…is not what we do. But some of the tools we use to do it.
It’s no mystery that Mageia depends on the conjunction of many contributors and many donors. Totally. Some provide the financial and technical means for the project – some provide their skills and time to make it go ahead.
So here’s a quick, mid-year, report of how we have used the money we received. Mostly – for building our technical infrastructure.
For 2012 alone, to this date with a budget of about 10k€:
about 80% has been invested in our infrastructure; this means: domain names, certificates, hosting and most importantly, server hardware: in July and August, we purchased and installed 2 new, rather expensive servers in Marseille Lost-Oasis datacenter, to improve the distribution’s building and packaging;
about 10% has been used for transportation, people to events or to go to the datacenter for maintenance operations;
about 7% percent has been used for marketing materials.
This is against total of donations of about 6k€ (so yes, because of the exceptional expenses in August, we have a net loss of about 4k€ at this time).
To compare, we set a forecast set for this year in our 2011 financial report (PDF, in French). It was a bit differently laid out (45% for infrastructure, 35% for marketing, 5% for transportation, 22% for reserves) and rather ambitious with regard to revenues (20 k€ – we made 30% of it so far).
You may check a more detailed report here.
Growing Mageia requires having clear and strong financial resources not only for this year, but for the coming ones.
To keep on better managing financial resources in Mageia, there are 3 main lines of work in sight for the coming months:
Strengthen and automate our reports. It’s still a mostly manual task: it’s slow and it’s prone to errors. Better explanations of each line of expense or revenue is a must too. We also need to properly quote our balance sheet; and improve our reports content and accessibility.
Better state our budget needs. This is not an easy task in a community project. But hardware, hosting, transportation, design, marketing, and other goodies often need money, and it’s better to prepare for such expenses.
Revamping our whole donation campaign. This means:
- integrate above budget needs into the donation form, to allow people to target their donation at something specific if they wish to;
- show the progress of the various budget lines;
- have more obvious entry points to the donation page throughout the site;
- revamp our Thank you! section.
Of course, all can’t be done at once. Help is welcome, on any of these points.