FSFE financial transparency

Daniel Pocock daniel at pocock.pro
Mon Aug 14 09:39:28 UTC 2017

On 14/08/17 11:25, Jonas Oberg wrote:
> Hi Daniel,
>> I feel there is a bit of a gap between these two pages and it does not
>> reveal how fellowship contributions relate to other revenue.
> That's surprising to me, because if you click down to 2016 as an example,
> you will find the answer to your first question:
>> - what is the total sum from the fellowship program and what is it as a
>> percentage of total revenue?
> https://fsfe.org/about/funds/2016.en.html gives fellowship contributions
> of 187,247.70 EUR compared to a total income of 649,194.75, so the
> percentage of total income is ca 29%.

Clicking the year wasn't obvious, it only underlines the "2016" link
when the mouse moves over it.  While looking at a laptop screen it is
particularly easy not to notice the year is clickable.

>> - how many fellows contribute to the program?
> That information is typically not published, but it's available to our
> core team internally, and you should have that information in the weekly
> reports you receive.

Is there a strong reason not to publish that?

>> - what is the total percentage of funds from the top 5 corporate donors?
>> - list the top 20 donors by percentage, without their names perhaps
> We list information about our donors according to the German Transparency
> International's initiative "Transparent Civil Society". You can find more
> information here:
>   https://fsfe.org/about/transparency-commitment.en.html
> This also means we list publicly those who contribute more than 10% of our
> annual budget. If you propose we go further in our transparency than this,
> I believe you should make a proposal for this to the members.

As fellowship representative, I'm keen to see how the top donors relate
to the fellowship contributions: which group is donating more, or is it
equal for example?

>> - are there any revenue sources other than direct donations to FSFE, for
>> example, revenue from the summit and legal network/workshop?  Have these
>> already been included in the public revenue figures?  Are the total
>> receipts or only the profit from such events counted as part of the
>> revenue total?
> As mentioned, on the detailed page for each fiscal year, you can find a
> breakdown of the income in more details including our income from merchandise
> and paid services. The latter is typically income rendered from speaker's
> fees and similar.

Could you provide a better breakdown of "Paid services"?

> People then donate to the FSFE for a variety of reasons: some do it because
> they appreciate our internship program, others because they would like to
> support our legal work. I'm not aware of any donation which is earmarked for
> a specific purpose, and so regardless of *why* people donate, we list it
> as a donation.
> Then, separately, we of course also list our expenses for our areas of
> work, including our legal work which then includes management of the legal
> network and our annual Legal & Licensing Workshop.

I agree that there are many different reasons for donations and it is
not always possible to work out what they are.

However, if somebody makes a payment that is directly connected with
participation in the summit, the legal network or the Legal & Licensing
Workshop, is that money counted as part of the regular donations too?
Or does it go under paid services?  Or are any of those things accounted
for through a different legal structure or set of accounts?



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