Donation link: Unable to reach consensus

Kent James kent at
Thu Dec 19 23:38:05 UTC 2013

Dear tb-planning:

A week ago, I sent out the email below to 19 people who represented my 
best estimate of formal Thunderbird project leadership, trying to reach 
a consensus agreement on at least some of the issues we have been 
discussing here concerning a donation link. Unfortunately, although I 
received a number of positive responses and no outright negative 
responses, I was unable to reach the standard that I set for declaring a 
consensus. With the holiday break approaching, rather than leave this 
proposal open indefinitely, I have tabled it until at least sometimes in 

Feel free to comment on the proposal, particularly if you think I have 
misrepresented what is the current consensus of comments here. This is 
much less specific than my formal proposal, and was an attempt to find 
the lowest common denominator of agreement to ensure enough backing that 
I could gather additional information, and have discussions with Mozilla 

No further progress will be made with this until I get some formal 
backing from Thunderbird leadership.

Kent James

Sent email:

I'd like to see if there is a consensus among the people responsible for 
Thunderbird leadership that we should pursue donations with some sort of 
in-product visible link, as we have been discussing on the tb-planning 

You are receiving this email because you are either a module owner or 
peer of a Thunderbird module per, or you are listed as a 
member of the Thunderbird release drivers team at 
As I discuss at 
I am not sure what is the group that will need to make any significant 
decisions involving Thunderbird, but given what is written officially I 
feel that the combination of these groups is the best current 
representation of the Thunderbird governing body.

While there are still a number of outstanding issues concerning how 
donations would be solicited and used, my interpretation of the 
discussions on tb-planning is that there is no significant opposition to 
the concept that Thunderbird should attempt to raise funds through 
donations in some manner. It will be easier to collect additional 
information and plans for donations if we can come to a partial 
agreement. Then we can better resolve remaining issues since we will 
have more concrete information.

I would like us to agree that there is consensus on the following:

1) We would like for the Thunderbird project to begin raising funds 
through some sort of method that is visible from within the product 
itself. (Methods that have been discussed but not agreed yet include a 
link on the start page, or an opened tab, and/or a button on the status 

2) The funds raised would be directly available to the Thunderbird 
project (unlike the current Firefox campaign which is directed toward 
raising funds generally for the Mozilla Foundation).

3) Kent James may gather information and have discussions with relevant 
Mozilla staff about possible methods for implementing this.

4) The list of people receiving this email have sufficient authority, as 
a group, to agree on a consensus that represents the official position 
of the Thunderbird Project and Community.

This leaves many issues open that will be discussed later, but allows us 
to start making progress on this in various ways that do not depend on 
final decisions on user interface, governance, or usage of funds. Also, 
a consensus is only intended to reach agreement on issues that are not 
likely to result in significant opposition. Point 4) in particular does 
not ask you to agree that this group is the exactly correct official 
body representing Thunderbird, but only to agree that the group is 
sufficiently wide to ensure that there is significant official support, 
and lack of significant opposition, to the points here.

Although you may of course discuss this further if you like, the intent 
of this email is not to solicit further discussion of details, but to 
simply get you to state your agreement or disagreement with the points 
that have already been openly discussed on tb-planning. If there is the 
need for further discussion, or there does not appear to be significant 
support, then we should table this and continue the discussion. But if 
necessary we could have some discussion here about the wording of the 4 
points if you feel they are flawed but easily corrected.

I will define a "consensus" agreement to the four points proposed in 
this email if I receive (using reply-to-all) a positive agreement from 
at least half of the email recipients, no more than one opposing vote, 
and no official objections from relevant Mozilla staff that we do not 
have the standing to pursue this issue.

So can you reply-to-all and agree or disagree with the 4 points listed 

R. Kent James
MesQuilla, LLC
Redmond, Washington, USA

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