2023 Annual Members' Meeting
By Kathy Davis
Clojurists Together held its Annual Membership meeting on 10 October 2023 (10-11 a.m. Pacific Time). A big thanks to all of you who were able to attend. For those of you who couldn’t, here is a summary of the meeting and subsequent discussion.
Board Elections: The first order of business was to acknowledge our new board members and thank our departing members Chris Nuernberger and Ikuru Kanuma. In October, Members elected 4 board members for two-year terms:
- Daniel Compton, Secretary-Treasurer (returning member)
- Heather Moore-Farley (returning member)
- Felix Barbalet (new to the board)
- Max Penet (new to the board)
In addition, two board members have 1 year remaining of their board term:
- lvh (Laurens Van Houtven), President
- Maria Geller
Summary of Presentation:
- In 2023, we were able to draw down a significant reserve by funding more long-term developers and short-term projects - benefiting the Clojurists community and as a by-product providing some stability in a tech marketplace that has experienced major layoffs in the last year.
- If we assume a minimal reserve and a similar level of membership revenue in 2024, we will need to decrease our funding of projects slightly going forward - or focus on ways to increase company and individual memberships and/or membership contributions.
- While growth of new memberships (both company and individuals) has slowed from previous years, our retention rate is remarkably high. (95%+)
- We have been able to fund an incredible amount of quality work that has real value to both companies and individual developers. With added oversight of the board and regular input from the Clojurist community, the overall value and return on investment is very high. We provide proof of concept that “Sustainable open-source is sustainable”.
- The hiring of a program manager has increased overhead slightly but improved the timeliness of payments and communication (Daniel was trying to do it all as a volunteer in his “spare time”). However, administrative expenses at 7% of revenue continue to run under average for non profits (15-20%) and Open Collective fees (10%).
Summary of Funding Activities:
Summary of 2023 Funding:
- Long-term funding: 10 developers, $18k each, $180k in total. Bozhidar Batsov, Michiel Borkent, Sean Corfield, Eric Dallo, Christophe Grand, Thomas Heller, Nikita Prokopov, Tommi Reiman, Peter Stromberg, Peter Taoussanis, Toby Crawley (5 months $7.5K)
- Funded 30 projects for $150k: 23 smaller projects ($130k total) in 2023 and 7 from Q3 2022 continued into 2023 ($20k). Adopted flexible funding, up to 12 months.
- Q1 2023: Aleph/Manifold, Clerk, clojure-ts-mode, Donut, Doxa, Exercism, Neanderthal
- Q2 2023: clj-kondo et al, clj-Nix, Clojure Camp, Emmy, Jank, Portfolio, Lucene Grep, Neanderthal
- Q3 2023: Biff, Bosquet, Deps-try, Emmy, GDL, Jank , Neanderthal, Quil
- Firefox Custom Formatters: Sebastian Zartner continued work to add Custom Formatters to Firefox. Released August, 2023. ($18k)
Thanks to all our company members (Map, Transduce, Filter Memberships)
While we need to work on growing both our individual and company memberships to support more projects, our retention rate (95%) is incredibly high.
Summary of Financials:
Discussion and Follow-Up:
Has the board solicited major projects in the past - and how could we incorporate this approach as part of the funding model in addition to the open proposal model?
The board has solicited specific projects in the past (FireFox release a good example), however, it has been difficult to find developers that have both the specific expertise and the bandwidth to commit to major projects.
Follow-Up: We can include more specific questions in the Long Term Survey about the types of projects we should champion.
Follow-Up: We can connect with sponsor companies to understand more about their use and needs related to targeted platforms, developer tools, resources, etc.
Is the current reporting format meeting the needs of the membership - are there suggestions for improvement? (The reports are quite detailed and are written and submitted by the developers on a regular basis).
While the reports provide a useful way for members to access new tools and information, they also provide a way of demonstrating the value of the work funded by companies and individual members. A membership supports REAL work!
Members attending scan current reports for the info that is most useful or interesting to them - so details are not a negative.
Follow-up: We should consider highlighting 5-10 accomplishments - easy access, intriguing, problem-solved, etc. for marketing our unique value as a community and an organization.