapter split, then you eliminate all incentive for a chapter
to promote membership.  This isn't raising awareness about money that is
sitting dormant.  This is taking away one of the very few methods that
chapters have to raise money.  Those funds are pretty piddly for the
chapters that are the problem here, but are huge for the ones that have
next to nothing in the bank.  If you have an issue with the way (or lack
of) chapters are spending their money, then why not just take it up with
the chapters that you take issue with?  If those funds are lying dormant,
then ask the leaders what they plan on doing with the money.  Make them
provide a budget.  Don't punish the chapters who have nothing because of a
few that aren't spending what they have.

Above you say that there's over $260k that is "sitting", but according to
the Scoreboard there's less than $230k total between both Chapters and


To give you another perspective on this, out of 196 chapters and projects,
only 41 (21%) have a balance above $1k.  Only 13 (7%) have a balance above
$5k.  And only 5 (3%) have a balance above $10k.  The ones with the money
don't have it due to memberships.  They have it because they either ran a
conference or found sponsors.  Wanna know who gets affected by this
proposal?  Pakistan, Paraiba, Kuwait, Florianopolis,
Curitiba, St. Louis, Campinas, Mexico City, Goiania, Ypisilanti, and the
list goes on.  These are areas where the chapter leaders are already
struggling and now you're eliminating what little resources they have.

I continue to be concerned by the way that the Board views the chapters.
They are the lifeblood of this organization.  They are our ability to reach
out to areas we couldn't otherwise touch.  They are our future volunteers.
They host our sponsors.  They run the conferences that generate money for
OWASP to run.  It's not easy to run a chapter and it's often a completely
thankless job.  Please don't make the lives of these chapter leaders even
more difficult by taking away their already limited funding sources.

Sarah Baso
Executive Director
OWASP Foundation

sarah.baso at owasp.org

On Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 7:21 AM, Eoin <eoin.keary at owasp.org> wrote:

> Hello leaders,
> There is a foundation proposal to remove the split 60/40 from the
> individual membership dues. 100% if the funding goes to the foundation.
> The funds are to be used to hire additional staff but also what prompts
> this is the lack of spending.....
> Chapters simply are not spending their funds and we have 0000's building
> up in owasp bank accounts, all ring fenced and going nowhere!!
> Please share your thoughts with myself and the board.
> Eoin Keary
> Owasp Global Board
> +353 87 977 2988
> _______________________________________________
> OWASP-Leaders mailing list
> OWASP-Leaders at lists.owasp.org
> https://lists.owasp.org/mailman/listinfo/owasp-leaders
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