The Foundation does not have any cash reserves right now.Well, I think we can all agree that reaching out to girls who don't have any real interest in programming is more important than whatever it is the GNOME foundation was formed to do. Why not simply continue the vital work of the Outreach Program for Woman with their sole compensation being the ability to bask in the approval of all right-thinking individuals?
Why has this happened?
The Outreach Program for Women (OPW) has proven to be extremely popular and has grown quite rapidly both in terms of the number of interns and the number of participating organizations. GNOME, as the lead organization, has been responsible for managing the finances for the entire effort. However, as the program grew, the processes did not keep up. The changes were not tracked effectively from the point when other organizations joined the OPW. This impacted not only our ability to manage the OPW administration, but also to keep up with the core financial tasks of the Foundation -- tasks which already needed the full attention of the Foundation's employees and the board.
As a result of these issues, we have only just now finalized our 2014 budget. In the meantime, we made assumptions based on previous years' incomes and expenditures, and we authorized expenditures for this year based on those assumptions. Those assumptions proved to be more optimistic than reality. In addition, while our outgoing payments to interns must be strictly timed, the incoming payments from sponsoring organizations are very fluid, thus we have had to front the costs of OPW. Fronting these costs has resulted in a budget shortfall.
It would be unfortunate if the Open Source movement was strangled by its misguided insistence on getting more women involved. In fact, one almost wonders if Microsoft might not behind it somehow....