[Linux-aus] The Ada Initiative - Should Linux Australia support it?

Russell Stuart russell-linuxaus at stuart.id.au
Mon Feb 21 17:11:52 EST 2011

On Mon, 2011-02-21 at 09:46 +1100, Donna Benjamin wrote:
> So - is it appropriate for LA to support the initiative? 

I suspect that once we get through this process my answer to this
question will be yes.  Right now its no.

I can only look at this from the point of view of someone knocking at my
door and asking for money.  I want to know the money isn't going to be
wasted on just good intentions.  Usually this is easy, because the
organisations that come to my door have a track history.  For example,
when I give to the Salvo's I know from past history where the money will
be spent.  The Ada Initiative has no track record.

Usually with LA grants this isn't a problem.  Instead people come
knocking on our door with no history - but instead with a very specific
set of proposals.  So we aren't taking a punt on an organisation, we are
taking a punt on idea and with providing the brawn.  But the Ada
Initiative isn't giving us any specific idea to fund either.

So here is how I would like to see it happen: Ada Initiate, give LA a
specific idea to fund via the usual grant mechanism.  If works, ask
again, and if is doesn't try a some different ideas.  In the end you
will get a few successes strung together.  Then come to LA and ask "can
you fund the Ada Initiative, as we have a track record of getting more
women into open source", and my guess is you would find little

To put it another way, throw a bone to the anal peanut counters in the
membership.  Put a little work in, write up a grant proposal.  Here is a
hint: it could even be for things you have already spent, like hosting,
site design and graphics and printed promotional materials.  Maybe a
plane flight for someone to do a "first patch talk" or something.
Surely this isn't that hard?

I've just seen John's post to the list, so I will respond here:

On Mon, 2011-02-21 at 15:46 +1100, John Ferlito wrote:
> One of the most difficult tasks when kicking off this type of
> organisation is actually getting the process off the ground and all
> the right pieces in place.

Right.  So put in a funding proposal that says what those processes and
pieces are, and how much money they need to get it working.  Is $5K too
much?  Is it so little that it is unlikely to have an impact?  It is
almost impossible to tell with the information we have right now.

> this will encourage the much larger donations that are required to
> make an organisation like the Ada Initiative successful.

Frankly, I dubious of that.  Most organisations are pretty hard headed,
and will be asking the same questions I am at this point: what track
record do you have, or failing that what specifically are you trying to
do?  Forcing Ada Initiative to come up with good answers to those
questions now will aid them far more in achieving future donations than
just giving them money.

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