This year at Akademy, I took the plunge and decided to run for a seat on the KDE e.V.’s board of directors.
What is the KDE e.V.? It’s the nonprofit organization that represents the KDE community in legal and financial matters. It has several paid employees who work on KDE stuff, most notably promotion & marketing, project management, and event planning. You can see more at https://ev.kde.org/corporate/staffcontractors.
By the way, in case you were wondering (as I did at one point), “e.V.” is short for “eingetragener Verein” which is German for “registered association”–basically a type of nonprofit entity.
For several years, I’ve believed and publicly suggested that the KDE e.V. needs to have more technical positions. We need to directly hire KDE community members so they don’t have to seek employment with a 3rd-party company, or even drift away from the community when they have less free time and age into positions of greater financial need. In fact the KDE e.V. has already been moving in this direction, but slowly, because the available budget is pretty small compared to the vastness of the KDE community and the scope of more ambitious hiring. You can get an idea by looking at the report of the Financial Working Group in the 2021 annual report.
So I ran on a platform of hugely increasing both fundraising and technical hiring. And I’m honored to report that I won the election and am now a member of the board!
To those of you who voted for me, thank you so much for your support. For those of you who didn’t, I hope I can represent you well anyway, and if you get ticked off with anything I’m doing… please tell me! I welcome feedback. This position is all about being a good representative, and that’s what I want to be.
So what does this mean?
It means that a majority of the KDE e.V. membership approves of these goals, so when it gets more money, the KDE e.V. has a mandate to do more hiring–especially for impactful technical positions. It means we will eventually be able to have the big names in KDE paid by KDE, so they can stay in KDE over the long haul! And it also means we need a lot more money to make this happen.
There are a lot of steps to this, including figuring out the legal technicalities of full-time hiring, and increasing the budget so we can make sure we’re always offering market wages. We’ll be investigating potential ways to boost fundraising: hiring a professional fundraising director; applying for a lot more grants; having more explicit fundraising campaigns; gamifying fundraising; sending out nudgey newsletters to people who have donated in the past; making it easier to donate on a recurring basis; and more.
But for now, if you want to see us do more hiring, the best way is to make a donation to the KDE e.V. at https://kde.org/community/donations. It helps. It really does! This money is going to transform KDE into a professional powerhouse with its own internally-employed cadre of world-class superstars. We’re going to take on the Big Tech dogs and win, and we’re going to let our heavy-hitters make a living within KDE while doing it. But it can’t happen without your help, so please consider making a donation today!