RFC: Limiting grant duration

I am thinking about adding this to the grants operation rules:

If the grant does not finish within three times of the proposed duration or within two years, the grant will be considered a failure.

First of all, it should be noted that it won't affect most grants (see the reason 2).

Reason 1: Budget structure & allocation to new grants

TPF does not allow over-allocation of the budget. If we have 3 x $3,000 grants running and our budget is $9,000, no more grants can be funded.

If a grant worth $3,000 is running for five years, this $3,000 is stuck in the TPF safe. Even if we get good proposal, we cannot fund it using this money.

The aim is to increase liquidity of the fund.

Reason 2: If a grant runs more than a year, chance of failure increases

During 2009-2013, we managed 17 grants. Here is the breakdown:

GrantResultProposedActual
ASuccess44
BSuccess67
CSuccess412
DSuccess35
ESuccess69
FSuccess25
GSuccess33
HSuccess42
ISuccess111
JSuccess38
KSuccess25
LSuccess49
MFailure312
NFailure-13
OFailure741
PFailure326
QFailure332

(Proposed/Actual: Duration in months. The grant N did not estimate duration)

Statistically, all the grant failed if they ran for more than a year. And except for the grants C and I, all of them failed after running more than 2.5 times of the proposed duration.

Would like to have your feedback.

Grants Committee 2014

I have posted a formal version of the Grants Committee 2014 report.

Here is another, a bit less formal and more personal version.

Here I am

I took over the position of the Grants Committee secretary at the beginning of this year. I wanted to try a lot of things, some of which went great, but others were challenging.

People change

Besides me,

  • Daisuke Maki joined the committee as the first voting member from Japan. Perl community in Japan is often "invisible" and TPF is invisible in Japan due to the language barrier and he has been working hard to increase the visibility.
  • Mark Jensen joined us as a grant manager. I am sure a number of you enjoy his grant updates already. Behind the scene, he spends good amount of time to help the grants run smoothly.

Grant rules change

  • The grant evaluation is conducted every 2 months. It was quarterly until 2013.
  • The grant limit was raised from $3,000 to $10,000.

Can't be a bad thing.

Challenge 1: Marketing

Our favorite topic. The grant program has to be more known. Our committee people tweeted and blogged. I spoke about the grant program in my local Perl Mongers meeting. The program was mentioned in multiple talks in YAPC. You may have seen our Google ads which I have been testing. But marketing is never enough.

Challenge 2: $$$

The grant program isn't possible without our sponsors. As the Grants Committee, one of the best ways to give back the value to the sponsors is to deliver grants successfully to advance the Perl language. We need to have more successful grants, which will lead to the sponsors' satisfaction and, in the long run, more sponsorship and more grants will be possible.

September grant round is just around the corner

The Grants Committee evaluates grant proposals every two months (rules 1.1). We accept grant proposals all the time, and in this round, we will evaluate proposals which we get between July 15th till September 14th. I will post a CFP tomorrow, September 1st my time, on the TPF news.

Some readers may remember that I discussed the budget in July. Let me be clear; the grant limit is still $10,000 as announced in February.

Read on if you are interested on our budget.

As we funded $6,000 grant in the July round, the allocatable money we have for 2014 is $5,200.

At the same time, let me stress the basic rule for the grant application: Don't try to calculate your proposal based on the budget we have. While the budget is one factor, ultimately your grant value should not be influenced by the budget we have.

For example, if you think your grant is worth $8,000, submit a proposal with $8,000. Don't lower it just because of our remaining budget. The committee's initial decision whether to fund the grant will not be influenced by the remaining budget either.

It is true that we need to handle the situation differently if we want to fund more than we are allowed; but we will do our best to make it our issue, not grantee's issue.

Want to see how we will deal with this? Submit a proposal and see :)

Want to help the Perl community? Here's how.

Please respond by tomorrow (Aug 15th).

Grants Committee Looking For Volunteers - The Perl Foundation

July 2014 Grant Proposals

We have received two proposals for this round. Take a look and give them feedback. Your input is important for us to determine how to use the community money.

If you have a grant idea but missed this round, you can still submit a proposal now. We will review them in the Septermber round.