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Drupal is an open source content management platform powering millions of websites and applications. It's built, used, and supported by an active and diverse community of people around the world.
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“We cannot do what we do, especially for Drupal.org, without your funding support. Thank you!” - Megan Sanicki, Executive Director
There are many ways you can contribute to the Drupal Community. One way is being a part of the Supporting Partner Program. Supporting Partners fund Drupal.org and the engineering team who make the improvements you continuously see on Drupal.org - the home of the Drupal community and Project.
The engineering team has been hard at work in Q4 on several things from the roadmap.
Drupal Association Supporting Partners help keep Drupal.org future-ready. We would like to thank our new and renewing Supporting Partners from this quarter.
Our Supporting Partners, Technology Supporters, and Hosting Supporters help us make Drupal.org a great site for our community and Drupal evaluators. They also become some of the best-known Drupal contributors. Read about the program benefits. If you are not yet a Supporting Partner and want to give back to Drupal while receiving benefits, please contact our Executive Director, Megan Sanicki, for details.
As Drupal, the Project, keeps growing and changing, so does DrupalCon. As the Events Team at the Drupal Association, we are continually working to improve the event - to strengthen the programming and to better fit the needs of attendees. Over the past year, we've heard through both formal and informal conversations that DrupalCon sprints are ready for a change.
A consistent topic in those conversations was that Extended Sprints, held on weekends before and after DrupalCon, may be too much. While 9 days of sprinting at previous DrupalCons evolved informally, they were a key part of the hard push that got Drupal 8 out the door. Concerns were raised that it is not healthy for contributors to continue at this pace. Contributors said that they were a little burnt out and didn't need as many days of sprinting.
A few weeks ago, we met with some of the sprint leads to discuss DrupalCon sprints to really hear what the Project needs at this point in its life-cycle. What we heard was: "Shorter sprints, with greater support." Based on this conversation with sprint leads, informal conversations from community members, and some feedback from the attendee survey, DrupalCon staff will no longer be organizing weekend Extended Sprints at DrupalCon going forward.
We will continue to support full day sprints from Monday through Friday. There is a dedicated sprint room throughout the week at the convention center, open Monday through Friday, as well as a designated location at the host hotel for 24 hour sprinting sessions. Sprint mentors are available at the DA sponsored mentor table in the exhibit hall throughout the conference to answer any questions about the contribution process, help new contributors pick which sprint best fits them, encourage new mentors to join Friday, and help both new contributors and new mentors know what to do to prepare for the sprints on Friday. We will concentrate our support on providing sufficient quality sprint space, and lunch and coffee, sprint room signage, supplies, special t-shirts for mentors, etc. - things that will help everyone have a quality productive sprint experience.
With these changes, our main objectives for DrupalCon sprints are to support current contributors, bring in new contributors, and nurture those who've dabbled, but not fully jumped in. We believe this is an imperative for the health of Drupal.
If you've attended a sprint at DrupalCon in the past, we certainly hope you will join us again in Baltimore. Our full conference website launched this week - be sure to check out the call for papers, buy a ticket, or apply for a scholarship.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We’re raising funds for 2017 Drupal community programs by clearing out our Drupal merchandise. Everything must go to make room for new things to come. What better time for a big Drupal swag sale, than holiday time! Give your friend, co-worker, or favorite module maintainer a Drupal hoodie, coffee mug, t-shirt, and more.
All merchandise is 50% off. Just use the coupon code BUYBYE. Sale ends 12/31!