Funding ideas and proposals

gusaus's picture

Moving this 'dojo issue' out for hopefully a bit more 'meta' discussion.

Google Highly Open Participation Contest (GHOP) (and Summer of Code) have proven how successful tasks and projects can be for both learning and as a way to contribute back to Drupal. We seem to be hung up on the 'if/how/who' issues when it comes to real money.

Once again, GHOP and the Drupal association could serve as a template.

Here are a few issues and/or ideas:

  • Could the Drupal Association act as a conduit?
  • is there any way to earmark funds specifically for the dojo (i.e.
    if the dojo provides a means to raise funds for the association)
  • how would a budget be determined?
    • would this be on a per project basis
    • could each project/task be spec-ed out based on some hourly rate?
  • who would collect and distribute the money?
    • could someone volunteer on behalf of the association?
    • possibly this too could be a paid (commission based?) position
  • who receives money and how is that decided?
    • do people sign up for specific roles and tasks?
    • what about people who don't want monetary compensation? could take a swag equivalent?
    • what about handing out belts for various training levels and achievements (as mentioned here)

Not sure there's going to be a way to please everybody, but I think a bit of funding/incentives will go a long way to create value for Drupal.

Related issues here:
Sponsor page? -
Screencast Instructor and Producer Incentive Program -


I may be in the minority

brenda003's picture

I may be in the minority here, but here's my thoughts nonetheless. I don't think that the Drupal Dojo should involve any money, unless possibly done through the Drupal Association or such, which I find unlikely at this time. People should volunteer without any expectations of any return except by way of the same return they'd get contributing to any other part of the non-Dojo Drupal community. I tend to think the only funding that would be required would be via donations or random sponsorships, to help with supporting the dojo's website/server and video/screencast related stuff.

Let's go on the scenario that the Association or...

gusaus's picture

Let's go on the scenario that the Association or some other 'non-profit' could act as a conduit (and just for sake of this discussion would take care of all the collection, allocation, distribution ) for funds. Would actual $$ as one potential reward/incentive for valuable contributions (contributors choice) be 'unacceptable'?

Gus Austin
PepperAlley Productions

Gus Austin

No, if the Association or,

brenda003's picture

No, if the Association or, heck, even a company wanted to sponsor such things - heck yeah! I just don't know that it should be a focus, per se. At least not at this time. I'm curious what others think about it.

Drupal Association for the Dojo 'brand'?

gusaus's picture

First off, it'll help to get some folks from the Association to chime in. From what I can gauge from conversations and other posts  there may be a possibility for some sort of budget. Assuming they 'could' allocate some sort of budget, then it would make sense for any $$ from advertising, sponsorships, and dojo fundraising (here's an innovative/fun way of doing it) to go directly to the Association. Would/could the Association be able to earmark whatever funds we raise right back to us?

Another potential benefit from association with the uhh...association is that they 'being an actual non-profit' might be able to help us secure any commercial solutions (such as this) via donations or discounted rate.

Once we figure out if/how we can work with the Association, we can move onto other issues such as how we'd allocate funds.

Gus Austin
PepperAlley Productions

Gus Austin

Why The focus on $$$$

JBadger's picture


I'm not sure why there is so much focus on $$$. I think the Dojo group would be better off focusing on the direction they would like to go in and then properly communicating that vision to the community with a request for assistance.

At the BadCamp event we offered both, and it was clear that at that time the group did not have a game plan for applying either resources. Additionally, it should be noted that there was a reluctance to accept an offer from a development firm.

Asking the Association for money is not the answer. Communicate your vision, and make Dojo all that it can be.

Jeff Badger

Hi Five!

mpare's picture

Give it up high, give it down low. JBadjer way to GO!

Ok, so that was a little cheesy... Ok a whole lot of cheeze...

Anyways, I'm sure everyone already knows my position by now, but I really think JBadjer is onto something here and coupled with my other reasons for narrowing our immediate changes I think not handling money, at least at this moment, is the way to go.

Alright, I'm done commenting in the direction of money but will fully support the Dojo and the people who support it regardless of the outcome.



Pare Technologies
Drupal Consulting, Themeing, and Module Development
806.781.8324 | 806.733.3025

Figure Something Out? Document Your Success!



Pare Technologies
Drupal Consulting, Themeing, and Module Development
806.781.8324 | 806.733.3025

Figure Something Out? Document Your Success!

A potential incentive/resource we've been discussing

gusaus's picture

The funding/reward (monetary/non-monetary) issue is just one of many 'meta' discussions we've been having as we work towards (re)defining what the Dojo is and how we can maximize our value to the Drupal community. The 'lack of game plan' is the same reason we've yet to ask for any financial support, and won't until it's agreed (whatever that means) that will have some benefit. Some sort of affiliation with the Association seems like a good 'potential' fit for a few reasons.
* Dojo has no current leadership structure, board or directors, or point person to collect/allocate funds
* It would most likely be more acceptable to the Dojo community if the Association (or another non-profit entity) could be a conduit for funds we could collect thru advertising, sponsorships, events, and Dojo online fundraising.

Personally, I don't think it's realistic for us to follow thru with our game plan on a strictly volunteer basis when we're consistently losing our top contributors to the extremely busy/ever growing Drupal consulting economy.

Gus Austin
PepperAlley Productions

Gus Austin

I think it is realistic

add1sun's picture

Well I think we can do it with volunteers (as many things in Drupal do get done that way) if it is something people find valuable and want to invest in. I think focusing on things like Matt's idea for stripping down the site and actually getting our content in order is the road we need to move down. As we create regular, stable, valuable content/resources for folks we will get more people willing to invest time and resources to help us improve. That will also give us a more tangible platform to reward people for their work in non-monetary ways such as the short commercial space on videos as described in the incentive issue or the sponsor page suggestion.

This may not be as fast as money would get it done, but I think a) money is a PITA and b) if folks are invested and we are supported by the larger community more from their involvement we will have a more sustainable Dojo in the long term. (Note, I'm not saying money isn't in there somewhere but I think of it more as companies paying employees or hiring folks to "volunteer" for the non-monetary return they will get from the Dojo and not money running directly to "the Dojo" to be dispersed. Exactly the same way that much of the rest of Drupal works.)

Learn Drupal online at

Development and design vs Production

gusaus's picture

I think we probably should pull those apart. With development, design and other matters we're providing teaching and training - it's already been proven that if you learn, participate, you're going to be employed by a Drupal shop in no time and/or you'll get a ton of work yourself. So, indeed that's pretty good incentive for most. You also have a lot of students, hobbyists, purists, who simply don't have any interest in money. Then again, there probably are a lot of others who'd love to work on dojo projects rather than some pain in the arse client. I'd say if we just take out the $$ is PITA/where would it come from bit (that all could be figured out) you may want way the potential benefits that may derive from payment (mainly, stability and ability to commit and follow thru). Also, there is some precedent for paying people in the land of Drupal:

But as you say, there are plenty of incentives for aspiring developers and designers. I think there are plenty of non-monetary incentives...

I think the incentives break down when it comes to coming up with the curriculum, teaching, and producing quality learning materials. These things can be very time consuming and require a different skill set. Being a good teacher, producer, or manager doesn't necessarily get you a Drupal job (well... maybe Lullabot), so the non-monetary incentive might not work the same. Matt's well thought out plan ( could be swell for a lot of folks, but it doesn't really work for people who already have those skills and need to get paid.

If you're simply going to draw a line in sand and keep the Dojo brand pure, you're probably going to see higher quality learning materials, production quality elsewhere. And if the Dojo is a repository for ALL learning materials, the Dojo quality might not be up to par w/ some others.

I'm just trying to foresee what may - may not happen. I'm on the side of making the Dojo be kick ass and top notch!

Gus Austin
PepperAlley Productions

Gus Austin

Not saying "no" money

add1sun's picture

I'm actually not quite getting this statement "Matt's well thought out plan ( could be swell for a lot of folks, but it doesn't really work for people who already have those skills and need to get paid." Well, that may be true but the Dojo doesn't exist to hire people who need to make money. Yes, it is a shame if there are people who have skills, want to help but can't volunteer free time right now. This is true of the Drupal project overall but thankfully the Drupal project keeps on going. There are people who have those skills and a) can and want to volunteer free time, b) have an employer who is willing to pay them to volunteer (either explicitly or generally - more and more Drupal shops pay employees to spend anywhere from 10-50% of their company time on Drupal community work of their choice), c) find that getting advertising space for their "day job" that does make money for them is enough of an incentive.

Yes, there is precedent for money for services in Drupal (a la bounties) and I do hope that that happens around the Dojo. The key point is that money does not go to the amorphous "Dojo" but instead interested parties will pay people/companies to do tasks and handle the money transaction themselves. This is essentially just having "the community" pay for "volunteer" work and this is how a LOT of work gets done in Drupal without a dime of it going to a "Drupal" entity (which we didn't even have for a long time but is now the Association in terms of where money can go.) So I'm not saying money won't be involved to get things done but I don't think at this time that the Dojo should pursue some sort of central way of soliciting, collecting, managing and distributing money. Maybe it'll make sense down the road once we have a stable Dojo and if we determine that is needed.

I think that there is potential for the Association to help with very specific needs if they make sense but I don't think right now that having the Association give us money or even keep track of "our" money for us is something we can or should count on. I'd like to proceed with what we know we have and build on that. This doesn't have anything to do with keeping the Dojo "pure" really. It is just a much more practical stance given where we are, what resources we have in hand and, honestly, the current perception of the Dojo to outsiders.

Learn Drupal online at

I don't think we need to be talking about money yet

Senpai's picture

Add1sun sez:

Drupal shops pay employees to spend anywhere from 10-50% of their company time on Drupal community work of their choice.

Achieve Internet has just instituted a company-wide program we're calling Adopt-A-Module. Each employee is now required to spend a portion of their week working on, testing, getting to know, patching, reporting bugs, and generally givin' some love to the module of their choice. The rock stars in the company have elected to take on two modules each!

My point is this. I agree with Addi that " won't be involved to get things done, but I don't think at this time the Dojo should pursue some sort of soliciting, collecting, managing and distributing money." Sure, we'll need it eventually, but right now, we need some product that looks great on our great looking site. All the money in the world wouldn't help to build the dojo 2.0 site right now, cause the plan just isn't there. Throw $15,000 into my hands right now. Could I build a successful dojo2.0 site? Nope. Whatever I built, farmed out, GHOPPED, or whatever, wouldn't be what it needs to be, because we don't yet know what we want.

The plan is coming together, however. It's just going to take some hard thinking. Heck, we still don't even have a working code repo or a way of pushing from dev, to testing, to live.
Senpai (my d.o account)

Joel Farris | my 'certified to rock' score

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