May 04 2018
May 04

Donate today

Drupal has so much to be proud of:

Together, let's show the world just how amazing Drupal - and your business - is for organizations.

Invest today in the Promote Drupal Initiative.

The Promote Drupal Initiative

The Promote Drupal Initiative is your opportunity to make Drupal - and your business - known and loved by new decision makers. Led by the Drupal Association, we will work with the Drupal business community to hone Drupal’s messaging and create the promotional materials we can all use to amplify the power of Drupal in the marketplace.

Step one is lining up the resources to make this initiative impactful and long lasting. 

Donate to the Promote Drupal Fund today. Help us help you grow your business.

$100,000 - the Promote Drupal Fund

We need your support now to get started.

To launch the Promote Drupal Initiative, the right resources need to be in place. $100,000 will support:

If we all give a little, we can make a big impact promoting Drupal, together.

Donate today

Apr 26 2018
Apr 26

You may have noticed that the Drupal.org front page has a new look. It’s just the start of our Promote Drupal Initiative that focuses on getting new decision makers to fall in love with Drupal. We started this work with the front page redesign, which is detailed below. 

We will accelerate this initiative and do so much more once we reach the $100,000 goal of the Promote Drupal Fund. This allows us to put the staff and resources in place to coordinate a multi-prong Drupal promotion with community members. 

Good news! We are more than halfway to our $100,000 goal. Thank you early supporters for investing in this fund. 

Together, let's show the world just how amazing Drupal is for organizations.  

Invest in the Promote Drupal Fund today!

About the New Drupal.org Front Page

Come for the software; stay for the community is Drupal community’s long time tagline and remains at the heart of the project. It resonates because so many of us chose Drupal as our CMS and then we fell in love with the community. We want more people to take this journey and it starts with getting more people to adopt Drupal. 

That is why the Drupal Association updated the Drupal.org front page. Today, it is oriented to serve the various types of decision makers and influencers who are considering Drupal for their organization – and who will hopefully be our new community members. You may have heard about this project in our public board updates, Supporting Partner updates, or other channels. If not,  this post should provide ample insight. 

The research

Over the last two years, the Drupal Association iterated to improve the front page to better communicate with the audience who comes to the front page – evaluators. We could tell they were evaluators because they click on the content that someone needs to evaluate Drupal: Case studies, Try Drupal, etc. While there are roughly 2 million unique visitors to Drupal.org each month, about 350,000 of those uniques are visiting the front page. 

With 93% of Drupal.org traffic being anonymous, what we didn’t know was “who were these evaluators and what did they need to fall in love with Drupal faster?”

Over the last six months we set out to answer those questions in order to inform a front page redesign. Research included:

  • Cross reference traffic with audience insight tools to know who is coming to the site (using our own implementation of Do-Not-Track to ensure user privacy is respected)
  • Industry research to understand who the CMS buyers and influencers are now
  • Interviews with agency owners to understand who they sell to (job function)
  • Persona research, especially front page user research about the key personas coming to evaluate Drupal

Identifying  our evaluators

What we found was that the majority of Drupal.org front page visitors have technical positions (developer to C-level) and they work for end users (like corporations, governments, universities, etc.) or agencies.  These were not surprising findings. 

What was notable was that a significant amount of visitors worked in marketing and communications. This persona is the marketer and they are the people who use a CMS to generate leads for their business, gain engagement around their company’s brand and content, and drive online sales conversions. 

The lead marketer is the Chief Marketing Officer and they are a new business decision maker for CMS. Many agencies are now selling to the CMO in addition to the CIO. When looking at industry reports, this isn’t surprising. Gartner and other industry reports show that the CMO spends nearly the same amount on technology as the CIO. It’s more and more the CMO or marketing technologist who determines what MarTech tools their team uses to drive their business. This includes their CMS, personalization, analytics, social, and more. 

Based on this initial research, we knew the Drupal.org front page had to serve three evaluator personas: developer, agency, and marketer.  The next question to answer was: “How do we design the evaluator experiences for these different audiences”?  This started our persona and user research. 

Understanding our evaluators

We used the research listed above to understand what these evaluators think, feel, and need when choosing Drupal. Below is a summary of our findings and how they informed the evaluator experience we created for the three personas. Note, there are many evaluation paths. Below provides a simple and consolidated view. 

End user technical decision maker and influencers

The technical decision maker is the CIO or Director of Engineering for an end user organization (e.g. corporation, government, university, etc.). They ultimately decide if the organization is going to standardize on a platform. Our interviews showed that they care about performance, security, maintenance, etc. A common theme showed they have a criteria scorecard. With or without a committee they shortlist CMSes. Then, they send their developers to get information and bring it back. These developers are influencers – very important people for us to cater to. 

If open source was one of the CMS criteria, then Drupal is often short listed. The developer goes to the Drupal.org front page to get information that the CIO requested such as case studies (to find out if their peers or companies of similar size use Drupal), analyst reports, and comparison sheets (e.g. Drupal vs Sitecore). Plus, this developer wants to Try Drupal so they can see how it works and decide if it is  a tool they want to work with.  From this point, there are many other steps like finding an agency in the Drupal.org marketplace to work with. 

The user research showed that the front page needs to amplify more recognizable brand name case studies and give more detail about the power of Drupal by industry. The research as well as Matthew Grasmick’s blog shows that we need a better Try Drupal experience. Plus, we need to provide a comparison sheet that that speaks to a technical person. 

While there was a need for Drupal to show up in analyst reports, there is also the understanding that Gartner and Forrester will only include software that generates income (via proprietary software license fee). Drupal being open source is not considered by these analysts (yet). So – no analyst report for now.  

Marketing decision maker and influencer

To understand this persona, we talked to CMOs and marketing technologists – the marketing people who select and maintain their marketing tools. What we found is that they want to hear how a CMS can help them achieve their business goals around lead generation, brand proliferation, customer engagement, and sales conversions. They want their team to have tools that are easy to use so they can make a fast impact doing things like pushing out press releases or new marketing campaigns. Plus, they want their teams to have autonomy so they can make the changes they need all on their own and without IT. The marketing decision makers’ needs are very different from the technical decision maker. 

The CMO or marketing technologist’s decision making process starts with the need to drive business and have the right tools to do this. Often they bring in a marketing consultant to provide a brand or business strategy. As part of the strategy implementation recommendation, the consultant may recommend a new CMS or other MarTech tool

In the absence of bringing in a business consultant, the CMO / marketing technologist will do their own research, coming up with a scorecard focused on the marketing team’s needs (content authoring experience, ease of use, impact, business ROI). They will read technologist blogs that provide product comparisons. Then, they go to the product websites to get product comparison sheets that have a marketing/business focus, watch videos known as sizzle reels and they watch videos that show what it is like to use the tool from the marketing team’s perspective. They also want to see case studies, but they want to read about the product’s business impact. They do not want to read about which modules were used. Plus, they want to learn about how a product is used in their industry. After their interest is peaked, they want to talk to someone who can answer their questions and give them a demo. 

The CMO or marketing technologist also gets recommendations from their influencers; individuals on the marketing team. They ask if anyone used the tool and if they liked using it and want to use it again. These individuals on the marketing team have a lot of power in deciding if a tool is selected or if a tool remains in their department. If they can’t use the tool well to make the business impact they must make, then they will replace that product. 

As you can see, these two decision makers within an end user organization have different evaluation paths and are choosing software based on different criteria. This means we need to offer them unique paths with different value propositions and resources that resonate with each one. 

Agency evaluator

We love when an agency choses Drupal. They provide an adoption multiplier by getting more clients to use Drupal. Plus, they are the ones who decide to have a contribution culture and encourage their staff to contribute back. 

It is often the organization’s tech lead who decides which CMS to use for their clients. That title can range from the CEO to the solution architect. This persona has similar evaluator needs as the technical end user. What is different is that they also keep in mind what their clients are asking for in terms of technology choices and functionality. 

General Drupal.org user research

Whichever persona we interviewed, there were some common themes that came up. They are:

  • There are way too many calls to action. “I don’t know what you want me to do first.”
  • The page is trying to serve too many types of people. “It’s not clear what is the page’s goal.”
  • The language on the page makes me feel like this site is not for me
  • When I click on things I don’t get what I expect to get
  • The main navigation is confusing
  • The page feels very 1990s and needs to be modernized and have a personality (not corporate, please)

Turning feedback into a redesign

After all that research and feedback, it was clear that the time was now for redesigning the Drupal.org front page. 

With all this research, we decided to

  • Modernize the look and feel, which was done by the amazing sixeleven who donated their services.
  • Streamline the front page to reduce the calls to action
  • Add evaluation paths for developers, marketers, and agencies that take them to landing pages that are tailored for their evaluation needs.
  • Highlight more big name case studies
  • Expand the industries pages
  • Use community marketing assets like the Acquia video to provide a better evaluation experience for marketing personas.
  • Update the main navigation so it is user-centric for those evaluating Drupal, Building with Drupal, and participating in the community.

What this redesign doesn’t do

We knew that we alone could not create all of the resources that are needed to effectively support each evaluation path. While we did use resources from the business community, there are many gaps such as videos that show the content authoring experience. 

Promote Drupal Fund

We will complete this work via the Promote Drupal Initiative. We can begin once we reach our $100,000 goal for the Promote Drupal Fund. Funding will allow us to put the staff and resources in place to coordinate a multi-prong Drupal promotion. Contribute today!

What About The Sponsored Content

Yes, Drupal.org is funded by placing relevant and contextual content in the evaluation path. Try Drupal is a great example. We also highlight great case studies from our Premium and Signature Supporting Partners.  Evaluators can still find our community case studies and we will amplify strong ones on the front page, too.  We started this approach in 2014 and will continue to find ways to highlight the power of the community’s work while also finding ways to generate income through sponsored content so we can grow our Promote Drupal investments.

What about the Community Resources?

Come for the software; Stay for the community – as we improve the evaluation path, we need to make it easy for these new users to find their way to the community – to understand the power and passion of our community as well as join us in our efforts. Our Community Liaison, Rachel Lawson, will begin to work with a community group this year to improve drupal.org/community<https://www.drupal.org/community>. Much of the improvements will be guided by the feedback from the community governance group and their very useful discussions and insightful recommendations.

Apr 03 2018
Apr 03

DrupalCon Nashville is right around the corner! Part of the week includes board meetings. Below is a summary of their activities and agendas. We hope you will join the public board meeting in person or virtually.

Board Retreat

The Drupal Association Board of Directors will convene over the weekend from April 7-8, 2018 to hold discussions based on the Executive Director and committee chairs’ updates. The board will also discuss funding models to pursue that will increase investments that the Drupal Association can make to accelerate Drupal adoption. We are also going to review and discuss the principles and values that Dries Buytaert is creating for the community and will be sharing in his keynote.

Additionally, the board is hosting a two hour discussion on Drupal’s governance structure. To properly inform this discussion, the board invited representatives from groups that are part of Drupal governance as well as representatives of groups who are not currently part of governance. Together, we will explore what is working and ways to evolve Drupal governance that improve support for the Drupal project.

Public Board Meeting

The Board of Directors will hold an open board meeting on Wednesday, April 11 from 11:45 - 1:00 pm CT in the Nashville Convention Center in Room 103A (lunch will be served!). We welcome you to attend in person or virtually.

The agenda will include an executive update as well as program updates from staff. There will be 10 minutes for the community to ask the board and staff questions.

Feb 27 2018
Feb 27

The 2018 Goal: Growing Drupal Adoption

Drupal 8 is now more than two years old and data shows that it is prefered over Drupal 7. As Dries pointed out in his blog post, Drupal 8 is on the upswing. To lean into this growth, the Drupal Association’s primary goal in 2018 is to accelerate Drupal adoption through our channels: Drupal.org and DrupalCon and other community programs.

Levers for Growing Adoption

One might think that growing adoption is purely a marketing effort, but in fact it is much more. It requires nurturing the entire Drupal customer life cycle.

The Drupal Association primarily serves developers in the community and specifically those contributing time, talent, and treasure. To nurture Drupal adoption and to further step into our mission: to unite the open source community to help them build and promote the software, we need to pull the lense back and think more broadly, without reducing our support for the developer community.

When someone engages with a digital experience created with Drupal, like a cancer patient seeking specific information on the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center website or a concerned citizen of the City of London who needs community services information, that experience occurs because many types of personas worked together to create it - from decision maker to builders to marketers. To grow and ensure the longevity of Drupal digital experiences, we need to serve all of those personas.

The adoption journey consists of influencers and decision makers, who are either technical or marketing evaluators working at an end-user organization like a hospital or they are working at a service provider like a digital agency. The technical and marketing evaluators have unique ways of assessing software and we need to make it easy for each one to understand why they should choose Drupal and how to take the next step.

The user journey includes many personas ranging from the digital team who builds something amazing with Drupal to the trainers who teach the marketing department how to use the solution to the content editors and marketing campaign managers creating engagement and conversions with their visitors. Each persona needs to be a power user. Knowing how to easily make the biggest impact with Drupal helps them be heroes at work. Drupal is an extraordinarily powerful platform capable of many things, but adoption won’t grow if users misunderstand Drupal’s power and choose not to continue using it. To avoid this, we need to improve in two areas: total cost of ownership and ease of use.

The community journey includes many types of contributors: coders, camp organizers, mentors, and more. All roles are important for growing and strengthening the community while it innovates the software. The Drupal Association wants to foster a healthy, inclusive community that is focused on moving the project forward in supportive and productive ways. We want to find ways to provide more support and recognition for each community role.

Drupal Association’s 2018 Execution Plan

As you can see, growing Drupal adoption and retaining our users requires a focus on many more personas than we currently focus on today. We certainly have our work cut out for us. Given how broad this focus is, our 2018 execution plan includes near-term, high impact projects that fit within the capacity of our 17 person organization. It also takes into account that the channels we can improve are Drupal.org, DrupalCon, and our other community programs. When selecting the projects, we also kept in mind that while the Drupal Association is moving through its financial turnaround towards long term sustainability, we are not done yet, so we need to be mindful of budget constraints.

Focus areas of our 2018 execution plan

Accelerate the adoption journey of ambitious digital experiences including API-first solutions

  • by inspiring & informing evaluators with case studies and other resources to help convert them into users
  • by improving Drupal (the product) to improve total cost of ownership (TCO) and ease of use

Strengthen the user journey: Continue to delight existing users and help them expand Drupal usage

Support community health

  • foster diversity and inclusion with the DrupalCon diversity speaker program
  • expand the personas we serve and increase global support
  • strengthen connection between Dries Buytaert as the Project Lead and the community at large, on and off of Drupal.org
  • support governance improvements

Build a stronger foundation of support for the Drupal Association

  • ensure organizational and financial health
  • ensure staff satisfaction
  • create better understanding, collaboration between DA & community

Let’s take a closer look at the work we will do for each of these focus areas.

#1) Accelerate the adoption journey

Understand. To begin this work, we first need to understand how Drupal is adopted and who are the decision-making personas throughout Drupal’s customer lifecycle. We also need to understand the adoption journey for both the technical and marketing evaluator so that we can provide the best paths for them to choose Drupal. These insights will inform how we evolve our programs: Drupal.org and DrupalCon.

Drupal.org Front Page - This part of the website is where evaluators learn about Drupal and take the next step toward choosing the software and / or an agency to work with. 93% of our traffic is anonymous, so the first step is knowing who is coming to this page. We will conduct user research and study other software website’s evaluator experiences to determine best practices. Then, we will revamp the Drupal.org front page to better serve evaluators, using an iterative process.

By DrupalCon Nashville, we will roll out our first revamp (an MVP), which will streamline the evaluation path and provide content that helps them move to the next stage. Due to the Association’s lack of marketing and design resources, all Drupal promotional content will be curated from the community. To get to a fully redesigned front page experience, we will need to fundraise for design enhancement. If we find that we need original promotional content on the site, we will need to fundraise for these assets as well.

Drupal.org Tools & Services - Improving Drupal’s total cost of ownership and ease of use will help grow adoption and the Drupal Association can uniquely help with new tools.

  • Total Cost of Ownership - the Drupal Association will work with Drupal core maintainers and other community members to kick off the auto-updates initiative, which will help customers especially in the mid-market. This project will take more than a year and will require funding for sprints. We anticipate re-launching the Drupal 8 Accelerate fundraising campaign to support this effort.
  • East of use - As Dries mentioned at DrupalCon Vienna, many site builders feel left behind with Drupal 8 since they often do not have command line access and are not using tools like Composer. The Drupal Association has proposed building a tool for site builders with the help of Drupal core maintainers and others. Helping this segment will contribute to Drupal 8’s growth.

DrupalCon - While DrupalCon Nashville is largely a Drupal user and community event, we are serving the evaluator by adding in more programming that amplifies the power of Drupal’s digital experiences including API-first solutions.

  • Digital Experience Case Studies - Attendees coming for business and technical content will be inspired as they learn from experts how Drupal solutions were created and have made an impact for organizations like Weather.com, Symenatic, ACLU, and the U.S. Courts. Case studies are found in almost all tracks and specifically in the Ambitious Digital Experience Track.
  • API-first - We offer a new Decoupled Summit for peers to spend one day together discussing best practices for building API-first solutions. Attendees can be further inspired with decoupled case studies as well as sessions in the Horizons Track that shows how to push the boundaries with API-first. Plus, there are many sessions as well as training and labs, teaching attendees how to build decoupled solutions.

After DrupalCon Nashville, the team will strategize to holistically redesign DrupalCon so it better serves the personas within the Drupal customer lifecycle.

Strengthen the User Journey

Understand. A million organizations use Drupal, but we don’t know who they all are. By working with Drupal core maintainers, we will use Project Updates to gain insight into Drupal’s customer base. We will use this insight to better understand things like which sectors are best served or which modules are most used - all of which can better inform the Project and Drupal Association programs.

DrupalCon - As mentioned, DrupalCon Nashville is a user and community event, which has traditionally focused on the “Builder Persona” as well as the Drupal Business Owner Persona. This year, we expand to serve a few more user personas by offering the Technical Leadership Track and the Content Editor Track.

Support Community Health

One of Drupal’s top unique differentiators is our large, global, passionate community. As the Drupal Association and community come together to work on initiatives related to Drupal.org, DrupalCon and other Drupal Association programs, we want to help the community thrive by focusing in the following areas:

Inclusion - Drupal and our community is better when we include everyone to move Drupal forward in a positive and productive way. A diverse community results in great things. The Drupal Association wants to promote inclusivity by serving more personas, acting more globally, and expanding our DrupalCon speaker diversity initiative.

Expanding who we serve:

  • Persona - as we better understand how to serve our currently under-served personas like content editors and marketing managers, we also need to find a way to bring them into our community. An example of a question that we will ask in the course of this work is “how do camps run campaigns to attract Drupal evaluators?" Imagine if we had content editors in our community to help run these kinds of camp campaigns?
  • Global - our programs need to scale globally. That is why we are evaluating a new operational model for DrupalCon, starting in Europe. If we find that we can successfully license DrupalCon to a European entity, then we will use this model in other parts of the world, giving all community members the chance to experience the magic of DrupalCon. We are also looking at other existing programs like the camp fiscal sponsorship program. We are evaluating if Open Collective can support more countries than what we can currently support - for camps, project maintainers, and other community initiatives. Additionally, the Drupal Association Board is discussing how to meet the community's request for more global representation on the board through the community elected positions. Stay tuned get ready for the 2018 community board elections this summer!
  • DrupalCon speaker diversity - The DrupalCon team continued prioritizing speaker diversity to expand the speaker line up with high quality speakers from under-represented groups. Building off the initiative created last year where 33% of speakers were from under-represented groups, the track chairs worked hard to recruit diverse speakers and the Drupal Association contributed scholarships to help them attend the event. Of the speakers slated to speak at DrupalCon Nashville, 40% of them self-selected that they identify with an underrepresented group.
  • Contributors - We launched the contribution credit system a few years ago. The algorithm first rewarded code contributors. Last year we expanded it to recognize and reward Drupal Supporting Partners and those who contribute case studies. This year, we are working on a solution so we can finally credit camp organizers who put in so many hours to create special events around the world that move the project forward. How are we doing this? With OATH. Camps asked for Drupal.org user profile data so community members don’t have to create yet another Drupal-related profile page when they sign up for a camp. OATH allows us to push this information to camps and create a better experience for the camp attendee. Plus, this integration will also pull in information about the camp organizers into Drupal.org, allowing us to give them credit.

Creating a stronger connection between the Project Lead and the community - As one of the largest open source projects, it can be hard to scale relationships with one another - especially with the founder of the project, Dries Buytaert. We will foster more interaction between Dries and the community through roundtable discussions held virtually and at various Drupal events starting at DrupalCon Nashville. It is a chance to focus on important topics and have a discussion which fosters insight, understanding and moves the project forward in positive, productive ways.

Support Community Governance - Last year the community held many discussions on how to evolve community governance and came up with next steps. The Drupal Association looks forward to the release of the project’s shared values that will inform all of us as we work together on important community guidelines like the Drupal Code of Conduct.

Providing clarity within Drupal Association channels: Drupal.org and DrupalCon. In response to the community discussions, the Drupal Association will provide the community with more clarity on what is expected behavior in general and for leaders and what are the consequences of unacceptable behavior. We have already updated the DrupalCon Speaker Agreement and DrupalCon Code of Conduct with the help from many in the community. We will also update the Drupal.org Terms of Service in a similar fashion.

Improved Developer Tooling. Last year we worked with several community members to evaluate developer tooling. We published a detailed analysis of our findings and of our prototype work with three key options: GitHub, GitLab, and BitBucket (read more here). At the time of posting, there were a few key blockers to some of the options - but this situation is changing rapidly. If we find that blockers are removed and we have capacity this year, we will start the migration - and, of course, we will communicate to the community before we do anything.

Drupal Association Support

The Drupal Association can never achieve its mission without the support of the community and support comes in several forms: time, talent, and treasure. We are ever grateful for the thousands who contribute countless hours who move the Drupal project forward.

Financial Support
The Drupal Association is making strides with its financial turnaround (2017 details coming soon. It’s positive news) and we will continue to focus on sustainability in 2018. Financial success means we need to meet our KPIs: 10% Net Margin % and 15% cash reserve.

Reaching those KPIs will require a mix of focus:

  • Continue showing value to our funders: DrupalCon attendees and sponsors, members and Supporters, digital advertisers and sponsors, and Drupal job posters
  • Launching the Drupal 8 Accelerate fundraising program for key initiatives like Auto-updates
  • Identifying sponsored work for the engineering team to solve a common pain point
  • Creating a value add service for Drupal that can be monetized

Community Support

In addition to financial support, the Drupal Association wants to grow its ambassadorship. We will build a stronger relationship with the community through improved engagement and communication efforts especially through the help of our new Community Liaison.

Staff Support

Additionally, we want to focus on a thriving staff, who are supported and empowered to do great mission-driven work for the community in a sustainable way. We use OfficeVibe as one of the ways to monitor team health and our goal is to remain above our agreed upon healthy targets. 

Reduce compliance risk

Operationally, we want to reduce the Drupal Association’s risk so that nothing impacts the community programs like keeping Drupal.org online. While we do many things to reduce risk like hold event insurance, this year we are specifically focusing on having:

  • All drupal.org subsites GDPR ready by May 1, 2018
  • All commerce sites updated for reduced PCI scope by May 1, 2018, to ease the effort of maintaining compliance

Execution Plan Dashboard

Similar to last year, we use an execution plan dashboard to breakdown our projects and assign metrics and milestones to them. You can find the 2018 execution plan here.

We provide progress updates in the public board meetings and the board packet includes a full report. We release the board packet with the execution dashboard after each board meeting via a blog and we post board packets and other board relate materials here

Follow Drupal Association blogs related to board meetings if you would like to see how we are doing against our plan.

We are excited to serve the community and work with many of you in 2018. It's amazing what we can accomplish together.

Feb 03 2018
Feb 03

The Drupal Association is mapping Drupal’s customer lifecycle and defining the personas who have decision making authority throughout the adoption and user journeys. Our goal is to understand how to better serve each persona at DrupalCon and on Drupal.org, in turn growing Drupal adoption and more effectively helping those working on or with Drupal to become power users.

To start this project, we need to interview different types of people working with Drupal.

Will you donate 45 minutes of your time to participate in a user research call?

We are looking for people in the following job functions who work with Drupal.

Job Functions:

  • CEO
  • CMO, VP marketing
  • CTO/CIO/ Director of engineering
  • Chief Information Marketing Officer
  • Chief / Lead / Tech architect
  • Developer
  • Project manager
  • Marketing technologist
  • Content strategist
  • Content author / Content editor
  • Trainers of content editors
  • UX designer
  • Customer experience manager
  • Marketing campaign manager/director
  • Purchaser/procurement

If you are interested in participating in a user research call, please sign up here by February 16, 2018 and we will contact you.

Jan 31 2018
Jan 31

On December 12, 2017, the board met virtually to close out final topics for the year ranging from board governance to reviewing the 2018 operational focus. You can find the meeting minutes, board packet and video recording here.

The board unanimously voted to approve changes to the Drupal Association bylaws. The main changes were:

  • The ability to pay an Officer. This allows us to pay Adam Goodman, our past board advisor, to serve as interim chair of the Board of Directors. In response to the community’s request for a neutral chair, Adam agreed to step into this role and will continue to help the board evolve strategically and orient itself around a chair that is not the founder of the project. The nominating committee will focus this year on finding a permanent chair. 

  • Update of the list of committees. The bylaws now reflect the committees that are in place today.

  • Clarity on meeting tools. This allows the board to meet virtually using more modern tools like video conferencing rather than conference lines.

The board also voted to approve the extention of  community elected board members’ seats so their term ends in November of their last year on the board rather than January. Shyamala Rajaram’s seat was extended from January 2018 to November 2018 and Ryan Szrama’s seat was extended from January 2019 to November 2019. We made this change so that community elected board member start and end their terms in the same month as the nominated members. This will provide smoother onboarding for our community elected board members.

Now that community elected board members will join the Board of Directors in November rather than January, community elections will be held this summer.

Additionally, Megan Sanicki, Drupal Association Executive Director, provided an update on 2017 staff achievements and shared the team’s 2018 goals and focus areas. The 2018 goal is to help grow adoption of Drupal 8 ambitious digital experiences including API-first solutions. We will do this by focusing our efforts in the following areas:

  1. Accelerate the adoption journey of ambitious digital experiences including API-first solutions

    • By inspiring & informing evaluators with case studies and other resources to help convert them into users faster/easier

    • By improving Drupal’s TCO and ease of use

  2. Strengthen the User Journey: Continue to delight existing users and help them expand Drupal usage

  3. Support community health

    • Support diversity with DrupalCon inclusion programs and by expanding the personas we serve as well as providing more global support

    • Strengthen the connection between BDFL and community through roundtable discussions and amplifying his messages to the community

    • Support community governance improvements as needed / requested

  4. Build a stronger foundation of support

    • Ensure staff satisfaction

    • Ensure organizational and financial health

    • Create better understanding, collaboration between DA & community

Specific details of the Drupal Association’s 2018 execution plan will be shared in a future blog post.

We hope you can join us for our 2018 board meetings, which will be announced soon.

Jan 31 2018
Jan 31

The Drupal Association is pleased to announce the addition of six new members to the Board of Directors: Adam Goodman, Baddy Sonja Breidert, Ingo Rübe, Michel van Velde, Audra Martin Merrick, and George Matthes. The Board of Directors provides leadership for carrying out the Association’s mission, which is to unite a global open source community to build and promote Drupal. Our six new members will add great value to our strategy discussions over the next three years, helping us advance our mission. We especially appreciate Adam Goodman for serving as Chair of the Board of Directors.

Adam Goodman, Chair

Adam Goodman is an award-winning educator, researcher, and trusted advisor to leaders of companies, non-profit groups and other organizations. He directs Northwestern University’s Center for Leadership, which offers academic and applied leadership development programs for undergraduate and Ph.D. students, faculty and high potential staff.

Baddy Sonja Breidert

Baddý Sonja Breidert (baddysonja) is the CEO and Co-Founder of 1xINTERNET, one of the largest Drupal web agencies in Germany. Baddý completed her M.Sc. in Engineering Management from the Technical University in Vienna, where she today teaches Agile Project management and IT. She is also a European champion in Robotic Soccer - where she competed with her University in 2008. Baddý is very active in the Drupal community and organizes Drupal conferences and events both in Iceland and Germany. .

Ingo Rübe

Ingo Rübe is a computer scientist and entrepreneur with experience in a wide variety of industries. He strongly believes in the power of open source. Ingo tries to improve the world with his work and firmly believes that open source is the best possible business model for achieving his mission. As the CTO of Burda Media, Ingo initiated the Drupal distribution called Thunder CMS, an industry driven Open Source project for the benefit of publishing industry. He continues to be the project lead and head of the Thunder Coalition, an organisation where publishers and industry work jointly on improving Thunder. Today, Ingo is the CEO of a blockchain technology company where he is focused on connecting Drupal and distributed ledger systems for future business cases.

Michel van Velde

Michel is the CEO and co-founder of One Shoe, an integrated advertising and digital agency based in the Netherlands and Germany. Additionally, Michel works hard to promote Drupal adoption in Europe, specifically in the Netherlands and Germany. He is also one of the founders of the Dutch Drupal Community and SDBN, Stichting Drupal Bedrijven Nederland (The Dutch Foundation of Drupal Companies). Michel organized DrupalJams, Drupal Splashawards, Drupal CXO events and is the founder / organizer of the Drupalcafe's. Recently Michel helped set up the German Drupal Business Foundation (Drupal Business Verein and Drupalagenturen.de) and co-organize the Drupal Splash Awards. Plus, Michel is a regular speaker at the DrupalCon Business Tracks and he co-organizes the Drupal CEO dinners at the European Drupalcons and the Drupal CEO survey.

Audra Martin Merrick

Audra Martin Merrick (audra) is a digital leader with extensive experience across marketing, digital advertising, customer success, and business transformation. She has spent her career helping media companies, including The Economist and the New York Times, manage the intersection of audience, editorial, and technology. As a consultant and speaker, she helps organizations identify opportunities to grow their audience, enhance their customer relationships, and align business processes to support their goals. She is passionate about agile, open source, and storytelling and loves to connect people for creative collaboration. After bouncing around Austin, New York and London, Audra is now based in Glasgow. (Twitter: @audrainscotland).

George Matthes

George is a Technology Manager at Johnson & Johnson that plays an instrumental role with their vast number of global consumer brands around how to best architect, build, utilize, and extend platforms developed for their digital marketing needs. As a long time Drupal community member and customer/adopter for many Drupal initiatives, he spearheaded J&Js corporate program for participating in and supporting Open Source projects. Prior to his career at J&J, he was the CEO and founder of a company focused on the development of Drupal projects for enterprise clients of all sizes. In addition, he has great experience in various roles including engineering, technology team management and full stack web development, for numerous design agencies and consulting firms. George holds a degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in IT Software Engineering, and resides in New Jersey with his wife and two children.

Go here to learn more about the Drupal Association Board of Directors.

Dec 19 2017
Dec 19

The Drupal Association’s mission is to unite the global open source community to help them build and promote Drupal. One of the most important ways that we advance our mission is through DrupalCon, Drupal’s flagship event.

At DrupalCon, community members with a technical, business, and marketing background come together to unite as a community, level up their Drupal skills, and contribute to the project. As a global event, DrupalCon breaks down walls between countries and the various personas who build, use and support Drupal, making it an accelerator of knowledge sharing, relationship building and contribution.

DrupalCon is ready to grow.  We need a model that allows the community to deliver DrupalCon globally. Our vision is to empower all regions to host DrupalCon, providing this experience to communities around the world.  As a first step, we are licensing DrupalCon to the European region.

We are excited to empower a new entity grounded in the European Drupal community to take this special event to the next level. The DrupalCon license initiative is an opportunity to re-imagine DrupalCon Europe to uniquely serve the Drupal community. The license is designed to allow for a new creative direction while enhancing Drupal’s mission, vision and values while maintaining the integrity of DrupalCon.

With the help of the DrupalCon Europe License Committee, we created a process for entities to apply for a DrupalCon Europe license by 30 March, 2018. We reviewed approaches used by other conference organizers, with particular attention to the key attributes that allow TED to scale its TEDx events. Then, we applied those learnings to our licensing process.

In short, we learned that TEDx scales because of clear “rules and tools” for the licensee (aka event organizer) and we aimed to provide the same level of guidance and support for the DrupalCon licensee. There are clear guidelines in the license agreement and the event rules and we will provide support in the form of knowledge transfer, tools, and advisory services. We also recognize that this is our first time creating such a program, so we encourage entities who are applying to contact us to discuss any areas of concern or question.

Below details how to submit a proposal for the DrupalCon license and the criteria that the Drupal Association will use to select the licensee.

We are grateful for the help of Bert Boerland, Baddy Breidert, Alex Burrows, Gabor Hojtsy, Janne Kalliola, Zsofi Major, and Stella Powers, who participated in the DrupalCon Europe License committee and contributed many hours and great insight into this process.

Table of Contents

  • Key Points
  • Who Can Apply For a DrupalCon License
  • Important Dates
  • What To Submit To Apply for a DrupalCon License
  • DrupalCon License Rules
  • Drupal Association Support
  • Decision Making Criteria

Key Points

Who Can Apply For a DrupalCon License

To be eligible to apply for a DrupalCon license, you must meet the following criteria:

  • An entity grounded in the voice and needs of the Drupal community. This can include, but is not limited to:

    • A professional event company

    • A Drupal community group

    • A collective of Drupal businesses

    • A Drupal business

    • An event organizing company that demonstrates how they will work with the Drupal community

    • An entity where someone on the team has event experience

  • Able to accept funds as a business or nonprofit

  • Must have successfully produced an event that broke even or was profitable. Or, the team member with event experience has worked on an event that broke even or was profitable.

  • Must agree to abide by and enforce DrupalCon’s policies and rules.

Important Dates

Above is a timeline of important dates to know. The call for a DrupalCon license proposal is now open and it closes on 30 March, 2018. In mid to late April, applicants will be interviewed and a licensee will be selected by the Drupal Association in May 2018.

As early as July 2018, The Drupal Association will provide an onboarding workshop to the licensee, to begin knowledge sharing, and map out how best to support the event organizer leading up to and during DrupalCon.

What To Submit To Apply for a DrupalCon License

To apply for the DrupalCon license, please submit the following items by 30 March, 2018 to [email protected]. Your application must include the items listed below in the following formats (presentation, spreadsheet, document).

  1. DrupalCon Business Plan. Submit a business plan with the following information:

    • Event location and dates.

    • Detailed event budget, structured as similarly as possible to the current DrupalCon budget format.

    • Budget assumptions. Clearly define the budget assumptions for expenses. Also, include forecasted ticket and sponsor revenue. Define your ticket pricing plan and your sponsor strategy (who you will sell to and how you will create value for sponsors). Additionally, explain how you will secure the cash flow for initial event investments like securing the venue.

    • Details about your event team. Who are the key people on your team, what roles will they play, and what is their event experience?

    • An overview of how you will ensure the event reflects the Drupal community's needs and culture and moves the project forward.

    • The event’s mission and vision, which should align with the Drupal Association’s mission and vision.

    • Target audience and target size. Which personas will your event attract and generally in what ratio? Please define your personas.

    • Event goals, strategies and objectives

    • What value will you bring to each persona and how?

    • Programming concept overview (which we know can change as you get further into planning). Please be sure to adhere to the programming rules.

      • Event duration

      • Provide a sample program and suggested tracks

      • Share your general concept for session selection

      • What is your plan to ensure conference diversity (attendees and speakers)

      • Tell us about some aspirational keynotes you would like to invite

  2. Drupal culture. Tell us how you define Drupal’s community spirit and culture and what it means to you.

  3. What’s your “why”. Tell us why you want to organize DrupalCon. Why should you be selected, and how will you maintain the Drupal community spirit.

  4. Your needs. As seen on page 4, the Drupal Association will support you with knowledge sharing, tools, and advisory services. What additional needs do you have?

  5. About your past events. Submit an overview of your past event that you, your event partner, or your team member worked on. Describe the event audience, audience size, goals, and how you achieved those goals along with the event’s financial statements.

The Drupal Association will select the organizer who can demonstrate the best approach for creating value to a technical and non technical audience by uniting the community, leveling up Drupal skill, and accelerating the project through a sustainable model.

DrupalCon License Rules

The DrupalCon license is designed to encourage creativity, to re-imagine the event. That means you can decide what is the best programming to meet the attendee’s needs. Or you can decide that sustainability is best achieved by starting with a smaller event that grows over time. However, all proposals and the actual event must conform to the DrupalCon licensing rules and agreement to maintain the Drupal Association’s community and governance expectations, as well as DrupalCon’s brand experience.

You can find DrupalCon Rules here.  

You can find the DrupalCon license agreement here.

Since this is the first time the Drupal Association has crafted DrupalCon license rules, we are open to discussion. Please contact us if you feel a rule is a blocker to you submitting a proposal. If discussions result in a rule change, we will update the rules document to reflect that change.

Drupal Association Support

The Drupal Association wants to make sure the chosen event organizer is set up for success. We recognize this means that we will play a role leading up to and perhaps during the event. Here are some ways the Drupal Association will help. We are open to hearing about additional ways in which we might help.

  • In-person workshop: The Drupal Association staff will fly to the organizer’s location to run a workshop where we will do a knowledge transfer, training, and determine how the Drupal Association will play a support role during the event production phase.

  • Playbooks, Guidelines, and Templates. The Drupal Association has several production playbooks that we will share so the organizer can see how the event was produced in the past. We recognize that the event organizer may want to alter our approach or create a brand new one.

  • Advisory Services. You may have questions along the way and we are here to help. No question will be too big or too small. We can set up periodic check in meetings to provide guidance as you develop your event.

  • Access to tools. DrupalCon promotion and management relies on several tools that we will share with the event organizer including the DrupalCon event site, social media handles, access to DrupalCon email lists, etc.

  • Promotion Support

    • The Drupal Association can amplify your call for ticket sales, sponsorship, and content through our channels including social media, email, newsletters.

Decision Making Criteria

When reviewing and comparing proposals, The Drupal Association will select the event organizer by using the following criteria:

Category

Topic

Weight

Sustainability

Conservative, realistic, complete budget plan with clear revenue and expense budget assumptions

10

Staffing plan

Clearly defined leadership team description and a staffing plan for producing the event that is designed to avoid burnout

8

Goals, strategies, objectives

Clearly articulated goals, strategies, and objectives that move the project forward, serve multiple personas, and has achievable metrics.

9

Location

Easy to reach by European community

8

Event Dates

Avoids major holidays (national, religious, etc) and aligns with Dries Buytaert’s availability

10

Target Audience

Program serves multiple personas

8

Programming

Creative approach for serving all persona  while meeting the licensing rules.

9

Session Selection

Well thought out approach that adheres to the DrupalCon licensing rules.

7

Diversity & Inclusion

Well thought out approach for growing speaker and attendee diversity to exceed the DrupalCon Vienna benchmark

8

Definition of spirit/ culture

Strong understanding of the Drupal culture

7

Keynote examples

Creative, inspiring keynote ideas that speak to all personas

6

Event Planning Experience

Clear demonstration of event experience on the team

7

Nov 27 2017
Nov 27

The Drupal Association board meeting and executive session moved from Wednesday, November 28 to Tuesday, December 12 at noon ET / 1700 GMT. The board meeting is virtual and open to the public and it will be followed by a closed executive session. Go here to join the board meeting. Below is the agenda for both the board meeting and executive session.

Board Meeting Agenda:

  • Approve 27 September, 2017 board meeting minutes
  • Vote: Bylaws Changes
  • Vote: Extend Community At-large board member seats to expire in November rather than January
  • Operational Update
  • Q&A from community

Executive Session

  • Executive Update
  • Board nomination committee discussion and vote in board members
  • Vote to approve Q3 financial statements
  • Discussion 2018 committees and meeting schedule
Nov 20 2017
Nov 20

The Drupal Association is excited to expand its team with two new staff members who are filing the roles Conference Director and Community Liaison. Please join me in welcoming Brooke Candelaria and Rachel Lawson. Both are going to add great value to the Drupal Association team as well as to the Drupal community.

Conference Director

We are excited for Brooke Candelaria, our new Conference Director, to join the team. She will infuse DrupalCon with ideas that draw on her extensive technology event experience in open source - Python specifically. In addition to taking over DrupalCon North America planning, Brooke will be a great partner in finding the best way to deliver DrupalCon globally. In addition to Brooke’s expertise, she brings enthusiastic energy to everything she does whether that is planning events or volunteering for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Brooke resides in Houston, Texas, USA.

Community Liaison

The team is equally excited that Rachel Lawson has agreed to join the team as our new Community Liaison where she will engage with the Drupal community to build a better relationship and understanding between the Drupal Association and the community. Rachel is well suited for this position given her background as a Drupal developer as well as her communications experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Even more impressive is that Rachel has been in the Drupal community for over 11 years and played many important roles such as Community Working Group member, Sprint Lead and mentor, DrupalCon and camp presenter, and more. Rachel has demonstrated time and again that she is a great communicator and has a natural talent to rally people behind a common goal. While you will see Rachel mostly online, she will still be touring Drupal events on her motorbike. Rachel resides in Norfolk, UK.

Oct 19 2017
Oct 19

On 28 September 2017, the Drupal Association held its third open board meeting of the year where community members listened in via zoom and in person. You can find the meeting minutes, board materials, and meeting recording here.

The board meeting was kicked off by an update from Dries Buytaert, followed by an Executive update from Megan Sanicki, Executive Director, and a Drupal.org update from Tim Lehnen, Director of Engineering. We also thanked and celebrated Tiffany Farriss, Vesa Palmu, and Jeff Walpole whose terms on the board end in November.

Dries Buytaert moving from Chairman to Founding Director position

One of the key announcements made during the meeting came from Dries Buytaert, who announced that in response to the Community Discussions findings, he is stepping down from the Drupal Association Chairman position. He will remain on the board in the Founding Director position.  This will go into effect in November when board seats expire and Adam Goodman will step into the role as interim Chairman, which is also in response to the community’s request for a neutral, outside expert to lead the board. To learn more about the Community Discussions, go here.

Adam Goodman is a leadership professor from Northwest University in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He's advised the Drupal Association on and off for the past 8 years, helping us evolve from a volunteer board to a strategic board. In this role, Adam will further evolve the board so it can orient itself around a new chairman structure.

Since Adam is a paid consultant, the Drupal Association needs to change its bylaws to allow Adam to sit on the board and be paid for his service. In addition to this change, we are doing a general update of the bylaws to include:

  • Eliminate non-existent committees like the HR committee

  • Modernize the tools we can use for online voting. Today we can use teleconferencing, but we also need to be able to use video conferencing.

To learn more about this board meeting, please watch the recording and stay tuned for an update on other improvements we are making in response to the community’s input.

Sep 25 2017
Sep 25

The Drupal Business Survey 2017 shows that Drupal has a steady position in the market, and Drupal 8 has secured its role as the most popular version for new Drupal projects. Further, Drupal is often becoming part of a larger set of solutions.

The Drupal Business Survey is an annual survey that aims to give insights into the key issues that Drupal agency owners and company leaders worldwide face. The survey is an initiative of Exove, One Shoe and the Drupal Association and has been carried out this year for the second time. It covers topics about Drupal business in general, Drupal projects and talent needs. This article summarizes the most important findings along with commentary and insights from a total of 239 respondents.

Drupal is growing steadily

The Drupal Business Survey gleaned its data for 2017 from 239 respondents in CEO/COO/CTO/founder role (87%), director role (4.6%) or management role (4.6%), working at Drupal companies with a total of 300 offices spread around the globe. The most popular office location (30.1%) was USA. The second most popular with 12.1% was UK, and after that Germany, Netherlands, India, Canada and France. There were respondents from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Oceania.

Drupal Business Survey 2017 - Respondents

Analysis of the data made immediately clear that Drupal is a healthy business:

Drupal project pipeline grows

For almost half of the respondents (48.5%) the Drupal project pipeline grew within the last year. For 28.9% it stayed roughly the same, and for 22.6% the pipeline shrank.

Size of Drupal projects grows

For a majority (52.3%) of the respondents the average size of Drupal project deals grew. For about one third (31.4%) the Drupal deal size stayed roughly the same, and for only 16.3% the size of deals shrank.

Drupal’s project win rate stays roughly the same

Despite the increasing competition in the CMS market, for many (46.4%) of the companies their Drupal project win rate has stayed on the same level over the last year, and about a third (34.7%) have managed to grow their win rate. For less than a fifth of the companies (18.8%) the win rate had decreased.

Drupal project win-rate

Drupal’s position as a high-demand service platform is steady, especially for projects in the Charities and Non-Profit sector, which is catered to by two thirds (64.9%) of the respondents. Other popular industries that use Drupal are Government & Public Administration (56.1%) and Healthcare & Medicine (49.4%). There are no major differences in industries served by Drupal companies compared to the 2016 survey results.  

Drupal client sectors

Choosing Drupal

When choosing the right platform, Drupal clients trust the technical provider’s expertise: Drupal is often chosen by the clients as a result of the provider’s recommendation. In some cases the client’s previous experience or familiarity with Drupal is the definitive factor.

Besides Drupal being open-source and free of licensing fees, the definitive reasons for choosing Drupal are that Drupal is a reliable and flexible CMS choice with a strong reputation:

Without -most often than not- being able to precisely explain the reasons for which they prefer Drupal, those who do, sense that it is a better solution for their business; we shall imagine that this is due to the image of the CMS, which evokes a more robust, and serious CMS than the others.

Can do anything. Secure.

Choosing the company

When Drupal itself is less the dominating factor for the client, other unique aspects are often key factor for clients choosing a supplier, agency, or partner. The respondents mentioned that trust, commitment, quality, level of service, full service proposition, technical expertise, good reputation, and references were important factors for client decision making.

Drupal 8 has a strong place in the market

Drupal project version

Drupal 8, the newest version of the CMS, seems to have taken a strong place in the market. The respondents’ new Drupal projects were most commonly (38.1%) built on Drupal 8. One fourth of the respondents stated that they build mostly with both Drupal 8 and some with Drupal 7. For 18% of the respondents most new project were built with Drupal 7 and some with Drupal 8. A few (6.7%) of the respondents said their new projects are equally often built with Drupal 7 and Drupal 8. 12.1% still built all of their new projects with Drupal 7.

Drupal companies broaden their services, skill-sets, techniques and expertise

Remarkably, despite the popularity of Drupal, the survey shows that a lot of Drupal companies have changed their business model over the last year to widen their services and respond to the demand.  Drupal agency business models

The most common way of changing the business model was by expanding services beyond building Drupal websites (35,1%). The data shows that companies start to offer more services, expand their technology stack and work with multiple CMS platforms.

The main reasons behind the changes were changing market conditions (40,0%) or to willingness to grow the pipeline better or faster (49,4%). A respondent explains: “Drupal is too restricted to cover all the market's needs; furthermore, adding other services allows us to expand our clientele and thus revenues.”

More services

Drupal agency services

In addition to pure web development – coding the sites – most of the companies provide services such as support, system integration, user experience design, visual design, hosting, and mobile development.

Changing the technology stack

The companies also found adding other technologies as a useful way of expanding the technology stack.

More than half of the respondents’ companies used also Node.js, while Angular (43.5%), Symfony (42.3%) and React.js (33.9%) were also commonly used technologies within the respondents. Some used also Laravel (17.2%), Vue.js (9.6%) and Django (5.9%).

Expanding their services by adding other services and CMS platforms to their toolkit

Almost half of the companies (45.2%) have added other CMS platforms to expand their services and getting variety to projects. WordPress is the most usual (54.67%) addition to the toolkit, serving particularly smaller projects, with Magento eCommerce platform and Grav CMS following. For most respondents (69.6%), the reason for using more than one CMS tool is being able to use the tool best suited for the project. For almost the half (40.2%) the reason arose from the client's’ wishes on the tool.

“WordPress is more popular, and customers want it because of the user experience.”

“There's still a battle out there between Drupal and WordPress. Clients are not enough informed about the differences, so their opinion is often based on information and visions by previous suppliers”

“We’re adding Adobe and wordpress. Looking into JS frameworks.”  

Drupal in a landscape of solutions

Drupal is widely considered as one of the most popular options in the CMS landscape. However, while digital solutions have become more complex, Drupal increasingly often serves as a part of a larger set of solutions. The survey data shows that Drupal companies do this in the belief that the company sells solutions rather than technology.  

There’s a broad range of options available for companies to build platforms. Every Drupal organization seeks different combinations of software products and programming languages that they seem most important for their projects. There are endless options that excel in their own right.

Our clients rarely come asking for Drupal (10% of the time ). But our technical prowess is a big part of their choice. That skill just happens to be in Drupal due to our own choice of platforms.

[Our Drupal expertise is the most definitive factor] when clients approach us for Drupal projects, if Drupal is not the main reason to approach us (the most common case) then Drupal expertise is irrelevant.

When it is a Drupal project the expertise is important but we no longer sell Drupal as a major part of projects. We just use it. We now sell the solution.

I sell solutions to digital problems, not solutions to Drupal problems.

The study made it clear that there are often other definitive factors than Drupal expertise affecting the client’s decision of choosing agencies. The clients reportedly value vendor’s portfolio and references of previous projects, reputation, communication, and services that differentiate the agency from its peers.

The Drupal talent factor

According to the survey, Drupal talent is hard to find and takes a lot of work. Only fraction (10.9%) of the companies say that they find Drupal talent easily. Compared to last year, the demand for Drupal talent at responding companies seems to be split between decreasing (23.4%) and increasing (25.5%) demand, with demand staying about the same at 36.8%.

With Drupal 8 gaining more and more popularity, most respondents say that Drupal 8 skills are somewhat in demand (38.1%) or high demand (33.5%). 15.9% say that Drupal 8 skills are not in demand.

Most respondents ranked the number of skilled Drupal 8 developers as average (40.2%). The responses indicate that more Drupal talent is needed, especially skilled Drupal 8 developers, due to the fact that Drupal 8 is more complex than its predecessors:

2016/17 and D8 has been a big shakeout for talent in Drupal. A lot of people who could operate in commercial Drupal delivery in 2012-2015 (with demand outstripping supply markedly) simply will not be viable candidates for Drupal work in 2018. There is no 'easy" work left and many people who came in during the good times will not be able to sustain careers in the new world.

The evolution of the CMS marketplace to favor more comprehensive and thus also more complex solutions is favoring bigger companies with stronger competences through number of experts in specific fields. This can be a struggle for small vendors, as mastering clients’ needs requires more expertise than is available on their staff:

Demand, as a whole, for Drupal seems to be significantly dropping as the increased complexity of each major release of Drupal cuts off greater and greater numbers of the ‘do-it-themselves’ business owning client/builder types. These types are prime candidates for initially using Drupal and then later turning their Drupal site over to a professional company.

Conclusion

Based on the study results, it is safe to say that Drupal has a steady position in the market, and Drupal 8 has secured its role as the most popular version for new Drupal projects.

The content management market is shifting towards more comprehensive and also complex solutions. Drupal agencies are well positioned to respond to this trend due to modern Drupal 8 architecture and also by combining Drupal into larger solutions. This drives Drupal business into larger deals and allows more long-term partnerships with the clients, thus giving financial stability to the companies and also to the community.

On the other end of the market, Drupal also faces competition from low-end solutions such as Wordpress. Some of the agencies now offering other content management solutions, Wordpress included.

The market might be challenging for smaller companies with only one CMS in their toolkit. Companies that can react to changing market conditions and provide a variety of solutions are going to succeed. Additiionally, companies that are able to distinguish themselves from other vendors through a good set of services, specialisation, or excellent customer service will flourish. This is all part of a natural evolution of any digital platform marketplace and it should be seen as a good juncture to raise the Drupal agencies to the next level.

Talent finding challenges indicate that there will be a need for multi-skilled developers with very good technical expertise.

Want to go in-depth?

More detailed results of the survey will be published at the DrupalCon Vienna CEO Dinner on Wednesday, September 27th. The presentation will become available for download afterwards.

-----

For more information, please contact Janne Kalliola ([email protected]) or Michel van Velde ([email protected])

About Exove

Exove delivers digital growth. We help our clients to grow their digital business by designing and building solutions with agile manner, service design methodologies, and open technologies. Our clients include Sanoma, Fiskars, Neste, Informa, Trimble, and Finnlines. We serve also start-up companies, unions and public sector. Exove has offices in Helsinki, Oulu and Tampere, Finland; Tallinn, Estonia; and London, United Kingdom. For more information, please visit www.exove.com.

About One Shoe

One Shoe is an integrated advertising and digital agency with more than 10 years experience in Drupal. With more than 40 specialists, One Shoe combines strategy, UX, design, advertising, web and mobile development to deliver unique results for international clients like DHL, Shell, Sanofi, LeasePlan, MedaPharma and many more. For more information, please visit www.oneshoe.com.

About the Drupal Association

The Drupal Association is a non-profit organization headquartered in Portland, OR, USA. It helps the Drupal project and community thrive with funding, infrastructure, and events. Its vision is to help create spaces where anyone, anywhere, can use Drupal to build ambitious digital experiences. For more information, please visit drupal.org/association.

Sep 11 2017
Sep 11

The Drupal Association Board of Directors will meet twice during DrupalCon Vienna. They have a board retreat the weekend before the conference and there is  an open board meeting during DrupalCon for the community to attend. Below are details about each meeting.

Board Retreat

During a retreat, the board and the Executive Director meet in an extended executive session to plan and discuss the strategy for the Drupal Association. Normally, the retreat lasts two days and non-board members including staff are invited to participate in presentations and discussions on specific topics.

However for the upcoming retreat in Vienna, we will be exploring a holistic view of the strategy for Drupal and are structuring the retreat differently to accommodate this expanded conversation.

Open Board Meeting

The board will meet again during DrupalCon Vienna on Wednesday, 27 September  from 11:45 - 13:00 in the convention center Business Suite 3-4. This is open to the community and lunch will be served to all who attend. You can also attend remotely via Zoom. See the dial in information below.

The agenda for this meeting includes:

  • Vote to approve last board meeting minutes

  • Executive Update

  • Drupal.org Update

  • DrupalCon Europe Update

  • Community Governance update from the CWG

  • Community Q&A

  • Celebrate departing board members

Those dialing into the meeting can join zoom by registering here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/1b63252cf48650c9d746f627e8486654

Or join by phone (see link for # by country):

https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=ZTp9iSy-nW5sqyKJKRfhbTbxDueqU9W   

Webinar ID: 460 900 173

Sep 07 2017
Sep 07

DrupalCon Europe plays an important role in moving Drupal forward. However, with waning attendance and financial losses, it’s time to find a new path forward so it is sustainable and continues to provide unique value. This blog proposes a better path forward for hosting a sustainable and valuable DrupalCon Europe . This blog is part of a series that includes:  

  1. The problems we need to solve for financial sustainability

  2. The problem we need to solve to create unique value

  3. Results from a proposal based on community input

  4. A new path forward for DrupalCon Europe

We are now at the end of our blog series. Thank you for digesting so much content. Determining the strategic direction for a region’s event is rather complex and there are many facets to understand. It was important to us to share all of the details with you.

The Drupal Association is a mission-based organization and not a business that makes purely financial decisions. Rather, we employ staff who are personally invested in achieving our mission. We feel it is imperative to find the best way to serve the European community and we took great care over the last several months to find a path forward that would achieve this.

We don’t see this exercise as just determining an event’s strategy, but how can we further the special and profound human experience that takes place when Drupalers come together in person.

In the end, we see that Europe needs a clear goal for DrupalCon so that the energy put into creating it truly strikes at the community needs, strategically moves the project forward in a sustainable way, and creates the human experience that Europeans want. Currently, the community is expressing competing goals. We believe that the European community is best suited to determine what the region needs DrupalCon to achieve, and especially because of the feedback from the community discussions, we want to give the region more agency to drive DrupalCon’s programming.

A Little History

The Drupal Association became an official 501(c)3 U.S. non-profit in 2011, and our first focus was hosting DrupalCon London (ok, Croydon). Since that time, Drupal events have grown and matured, like DrupalCamp London, Dev Days, and Frontend United. We are thrilled to see Drupal events in Europe doing so well and we are thankful for the volunteers who are making that happen.

What this maturity likely means is that Europe has the ability to drive DrupalCon Europe forward, tailoring it more closely to the region’s needs. We just need an operational model that allows us to give the event to the community without negatively impacting the community.

When DrupalCon was produced by the community before DrupalCon London, the event became too big for volunteers alone to manage. It put a lot of strain on the community. That’s why the Drupal Association took over event production. In the process, we managed to professionalize the event, but we also applied a US model and we know that doesn’t feel authentic to attendees. The waning attendance and sponsorship reinforces that the event is not meeting needs, and the financial losses and staff working at over-capacity highlights that we are applying the wrong operational model.

It is time to break the mold and approach DrupalCon Europe completely differently. I believe the best approach to explore is a licensing model. That’s a contractual term for giving an entity the right to run a DrupalCon.

Licensing DrupalCon

There may be several operational models to explore and I want to hear about them from you. Until then, I’d like to share why we should consider the licensing approach.

Licensing gives the European community the agency they have asked for so they can create an event that is more European and has more desirable content. Once we get this model to work in Europe, we can leverage this creativity so other regions and countries can have DrupalCon too, like China, India, Australia, Brazil, or Costa Rica. This change expands DrupalCon’s reach and impact, moving the project forward in a strategic and global way.

While I have the rough concept in mind, I don’t have all the answers on how to license DrupalCon, but here are some broad brush strokes:

  • We want to give DrupalCon to a community-based entity that has proven event experience and demonstrated ability to serve the community. The entity needs to be grounded in the community so they can decide how to best serve the region’s needs and move the project forward in the right ways.

  • The Drupal Association would have some requirements that protect the brand experience such a Driesnote to kick off the event, the venue needs to meet certain needs like accessibility, the Code of Conduct must be applied so the event remains welcoming, there is diversity in speakers and attendance, and the official DrupalCon branding is used.

  • The Drupal Association would also have financial and reporting requirements, but we need to feel our way through what this looks like. We encourage the event organizer to make the event profitable and we would apply a license fee schedule as they become more sustainable.

  • The Drupal Association wants the event organizers to have freedom to tailor the event to the region’s unique needs. What Europe needs may be completely different from what Brazil needs, should they want their own DrupalCon as some point. The event organizer would pick who the target audience is, the programming structure, etc.

Clearly there are many details to work out if we go down this path. However, we can look to other Open Source Software projects who use this model to gain insights and best practices.

It will take time to set up this structure. The Drupal Association needs to work on this internally and as we mentioned before, we have a serious capacity issue that prevents us from working on this initiative while also producing DrupalCon.

The only way to free up staff capacity to work out a long-term solution is for Drupal Association to not host DrupalCon Europe in 2018.

DrupalCon Europe 2018

“What? Did she really just say what I think she said?” Yes, it’s true. I did say that the Drupal Association will not be hosting DrupalCon Europe in 2018. It doesn’t feel good saying this and I labored over this decision with others on the board and in the community for a long time. But, sometimes you have to take a step back to take a big step forward. Europe deserves a better DrupalCon that feels authentic and meets their needs. And countries around the world deserve access to this very special event.

We know that these changes could feel like Europe is being abandoned or not supported as much as the U.S. We empathize with those who may feel this way and that is certainly not what we want to convey. I want to be clear that the Drupal Association will definitely support Europe in 2018.

Supporting European Drupal Events in 2018

European Drupal events are strong and make a big impact. They are important Drupal contribution and adoption engines and we want to give those engines more fuel in 2018. In order to do that, the Drupal Association commits to the following:

  • Dries will keynote some European Drupal events

  • Drupal Association will aggregate and market European Drupal events to our lists and through our channels

  • Drupal Association will email our sponsors, encouraging them to sponsor camps

  • Drupal Association wil host 2-3 community organizer virtual round tables to foster knowledge sharing and problem solving.

What are other ways we can support Europe in 2018?

Here are some other ways we can support Europe in 2018. Let us know if these ideas could better serve the European community:

  • Camps bid to host DrupalCon Europe 2018. Camps have very similar programming to a DrupalCon and Dries could provide a Driesnote, While this is a viable option to keep DrupalCon alive in 2018, event organizers pointed out that this has some downsides to consider.
  • The camp will need to cap the attendance to the size for their venue.

  • Even though the expectation would be to run the camp as usual with the additional DrupalCon elements like a Driesnote, organizers and volunteers could get burnt out, and that helps no one.

  • Camps bid to be the “Official Camp of the Region in 2018”. I’m sure we can come up with a better name, but the idea is that camps bid for why community members should come to their camp. Then they get the “Official Camp To Go To in 2018” status and the Drupal Association will help promote that camp. Community organizers felt this idea has some merit because:

    • It doesn’t put pressure on camps to be something more. They can produce the program they are used to providing. Of course, more people may attend that camp and the organizers have to be prepared for this - or know when and how to cut off registration so they are not overwhelmed.

    • We create a new concept that can be leveraged in other regions

What do you feel is the best way to serve Europe in 2018? We want to hear. Tell us in the comments section and or meet us in the meetings listed below.

What About DrupalCon North America?

Community members asked me why we are only making a change to DrupalCon Europe and not to DrupalCon North America. It’s a good question. The simple answer is that DrupalCon North America is financially stable and growing. It provides 45% of our total revenue and that funds Drupal.org. The Drupal Association needs to be very mindful that changes don’t impact this important funding source.

Learn More at DrupalCon Vienna

Again, thank you for taking this journey with us to understand the challenges we have been facing with DrupalCon Europe and how we can solve them, together. I am encouraged by the many community members who have helped us and I look forward to moving this discussion forward in person at DrupalCon Vienna.

Please join me at the following sessions to discuss 2018 and beyond:

Community Summit

BoF 1

BoF 2

Drupal Association Board Meeting

Post DrupalCon Virtual Meeting

  • Thursday 16:00 CEST
  • For those that can not attend DrupalCon Vienna, we will host a webinar to share themes from the DrupalCon meetings, here your additions to the discussion, and talk about next steps.
  • https://zoom.us/j/241666153
Sep 06 2017
Sep 06

DrupalCon Europe plays an important role in moving Drupal forward. However, with waning attendance and increasing financial losses, it’s time to find a new path forward so it is sustainable and continues to provide unique value. This blog covers the problem of relevance. In other words: how can DrupalCon Europe provide unique value, meeting the needs and wants for the European community. This blog is part of a series that includes:  

  1. The problem we need to solve for financial sustainability

  2. The problem we need to solve to create unique value

  3. Results from a proposal based on community input

  4. A new path forward for DrupalCon Europe.

As mentioned in our last post, DrupalCon is a human experience. It’s truly about bringing people together to strengthen bonds so they can do something amazing together with Drupal. As seen in the DrupalCon Dublin Wrap and DrupalCon Barcelona Wrap presentations, the event mostly attracts builders from digital agencies (developers, project managers, designers, UX) and digital agency owners. However, our community consists of so many more personas including technical decision makers, end-user business decision makers, as well as content strategists and content editors and other marketing related personas. DrupalCon’s current attendees, and those who don’t attend, have unique needs that they want DrupalCon to address. The question we ask is “How can DrupalCon serve this spectrum of needs while also being a sustainable event?” We start by looking at our current attendee base.

In the last post, we showed how attendance is waning at about 14% per year on average. Sponsor support dropped 17% this year. It’s apparent that DrupalCon Europe is not currently providing value that attendees and sponsors are willing to pay for. We understand that the cost to attend is not just buying the ticket, airfare, and lodging. There is also the opportunity cost of missing billable hours with clients and important time with family. To thrive as an event, DrupalCon Europe’s value needs to outweigh all of these costs.

Why is DrupalCon attracting fewer attendees? To find out, we spent a lot of time this year interviewing Drupal event organizers, core developers, sprint mentors, business owners, sponsors, and other engaged community members. We also conducted a survey that 350+ people participated in. This research started in December 2016 and continued through the year. We found that there are several reasons why fewer people attend DrupalCon ranging from lower-cost camps that provide similar content, to gaps in DrupalCon programming, and high attendance costs.

Event Competition

To understand how DrupalCon Europe can provide unique value through programming, we evaluated the competitive landscape for events. We looked at Drupal events (ex: Camps) and other technology events that attract Drupal developers, especially those working on headless solutions and e-commerce.

You can find the competitive analysis here. The TL;DR is that every Drupal event has some, if not a lot, of the same programming as DrupalCon Europe. The other thing that stands out is that DrupalCon Europe's programming does not cater to business decision makers who want to evaluate Drupal for their organization. However, local communities have started this work with the Splash Awards and similarly coordinated activities.

Doing this competitive analysis helped us see where DrupalCon provides unique value, which is listed in the Strengths portion of the SWOT down below. Still, we need to understand what the region needs to move Drupal and the community forward and what potential attendees want and need out of DrupalCon. So we conducted round table interviews of over 40 European community leaders and organizers and conducted a community survey. Thanks to everyone for participating in these conversations. You can find the survey findings here (spoiler: there is a lot of information in there. It is summarized in the sections below)

Findings from Interviews and Survey

Based on everyone’s input, we created a needs assessment and we also created a DrupalCon Europe SWOT analysis. Below are summaries of key questions asked.

Needs Assessment

What Does Drupal Success Look like In Europe in the next 3 to 5 years

The roundtable and survey participants we talked to describe a future where in 3 to 5 years, Drupal 8 will have lower barriers to adoption (modules, usability, UX) and it will grow in market-share, especially in government and enterprise. There was also a shared vision amongst some that Drupal serves the small and mid-sized business market. It will be seen as a leader in each country over competitors like WP and Typo3. There will be enough developers for hire to support that growth. In terms of community, there will be more contributing members, especially from end users, and there will be more people volunteering time to contribute code and run events. The community will be vibrant, healthy, and engaged.

What Europeans want and need for Drupal to thrive

We asked participants what areas need focus to help Drupal achieve their vision of success. Here is a summary of what we learned:

DrupalCon Europe and meeting the needs

Based on this input, it appears that the European community has a good vision for Drupal’s success and what they need to achieve it. We are pleased that DrupalCon Europe already addresses several needs such as:

  • Attracting new developers
  • Teaching developers about Drupal’s contribution culture
  • Getting people off the Drupal island with the PHP and Horizons track, which focuses on other projects and technologies.

We can adjust some programming to address currently unmet needs. For example, there is a need to deepen our community volunteer bench. Perhaps we can use Community Summits to provide mentorship.

However, there are some things DrupalCon Europe may not be able to achieve. For example, there is little support to make DrupalCon a developer event and a business / marketing event. In talking with other OSS projects, we learned that this is common in Europe. The suggestion is to decouple the two needs.

While DrupalCon can be redesigned to better meet needs, it is unclear which stakeholder to prioritize: the Drupal shops / digital agencies who want a marketing event, or the developer community who needs more people to help them build with Drupal and move the project forward. It is also unclear if camps and other Drupal events are better positioned to meet the developer community’s needs better than DrupalCon.

DrupalCon Europe SWOT Analysis

Our survey and roundtable asked other questions like what is special about DrupalCon, where does it not meet your needs, etc. We used that kind of input to create a SWOT analysis for DrupalCon Europe.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It helps you organize input so you can consider the best strategy for your business - or in this case, your event.

Here is the DrupalCon Europe SWOT:

Looking at the SWOT, it is good to see consensus about DrupalCon’s strengths and weaknesses. That helps us know what to lean into and what to avoid as we look for solutions. What is concerning is “where do we take DrupalCon?” when looking at the opportunities. The community feedback reflects a wide spectrum of needs that DrupalCon could serve, yet it is quite unclear which ones to prioritize. Also, there was strong consensus that we lower ticket prices. Unfortunately, to lower ticket prices we need to hone our focus, rather than expand it to meet all of the expressed needs.

Summary

Overall, findings showed that there are many needs and opportunities for DrupalCon Europe to tackle. We cannot do all of them and it’s unclear which one is the top priority for the region.

Europe is many countries with many cultures. And Drupal is very flexible both in terms of how you use it technically, and also what personal or professional dream you want to pursue with it. It’s only natural that our research findings showed that the European region has multiple and differing visions for DrupalCon.

In the end, the question remains: where do we focus DrupalCon’s programming to strike at the highest priority needs of the European community and how do we do that in a sustainable way? The next blog in this series shows how we tried to answer it with community members.

Sep 05 2017
Sep 05

DrupalCon Europe plays an important role in moving Drupal forward by uniting community members across countries for knowledge sharing, networking, and celebrating. Plus, the event is one of the largest events focused on contribution back to the project. However, with waning attendance and financial losses, it’s time to find a new path forward so it is financially sustainable and provides value to the European community. This blog covers the financial problem we need to solve and it is part of a series that includes:  

  1. The problem we need to solve for financial sustainability

  2. The problem we need to solve to create unique value

  3. Results from a proposal based on community input

  4. A new path forward for DrupalCon Europe

The Financial Problem:

DrupalCon is a human experience. We certainly want to focus on the people in the community: what they want to achieve and what that looks like through an improved experience. However, financially the event needs to at least break even for us to continue providing this special experience. That is why we are starting this conversation by framing DrupalCon Europe’s financial problems.

We know that financially-focused blogs can be downright boring and not everyone feels comfortable reading financial statements. So this post provides several kinds of reports to illustrate the problem and we do our best to spell out where the challenges lay. Feel free to leave questions in the comments and we will answer them.

Last year, the Drupal Association contracted with a new financial planner, Summit CPA. They provide a lot more resources and financial insight than we have had in the past. One of the biggest things we learned last September was that DrupalCon Europe loses money. In the past, we did not include staff costs as part of the event cost, so we operated under the understanding that DrupalCon Europe was breaking even at a minimum. Our DrupalCon team spends 50% of their time on this event. Marketing spends close to 50%, the sponsor sales team spends 30%, engineering spends about 15%, and finance spends about 20%. For DrupalCon Europe, the staff costs add up to $220,000 per event.

It wasn’t wrong to not include staff costs in the DrupalCon budget. It just didn’t give the true picture of how this particular program was performing. As we started our financial turnaround last year, we realized that we need each of our programs to be self-sustaining going forward. Except, DrupalCon Europe is not self-sustaining. That puts pressure on the viability of other programs like Drupal.org, which needs to be properly funded to support everyone in the community.

Understanding Financials Through Comparison

One of the best ways to understand a situation is through comparison, so let’s look at DrupalCon Europe versus DrupalCon North America, which consistently operates at a profit due to several factors. We provide several reports below to help you see the comparison and the post walks you through those comparisons.

You will notice that all financials are in U.S dollars (USD). Since the European community works with different currencies, we felt it was less confusing and less prone to error if we kept our reports in USD.

DrupalCon Reports

DrupalCon North America has a net income percentage of up to 38% and makes up 45% of Drupal Association’s annual revenue. Meanwhile, DrupalCon Europe operates at a loss. For example, DrupalCon Dublin lost $176,000 and had a net income percentage of -18%. DrupalCon Vienna is forecasted to lose over $200,000 even with the programming reductions that we made earlier in the year.

DrupalCon North America Weather Report

DrupalCon Europe Weather Report

DrupalCon Europe Financial Challenges

In short, DrupalCon Europe income is lower than DrupalCon North America due to fewer attendees and less sponsor support. However, expense per attendee is higher in Europe. Below is a summary of the main differences that make DrupalCon Europe unsustainable. We invite you to review the Profit & Loss statements and other financial reports so you can have more clarity around these points and possibly find ones we missed.

Greater Expenses than DrupalCon North America

One of the biggest cost difference is related to the convention center. Both DrupalCon Europe and North America are held in this kind of venue due to the attendance size. While DrupalCon Europe has less attendees than the North American event, it is still large enough to require us to be in a convention center.

We looked at moving the event to a hotel, but wifi and catering costs make this option more expensive. Also, hotel-based conferences require a large room block reservation that the Drupal Association would have to financially guarantee, which is a big risk. The European event attendees tend to opt for other lodging options like AirBnB. It’s unlikely we can sell enough hotel rooms to meet the guarantee and will end up paying a large penalty.

By comparing DrupalCon Dublin expenses with DrupalCon Baltimore expenses, you can see that the expense 5710: Facility and Furnishing is $328,000 in Dublin and $129,000 for Baltimore. This is the main expense putting strain on DrupalCon Europe’s sustainability.

It’s also more expensive to send staff and our contracted production team from the United States to Europe for a marathon of an event (up to 10 days).

Less Financial Support than DrupalCon North America

The challenge of funding an expensive, professional event like DrupalCon Europe comes down to two things: smaller attendance and less sponsor support. Here is a breakdown of how these two revenue items differ from DrupalCon North America.

Attendees

Smaller attendance with higher expenses make the event unsustainable. DrupalCon Europe attracts about 1,700 - 1,800 attendees compared to DrupalCon North America, which has over 3,000 attendees. This means there is less ticket revenue to cover costs. And DrupalCon Europe attendance is decreasing each year by about 14% a year on average (if you average in Vienna's forecasted attendance), making it harder to cover costs in the future.

Another attendee difference is that DrupalCon North America attracts end users who are either leveling up their skills or evaluating Drupal or looking for a service provider. Having end users at DrupalCon attracts Drupal shop / digital agency sponsors who get new business by connecting from this audience. Meanwhile, DrupalCon Europe primarily attracts builders (developers, project managers, designers) from Drupal shops / digital agencies. There are very few end users attending DrupalCon Europe. This impacts sponsor revenue as many Drupal shops / digital agencies do not want to sponsor an event where they are much less likely to get a business opportunity.

Sponsors

DrupalCon North America has about $850,000 in sponsor revenue while DrupalCon Europe has $300,000. There are a few reasons for this difference.

A big portion of DrupalCon North America’s sponsor revenue comes from North American Drupal shops / digital agencies. As mentioned, they sponsor because they can connect with the end user attendees who give them business opportunities. They also sponsor because the event is held in a country where they conduct business.

In Europe, and as mentioned above, Drupal shops / digital agencies are much less likely to get a qualified lead because it is primarily a developer event. Additionally, the Drupal shops / digital agencies in Europe support sales in their specific countries. As DrupalCon Europe moves around, sponsors find that the event is in a country where they don’t do business and therefore don’t want to sponsor.

As for the shops/ agencies who do sponsor, they do so to support the community. It’s simply getting harder for them to invest in the event as they chose to put those funds into marketing or operations. It is important to note that hosting and software companies do find value in supporting DrupalCon since they target the developer audience.

A Study of Ticket Sales Profitability

Another way to see how the income and expense challenges make DrupalCon Europe unsustainable is to look at what the sale of a ticket covers and how much is left over to go towards paying expenses.

Here is a report that shows profitability of the early bird and the regular rate ticket for DrupalCon Dublin and DrupalCon Baltimore. It shows that the profitability is:

DrupalCon Dublin

Early Bird Rate

DrupalCon Baltimore

Early Bird Rate

Ticket Profitability before sponsor income

              -$238.05

                       -$0.36

Sponsor income per attendee

                $188.86

                     $244.15

Total Ticket Profitability

                -$49.19

                     $243.79

DrupalCon Dublin

Regular Rate

DrupalCon Baltimore

Regular Rate

Ticket Profitability before sponsor income

              -$133.87

                     $170.39

Sponsor income per attendee

                $188.86

                     $244.15

Total Ticket Profitability

                  $54.99

                     $343.79

As you can see, we lose money for each DrupalCon Europe early bird ticket we sell. You may ask, why would we ever price a ticket that loses money? It’s a good question. When we priced this we did not include staff costs in the overall event costs. We were operating under the understanding that the ticket was making money. We can see now that when we include the staff costs to the overall event costs, this ticket type loses money.

You can also see that not only does the Dublin regular rate earn $300 less profit per ticket compared to Baltimore, that profitability needs to compensate for the losses accrued by the Dublin early bird ticket sales.

Looking more closely at the report, you can also see that having less DrupalCon Europe sponsor support puts the ticket sales profitability at an even greater disadvantage. 

Clearly, DrupalCon Europe has a financial structural issue to solve for.

Blockers to Financial Solutions

There are a few ways to solve the financial problem. Ticket prices could be increased, we could grow attendance to improve the profitability, we could stay in the same venue each year, or we could cap attendance and have a smaller DrupalCon to control costs. We looked at these options and found the following blockers to each solution.

Staff Capacity

This part is a bit sensitive because I’m talking about staff. They gave permission to have these details shared with you.

Last year, when the Drupal Association reduced its staff to bring our expenses in line with our revenue, we eliminated work to match the smaller team capacity. After living with that reality for a year, we can see that we did not do a good job with DrupalCon.

The DrupalCon staff consists of Rachel Friesen, Director of Events, and Amanda, Gonser, Program Manager. Rachel is an operational wizard, who is committed to excellence, and cares deeply about delivering a special experience that meets our community’s needs. Rachel has incredibly streamlined the way we produce DrupalCon from site selections, budgeting, space planning, vendor management, sponsor support, marketing oversight, and so much more. She moves an army of people ranging from the board, staff, vendors, sponsors, and community members through a process that ensures that everything gets done on time with the best possible planning. I am always impressed how Rachel goes the extra mile (er, kilometer), to hear and address everyone’s needs and ideas. It is truly a balancing act.

Many of you likely know Amanda from the DrupalCon emails or you are one of the hundreds of volunteers who work with her. Amanda is high energy, bubbly, focused, and moves hundreds of people through a process that allows everyone to contribute in their special way; track chairs who pick sessions, trainers, local volunteers who create the local experience, a troupe of event photographers, room monitors, social media volunteers, and more. As with all people management, Amanda not only gives volunteers a structure to follow, but she invests time with them to foster relationships. We can not produce DrupalCon without our amazing and generous volunteers and they deserve a meaningful experience.

While producing DrupalCon, many people want to try new things like add a new program to DrupalCon five months before the event or create a new sponsor package. There are certainly great ideas that can level up the experience. Unfortunately, Rachel and Amanda simply do not have the capacity to entertain many new ideas. That’s frustrating for both of them because they want community members to realize their ideas. It’s equally frustrating to the community members. In the end it can create a lose-lose situation.

Over the year, we noticed that Rachel’s and Amanda’s calendar is booked every hour throughout each day. When we talk, they have little time as they run from one meeting to the next. It’s a frenetic pace. We moved to Jira this year and their burndown charts show that they can not complete everything they need to do within a sprint. This pace and high levels of stress are causing health issues.  

Amanda did a capacity study. It showed that she is scheduled to do over 69 weeks of work in a year (and that doesn’t include sick or vacation time). Just a reminder, a year has 52 weeks. Rachel is in a very similar situation. We looked at which work we could eliminate, but at this point there is nothing. Naturally, the situation is untenable and must be addressed immediately.

Given how small our team is, the only way to address this is by adding another staff member or contractor. This means expenses will further increase for DrupalCon Europe. We can go this route, but in the end what this tells me is that we do not have the right operational model to support two DrupalCon per year - let alone the ability to scale back up to three per year.

I want to pause and thank Rachel and Amanda for pushing through this challenging time. Please join me in thanking them. I also want to thank the other Drupal Association staff for going above and beyond to make DrupalCon a special experience. You support Rachel and Amanda in so many ways to deliver a great event for the Drupal community.

Additionally, it can not be said enough how special our volunteers are. They contribute their time and talent while already having full lives that include jobs, family, friends, and other interests. Volunteers could choose to do many other things with their free time, yet they chose to create DrupalCon for all of us. Thank you.

Summary

Phew! That was a longgg DrupalCon financial overview. Thanks for hanging in there. I hope sharing all that data and insight helps answer some of the questions we’ve seen in past blog comments and on Twitter this past year.

As you can see, solving DrupalCon Europe’s sustainability is critical, not only so this event can exist into the future, but so it doesn’t put strain on the sustainability of Drupal.org, which is clearly imperative for the project’s viability. We need to answer the question “how do we balance creating a valuable event with the financial realities of event production and the realities of staff capacity?”

But before we get into solutions, let’s look at what the community wants DrupalCon to achieve.

Our next blog in this series will be about the other problem to solve: How can DrupalCon Europe provide unique value?

Aug 30 2017
Aug 30

The Drupal Association is honored to be the stewards of DrupalCon - a program created by the community for the community. It serves many goals ranging from uniting, growing, and strengthening the community to leveling up Drupal skills to accelerating contribution.

This year the Drupal Association has been focusing on DrupalCon Europe, so we can better serve the European community. While we certainly hear good things about the event from attendees, we also hear many comments like “it is too much of a US event” or “content isn’t appealing enough” or ”it is too expensive” or “there isn’t enough business value for sponsors” or “it’s not rock and roll enough”.

We see this play out in the attendance numbers, which decreased 14% on average each year since DrupalCon Amsterdam in 2014. Sponsor revenue decreased as well. And thanks to a more accurate financial reporting approach launched last year, we can see that DrupalCon Europe lost over €200,000 per event for the last several events.

This isn’t a sign of Drupal’s health. It is simply a sign that this event is not meeting the community’s needs. We can tell because European Drupal events grew in number, attendance, and type over the last few years. The community clearly wants a different kind of experience.

Drupal Association staff like Amanda Gonser, Program Manager, and Rachel Friesen, Director of Events, come to work each day simply to serve the community and create a DrupalCon experience that delights and helps people feel empowered to move Drupal forward. It pains us knowing that DrupalCon is not hitting the mark for the European community. And, it also pains us that we aren’t able to host DrupalCon in other regions like Asia or South America because they’re not possible with our current operational model for hosting events.

For staff, producing  a special DrupalCon experience is more than a job, it’s a personal mission. So, we are putting a lot of care into figuring out how to make DrupalCon Europe better.

To come up with an event concept that is sustainable and loved (or provides unique value in business speak), we met with many European community members over a period of 10 months and even put out a community survey to gather input. Together, we worked through a process to find a better path forward.

It’s time to open this discovery process up to the greater community so you can understand at a deeper level the problems we are trying to solve and the process we’re using to solve them. Then, we want to discuss the options that we have identified so we can find the best path forward for DrupalCon Europe. I know that together, we can create a sustainable event that strikes at the needs of the European community.

To share the information we’ve gathered and to foster discussion, I am launching a blog series. Starting with this post, it will cover the following topics:

  1. The problem we need to solve for financial sustainability

  2. The problem we need to solve to create unique value

  3. Results from a proposal based on community input

  4. A new path forward for DrupalCon Europe

I encourage discussion in the comment section during the blog series and I will host BOFs at DrupalCon Vienna so we can talk through a path forward. We encourage members to read this blog series so you have as much background information as possible to help inform these discussions.

Thank you for caring about this important community event and giving input into what it looks like in the future.

Jul 13 2017
Jul 13

This blog includes two statements. One from Dries Buytaert, as Drupal Project Lead, and another from Megan Sanicki, as the Executive Director of the Drupal Association and the Drupal Association Board.

We recognize that events and conversations earlier this year surfaced many concerns and needs within the community. One in particular is related to Larry Garfield’s role within Drupal. After several conversations with Larry, and careful consideration, we can now provide an update to this situation, our decisions, and Larry’s role moving forward.

We thank you for your patience while we spent many hours meeting with Larry and outside experts to resolve this matter. We recognize that actions were taken quickly before, which resulted in poor communication, and we wanted to avoid this happening again. We made sure to provide the proper time and attention these conversations needed before releasing this follow-up post.

We know our poor communication in the past led to frustration with us and pain for others. For that, we are sorry. We want to learn from this and improve. We listened to the community’s request to provide more streamlined, clear, and easy-to-follow communication. So, this post includes a statement from Dries Buytaert, as Project Lead, followed by a statement from Megan Sanicki, Executive Director of the Drupal Association.

Statement from Dries Buytaert, as Drupal Project Lead

I know there are many people out there still uneasy about where things were left off with regards to Larry's status and uncertainty around why he was asked to leave. I would like to personally clear up these things.

The actions that led me to ask Larry to resign involve a woman who attended Drupal community events with Larry, and was "allowed" to contribute by him. I originally characterized these actions as 'beliefs,' which was inaccurate on my part. To be clear, potential legal and ethical questions were raised by various people, including the Drupal Association lawyers, that this person could be vulnerable and may have been subject to exploitation, which raised the risk of substantial damage to the project.

Based on the legal and ethical risks to the Drupal project caused by Larry’s actions, both the Drupal Association and I needed to take action.

In balancing these questions and this risk, with Larry’s stated desire for privacy, the most obvious solution at the time was to ask him to resign. This was difficult. Larry has been a longtime contributor and colleague, and given the gravity of this situation, I did not communicate as clearly as I should have. When Larry chose not to resign, I took no immediate action with Larry’s role in the community in order to allow more time to better understand the situation and for mediation to occur.

Instead of continuing a dialogue and working towards a solution, Larry chose to end our discussion and share parts of the information surrounding this situation publicly. I understand why Larry blogged, and I support Larry’s — and every community member’s — right to speak out constructively when they disagree with those of us in leadership roles. However Larry’s blogs led people to think that I, and the Drupal Association, doxxed, bullied, and discriminated against him, which we did not. His blog posts led many to think that people who are into kink are not welcome in our community, which is not true. Larry's posts created material disruption to the project and the Association based on incomplete and inaccurate information. Even though Larry saw the negative impact he further inflamed the situation with additional blog posts.

Our current governance model lays out numerous positions that can be held within the project and who has the ability to appoint or remove people from them. Larry’s various roles and who governs them are listed in the table below. Most of Larry’s leadership roles are associated with the Drupal Association, but as project lead, I am responsible for assigning technical leadership positions within the project. Part of my job is to appoint and replace maintainers, to make sure the team functions well; and to make sure the leadership team is effective setting the technical direction of the project as well as collaborating with other members of the Drupal community to achieve our technical vision.

After talking to Larry and consulting other key contributors, I remain steadfast in my decision that it is best for Drupal that Larry should not continue to hold a technical leadership role. I've therefore decided to remove Larry as a core subsystem maintainer and as the PHP-FIG representative for Drupal. Larry will maintain his individual contributor roles which means he can participate in the development of Drupal as a regular member of the community.

Statement from Megan Sanicki, Executive Director of the Drupal Association and the Drupal Association Board

As the Executive Director of the Drupal Association a key part of my job is to protect the Drupal Association and the project from risk and harm. The Drupal Association is the steward of two critical drivers for Drupal’s longevity: Drupal.org and DrupalCon. And we are charged with caring for those spaces. Should the sustainability of the Drupal Association be impacted, we would no longer be able to maintain Drupal.org, which would have devastating implications for the project.

As Larry stated in his blog post, he was in a relationship with a woman he describes as “acutely autistic” and “mentally handicapped”. They attended Drupal events together where, in Larry’s own words, he “allowed” her to contribute to Drupal. The Drupal Association Board and I learned about this information from other sources as well as from Larry himself before Larry’s blog post was issued.

I was concerned not only about this person’s well-being, but I also had legal concerns about her ability to give informed consent or whether she was being exploited. The Drupal Association recognizes that Larry did not use the accurate medical terms to describe this person and we also recognize that most vulnerable people have the ability to consent. However, in this case, given the information we received about this person, we were concerned that it was possible that she could not consent. I sought input from board members and from professional experts, including legal counsel, who expressed concern that Larry’s action in his leadership roles created possible legal risk to the organization.

I learned about these issues just as the DrupalCon Baltimore sessions were about to be announced, and in order to give myself time to evaluate the risks, I ended Larry’s role as track chair and removed his session for only DrupalCon Baltimore. Making a decision for just one event provided me the time to better understand the situation and how to address the risks and concerns with appropriate counsel and authorities. The Drupal Association can not and should not investigate or adjudicate legal matters. We referred the situation to our legal counsel and followed their advice by removing Larry from leadership roles and we referred the matter to authorities.

Larry's subsequent blog posts harmed the community and had a material impact on the Drupal Association, including membership cancellations from those who believed we doxed, bullied, and discriminated against Larry as well as significant staff disruption. Due to the harm caused, the Drupal Association is removing Larry Garfield from leadership roles that we are responsible for, effective today.

These roles include being a DrupalCon track chair, DrupalCon speaker, member of the Drupal Association Advisory Board, and a member of the Licensing Working Group. Larry will maintain his individual contributor roles that the Drupal Association governs, which includes attending DrupalCon and contributing on Drupal.org using his Drupal.org user profile. It is important to note that Dries recused himself from the Drupal Association board decisions on this matter to avoid as many conflicts of interests as possible.

As long as Larry does not harm or disrupt the project, he will continue to be a member of the community as an individual contributor. However, we reserve the right to remove Larry's individual contributor roles if that is not the case. Also, we recognize that situations can change over time, so the Drupal Association will revisit these decisions in two years.

I recognize that my communication to Larry and with the community did not provide transparency into this situation and I apologize for the pain and confusion that caused. Our advisors told us not to share these details in order to protect all parties pending evaluation from authorities. Also, when Larry shared these details during the appeal process, he asked us to keep them confidential. It is my hope that this statement provides the clarity that many have been requesting. 

What We Have Learned

Dries, Megan, and the Drupal Association Board of Directors hope that the community can stay focused on healing and the needed discussions about ways we can improve our community.

It is clear that we were unprepared for a challenge of this complexity. We struggled to move forward in a careful, timely, and clear fashion. We need to provide the community with clarity and understanding whenever possible. Many ideas are surfacing from the recent community discussions and we are looking at them to identify other ways to be better prepared for future challenges.

Another key take-away from this incident is that everyone in our community needs to be able to understand the answers to these questions:

  • What is expected of me by the community?
  • What can I expect from the community?
  • How is Drupal governed?
  • How can I participate in governance?

The best way for the community to get these answers is by working together to refine our community governance model. We support this work and we are eager to help the community achieve its vision.

We believe this community is a role model for the world on how to be a great open source community. Even at its messiest, we believe this community is strong and has much to share with other projects and communities. We consistently come together to solve hard problems. Even now, we are coming together to redefine our community governance and we are confident Drupal will become stronger because of it.

If you want to be part of creating a stronger and healthier community for the future, we encourage you to get involved in the discussions taking place on Drupal.org. Plus, you can go here to learn about the findings from the recent Community Discussions that were mediated by Whitney Hess along with the next steps that the community wants to take in evolving governance. We hope you will join this effort.

As mentioned in Dries' statement, these are Larry's roles and who governs each one.

Larry Garfield’s Role Role Type Who governs this role Status Technical Leader (Core Maintainer & PHP FIG) Leadership Role Project Lead Removed as of 2017-07-13 DrupalCon Presenter Leadership Role Drupal Association Removed as of 2017-07-13 DrupalCon Program Team / Track Chair Leadership Role Drupal Association Removed as of 2017-07-13 Licensing Working Group Leadership Role Drupal Association Removed as of 2017-07-13 Drupal Association Advisory Board Leadership Role Drupal Association Removed as of 2017-07-13 DrupalCon Attendee Individual Contributor - subject to DrupalCon Code of Conduct Drupal Association Intact as of 2017-07-13 Drupal.org user profile Individual Contributor - subject to Terms of Service Drupal Association Intact as of 2017-07-13
Jun 28 2017
Jun 28

Over the last few years, many of us have seen the need to evolve community governance. Up until now, we had to focus on other priorities, but now is the time to address our needs for community governance especially in light of recent community events.

Our project has matured greatly and participation has expanded from developers and site builders to also include more content editors, designers, and marketing managers who work not only as freelancers or at Drupal shops, but also for large digital agencies or system integrators. We want all community members to be included in these community discussions so the redefined community governance serves everyone. This is an exciting time to create an even healthier future for our ever-growing community.

The Drupal Association is committed to staying in a support role as the community determines how to best evolve community governance to support everyone’s needs. We started helping by hosting Community Discussions that were mediated by Whitney Hess. There were 7 sessions at DrupalCon Baltimore and 7 virtual sessions between April and May. You can find the meeting minutes here.

The Community Discussions surfaced several common needs and identified several strategies for addressing those needs.

The most commonly shared needs of the community are (in order of frequency):

  • Awareness

  • Participation

  • Transparency

  • Clarity

  • Contribution

  • Healing

  • Trust

  • Understanding

  • Communication

  • Connection

  • Empowerment

  • Process

  • Progress

Strategies to address those needs ranged from clarifying the responsibilities and boundaries of the leadership roles throughout the Drupal project, determining how and where to communicate community decisions, improving processes for community management, and providing easier access to documentation about leadership roles and clearly communicating what is expected of Drupal community members.

In terms of next steps, the participants were in agreement that we need to come together in a Governance Summit to start architecting improvements to today’s governance structure. However, the community did not define the best way to hold this meeting. It is still unclear when and where it should be, and who should participate and facilitate. We will send out a community survey next to get input from you to answer these questions.

Attend The Webinar

We invite to you attend a webinar on July 6 at 11 am ET / 1600 BST / 8:30 pm IST hosted by Whitney Hess. Whitney will review the findings from our Community Discussions in more detail. We will record the video and share it with you afterwards, along with a written transcript.

Dial in details are below:

Video:

   https://zoom.us/j/589988397

Or Telephone:

   Dial: +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll) or +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll)

   Meeting ID: 589 988 397

   International numbers available:    

   https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=KQN5xFuem0PrbwaqFQC3HJyEWuwQ7QHT

Thank you for your patience and participation as we tackle these big questions and move forward together as a stronger community.

Jun 22 2017
Jun 22

On June 28, 2017 at 12:00 PDT/20:00 BST, The Drupal Association will host a one-hour virtual board meeting for the public to attend. It will be followed by an executive session, which is a private session for the board members.  We invite the public to join our board meeting via zoom or you can dial in with the following information:

Board Meeting Agenda

The Board Meeting Agenda includes:

  • An Executive Update covering the following topics and speakers

    • Community Discussions update from Whitney Hess

    • DrupalCon Baltimore Wrap

    • DrupalCon RFP update

    • Marketing Initiative / Review of Drupal.org privacy policy

    • Drupal.org Infrastructure RFP Update

  • Financial Update from Summit CPA

  • Q&A with the Drupal Association board

  • Q&A with the community attendees

  • The Board votes to approve Jan - April 2017 financial statements

After the meeting, we will post a blog that shares more details about the meeting and we wil post the board materials and meeting minutes here.

Executive Session Agenda

While the The Executive Session is a private meeting amongst board members, we want to provide insight into what the agenda topics will be.

  • The Governance Committee will provide an update and recommendation on how the Drupal Association can continue to support the community as they determine how to evolve community governance.

  • The Nominating Committee will provide an update on the progress with identifying new board member candidates for the three seats that expire in November 2017. Learn more about the Drupal Association board here.

We hope you can join us to learn more about Drupal Association operations and to have your questions answered by the Drupal Association Board and staff.

Jun 22 2017
Jun 22

As part of the Drupal Association Board's duty, board members met in April and approved the Q4 2016 financial statements. Now, we are able to share them with the community to provide transparency and clarity. You can find the financial statements here, which include the Income Statement and Balance Sheet for each month. Our cash balances are located on the balance sheet, located in the Asset section (first part of the balance sheet) called "cash and cash equivalents.

In this blog post, we will answer the following questions:

  1. How did we perform financially this quarter?

  2. How did we perform financially through the end of 2016?

  3. How can we perform better in 2017?

Setting Performance Metrics

To answer #1 and #2, we need to know what success looks like. As they say, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. The Drupal Association works with a virtual CFO firm called Summit CPA, who creates our monthly financial reports as well as sets our financial KPIs, making sure we are working towards goals that ensure the Drupal Association’s sustainability.

Since the Drupal Association’s cash reserves were depleted due to investments in Drupal.org improvements especially to support Drupal 8’s release, Summit recommends that we rebuild our cash reserves and achieve a cash reserve KPI of 15%-30% of estimated twelve-month revenue. Since Drupal’s revenue and expenditures drastically fluctuate from month to month due to DrupalCon’s large cash outlay, a cash reserve goal closer to 30% is the ideal goal.

To rebuild our cash reserves, we need to create an operating profit to fill the reserve. To do this, Summit recommends that our second KPI is to achieve a Net Income Margin of 10%.

Q4 2016 Performance

Since Q4 2016 is near the beginning of our financial turnaround, we will see improvements with both KPIs over time. It is also important to note that Q4 is historically when our cash is lowest. It is the period of time that is between DrupalCon Europe, which operated at a loss, and DrupalCon North America, which rebuilds our cash since it is a profitable event.

Below is our KPI progress in Q4 2016.

KPI

GOAL

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

CASH RESERVE

15-30%

11%

9%

8%

NET INCOME MARGIN %

10%

1%

1%

0%

2016 End of Year Performance

2016 was a challenging year financially as we drastically reduced costs by laying off 40% of our staff and eliminating our Portland office. While these corrections were difficult, they set the organization on a sustainable path.

While we continued to remain cash positive by the end of 2016 (see Cash Flow chart below), we operated at a loss, which was anticipated. In positive news, we reduced the losses by about $145,000 (see Forecast vs Actual table below).

Chart: Cash Flow

2016 Cash Flow

(*This chart shows the Drupal Association’s cash flow. It uses actual data from January 2015 to December 2016 and uses forecasted data from January 2017 to April 2017. )

Table: 2016 Actual vs Forecast

2016 Actuals vs forecast

Areas of focus in 2017

With these 2016 improvements in place, 2017 is positioned to be a healthier year financially for the Drupal Association. To ensure a stronger year, we conducted a margin analysis of our programs to see where we need to focus.

From this study, we found several areas to focus in 2017 that create value for the community while also improving our financial health. Areas of focus include:

  • Make DrupalCon Europe a financially sustainable event that continues to provide value

  • Grow DrupalCon North America attendance through improved marketing and attracting more end users with customer content such as industry summits and case studies.

  • Create more value for Supporting Partners to grow participation and create a program for End Users to join.

  • Improve the Drupal adoption journey off of the Drupal.org front page by including content from Drupal businesses that provide value for the visitors and branding or leads for the Drupal businesses who provide the content.

  • Identify ways to reduce costs associated with Drupal.org by studying the sites and services the Drupal Association provides to see if we can reduce associated costs.

We are hard at work making the above improvements and starting to see encouraging results. Starting with our 2017 quarterly updates, we will provide more clarity into our financial portfolio and how each program performed.

May 20 2017
May 20

To give more insight into Drupal Association financials, we are launching a blog series. This is the first one in the series and it is for all of you who love knowing the inner workings. It provides an overview of:

  • Our forecasting process
  • How financial statements are approved
  • The auditing process
  • How we report financials to the U.S. government via 990s

There’s a lot to share in this blog post and we appreciate you taking the time to read it.

Replacing Annual Budgets With Rolling Forecasts

Prior to 2016, the Drupal Association produced an annual budget, which is a common practice for non-profits. However, two years ago, we found that the Drupal market was changing quickly and that impacted our projected revenue. Plus, we needed faster and more timely performance analysis of pilot programs so we could adjust projections and evaluate program success throughout the year. In short, we needed to be more agile with our financial planning, so we moved to a rolling forecast model, using conservative amounts.

Using a rolling forecast means we don’t have a set annual budget. Instead, we project revenue and expense two years out into a forecast. Then, we update the forecast several times a year as we learn more. The first forecast of the year is similar to a budget. We study variance against this version throughout the year. As we conduct the additional forecasts during the year, we replace forecasts of completed months with actual expenses and income (“actuals”) and revise forecasts for the remaining months. This allows us to see much more clearly if we are on or off target and to adjust projections as conditions that could impact our financial year change and evolve. For example, if we learn that the community wants us to change a drupal.org ad placement that could impact revenue, we will downgrade the revenue forecast appropriately for this product.

In 2017, we there will be three forecasts:

  • December 2016:  The initial forecast was created. This serves as our benchmark for the year and we run variances against it.
  • May 2017: We updated the forecast after DrupalCon Baltimore since this event has the biggest impact on both our expenses and revenue for the year.
  • October 2017: We will reforecast again after DrupalCon Vienna. This is our final update before the end of the year and will be the benchmark forecast for 2018.

Creating and approving the forecasts is a multi-party process.

  1. Staff create the initial forecast much like you would a budget. They are responsible for their income and expense budget line items and insert them into the forecasting worksheet. They use historical financials, vendor contracts and quotes, and more to project the amount for each line item and document all of their assumptions. Each budget line manager reviews those projections and assumptions with me. I provide guidance and challenge assumptions and sign off on the inputs

  2. Our virtual CFO firm, Summit CPA, analyzes the data and provides financial insight including: Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow, and Margin Analysis. Through these reports, we can see how we are positioned to perform against our financial KPIs. This insight allows us to make changes or strengthen our focus on certain areas to ensure we are moving towards those KPIs - which I will talk about in another blog post. Once these reports are generated, the Drupal Association board finance committee receives them along with the forecasting assumptions. During a committee meeting, the committee is briefed by Summit and myself. They ask questions to make sure various items are considered in the forecast and they provide advice for me to consider as we work to improve our financial health.  

  3. Once the committee reviews the forecast and assumptions, then, the full board reviews it in an Executive Session. The board asks questions and provides advice as well. This review process happens with all three forecasts for the year.

Approving Financial Reports

As we move through the year, our Operations Manager and CFO team work together to close the books each month. This ensures our monthly actuals are correct. Then, our CFO team creates a monthly financial report that includes our financial statements (Income Statement and Balance Sheet) for the finance committee to review and approve. Each month the finance committee meets virtually and the entire team reviews the most recently prepared report. After asking questions and providing advice, the committee approves the report.

The full board receives copies of the financial reports quarterly and is asked to review and approve the statements for the preceding three months. Board members can ask questions, provide advice, and approve the statements in Executive Session or in the public board meeting. After approval, I write a blog post so the community can access and review the financial statements. You can see an example of the Q3 2016 financial statement blog here. The board just approved the Q4 2016 financials and I will do a blog post shortly to share the financial statements.

Financial Audits

Every two or three years the Association contracts to have the financial practices and transactions audited.  For the years that we do not conduct a full audit, we will contract for a “financial review” by our CPA firm (which is separate from our CFO firm) to ensure our financial policies and transactions are in good order.

An audit is an objective examination and evaluation of the financial statements of an organization to make sure that the records are a fair and accurate representation of the transactions they claim to represent. It can be done internally by employees of the organization, or externally by an outside firm.  Because we want accountability, we contracted with an external CPA firm, McDonald Jacobs, to handle the audit.

The Drupal Association conducts audits for several reasons:

  1. to demonstrate our commitment to financial transparency.

  2. to assure our community that we follow appropriate procedures to ensure that the community funds are being handled with care.  

  3. to give our board of directors outside assurance that the financial statements are free of material misstatements.

What do the auditors look at?  For 2016, our auditors will generally focus on three points:

  • Proper recording of income and expense: Auditors will ensure that our financial statements are an accurate representation of the business we have conducted. Did we record transactions on the right date, to the right account, and the right class? In other words, if we said that 2016 revenue was a certain amount, is that really true?

  • Financial controls: Preventing fraud is an important part of the audit. It is important to put the kinds of controls in place that can prevent common types of fraud, such as forged checks and payroll changes. Auditors look to see that there are two sets of eyes on every transaction, and that documentation is provided to verify expenses and check requests.

  • Policies and procedures: There are laws and regulations that require we have certain policies in place at our organization. Our auditors will look at our current policies to ensure they were in place and, in some cases, had been reviewed by the board and staff.

The primary goal of the audit is for the auditor to express an opinion on two aspects of the financial statements of the Association: the financial statements are fairly presented, and they are in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Generally accepted accounting principles are the accepted body of accounting rules and policies established by the accounting profession. The purpose of these rules is to promote consistency and fairness in financial reporting throughout the business community. These principles provide comparability of financial information.

Once our audit for 2016 is complete and approved by the board (expected in early summer), we can move to have the 990 prepared.  We look to have this item completed by September 2016.

Tax Filing: The Form 990

As a U.S.-based 501c3 exempt organization, and to maintain this tax-exempt status, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires us to file a 990 each year. Additionally, this form is also filed with state tax departments as well. The 990 is meant for the IRS and state regulators to ensure that non-profits continue to serve their stated charitable activities. The 990 can be helpful when you are reviewing our programs and finances, but know that it’s only a “snapshot” of our year.  

You can find our past 990s here.

Here are some general points, when reviewing our 990.

FORM 990, PART I—REVENUES, EXPENSES, AND CHANGES IN NET ASSETS OR FUND BALANCES

Lines 8-12 indicates our yearly revenue revenue. Not only how much total revenue (line 12), but also where we have earned our income, broken out into four groups. Line 12 is the most important: total income for the year.

Lines 13-18 shows expenses for the year, and where we focused.

Cash Reserves are noted on lines 20-22 on page 1.

The 990 has a comparison of the net assets from last year (or the beginning of the year) and the end of the current year, as well as illustrates the total assets and liabilities of the Association.

FORM 990, PART II—STATEMENT OF FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES

Part II shows our expenditures by category and major function (program services, management and general, and fundraising).

FORM 990, PART III—STATEMENT OF PROGRAM SERVICE ACCOMPLISHMENTS

In Part III, we describe the activities performed in the previous year that adhere to our 501c3 designation.  You can see here that Drupal.org, DrupalCon and our Fiscal Sponsorship programs are noted.

FORM 990, PART IV—BALANCE SHEETS

Part IV details our assets and liabilities. Assets are our resources that we have at our disposal to execute on our mission.  Liabilities are the outstanding claims against those assets.

FORM 990, PART V—LIST OF OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, TRUSTEES AND KEY EMPLOYEES

Part V lists our board and staff who are responsible in whole or in part for the operations of an organization. These entries do include titles and compensation of key employees.

FORM 990, PART VI—OTHER INFORMATION

This section contains a number of questions regarding our operations over the year. Any “yes” answers require explanation on the following page.

Schedule A, Part II—Compensation of the Five Highest Paid Independent Contractors for Professional Services

We list any of our contractors, if we have paid them more than $50,000, on this schedule.

Once our 990 is complete and filed we are required to post the return publicly, which we do here on our website.  We expect to have the 2016 990 return completed, filed and posted by September 2017.

Phew. I know that was long. Thank you for taking the time to read all of the steps we take to ensure financial health and accuracy. We are thankful for the great team work that goes into this process. Most of all we are thankful for our funders who provide the financial fuel for us to do our mission work.

Stay tuned for our next blog in this series: Update on Q4 2016 financial (to follow up on our Q3 2016 financial update)

May 19 2017
May 19

It is critical that the Drupal Association remains financially sustainable so we can fulfill our mission into the future. As a non-profit organization based in the United States, the responsibility of maintaining financial health falls on the Executive Director and the Drupal Association Board.

Association board members, like all board members for US-based organizations, have three legal obligations: duty of care, duty of loyalty, and duty of obedience. Additionally, there is a lot of practical work that the board undertakes. These generally fall under the fiduciary responsibilities, which includes overseeing financial performance.

The Drupal Association’s sustainability impacts everyone in the community. For this reason, we want to provide more insight into our financial process and statements with a series of blog posts covering the following topics:

  • How we create forecasts, financial statements, and ensure accounting integrity

  • Update on Q4 2016 financial (to follow up on our Q3 2016 financial update)

  • Which countries provide funding and which countries are served by that funding (a question asked in the recent public board meeting by a community member)

If you would like additional topics covered, please tell us via the comments section. 

May 10 2017
May 10

After board meetings, I publish a blog post to provide an overview of the meeting along with the board packet, meeting minutes, and a video of the meeting. Since we just had a board meeting at DrupalCon Baltimore, I want to share details about that meeting as well as pull the lense back to give the community more insight into board meetings and our 2017 schedule. I hope this additional information gives better insight into the Drupal Association’s board activities.

Drupal Association Board Meetings

The Drupal Association board has two different meeting types: Executive Session and Board Meeting. They take place throughout the year to create The Drupal Association’s strategic direction, ensure financial health, engage with the community, and more. This post goes into more details about each meeting type.  

Executive Session

The executive session is usually a two-day meeting that includes board members and the executive director. At times, it can also be a shorter virtual meeting. Topics typically include an Executive and Financial update, financial approvals, committee work, and strategic planning for the Association.

There are four executive sessions a year. All meetings are private to create a safe space for brainstorming strategic direction and discussing confidential matters such as the executive director’s performance and compensation. For this reason, meeting minutes are not shared publicly. However, we will let the community know when we are meeting and what is on the agenda.

The 2017 executive session schedule is: 23 & 24 February, 22 & 23 April, 26 June,  23 & 24 September, and 29 November. The February, April, and September sessions are two day meetings while June and November are two hour virtual meetings. As needed, the board may schedule additional executive sessions to handle business that is time sensitive and best done via a meeting.

The 23 & 24 February executive session agenda covered the following:

  • Executive and Financial Update

  • Getting grounded in DrupalCon Europe survey data (Michael Schmid was present since he was part of the task force)

  • Discuss the future of DrupalCon Europe focusing on sustainability and delivering meaningful value

  • Thank you and goodbye to community-elected board member, Addison Berry.

The 23 & 24 April executive session agenda included the following items:

  • Executive and Financial Update

  • Approve Q3 2016 financial statements

  • Welcome Ryan Szrama - new community-elected board member

  • Understanding community governance needs and identifying community governance gaps

  • Meet and greet with Drupal Association staff / Congratulations on upcoming DrupalCon

Board Meetings

The Drupal Association holds four board meetings each year so the community can observe the board proceedings and participate in a Question and Answer session. Typically, board meetings include operational updates from staff, committee updates, and question and answer time for both the board and the community.

On 26 April, 2017, the Drupal Association held its first board meeting of the year. The board materials and meeting minutes can be found here. All board members were in attendance except Annie Miller, Steve Francia, and Donna Benjamin. Also in attendance were myself, Drupal Association Staff, and about 30 community members.

Dries Buytaert kicked off the board meeting and I reviewed the board packet, which included the meeting’s agenda as well as a scorecard for the key operational projects that staff work on. Next, staff gave operational updates. Tim Lehnen, Director of Engineering, gave an update on Project Application Process, Contribution Credits, and the Drupal.org Infrastructure RFP. Next, Carrie Lacina, Director of Revenue, shared an update on the Drupal.org industry pages. This was followed by Rebecca Pilcher, Marketing & Communications Manager, who gave insight into the new DrupalCon branding.

Lastly, I gave an update related to recent community challenges. I explained that a key way to understand the community’s needs and help them talk about a new community governance model is by hosting mediated Community Discussions. Whitney Hess, the mediator, introduced herself to the board and gave a brief update of the themes she heard in the recent Community Discussions onsite at DrupalCon.

The Board had 10 minutes to ask questions which covered topics such as branding and the Drupal.org infrastructure RFP. While the community had 10 minutes to ask questions, the meeting was extended, giving the community 30 minutes to ask questions. Their questions touched on DrupalCon branding and Project Application Process. There were also several questions related to the learnings gained by the recent community challenges.

You can watch the video of the board meeting here as well as read the meeting minutes and board packet. All materials are found here. The next board meeting will take place on 26 June, 2017 at 12:00 EDT/17:00 BST. It will be a virtual meeting via Zoom. You can go here for login information.

Mar 31 2017
Mar 31

Drupal Association

This is a joint statement from project lead Dries Buytaert and Megan Sanicki, Drupal Association Executive Director.

Over the last week, the Drupal community has been in a debate over the various decisions made by us in relation to long-time Drupal developer Larry Garfield. As with any such decisions, and especially due to the circumstances of this one, there has been controversy, misinformation and rumors, as well as healthy conversation and debate. Many people feel hurt, worried, and confused. The fact that this matter became very public and divisive greatly saddens all of us involved, especially as we can see the pain it has caused many.

First off, we want to apologize for not responding sooner. We had to take a pause to process the community’s reaction.  We also wanted to take the time to talk to community members to make sure all of the concerns were heard and understood. This was further complicated by the fact that we don't have a playbook for how to respond in unusual situations like this. We also want to acknowledge that our communication has not been as clear as it should be on this matter, and we are sorry for the added confusion.

We want to thank all of the community members who stepped in to help. Many spent days helping other community members by listening, hosting discussions to foster healthy, respectful conversations, and more. You have helped many people and your caring acts reminded us once again why we love to serve the community and why it is so special.

Over the last week, we talked to many people and read hundreds of posts in various channels. These are some of the things that we heard:

  • People are afraid that they will be asked to leave the community because of their beliefs or sexual lifestyles.

  • There are concerns about Drupal leadership playing "thought police" on what are and are not acceptable viewpoints to hold.

  • People want to hear more about the timeline, information gathered, and how decisions were made.

  • People don't understand why there weren’t any ramifications for those who participated in gathering information about Larry's private life.

  • People believe Dries has too much authority.

  • People believe that a decision this complex should not be made by a single individual.

And we heard much more.

We know this has been difficult for all involved. There is no quick solution to the current situation; it will take time to heal, but we want to make a start today by providing better insight into our decision-making process, answering questions with the FAQ found below, and by placing a call for improvements in our governance, conflict-resolution processes, and communication.  

Addressing community questions and concerns

One of the main concerns that has been voiced is that a long-standing member of the Drupal community was removed, based solely on his beliefs being outside the "norm". We feel this is not representative of the situation.

We want to strongly emphasize that Drupal is an open-minded and inclusive community, and we welcome people of all backgrounds. Our community’s diversity is something to cherish and celebrate as well as protect.  We apologize for any anxiety we caused you and reiterate that our decision was not based on anyone’s sexual practices.

Dries and Megan based their decisions on information from a variety of sources, including the Community Working Group and Larry himself. This information included:

(a) reports, both formal and informal
(b) some of Larry's online interactions, both on and off Drupal.org
(c) information provided by Larry during subsequent discussions to get clarity
(d) information from one or more members-only sites.
It should be strongly noted that we do not condone the manner in which this last source of information was gathered by members of our community.  

Insights from this collection of information caused us to take action, particularly given Larry's prominent leadership role in the community, which leads to a much greater impact of his words and actions.

We heard that many would like to better understand the timeline, information gathered, and how decisions were made. While the news of last week was a complete surprise to most, it is important to note that this has been a careful, and deliberate process that has been going on since October 2016. Following the Drupal community's governance, the Community Working Group attempted to provide conflict resolution. When it became clear that some of the issues raised went beyond the scope of their charter, they determined that it was appropriate for the matter to be escalated to Dries, as project lead. This was consistent with their existing policy and process.

Dries discussed the information from the Community Working Group with Megan and some board members. Dries, as project lead, made the decision about Larry’s role in the project during this discussion.  

Some have asked why Larry was removed from the community and not just from his leadership roles. The answer is that Larry had indicated on several occasions that he was drawing down his involvement in the Drupal project, and that context helped inform Dries’ decision.

Dries, with the support of the Community Working Group, had the first of what was intended to be a number of conversations to resolve any remaining concerns.

Megan was informed about Dries’ decision, and also reviewed the information provided by the Community Working Group. Based on that information, Megan made the operational decision to remove Larry’s DrupalCon session and concluded his track chair role.

Larry appealed Megan’s decision to the board, which only has oversight of the Drupal Association. They reviewed the Community Working Group information and Larry’s personal statements, met in a special Executive Session attended by all board members, and upheld Megan’s decision. Dries recused himself from this vote, so the board could make its decision independently.

After the appeal process, Larry chose to publish his own account of what happened, effectively ending the process in the middle of what we expected to be a series of constructive discussions. This resulted in several loose ends.

After Larry’s second blog post, on Tuesday, March 28th, he reached out privately to Dries to discuss how to resolve matters and find the best way forward.

We remain committed to working on closure for this situation with care and respect for everyone involved.  Dries and the Community Working Group hope to have a private discussion with Larry in the coming weeks.

Many have also expressed anger over how the information about Larry came to light, and whether there will be consequences for those who participated in gathering information about his private life. The Community Working Group is currently handling this situation through their standard process.

What needs to change

We are fortunate that we do have governance in place. We have never encountered a situation like this before, where a decision this complex had to be escalated and made. This extraordinary situation highlighted areas that we need to improve. From our own observations and what we heard from the community, we identified some specific areas of improvement (but by no means all):

  • Diversity, equality, and inclusivity issues are complex and require new perspectives and approaches, especially as we assess and improve our Code of Conduct.

  • It is not healthy or wise to escalate difficult decisions about code of conduct or community membership solely to the project lead.

  • We need to clearly define our values so that everyone knows and agrees to the context in which the community works together.

  • We need to figure out how to balance transparency with the need to maintain a safe space and provide confidentiality for individuals in order to resolve conflicts in a way that causes minimal disruption to our community.

There is a lot to address. We will launch several initiatives to find solutions to the problems above.  We want to collaborate with the community, the Drupal Association, and outside experts on these efforts. It is important that we take these steps. We value our special community and we want to make sure that it has the right structure and sound governance to remain healthy and vibrant.

We want to begin healing to start right away and that starts with us talking more with the community. We will host online meetings and a meeting at DrupalCon Baltimore on these topics where we can have a healthy dialogue. This will provide community members the opportunity to talk directly with the Community Working Group, Megan, and Dries to propose solutions to some of the governance challenges that brought us here.

Finally, we want to acknowledge this has been a very difficult and unprecedented situation. We realize not everyone will agree with our decisions, but we hope all can understand the care we took in deliberating and the intention behind our actions. We appreciate the community’s patience on this matter, and we look forward to taking these steps in collaboration with you.

----

FAQ

When did the conflict resolution process start?

  • October of 2016.

Who is responsible for what decision?

  • Dries, as project lead, made the decision about Larry’s role in the project after the Community Working Group escalated to him when they felt they could not resolve the issues surrounding this matter.

  • Executive Director of the Drupal Association Megan Sanicki made the decision to to remove Larry’s speaking and track chairmanship at DrupalCon.

  • Larry appealed the DrupalCon decision, which then went to the Drupal Association board who reviewed material provided by the Community Working Group along with Larry’s statements. They upheld Megan’s decision.  Dries recused himself from this vote.

What was the process followed for each decision?

  • The Community Working Group, which is part of Drupal’s governance structure, provided conflict resolution. When it became clear that some of the issues raised went beyond the scope of their charter, they determined that it was appropriate for the matter to be escalated to Dries. This is consistent with their existing policy and process.

  • Dries discussed the information from the Community Working Group with Megan, and some board members. Dries also met with Larry. Larry had indicated on several occasions that he was drawing down his involvement in the Drupal project. That context informed Dries' decision. It is also important to note that Dries intended to have more discussions with Larry to determine what the decision looked like, but those conversations ended when Larry chose to post publicly.

  • Megan was informed about Dries’ decision and also reviewed the information provided by the Community Working Group. Based on Dries’ decision and information learned from the Community Working Group materials, Megan made the operational decision to remove Larry’s DrupalCon session and concluded his track chair role.

  • Larry appealed Megan’s decision to the board, who only have oversight of Drupal Association. They reviewed the Community Working Group information and Larry’s personal statements and upheld Megan’s decision.  Note: Dries recused himself.

What information was used to inform the decisions?

  • (a) reports, both formal and informal, (b) some of Larry's online interactions, both on and off Drupal.org, (c) information provided by Larry during subsequent discussions to get clarity, and (d) information from one or more members-only sites. It should be strongly noted that we do not condone the manner in which this last source of information was gathered by members of our community.   

Did Dries overrule the Community Working Group?

Is the Drupal project “against” people who practice BDSM or other non-mainstream sexual practices?

Will there be repercussions for the conduct of the community member who exposed information from members-only sites? [Edit: we have removed this community member's name while the CWG issue is being addressed]

Mar 27 2017
Mar 27

2017 Election Results

The staff and board of the Drupal Association would like to congratulate our newest board member:

Ryan Szrama.

Thank you, Ryan, for stepping forward to serve the Drupal community. On behalf of the community I also want to thank the 13 candidates who put themselves out there in service of Drupal and nominated themselves. We are grateful that our community has so many brave and generous people willing to contribute this way.

Ryan's election to the board represents the sixth year of elections to a community-at-large seat on the Drupal Association board. Each year we've focused on improving the elections process, and this year was no different. We focused on two goals: 

  1. Improve the user experience of participating in the elections process. 
    • We added more in-line help materials throughout the elections process.
      • For candidates, we added information about the responsibilities of a board member to the nomination form, as well as a video message from the Executive Director.
      • For voters we improved the elections navigation, and provided more educational materials about the IRV voting process.
    • We implemented a drag and drop ballot, to make it easier for voters to rank candidates. 
  2. Make it easier to get to know the candidates.
    • We updated the candidate profile form, to ask more detailed questions to help voters get to know the candidates. 
    • Based on feedback from previous years, we eliminated the three virtual meet-the-candidates sessions, in favor of giving each candidate the option to post a statement-of-candidacy video.  In conjunction with the question and answer section on each candidate profile, we felt this gave the electorate the opportunity to get to know their candidates at their own pace and on their own terms. 

Our next steps will be to reach out to the candidates for their evaluation of the elections experience.

We also want to hear from the voters. Please tell us about your experience with the elections process in the comments below. Your feedback is important to us so that we can make the 2018 elections process even better. 

About the Elections Methodology: Instant Run-off Voting(IRV)

Elections for the Community-at-large positions on the Drupal Association board are conducted through Instant Run-off Voting. This means that voters can rank candidates according to their preference. When tabulating ballots, the voters' top-ranked choices are considered first. If no candidate has more than 50% of the vote, the candidate with the lowest votes is eliminated. Then the ballots are tabulated again, with all the ballots that had the eliminated candidate as their first rank now recalculated with their second rank choices. This process is repeated until only two candidates remain and a clear winner can be determined. This voting method helps to ensure that the candidate who is most preferred by the most number of voters is ultimately elected. You can learn more about IRV (also known as Alternative Vote) in this video.

Voting Results

There were 13 candidates in contention for the single vacancy among the two community-at-large seats on the Board. 1,240 voters cast their ballots out of a pool of 94,499 eligible voters (1.3%). Voters ranked an average of 3.6 candidates on their ballots. 

The bar charts below show the vote counts for each candidate in each round.
Place the mouse over a bar to see the number of votes.

  • Yellow — Votes carried over from the previous round.
  • Green — Votes received in this round.
  • Red — Votes transferred away in this round.

A candidate's votes in a round is the sum of the yellow and green bars.
Since the green and red bars represent votes being transferred, the sum of the
green and red bars is the same.

The exhausted bar represents votes where the voter did not indicate a next
preference and thus there were no candidates to transfer the vote to.

Round 1

(next)

Count of first choices.

Round 2

(prev)(next)

Count after eliminating gurubryan and transferring votes.

Round 3

(prev)(next)

Count after eliminating mehuls and transferring votes.

Round 4

(prev)(next)

Count after eliminating zet and transferring votes.

Round 5

(prev)(next)

Count after eliminating Rahul Seth and transferring votes.

Round 6

(prev)(next)

Count after eliminating redacted and transferring votes.

Round 7

(prev)(next)

Count after eliminating MatthewS and transferring votes.

Round 8

(prev)(next)

Count after eliminating Riaan Burger and transferring votes.

Round 9

(prev)(next)

Count after eliminating johnkennedy and transferring votes.

Round 10

(prev)(next)

Count after eliminating jackniu and transferring votes.

Round 11

(prev)(next)

Count after eliminating ok_lyndsey and transferring votes.

Round 12

(prev)

Count after eliminating Prasad Shir and transferring votes. Candidate rszrama is elected.

Winners

Winner is rszrama.

Mar 23 2017
Mar 23

Drupal Association

We understand that there is uncertainty and concern in the Drupal community about project founder, Dries Buytaert, asking Larry Garfield to leave the Drupal community, and about the Drupal Association removing Larry's DrupalCon sessions and ending his term as track chair.

We want to be clear that the decision to remove Larry's DrupalCon session and track chair role was not because of his private life or personal beliefs. The Drupal Association stands by our values of inclusivity. Our decision was based on confidential information conveyed in private by many sources. Due to the confidential nature of the situation we cannot and will not disclose any information that may harm any members of our community, including Larry.

This decision followed our established process. As the Executive Director, charged with safekeeping the goodwill of the organization, I made this decision after considering input from various sources including the Community Working Group (CWG) and Drupal Project Lead, Dries Buytaert. Upon Larry’s request for an appeal, the full board reviewed the situation, all the evidence, and statements provided by Larry. After reviewing the entirety of the information available (including information not in the public view) the decision was upheld.

In order to protect everyone involved we cannot comment more, and trust that the community will be understanding.  

We do see that there are many feelings and questions around this DrupalCon decision and we empathize with those community members. We will continue to monitor comments. We are listening.

Update: 29 Mar 2017

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, concerns, and questions. I wanted to reach back out and reaffirm that we are listening. In addition to watching the comments here, we are also listening in other places like the Drupal community Slack, IRC, and the community blog posts that have come to our attention. Your comments are being heard and they are helping us to be thoughtful about our next steps.

Mar 13 2017
Mar 13

Join us at DrupalCon Baltimore from April 24-28 for a week of inspiration, networking, and learning. Meet Drupal experts and industry leaders who will share new ways to create digital experiences that delight customers, citizens, students, patients, and more.

The event offers programming for decision makers (CIO/Director) as well as digital teams (developers, project managers, site builders, content strategists). Be sure to check out these suggested sessions for both audiences.

Top Five Reasons To Attend DrupalCon

  • Get inspired! Hear Dries Buytaert’s vision for digital transformation and Drupal.
  • Network with peers at 4 industry summits and case study sessions on Bluecross Blueshield, Cornell University, Mass.gov, NBA, Quicken, YMCA, and more.
  • Level up your team's skill with 10 trainings and 161 sessions taught by Drupal masters.
  • Find solution partners. Visit the exhibit hall to meet Drupal’s robust vendor ecosystem.
  • Be Amazed. Meet the open source community that powers Drupal.

Register today. Prices increase March 24th. Attendees can come for the week or just for a day. Plus, the Baltimore Convention Center is easy to reach - just 30 minutes from Baltimore Washington Airport and 15 minutes from the Amtrak Station.

We look forward to seeing you at DrupalCon Baltimore!

Mar 10 2017
Mar 10

DrupalCon is brought to you by the Drupal Association with support from an amazing team of volunteers. Powered by COD, the open source conference and event management solution. Creative design and implementation by Cheeky Monkey Media.

DrupalCon Baltimore is copyright 2016. Drupal is a registered trademark of Dries Buytaert.

Mar 08 2017
Mar 08

DrupalCon is brought to you by the Drupal Association with support from an amazing team of volunteers. Powered by COD, the open source conference and event management solution. Creative design and implementation by Cheeky Monkey Media.

DrupalCon Baltimore is copyright 2016. Drupal is a registered trademark of Dries Buytaert.

Mar 06 2017
Mar 06

Voting is now open for the 2017 At-Large Board positions for the Drupal Association!  If you haven't yet, check out the candidate profiles including their short videos found on the profile pages. Get to know your candidates, and then get ready vote.

Cast Your Vote!

How does voting work? Voting is open to all individuals who have a Drupal.org account by the time nominations open and who have logged in at least once in the past year.

To vote, you will rank candidates in order of your preference (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). The results will be calculated using an "instant runoff" method. For an accessible explanation of how instant runoff vote tabulation works, see videos linked in this discussion.

Elections will be held from 6 March, 2017 through 18 March, 2017. During this period, you can review and comment on the candidate profiles.

Have questions? Please contact me: Megan Sanicki

Feb 24 2017
Feb 24

Did you know you have a say in who is on the Drupal Association Board? Each year, the Drupal community votes in a member who serves two years on the board. It’s your chance to decide which community voice you want to represent you in discussions that set the strategic direction for the Drupal Association. Go here for more details.

Voting takes place from March 6 - March 18. Anyone who has a Drupal.org profile page and has logged in to their account in the last year is eligible to vote. This year, there are many candidates from around the world. Now it’s time for you to meet them.

Meet the candidates

We just concluded the phase where 13 candidates nominated themselves for the board seat. From now through March 4, 2017 we encourage you to check out each person’s candidate profile, where they explain which board discussion topics they are most passionate about and what perspectives they will bring to the board.

This year, we asked candidates to include a short video - a statement of candidacy - that summarizes why you should vote for them. Be sure to check them out. Videos are found in the candidate’s profile as well as here:

Screenshot of candidates profile page with arrow to highlight video link

What To Consider

When reviewing the candidates, it is helpful to know what the board is focusing on over the next year or two, so you can decide who can best represent you.

Here are the key topics the board will focus on.

  • Strengthening Drupal Association’s sustainability. The board discusses how the Association can improve its financial health while expanding its mission work.

  • Understanding what the Project needs to move forward and determine how the Association can help meet those needs through Drupal.org and DrupalCon.

  • Growing Drupal adoption through our own channels and partner channels.

  • Developing the strategic direction for DrupalCon and Drupal.org.

There are certain duties that a candidate must be able to perform as a board member. The three legal obligations are duty of care, duty of loyalty, and duty of obedience. In addition to these legal obligations, there is a lot of practical work that the board undertakes. These generally fall under the fiduciary responsibilities and include:

  • Overseeing Financial Performance

  • Setting Strategy

  • Setting and Reviewing Legal Policies

  • Fundraising

  • Managing the Executive Director

Hopefully providing this context gives you a helpful way to assess the candidates as you decide how to vote from March 6 - March 18.

We encourage you to ask the candidates questions. Use comments to leave a question on their candidate profile page.

Feb 14 2017
Feb 14

Media Industry Page

We are excited to announce that the first three industry pages are now live on Drupal.org, highlighting the power of Drupal solutions in higher education, government and media/publishing. The pages are designed to quickly inform and inspire technical evaluators and connect them to service providers and technology vendors who can help them move further through their Drupal adoption journey.

The Drupal Association is incredibly proud to showcase the Drupal community’s innovation, creativity, and ability to solve end users’ challenging problems. More importantly, these pages are a resource that Drupal businesses can point to as they convince potential clients that Drupal is the right choice for them. We know this is a needed resource not only because Drupal agencies have asked for this, but because our user research was resoundingly positive. One government digital director said “I wish this was around when I was pitching my state CIO on Drupal”.

This launch is the first phase for this initiative. We will learn and iterate to keep improving the pages and we will expand the industries to include pages like healthcare, finance, ecommerce, and more.

The Research We Used

Building the industry pages was a community effort. Drupal Association staff framed the concept and then reached out to end-users of Drupal in these industries, service providers who've built solutions for these markets, and the community at large. We listened to all of you who shared your thoughts in the original blog post about this initiative.

We conducted user research, interviewing decision makers and influencers at end user organizations to make sure the pages resonated strongly with them. We talked to organizations like Weather.com, Burda Media, State of North Carolina, Georgia Technology Authority, Duke University, Cornell University - and more!

We also talked to people at agencies who pitch Drupal solutions all day long such as Acquia, Ashday, Blackmesh, Digital Echidna, FFW, Forum One, ImageX Media, Kwall, Lingotek, Lullabot, Palantir.net, Pantheon, and Phase2.

We will continue to take feedback from our global community. Our goal is to keep iterating on these industry pages as we learn more.

About The Pages

The industry pages are part of the About Drupal section and they are promoted from the Drupal.org front page. The homepage of Drupal.org receives about 350,000 visits a month, and about 50% of those visitors are new to Drupal.org The front page is primarily technical evaluators coming to learn more about Drupal and we see this as they click on our evaluator resources like About Drupal, TryDrupal, and Case Studies.

Based on user research, we know that before someone comes to the industry pages, they likely know that Drupal is an open source community-built CMS and their organization is leaning towards an open source solution. However, we did make sure the pages do not assume the visitor already knows what Drupal is, because some will find the page through search.

Another key feature is geo-targeting. Currently, we serve localized content for the Americas, EMEA, and AP/Australia/New Zealand regions. This allows us to showcase case studies that will resonate to visitors based on their location. For example, on the Americas page, we highlight the Department of Energy - a U.S federal agency. In EMEA, we highlight City of London - a UK city, and in AP/Australia/New Zealand we highlight the State Revenue Office of Victoria, Australia - a federal agency.  We took this approach because business owners at digital agencies from each region said that having localized brand names and case studies helps them convince their potential clients that Drupal is a viable option for them.

The Story We Are Telling

The story that the pages tell to visitors is:

  1. Drupal is the open source CMS of choice for this industry. Just look at the strong adoption rate, industry brand names, and their success stories.

  2. Build amazing Drupal solutions to solve problems related to your industry.

  3. Solutions are made up of Drupal and third party software and hosting solutions. Plus, you can use industry-specific distributions to accelerate your build.

  4. Because of Drupal’s extensibility and our robust ecosystem of third-party technology integrations, modules, Drupal hosting, and distributions, you can tailor a solution to solve your unique problems or create new opportunities. Check out some featured industry-specific vendors.

  5. Read case studies to learn how big names in your industry achieved business gains with a Drupal solution.

  6. These solutions were built by people at well-respected Drupal agencies who are top contributors to Drupal.

  7. If you want to talk to someone about creating a Drupal solution, fill out the form and all three will contact you.

  8. Want to meet your peers? Attend the industry summit at DrupalCon Baltimore.

For the Americas region we have secured partners for Drupal evaluators to reach out to discuss their industry needs. However, we have not yet secured agency and vendor sponsors for these pages. It takes a lot of work to line up those relationships and tee-up the content and we wanted to launch sooner than later so we could start learning how to optimize the pages. So for now, we've selected initial case study content for these regions, and we are promoting a link to the marketplace to show agencies who have industry experience in these regions. Over time, we will open up the opportunity for agencies to sponsor the pages similar to our approach in the Americas region.

Thank you to our sponsors

Contribution comes in three forms: Time, Talent, and Treasure. Many people shared their time and talent to help us create these pages for the community. We could not have built something of value without them. And, there were several companies who contributed treasure as well by investing financially to sponsor these pages. Those companies are: Acquia, Ashday, Blackmesh, Digital Echidna, FFW, Forum One, ImageX Media, Kwall, Lingotek, Lullabot, Palantir.net, Pantheon, and Phase2.

Because the industry pages give premier visibility and sponsorship is so limited, we wanted to be as fair as possible when opening up this sponsorship opportunity. As we say amongst staff, we want to “sell with a soul”. We decided to only sell these sponsorship opportunities to those who are top contributors. We looked at companies’ code contribution levels and how long they supported the Drupal Association financially and came up with an internal ranking system. Only those above a certain threshold were invited to sponsor.

This means that not only are these sponsors contributing time, talent, and treasure to this specific initiative, but they are long time contributors to the Project, helping Drupal thrive over time. It’s important to the Association that we highlight and reward good Drupal citizenship. When good Drupal citizens are doing well, we all do well. When successful, businesses can hire more Drupal talent and sponsor their contributions back to the Project. They can fund more camps and DrupalCon so we can unite and accelerate the Project in person, and they can fund Drupal.org hosting and engineers so the community can build the Project together online. We are thankful for our sponsors' generous giving and proud to work with them on this initiative.

We've created value together

We see this initiative as a great demonstration of serving our mission - “to unite the community to help them build and promote the software”. We united members from all facets of the community: end-users, service providers, and the community at large. The pages promote the software by showing that Drupal is a winning choice for evaluators in these key industries.

This project is a reflection of Drupal’s amazing spirit and culture of respecting diverse opinions, collaboration, and striving to do the best. Thank you to everyone involved in this project for working so well together, listening to each other’s different ideas, and finding ways to incorporate them so together we can build something amazing.

Feb 07 2017
Feb 07

TL;DR If you are a European community member, please take our community survey about Drupal in Europe.

After 6+ years working at the Drupal Association and knowing so many members around the world, it’s easy for me to think I know what is going on with the Project. But, it is a big world and each region, country, and local market has unique, evolving needs.

To avoid assuming the best way to help the community, I am asking for your input. I'm gathering insight one region at a time. I’ll share the feedback with staff and the Drupal Association Board to refine how we serve the community.

I’m starting first with our European community. This is so it's well timed with our DrupalCon Europe planning. In fact, the Drupal Association Board meets on 23 and 24 February where we will strategize how we can best support the European community. We’ll use your input to drive that discussion.

I’m collecting input in a few ways. Recently, I held roundtable discussions with various community organizers. Now I’m opening up the discussion to all who Drupal in Europe. Please tell me how the Drupal Association can best support Drupal by taking this community survey before February 16th.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and needs. I look forward to hearing from you.

Jan 27 2017
Jan 27

Now that Drupal 8 is a year old, it is an exciting time to be on the Drupal Association Board. With Drupal always evolving, the Association must evolve with it so we can continue providing the right kind of support. And, it is the Drupal Association Board who develops the Association’s strategic direction by engaging in discussions around a number of strategic topics throughout their term. As a community member, you can be part of this important process by becoming an At-large Board Member.

We have two At-large positions on the Association Board of Directors. These positions are self-nominated and then elected by the community. Simply put, the At-large Director position is designed to ensure there is community representation on the Drupal Association Board. If you are interested in helping shape the future of the Drupal Association, we encourage you to read this post and nominate yourself between 1 February and 19 February 2017.

How do nominations and elections work?
Specifics of the election mechanics were decided through a community-based process in 2012 with participation by dozens of Drupal community members. More details can be found in the proposal that was approved by the Drupal Association Board in 2012 and adapted for use this year.

What does the Drupal Association Board do?
The Board of Directors of the Drupal Association are responsible for financial oversight and setting the strategic direction for serving the Drupal Association’s mission, which we achieve through Drupal.org and DrupalCon. Our mission is: Drupal powers the best of the Web.  The Drupal Association unites a global open source community to build and promote Drupal.

New board members will contribute to the strategic direction of the Drupal Association. Board members are advised of, but not responsible for matters related to the day-to-day operations of the Drupal Association, including program execution, staffing, etc.

Directors are expected to contribute around five hours per month and attend three in-person meetings per year (financial assistance is available if required).

Association board members, like all board members for US-based organizations, have three legal obligations: duty of care, duty of loyalty, and duty of obedience. In addition to these legal obligations, there is a lot of practical work that the board undertakes. These generally fall under the fiduciary responsibilities and include:

  • Overseeing Financial Performance
  • Setting Strategy
  • Setting and Reviewing Legal Policies
  • Fundraising
  • Managing the Executive Director

To accomplish all this, the board comes together three times a year during two-day retreats. These usually coincide with the North American and European DrupalCons as well as one February meeting. As a board member, you should expect to spend a minimum of five hours a month on board activities.

Some of the topics that will be discussed over the next year or two are:

  • Strengthening Drupal Association’s sustainability
  • Understanding what the Project needs to move forward and determine how the Association can help meet those needs through Drupal.org and DrupalCon
  • Growing Drupal adoption through our own channels and partner channels
  • Developing the strategic direction for DrupalCon and Drupal.org
  • And more!

Please watch this video to learn more.

Who can run?
There are no restrictions on who can run, and only self-nominations are accepted.

Before self-nominating, we want candidates to understand what is expected of board members and what types of topics they will discuss during their term. That is why we now require candidates to:

What will I need to do during the elections?
During the elections, members of the Drupal community will ask questions of candidates. You can post comments on candidate profiles here on assoc.drupal.org and to the public Drupal Association group at http://groups.drupal.org/drupal-association.

In the past, we held group “meet the candidate” interviews. With 22 candidates last year, group videos didn’t allow each candidate to properly express themselves. This year, we will replace the group interview and allow candidates to create their own 3 minute video and add it to their candidate profile page. These videos must be posted by 20 February, the Association will promote the videos to the community from 20 February through 4 March, 2017.

How do I run?
From 1 - 19 February, go here to nominate yourself.  If you are considering running, please read the entirety of this post, and then be prepared to complete the self-nomination form. This form will be open on 1 February, 2017 through 19 February, 2017 at midnight UTC. You'll be asked for some information about yourself and your interest in the Drupal Association Board. When the nominations close, your candidate profile will be published and available for Drupal community members to browse. Comments will be enabled, so please monitor your candidate profile so you can respond to questions from community members.

Reminder, you must review the materials listed above before completing your candidate profile:

Who can vote?
Voting is open to all individuals who have a Drupal.org account by the time nominations open and who have logged in at least once in the past year. If you meet this criteria, your account will be added to the voters list on association.drupal.org and you will have access to the voting.
To vote, you will rank candidates in order of your preference (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). The results will be calculated using an "instant runoff" method. For an accessible explanation of how instant runoff vote tabulation works, see videos linked in this discussion.

Elections process
Voting will be held from 6 March, 2017 through 18 March, 2017. During this period, you can review and comment on candidate profiles on assoc.drupal.org and engage all candidates through posting to the Drupal Association group. Have questions? Please contact Drupal Association Executive Director, Megan Sanicki. Many thanks to nedjo for pioneering this process and documenting it so well!

Flickr photo: Clyde Robinson

Jan 04 2017
Jan 04

Now that Drupal 8 is a year old, it is an exciting time to be on the Drupal Association Board. With Drupal always evolving, the Association must evolve with it so we can continue providing the right kind of support. And, it is the Drupal Association Board who develops the Association’s strategic direction by engaging in discussions around a number of strategic topics throughout their term. As a community member, you can be part of this important process by becoming an At-large Board Member.

We have two At-large positions on the Association Board of Directors. These positions are self-nominated and then elected by the community. Simply put, the At-large Director position is designed to ensure there is community representation on the Drupal Association Board. If you are interested in helping shape the future of the Drupal Association, we encourage you to read this post and nominate yourself between 1 February and 19 February 2017.

How do nominations and elections work?
Specifics of the election mechanics were decided through a community-based process in 2012 with participation by dozens of Drupal community members. More details can be found in the proposal that was approved by the Drupal Association Board in 2012 and adapted for use this year.

What does the Drupal Association Board do?
The Board of Directors of the Drupal Association are responsible for financial oversight and setting the strategic direction for serving the Drupal Association’s mission, which we achieve through Drupal.org and DrupalCon. Our mission is: Drupal powers the best of the Web.  The Drupal Association unites a global open source community to build and promote Drupal.

New board members will contribute to the strategic direction of the Drupal Association. Board members are advised of, but not responsible for matters related to the day-to-day operations of the Drupal Association, including program execution, staffing, etc.

Directors are expected to contribute around five hours per month and attend three in-person meetings per year (financial assistance is available if required).

Association board members, like all board members for US-based organizations, have three legal obligations: duty of care, duty of loyalty, and duty of obedience. In addition to these legal obligations, there is a lot of practical work that the board undertakes. These generally fall under the fiduciary responsibilities and include:

  • Overseeing Financial Performance
  • Setting Strategy
  • Setting and Reviewing Legal Policies
  • Fundraising
  • Managing the Executive Director

To accomplish all this, the board comes together three times a year during two-day retreats. These usually coincide with the North American and European DrupalCons as well as one February meeting. As a board member, you should expect to spend a minimum of five hours a month on board activities.

Some of the topics that will be discussed over the next year or two are:

  • Strengthening Drupal Association’s sustainability
  • Understanding what the Project needs to move forward and determine how the Association can help meet those needs through Drupal.org and DrupalCon
  • Growing Drupal adoption through our own channels and partner channels
  • Developing the strategic direction for DrupalCon and Drupal.org
  • And more!

Please watch this video to learn more.

[embedded content]

Who can run?
There are no restrictions on who can run, and only self-nominations are accepted.

Before self-nominating, we want candidates to understand what is expected of board members and what types of topics they will discuss during their term. That is why we now require candidates to:

What will I need to do during the elections?
During the elections, members of the Drupal community will ask questions of candidates. You can post comments on candidate profiles here on assoc.drupal.org and to the public Drupal Association group at http://groups.drupal.org/drupal-association.

In the past, we held group “meet the candidate” interviews. With 22 candidates last year, group videos didn’t allow each candidate to properly express themselves. This year, we will replace the group interview and allow candidates to create their own 3 minute video and add it to their candidate profile page. These videos must be posted by 20 February, the Association will promote the videos to the community from 20 February through 4 March, 2017.

How do I run?
From 1 - 19 February, go here to nominate yourself.  If you are considering running, please read the entirety of this post, and then be prepared to complete the self-nomination form. This form will be open on 1 February, 2017 through 19 February, 2017 at midnight UTC. You'll be asked for some information about yourself and your interest in the Drupal Association Board. When the nominations close, your candidate profile will be published and available for Drupal community members to browse. Comments will be enabled, so please monitor your candidate profile so you can respond to questions from community members.

Reminder, you must review the materials listed above before completing your candidate profile:

Who can vote?
Voting is open to all individuals who have a Drupal.org account by the time nominations open and who have logged in at least once in the past year. If you meet this criteria, your account will be added to the voters list on association.drupal.org and you will have access to the voting.
To vote, you will rank candidates in order of your preference (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). The results will be calculated using an "instant runoff" method. For an accessible explanation of how instant runoff vote tabulation works, see videos linked in this discussion.

Elections process
Voting will be held from 6 March, 2017 through 18 March, 2017. During this period, you can review and comment on candidate profiles on assoc.drupal.org and engage all candidates through posting to the Drupal Association group. Have questions? Please contact Drupal Association Executive Director, Megan Sanicki. Many thanks to nedjo for pioneering this process and documenting it so well!
Flickr photo: Clyde Robinson

Jan 04 2017
Jan 04

Now that Drupal 8 is a year old, it is an exciting time to be on the Drupal Association Board. With Drupal always evolving, the Association must evolve with it so we can continue providing the right kind of support. And, it is the Drupal Association Board who develops the Association’s strategic direction by engaging in discussions around a number of strategic topics throughout their term. As a community member, you can be part of this important process by becoming an At-large Board Member.

We have two At-large positions on the Association Board of Directors. These positions are self-nominated and then elected by the community. Simply put, the At-large Director position is designed to ensure there is community representation on the Drupal Association Board. If you are interested in helping shape the future of the Drupal Association, we encourage you to read this post and nominate yourself between 1 February and 19 February 2017.

How do nominations and elections work?
Specifics of the election mechanics were decided through a community-based process in 2012 with participation by dozens of Drupal community members. More details can be found in the proposal that was approved by the Drupal Association Board in 2012 and adapted for use this year.

What does the Drupal Association Board do?
The Board of Directors of the Drupal Association are responsible for financial oversight and setting the strategic direction for serving the Drupal Association’s mission, which we achieve through Drupal.org and DrupalCon. Our mission is: Drupal powers the best of the Web.  The Drupal Association unites a global open source community to build and promote Drupal.

New board members will contribute to the strategic direction of the Drupal Association. Board members are advised of, but not responsible for matters related to the day-to-day operations of the Drupal Association, including program execution, staffing, etc.

Directors are expected to contribute around five hours per month and attend three in-person meetings per year (financial assistance is available if required).

Association board members, like all board members for US-based organizations, have three legal obligations: duty of care, duty of loyalty, and duty of obedience. In addition to these legal obligations, there is a lot of practical work that the board undertakes. These generally fall under the fiduciary responsibilities and include:

  • Overseeing Financial Performance
  • Setting Strategy
  • Setting and Reviewing Legal Policies
  • Fundraising
  • Managing the Executive Director

To accomplish all this, the board comes together three times a year during two-day retreats. These usually coincide with the North American and European DrupalCons as well as one February meeting. As a board member, you should expect to spend a minimum of five hours a month on board activities.

Some of the topics that will be discussed over the next year or two are:

  • Strengthening Drupal Association’s sustainability
  • Understanding what the Project needs to move forward and determine how the Association can help meet those needs through Drupal.org and DrupalCon
  • Growing Drupal adoption through our own channels and partner channels
  • Developing the strategic direction for DrupalCon and Drupal.org
  • And more!

Please watch this video to learn more.

[embedded content]

Who can run?
There are no restrictions on who can run, and only self-nominations are accepted.

Before self-nominating, we want candidates to understand what is expected of board members and what types of topics they will discuss during their term. That is why we now require candidates to:

What will I need to do during the elections?
During the elections, members of the Drupal community will ask questions of candidates. You can post comments on candidate profiles here on assoc.drupal.org and to the public Drupal Association group at http://groups.drupal.org/drupal-association.

In the past, we held group “meet the candidate” interviews. With 22 candidates last year, group videos didn’t allow each candidate to properly express themselves. This year, we will replace the group interview and allow candidates to create their own 3 minute video and add it to their candidate profile page. These videos must be posted by 20 February, the Association will promote the videos to the community from 20 February through 4 March, 2017.

How do I run?
From 1 - 19 February, go here to nominate yourself.  If you are considering running, please read the entirety of this post, and then be prepared to complete the self-nomination form. This form will be open on 1 February, 2017 through 19 February, 2017 at midnight UTC. You'll be asked for some information about yourself and your interest in the Drupal Association Board. When the nominations close, your candidate profile will be published and available for Drupal community members to browse. Comments will be enabled, so please monitor your candidate profile so you can respond to questions from community members.

Reminder, you must review the materials listed above before completing your candidate profile:

Who can vote?
Voting is open to all individuals who have a Drupal.org account by the time nominations open and who have logged in at least once in the past year. If you meet this criteria, your account will be added to the voters list on association.drupal.org and you will have access to the voting.
To vote, you will rank candidates in order of your preference (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). The results will be calculated using an "instant runoff" method. For an accessible explanation of how instant runoff vote tabulation works, see videos linked in this discussion.

Elections process
Voting will be held from 6 March, 2017 through 18 March, 2017. During this period, you can review and comment on candidate profiles on assoc.drupal.org and engage all candidates through posting to the Drupal Association group. Have questions? Please contact Drupal Association Executive Director, Megan Sanicki. Many thanks to nedjo for pioneering this process and documenting it so well!
Flickr photo: Clyde Robinson

Nov 29 2016
Nov 29

We normally share  our financial statements in posts about public board meetings, since that is the time when board members approve the statements. However, I wanted to give this quarter’s update its own blog post. We’ve made many changes to improve our sustainability over the last few months and I am fully embracing our value of communicating with transparency by giving insight into our progress.

First, a word of thanks

We are truly thankful for all the contributions that our community makes to help Drupal thrive. Your contribution comes in the form of time, talent, and treasure and all are equally important. Just as contributing code or running a camp is critical, so is financial contribution.

The Drupal Association is able to achieve its mission to unite the community to build and promote Drupal thanks to those who buy DrupalCon tickets and sponsor the event, our Supporters and Members, Drupal.org sponsors, and talent recruiters who post jobs on Drupal Jobs.

We use these funds to maintain Drupal.org and it’s tooling so the community can build and release the software and so technical evaluators can learn why Drupal is right for them through our new marketing content. It also funds DrupalCon production so we can bring the community together to level up skills, accelerate contribution, drive Drupal business, and build stronger bonds within our community. Plus, it funds Community Cultivation Grants and DrupalCon scholarships, removing financial blockers for those who want to do more for Drupal. And of course, these funds pay staff salaries so we have the right people on board to do all of this mission work.

I also want to thank our board members who serve on the Finance Committee, Tiffany Farris (Treasurer), Dries Buytaert, Jeff Walpole, and Donna Benjamin. They provide financial oversight for the organization, making sure we are the best stewards possible for the funds the community gives to us. I also want to thank Jamie Nau of Summit CPA, our new CFO firm. Summit prepares our financial statements and forecasts and is advising us on long term sustainability.

Q3 Financial Statements

A financial statement is a formal record of the financial activities of the Drupal Association. The financial statements present information in a structured way that should make it easy to understand what is happening with the organization's finances.

Once staff closes the books each month, Summit CPA prepares the financial statement, which the finance committee reviews and approves. Finally, the full Drupal Association Board approves the financial statements. This process takes time, which is why Q3 financials are released in Q4.

You can find the Q3 financial statements here. They explain how The Association used its money in July, August, and September of this year. It takes a little financial background to understand them, so Summit CPA provides an executive summary and they set KPIs so it is clear how we are doing against important financial goals.

The latest executive summary is at the beginning of the September financial statement. In short, it says we are sustainable and on the right path to continue improving our financial health.

“We are working on building an adequate cash reserve balance. As of September a cash balance of $723K is 14% of twelve-months of revenue. Summit recommends a cash reserve of 15%-30% of estimated twelve-month revenue. Since Drupal’s revenue and expenditures drastically fluctuate from month to month [due to DrupalCon] a cash reserve goal closer to 30% is recommended.

Through August we have achieved a Net Income Margin of 4% and a Gross Profit Margin 33%. Our goal is to increase the Net Income Margin to over 10% during the next year.”
- Summit CPA

Improving our sustainability will continue to be an imperative through 2017, so the Association can serve its mission for generations to come. Financial health improvements will be achieved by the savings we gain over time from the staff reductions we did this summer. Another area of focus is improving our programs’ gross margins.

You can expect to see the Q4 2016 financials in Q1 2017. You can also expect to see our 2017 budget and operational focus. We are certainly excited (and thankful) for your support and we look forward to finding additional ways to serve this amazing community in 2017.

Nov 22 2016
Nov 22

Today we held the last Board meeting of the year. We met virtually via Zoom and covered two important topics. The first one was a presentation by Angie Byron, who serves on the Technical Advisory Committee. She gave an update on the group’s current tooling study along with next steps, which will include a community blog post where members can provide input on the various tool options being studied.


The second item was sharing our thanks and saying goodbye to two wonderful Board members whose seats expire this month - Danese Cooper and Rob Gill. Danese, who has been on many open source foundation boards, provided great insight and knowledge that helped us navigate as we matured as a community and a Project. And Rob, who worked for NBCUniversal when he first joined the Board, was instrumental in helping The Association understand how to better serve the needs of the end users in our community. We are a better organization because of their generous donation of time and talent.


Please go here if you would like to watch the November 22 Board meeting, read the meeting minutes, or review the Board packet, which also includes our 12 month execution plan dashboard.


We will announce the 2017 Board meeting schedule next month.

Oct 21 2016
Oct 21

Republished from buytaert.net

Nasdaq chooses Drupal 8

I wanted to share the exciting news that Nasdaq Corporate Solutions has selected Drupal 8 as the basis for its next generation Investor Relations Website Platform. About 3,000 of the largest companies in the world use Nasdaq's Corporate Solutions for their investor relations websites. This includes 78 of the Nasdaq 100 Index companies and 63% of the Fortune 500 companies.

What is an IR website? It's a website where public companies share their most sensitive and critical news and information with their shareholders, institutional investors, the media and analysts. This includes everything from financial results to regulatory filings, press releases, and other company news. Examples of IR websites include http://investor.starbucks.comhttp://investor.apple.com andhttp://ir.exxonmobil.com -- all three companies are listed on Nasdaq.

All IR websites are subject to strict compliance standards, and security and reliability are very important. Nasdaq's use of Drupal 8 is a fantastic testament for Drupal and Open Source. It will raise awareness about Drupal across financial institutions worldwide.

In their announcement, Nasdaq explained that all the publicly listed companies on Nasdaq are eligible to upgrade their sites to the next-gen model "beginning in 2017 using a variety of redesign options, all of which leverage Acquia and the Drupal 8 open source enterprise web content management (WCM) system."

It's exciting that 3,000 of the largest companies in the world, like Starbucks, Apple, Amazon, Google and ExxonMobil, are now eligible to start using Drupal 8 for some of their most critical websites. 

Pages

About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web