Summit Part 2: Funding
kent at caspia.com
Wed Oct 22 17:35:12 UTC 2014
At the Thunderbird 2014 Toronto Summit, we discussed both our need for
funding, as well as methods to achieve it.
TL;DR: "Do we try to raise income of hopefully $500,000/year by going
directly to our users?" decision: UNANIMOUS
This has already been discussed here for at least 2 years, so there was
little new that could be said. Of course the devil is in the details.
The problem is clear. As someone said, "We are on a treadmill that is
slowly pushing us backwards, and we are getting closer and closer to
falling off the end". Thunderbird is mission-critical software to
millions of users. There are reasonable minimum expectations from those
users, of reliability and performance, that we believe can only be met
with a few staff to keep things running smoothly.
There are other possible avenues to fund Thunderbird that were
discussed, including organizations sponsoring staff and funding from
Mozilla, that are ongoing and should be continued and encouraged. Yet
nobody had reasonable expectations that those avenues could be expanded
in the near future to meet our minimum needs.
The method we are considering involves using the Thunderbird start page
for a limited period of time in a visible outreach to users asking for
contributions. That outreach would include no disruptive or distracting
user interface elements, and there would be a way for organizations to
opt out through a preference. The closest well-known model for this is
the annual Wikipedia campaign, which is their primary source of funding.
More information about the tb-planning