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

Silvia Pfeiffer silvia at silvia-pfeiffer.de
Fri Feb 25 14:30:42 EST 2011


So, consequentually, you are saying that every year's LCA should ask
that charity that it is intending to give money to during from the LCA
dinner activities to put in a grant application for that money.

People, how often do we have to repeat ourselves: it is not a grant
application - it is a donation!

Yes, we could have a process in place within LA to decide on when a
donation is adequate. That would then probably also apply to the
donations executed during LCA, which are substantially higher than
this one.

But as it stands, there is no process in place and they did nothing wrong.


On Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 12:11 PM, Russell Stuart
<russell-linuxaus at stuart.id.au> wrote:
> On Tue, 2011-02-22 at 13:39 +1100, Donna Benjamin wrote:
>> I applaud the LA committee for having the vision to act a
>> little like an Angel Investor, have a little faith, and give them their
>> first stepping stone.
> Yes, well I don't agree.  Just to be clear, I am not saying I personally
> think the stated goals of Ada Initiative are a bad idea.  Its the
> reverse in fact.  I like the getting more women into open source, and I
> can't think of a person who is likely to bring more energy and
> dedication to the task than Val.  It would be a disappointment to me if
> LA didn't end up supporting it in the end.  Fortunately that seems
> unlikely now.
> My point is that just giving money as a show of support, but with no
> idea of how it is actually going to be spent is not the best way of
> going about it.
> From the Ada Initiative's point of view, it is almost certainly better
> to get them to write up a grant application first.  Being forced to
> write a grant application is not too much different to a bank asking you
> to write up a business plan.  Anyone who has done this knows it focuses
> the mind wonderfully on sorting out what you want to do, how you are
> going to achieve it, how to get it done the most efficient way possible,
> and how much effort is going to be required.
> Writing up such plans is not something most people do naturally.  They
> have to be pushed into do it.  Yet if you ask a successful business
> whether their business plan actually helped get their endeavour off the
> ground, the answer is invariably an empathic yes.
> LA is in the same position of privilege the banks find themselves in,
> and I think to not use this position to prod people gently into doing
> some planning is a bad thing.  I see it as part LA's role in the
> community to provide just this sort of guidance.
> If I thought there was no other choice in this case, then perhaps my
> position on abandoning this role would be different.  As it is LA is
> setting a precedent.  Here we have an organisation that could easily put
> together a grant application.  Their stated goals are seemingly well
> supported with the community, then have obviously incurred expenses
> already, and as you point out there are more very justifiable ones
> coming such as the not for profit application.  Yet you are effectively
> saying LA should put its procedures aside because they are good guys
> with a good cause, and they deserve a show of support.
> Sorry, but I can't bring myself to agree.  Where possible LA should not
> be basing its decisions on personalities and dreams.  Setting that
> precedent would be a mistake.  If as some have argued it has already
> been set, then re-enforcing it would be a mistake.
> To put it another way, if LA's wants to make a show of support to the
> Ada Initiative, I think the right idea is to publicly invite them to put
> in a grant application.
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