A more sustainable framework for fiscal sponsorship of Drupal camps

Camps are Drupal’s growth engine and they take place all over the world. They attract local developers, connect them with resources to learn how to use Drupal, and most importantly, they provide on-ramps into the community. We are incredibly thankful and amazed at the level of commitment and contribution that organizers invest in their events. This is a very important way to contribute back to the project.

The Drupal Association supports camps as we can. We provide grants to new events through Community Cultivation Grants (check out this GoaCamp story). We also provide fiscal sponsorship to camps. This means we let organizers deposit their camp income into the Drupal Association bank account, taking advantage of our non-profit  status. Then, they work with our operations team to pay bills out of the account.

It’s been an honor to help several camps this way. However, this program has two major challenges. 1) We are not able to support camps globally because we can’t work in every currency, so most of the camps we support are in the U.S. 2) As we became a smaller organization, we have fewer staff to support this program. We haven’t been as fast at processing funds as we would like or our camps need.

Knowing how important camps are to Drupal, how organizers need their work made easier, and that we need to provide global support, we decided that the best way to provide better fiscal sponsorship is by referring community groups to organizations whose business is set up to provide this service. Over the years, we have watched several organizations get very good at providing fiscal sponsorship to open source projects.

We therefore have been looking at best practice models across many open source communities and we are happy to partner with Open Collective, a company specializing in fiscal sponsorships and other open source funding opportunities. They have the ability to scale and offer the level of service to meet a camp’s needs. In the US, Open Collective Foundation has recently obtained their 501(c)(3) status, and will be able to sign for and represent your camp as we have done in the past. Their platform, itself an open source project just like Drupal, gives camp organizers full transparency, and on-demand reporting so they can manage a camp effectively.  Additional details about Open Collective can be found here.

Because of this opportunity, we have made the choice to sunset our internal program as of August 31, 2018.

While we have chosen to partner with Open Collective to assist in this transition, we strongly believe in choice and there are other fiscal sponsorship opportunities that you can choose to roll your funds to, such as Software In The Public Interest and the Software Freedom Conservancy.

We know that each camp is in a different stage of planning, and we are dedicated to making sure that the transition is smooth and will not affect the activities and success of camps. We will be reaching out to camp contacts to schedule time to talk through the transition. From there, we will roll the funds to a legal entity that you have chosen.

We are thankful for all the camps we were able to help get launched, and continue to watch their growth year after year. We hope this transition will help our camps grow and scale with no limitations.

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