[kwlug-disc] Company sponsorship + structure

Eric Gerlach eric+kwlug at gerlach.ca
Tue Dec 22 23:07:48 EST 2009


On Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 05:13:38PM -0500, unsolicited wrote:
> What does kwlug choose?

If I could offer a one word change to that sentence that I think asks a more
fundamental question:

*How* does KWLUG choose?

If I could offer an answer (which was alluded to in the previous email):

It's a do-ocracy.

How are we finding new spaces?  People go out and do it.  Nobody asks, nobody
gets approval from anyone, it just happens.  I don't think creating an
infrastructure around KWLUG *implies* that this *must* change.  There's very
little that would *have* to change, in fact.

On Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 02:56:09PM -0500, unsolicited wrote:
> To John's point, incorporation, and other really icky things, could
> only be avoided by handing $$$ to an individual. Trust and
> accountability issues result. Multiple signatories, bank accounts,
> and administrative issues spring into being. Deciding who will
> volunteer for those many roles, accepting them, executing duties,
> and monitoring same, require an infrastructure to be created that we
> do not currently have.

Sure we do.  How do I know that my FLOSS fund contributions actually go to the
FLOSS project in question, and not to someone's beer fund?

I don't, but I trust people will do the right thing.

The total montetary burden we're looking at is less than $5,000/yr, and likely
less than $2,000, including FLOSS fund.  That's tiny.  Most of us I bet have
more money than that pass through our bank accounts in a *month*.

> Even if, to Glen's point, we donate directly to a location, someone
> has to track who's done what, to when, for what, and acquire the
> next bit for when the current <whatever> runs out. Again, it implies
> a level of infrastructure we do not have. Witness the current
> manifestations of needing a new meeting space. Again, not a bad
> thing in and of itself, but probably mirrors future issues.

I'd imagine whoever is closest to each sponsor would do this, and there's just
one person needed to prod them if things don't go as planned.

> If the group wants to create an infrastructure, that's no bad thing
> in and of itself. But it does imply some sort of voting process, and
> the rules surrounding same, including documentation. It implies at
> the least, a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary.

Just to clarify, you don't need that many.  Under the Corporations Act, you
only need two:  President and Secretary.  If we choose to be an unincorporated
club, we can have as many or as few as we wish.  We can even have zero
officers.

> And members assigned to those roles, who commit themselves to
> fulfilling those roles for some period of time. And a mechanism for
> continuous role execution (defined terms of service, and replacement
> through voting.)

Yes, this we need.  But that's it.

> To Bob's point - it would require kwlug to define itself. What it
> wants to be when it grows up. Again, no bad thing, but it would be a
> lot of work. And is something that kwlug has gone to some lengths to
> avoid getting into. Even if it would provide a central point of
> reference that is visible, and therefore can be pointed at and
> discussed. vs. He said, she said, "my kwlug means ..."

I don't think this is necessary.  There's nothing in creating an administrative
structure that implies we have to define a vision.  KWLUG isn't big enough to
need that.  We can continue to have our mission and vision defined organically
by the participants.

> Also to Bob's point, such definition would require kwlug to sort out
> how it wants to balance 'commercial enterprise' against 'community',
> to attempt to put some sort of label upon such aspects.

Again, I have to disagree.  There's nothing in providing administrative
structure that "requires" us to sort this out at all.  Maybe some would find it
useful, but we haven't needed it so far, and if it ain't broke, I say don't fix
it.

To clarify my position: I'm not necessarily a proponent of administrative
structure for KWLUG.  I haven't been involved enough to really care, I'll still
come out no matter what direction is chosen.

But as the President of KwartzLab, a corporation which is less than six months
old; and as the person who did most of the initial administrative work, I can
say for sure that adding administrative overhead is not that big of a deal.
You can do it in a *really* light-handed manner, and still end up with an
effective organization.

Cheers,

Eric

P.S. If you've been following KwartzLab's life and are wondering how I can say
administrative structure is easy, well it was doing everything with the lease
and insurance that was hard for KwartzLab.  KWLUG needs neither of those.



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