WordPress Community Support Financial Health Update

The WordPress events program is back in full force and the community is eagerly awaiting what the rest of 2024 has in store. As of May 14th, a total of 21 events have been organized by the passionate community at large, and there are already a total of 21 events on the schedule for the remainder of the year, with many more in pre-planning.

The 2023 audit is almost complete, and although it is best to wait until that process concludes before sharing exact totals, there are certain figures that can be shared to assist with planning as 2024 rolls on.

In 2023, the total amount of Global Sponsorship funds collected to support all local events (excluding flagships) was $665,000 USD. Of this total, $307,595 were approved as grants for events, and actual grants expensed on local events for the year totaled approximately $342,484. 

Overhead expenses of WordPress Community SupportWordPress Community Support WordPress Community Support PBC is a Public Benefit Corporation, created specifically to be the financial and legal support for WordCamps, WordPress Meetup groups, and any additional “official” events organized within the WordPress Community Events program. (MeetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. fees, Meetup venue reimbursements, insurance, bank fees, audit services, dues & subscriptions for things like Zoom, etc.) totaled $404,691. Taking into account community grants, overhead expenses, and funds needed to cover gaps in funding for flagship events and the Community Summit, WPCSWPCS The collection of PHP_CodeSniffer rules (sniffs) used to format and validate PHP code developed for WordPress according to the WordPress Coding Standards. May also be an acronym referring to the Accessibility, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, etc. coding standards as published in the WordPress Coding Standards Handbook. closed the year at a loss of approximately ($148,718). The organization does have surplus funds from prior years to cover this loss, but continued losses of this magnitude are not sustainable year after year.

These figures were discussed when planning for the 2024 Global Sponsorship program, and ultimately, the total Global Sponsorship Funds to be received for the year is $725,000. So far this year, a total of $208,201 in community grants have been approved. It is anticipated that WPCS overhead expenses will again be approximately $400,000, which leaves an estimated $116,799 to be used for community grants throughout the remainder of 2024. Community grants for local events are not limited to that amount, but it is a figure that will be monitored throughout the year. This is something to consider as discussions begin around the 2025 Global Sponsorship program.

Global Funds in Relation to Approved Grants and Overhead

Total Global FundsApproved Community GrantsActual Community GrantsOverheadVariance
2023$665,000$307,595$342,484$404,691-$148,718**
2024 (as of Q2)$725,000$208,201$400,000(projected)$117,000
**Losses generated in 2023 include flagship gap funding and were following a year where several events contributed to a surplus that covered this loss.

As many who have organized events can confirm, ticket sales, sponsorships, and sometimes expenses are not exactly the amounts budgeted, so on occasion, events can end with a surplus. These surpluses go back into the bucket for application to future events. The opposite holds true for events who experience losses. Those losses, in most cases, are covered by WPCS. 

All of this information is being shared to provide insight into the financial health of the organization, how the Global Sponsorship funds are utilized, and how important it is that the community consider the impact of every dollar spent when organizing events. 

Some highly successful recent events, particularly in attracting first-time attendees and achieving high satisfaction rates, have been conducted on a modest budget. I hope this post inspires organizers to be creative and plan strategically to make the most of the financial resources entrusted to us by our Global Sponsors.