Call for Volunteers: 2020 Global Sponsorship Working Group

Do you love looking at spreadsheets, balance sheets, PNLs, and budget projections? Do you really know your way around a sponsorship deck? If the answer to either (or both!) of these questions is, “YES!” then you might be interested in joining the 2020 global sponsorship working group.

The WordPress Global Sponsorship Program (born in 2013 as the Multi-Event Sponsorship Program), provides financial support to WordPress community events around the world. It’s time to analyze the program yet again and come up with a proposal for the 2020 edition.

We’d like to post a proposal for the 2020 Global Sponsorship Program no later than 20 November 2019, hoping to be able to send it to sponsors by 25 November. I’d like to gather a group of 5–7 people to work on this short project.

Time commitment: 2–4 hours of independent program analysis time plus two 1-hour video conference meetings, all between 7–15 November.

Experience required: accounting experience with organizations with an annual gross income of $5M+ AND/OR experience analyzing/reviewing multiple sponsorship decks per year. WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. fundraising experience is also strongly preferred.

If you have skills/experience and the interest/time, please comment on this post! We’ll announce the working group members by 21 October, and I’ll reach out by 23 October to group members to schedule the two video meetings. #global-sponsorship

Call for Volunteers: 2019 Global Sponsorship Working Group

Do you love looking at spreadsheets, balance sheets, PNLs, and budget projections? Do you really know your way around a sponsorship deck? If the answer to either (or both!) of these questions is, “YES!” then you might be interested in joining the 2019 global sponsorship working group.

The WordPress Global Sponsorship Program (born in 2013 as the Multi-Event Sponsorship Program), provides financial support to WordPress community events around the world. It’s time to analyze the program yet again and come up with a proposal for the 2019 edition.

We’d like to post a proposal for the 2018 Global Sponsorship Program no later than November 7, hoping to be able to send it to sponsors by November 14. I’d like to gather a group of 5-7 people to work on this short project. @kcristiano and I will be two of the people in the group, so we’re looking for an additional 3-5 volunteers.

Time commitment: 2-4 hours of independent program analysis time plus two 1-hour video conference meetings, all between October 22-Nov 2.

Experience required: accounting experience with organizations with an annual gross income of $4M and over AND/OR experience analyzing/reviewing multiple sponsorship decks per year. WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. fundraising experience is also strongly preferred.

If you have skills/experience and the interest/time, please comment on this post! We’ll announce the working group members by October 17, and I’ll reach out on October 19 to group members to schedule the two video meetings. #global-sponsorship

Call for Volunteers: 2018 Global Sponsorship Working Group

Do you love looking at spreadsheets, balance sheets, PNLs, and aging reports? Do you really know your way around a sponsorship deck? If the answer to either (or both!) of these questions is, “YES!” then you might be interested in joining the 2018 global sponsorship working group.

The WordPress Global Sponsorship Program (born in 2012 as the Multi-Event Sponsorship Program), provides financial support to WordPress community events around the world. It’s time to analyze the program yet again and come up with a proposal for its 2018 version.

We’d like to post a proposal for the 2018 Global Sponsorship Program no later than October 23, hoping to be able to send it to sponsors by October 27. I’d like to gather a group of 5-7 people to work on this short project. @kcristiano and I will be two of the people in the group, so we’re looking for an additional 3-5 volunteers. 🙂

Time commitment: 1-2 hours of independent program analysis time plus two 1-hour video conference meetings, all between October 11-20.

Experience required: accounting experience with organizations with an annual gross income of $3m and over AND/OR experience analyzing/reviewing multiple sponsorship decks per year. WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. organizing experience is also strongly preferred.

If you have skills/experience and the interest/time, please comment on this post! We’ll announce the working group members by October 8, and I’ll reach out on October 9 to group members to schedule the two video meetings.

#global-sponsorship

Let's talk about the 2017 Global Sponsorship Program

It’s time (past time!) to start drafting a Global Sponsorship program for 2017, yay! This week I sent a survey to current global sponsors to find out what they love and what they don’t love from the 2016 program. Apart from sponsor feedback, though, it’s worth discussing what, if anything, we think isn’t working in the 2016 program, including benefits, levels, and to some extent, execution.

As a reminder, we don’t have unlimited time to work on this, since we want to get a 2017 program to our current and prospective sponsors this month. I’m not aware of anything in our benefits packages that is specifically not working, but people don’t always tell me things directly, so. Here is your chance to tell us directly: what do you as event organizers love about the global sponsorship program? And what do you not love so much? 🙂

#global-sponsorship

Sponsorship and Finances Weekly Report for February 19

Here’s that weekly update on the payments and income for WordPress community events that we post on Fridays. This report might get more elaborate as we get the time to build more tools around financial reporting (currently it’s pretty manual), so if there’s a level of detail we’re not providing that you’d like to see, please mention it in the comments! 🙂

Between February 12 and February 18, here’s what came in:

  • Ticket revenue via PayPal: $42,676.59 USD
  • Number of tickets sold: 882
  • Sponsorship income via wire transfer: 11 payments totaling $20,833.35 USD
  • Sponsorship income via PayPal: 14 payments totaling $13,412.51 USD
  • Sponsorship income via check: 4 payments totaling $52,500.00 USD (includes the global sponsorship payment of $45,000 from DreamHost)

Total revenue (in USD): $129,422.45 USD

And in that same period, here’s what went out:

  • Vendors paid for WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Europe: 1
  • Vendors paid for WordCamp Lancaster PA: 4
  • Vendors paid for WordCamp London: 4
  • Vendors paid for WordCamp Miami: 1
  • Vendors paid for WordCamp Minneapolis: 1
  • Vendors paid for WordCamp New Orleans: 1
  • Vendors paid for WordCamp Northeast Ohio: 1
  • Vendors paid for WordCamp San Diego: 2
  • Total number of payments: 15

Total payments (in USD): $26,743.08

Here’s a list of this week’s global sponsorship grants (which are determined at the budget review):

Asheville $11,000.00
Buffalo $1,000.00

As always, if you have any questions, please ask away in the comments! 🙂

#community-management, #finances, #global-sponsorship, #sponsorship

Sponsorship and Finances Weekly Report

We’re going to be posting a weekly update on the payments and income that we handle for WordPress community events on Fridays. This report might get more elaborate as we get the time to build more tools around financial reporting (currently it’s pretty manual), so if there’s a level of detail we’re not providing that you’d like to see, please mention it in the comments! 🙂

Between February 5 and February 11, here’s what came in:

  • Ticket revenue via PayPal: $14,728.64
  • Number of tickets sold: 365
  • Sponsorship income via wire transfer: 3 payments totaling $28,047.05 (includes the global sponsorship payment of $11,250 from Plesk)
  • Sponsorship income via PayPal: 10 payments totaling $9,787.18
  • Sponsorship income via check: 4 payments totaling $14,600.00 (includes the global sponsorship payment of $11,250 from WiredTree)

Total revenue (in USD): $67,162.87

And in that same period, here’s what went out:

  • Vendors paid for WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Paris: 4
  • Vendors paid for WordCamp Lancaster PA: 3
  • Vendors paid for WordCamp Miami: 6
  • Vendors paid for WordCamp Atlanta: 1
  • Vendors paid for WordCamp CentralWordCamp Central Website for all WordCamp activities globally. https://central.wordcamp.org includes a list of upcoming and past camp with links to each. (SD cards for camera kits): 1
  • Total number of payments: 16

Total payments (in USD): $43,514.28

Here’s a list of recent global sponsorship grants (which are determined at the budget review):

Gdynia, Poland: 1600 EUR
Tokyo, Japan: 1500000 JPY
Albuquerque, USA: 1500 USD
Orange County, USA: 5000 USD
North East Ohio, USA: 4500 USD
Calgary, Canada: 2000 CAD
Bratislava, Slovakia: 3500 EUR
Antwerp, Belgium: 9000 EUR
Nuremberg, Germany: 6000 EUR
Helsinki, Finland: 2500 EUR
Tampa, USA: 7000 USD
Porto, Portugal: 1600 EUR

Kevin and I are adding WiredTree (Q1 only), Plesk, and Dreamhost to Western region events (the Americas) today as Bronze level global sponsors, so organizers in the Americas please be on the lookout for new sponsors on your sites and new emails in your inboxes! 🙂

As always, if you have any questions, please ask away in the comments! 🙂

#community-management, #finances, #global-sponsorship, #sponsorship

Global Community Sponsorship Update

Hey all! @kcristiano and I just wanted to update you on what’s been happening in the Global Community Sponsorship program in the last couple of weeks since our last update. (Hint: a lot!) We have received signed contracts and payment from the following confirmed global sponsors:

Bluehost (Gold Western and Silver Eastern)
GoDaddy (Silver Worldwide)
Jetpack (Gold Worldwide)
Pantheon (Silver Western)
WooCommerce (Gold Worldwide)
WPML (Bronze Worldwide)

Either Kevin or I have added all of these fantastic sponsors to the relevant 2016 WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. sites, merged into the local levels. If you have a 2016 WordCamp on the official schedule and think there might be a problem or discrepancy with global sponsor acknowledgement, please just pingPing The act of sending a very small amount of data to an end point. Ping is used in computer science to illicit a response from a target server to test it’s connection. Ping is also a term used by Slack users to @ someone or send them a direct message (DM). Users might say something along the lines of “Ping me when the meeting starts.” Kevin or me in slackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/., or leave a comment on this thread. 🙂

We are still waiting for payment from Bronze global sponsors DreamHost (Bronze Western) and Plesk (Bronze Western), but they’ve returned their signed contracts and issued payment so it’s just a matter of a few more days until we can add them to all the 2016 sites.

Speaking of those 2016 sites, at this time, they are:

WordCamp Paris
WordCamp Norway
WordCamp Miami
WordCamp Prague
WordCamp Dayton
WordCamp Lancaster PA
WordCamp Mumbai
WordCamp Atlanta
WordCamp Torino
WordCamp London
WordCamp Jacksonville
WordCamp Nuremberg
WordCamp San Diego
WordCamp Chicago
WordCamp Vernon
WordCamp Minneapolis

Gold global sponsors should be merged into the highest local sponsorship level, Silver should be merged into the second highest, and Bronze should be merged into the third highest, and then organizing teams should  acknowledge global sponsors like all other sponsor at that level. Essentially, global sponsors should receive whatever is in their global package plus anything additional you’re providing to your local sponsors, if your local packages include additional items. If you have a question about how to work with or acknowledge your global sponsors, please just leave a comment on this post or ping Kevin or me on Slack — we’re happy to help clarify.

We’ve been talking to lots of other companies, too! We’ve responded to everyone who reached out via email all the companies who sponsored more than 5 WordCamps last year. Here’s the status on outreach.

Still in talks with:
InMotion Hosting
ManageWP
WiredTree

Have received a definite “not at this time” from:
10up
CloudFlare
GMO Internet Group
Interserver
LiquidWeb
Siteimprove, Inc.
SiteLock
Sucuri
Tucows
WinningWP
WPEngine
Yoast

Have not heard back from:
CrowdFavorite
CSSIgniter
Human Made
iThemes
MainWP
ServerPress
SiteGround
VertaMedia
WPRocket

We’ll continue to roll in additional global sponsors into the program on a quarterly basis as the year progresses, but with plenty of time before each quarter begins so we don’t put early-quarter camps in a pinch. Announcement as a Global Community Sponsors will start up on the WordCamp CentralWordCamp Central Website for all WordCamp activities globally. https://central.wordcamp.org includes a list of upcoming and past camp with links to each. blog next week. If you have any questions about the global sponsorship program at all, please let us know!

#community-management, #global-sponsors, #global-sponsorship

2016 Global Sponsorship

tl;dr — new leaders, new payment system, new $ levels, new regions, new names, sponsor feelings, local levels, weigh in

Oversight

For 2016, @andreamiddleton and @kcristiano will be working together to oversee the program. Andrea’s familiarity and relationships with the sponsors combined with Kevin’s financial background will be a good combination, and having two people in charge of an area of responsibility rather than one builds in a bit of a failsafe if things get behind. This will mean that Kevin will be less involved in day-to-day WC oversight/mentoring. While there are other people who have access to the bank account, paypal, etc and have interacted with these sponsors before, only Andrea and Kevin will be managing these relationships, sending invoices, or attributing payments in 2016, to prevent the oversights that led to missing money in past years. Side note: Kevin will also be creating a new budget template for us to use that will be better for tracking estimates vs final prices vs money actually collected or spent. Keep an eye out for news on that from him early next year.

Automation

In 2016 we’ll be switching to an automated QuickBooks-based system for sending invoices and having global sponsors pay electronically right from the online invoice, saving time and money on our end. What, you say? Automatic invoicing and online payment? That sounds awesome and time saving? Why yes, yes it does. Our first big development project in 2016 will be to add invoice requests to the payments pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party so that there will be a central system for managing local sponsors as well, reducing the number of places organizers have to track sponsor income and reducing the possibility of sponsors who haven’t paid yet going unnoticed. We’ll talk more about this as we scope it out.

Levels and Regions (Proposed)

Last but not least, 2016 global sponsor levels. Andrea, Kevin, and I discussed possible changes to the program and levels last week. One change we want to make is regions. Last year it was split out into a bunch of distinct regions, but the big ones were US and Europe because of the number of WordCamps. Of the regions with fewer WCs — Canada, Asia/Pacifica, Central & South America, and Africa — only Canada had a sponsor that had chosen just that region. To make things simpler, this year we want to split things into just two regions: Western and Eastern Hemispheres.
If we combine last year’s regions into the 2-hemisphere model, 2015 levels looked like this:

Level Western (The Americas) Eastern (Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa)
Outstanding (Gold) $198,000 $102,000
Superb (Silver) $99,000 $51,000
Splendid (Bronze) $39,600 $20,400

Another thing that came up when looking at the previous levels what because the levels had been based on overall number of attendees at events in a region, sponsors were paying the same amount of money whether it was a WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. of 1 day and 80 people of a WordCamp of 800 people for 3 days with sponsor booths or tables. While we love both of those kinds of WordCamps here at Community Central — and every size and shape of WordCamp in between — the costs associated with them are pretty different, as are the opportunities for sponsors to meet with community influencers, etc. To address that disparity, we’ve also changed the math from being based on number of attendees to being based on a combination of size range and number of days. Proposed new levels for 2016:

Level Western (The Americas) Eastern (Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa)
Gold $160,000 $80,000
Silver $80,000 $50,000
Bronze $45,000 $35,000

This is based on expecting to have 100 WCs in 2016 (about the same rate of growth as previous years), with a similar-ish ratio between western and eastern hemispheres. It does not include WCEU or WCUS, but I propose we offer anyone who does a worldwide sponsorship 10% off on sponsorship levels for those 2 events. Why is eastern hemisphere so much cheaper? 1. It only contained 40% of the events in 2015, and 2. Those events tended to be smaller, shorter, or both.

Compared to last year, this new math makes global sponsorship significantly cheaper at the top level, about the same at the middle level, and a little more expensive at the bottom level, but with more events in play.

Names

I propose we change the level names. I proposed this the last time too, when I suggested that champion, pillar etc didn’t really indicate a hierarchy of levels because they were disparate things. The replacements, however, are still a problem IMO. To most people, outstanding, superb, and splendid all mean more or less the same superlative thing, which makes them not good labels (talking as a ux person now). If you dig down into official meanings, superb means excellent or first-rate, but it is the 2nd level. Splendid means luxurious or expensive, but it’s the cheapest level. Outstanding means superior or excellent, but not necessarily the best. I suggest we go back to the classic gold, silver, and bronze. The hierarchy of Olympic medals is known around the world, and we can leave clever sponsor level names to the local organizing teams. Which leads us to local levels. 🙂

Blending In and Feeling Valued

Some of the complaints from global sponsors make it clear that the program increased efficiency (one bill, all WordCamps) at the expense of feeling a connection to organizers and/or feeling as valued as local sponsors. This was especially true of WordCamps that were breaking out the global sponsors into separate categories rather than integrating them with their local levels (and in some cases listing the globals below the bottom local level). In 2016, we’ll want to make sure organizers integrate global sponsors into their overall sponsor listing. We’d need a good way to designate global sponsors without listing them separately (the dreaded asterisk? a gold/silver/bronze ribbon? we can figure something out I bet, there are a lot of creative people who have an interest in this). We also need to set up a way to give the globals a connection to organizers and/or sponsor wranglers, whether that’s having automated introduction emails that suggest a hangout to “meet” or something else. We can talk more about this after WCUS.

Local Sponsorships

When you sit around copying the budget levels for every WC in the past year out of their individual budget spreadsheets (like Andrea) or you sit around doing a couple of hours of calculations with them on your phone’s calculator (like me), you quickly notice something about the variation between sponsor levels. With a few notable exceptions for big expensive cities (like NYC), most of the sponsor levels are *really* similar once you adjust for size of event and number of days. As we think about ways to streamline the deputy workflow and the organizer setup process, I think we should consider standardizing WC sponsorship levels based on these criteria. This would mean that when a WC was approved based on dates and estimated attendance based on venue, the sponsor levels would be automatically set and published. This would cut out the back and forth about how much the levels should be, saving everyone some time, and the local organizer could spend that time instead coming up with those locally-flavored level names so many people love and jazzing up the level descriptions. If we chose to adopt this model, we would want to allow organizers to add additional lower levels as desired to bring in small local businesses and microsponsors if they want to. And for that handful of big expensive cities, we’d have to figure out if it would make more sense to add a higher level or for us to just make up any difference from the common fund. We can discuss this one in more depth after WCUS as well, just wanted to plant the idea since this post is already talking about sponsors.

What do you think about the hemispheres concept? The dollar levels? The change to basing it on size and duration of WCs rather than just attendance? Weigh in in the comments!

#global-sponsorship, #sponsorship, #wordcamps