Introducing our new community sponsorship program

Published Tuesday March 29th, 2011
9 Comments on Introducing our new community sponsorship program
Posted in Community, Events, Learning, Programs | Tags: , , ,

Qt Development Frameworks has sponsored community projects since Trolltech was founded 15 years ago. The biggest contribution we make to the community is Qt itself –  with open source access – starting with version 0.9 in 1995. Much has happened since that humble start.

Now we sponsor a lot of different community projects, from code sprints to community websites and more. The increase in Qt downloads from 400,000 in 2008 to 1.5 million in 2010 shows a steady growth of developers.

A result of this growth is there are now more communities than ever contacting us to talk about sponsorship opportunities. To handle this increase, we have re-engineered the sponsorship process, making it more transparent and a bit more formal.

KOffice Code Sprint summer 2010

Who can apply

If you’re participating in a community project which uses Qt, we may be able to co-organize community activities and projects with you, and you should apply for sponsorship for the project you’re participating in. Examples of projects we sponsor are code sprints, conferences, community websites, re-distribution of Qt (Linux distros ++), application projects, translations, documentation, language bindings, porting efforts etc.

We have a requirement that community projects applying for sponsorship must have one contact person who handles the administrative tasks of the sponsorship. It’s a contact person who follows the application through. This “admin role” involves being the point of contact – answering e-mails, voice calls, getting the sponsorship agreement signed, and invoicing us after the project is done etc. Yes, these administrative tasks might be a bit boring compared to other community activities, but it has to be done, and it has to be done properly. That way, we are able to help more community projects.

The sponsorship approval is closely tied to execution of your own project, making your own plan come to life. It’s about getting community members involved, sharing results with the community at large.

The amount of financial support we give to sponsored projects varies. Every application will be assessed individually and compared against our current available budget. A review meeting will be held once a month to assess applications.

In terms of repeat sponsorship, yes, you can apply for sponsorship again, even if you’ve already got a sponsorship. Many communities organise code sprints or conferences periodically. Knowing that you can apply for sponsorship again is a nice thing.

How to apply

The process begins when you add your sponsorship application at the Qt Dev.Net wiki. You will find a community sponsorship guide there that will get your started. Please follow the guide, submit your application, and your community project will be on its way to potentially getting a sponsorship.

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Posted in Community, Events, Learning, Programs | Tags: , , ,

9 comments

Per says:

For many (most?) projects, anything involving purchases and money would just be too much hassle to administrate. Much more interesting would be to be able to promise prizes that would be delivered directly from Nokia. It could be everything from small Qt trinkets and t-shirts to Nokia phones. That I think would be a more interesting way to get sponsorship for small but promising projects.

Konstantin Tokarev says:

@Per:
>It could be everything from small Qt trinkets and t-shirts to Nokia phones
… with WP7 🙂

Actually, I think it’s a great initiative. Something similar to GSoC, but without “one summer” time limit.

Aron says:

@Per: We have been doing ad-hoc sponsorship for a long time now involving money, which is part of the reason why we wanted to set up this program.

We can also sponsor with devices, etc. It all depends on the proposal we receive and the value delivered.

Knut Yrvin says:

@Per: We sponsors t-shirts or hardware too, as described in the sponsorship guide[1].
1. http://developer.qt.nokia.com/wiki/Category:Community::Sponsorship

Small print issues says:

1)
Before one applies for anything, one needs to understand what Nokia needs to include for their side into their sign agreement. This is not clear at all on your site. Basically, one needs to know the “small print issues” when money is involved. Most probably, one shouldn’t have worried before 11.2.11, but now, knowing that Nokia and Microsoft use the same investors for money and their common objectives, one needs to understand a lot of details before applying for the kind of sponsorship you offer.

2)
There is also the moral problem for communities built around GPL or similar other licenses: Is it okay to accept money from Microsoft & friends, knowing that Microsoft is continuously declaring publicly their intention to destroy Linux and the open source communities?

3)
Looking at the Application Workflow, it flies into one’s face that a different sponsorship Workflow can be designed for a web service, without money changing hands between Nokia and communities. Unfortunately, Qt@Nokia herself cannot manage a web service for communities, and has to pass this business to Digia or equivalent, which has to invoice Nokia. However, this is a vicious circle as one has to ask Digia or equivalent to apply on her/his behalf for sponsorship.

Aron says:

@Small Print Issues:
1. We share our requirements with those selected to the program before any agreement is made. It involves such things as ensuring we are not liable for your actions under the sponsorship and ensuring you blog about your project and the sponsorship, etc. Not very scary stuff really.

2. If someone has a moral problem with accepting sponsorship from a company that does business with Microsoft, then they will obviously not apply for sponsorship.

3. I don’t understand what you are trying to say here. Commercial licensing and support of a product is different and unrelated to supporting community projects via a simple sponsorship program.

For many projects, anything involving purchases and money would just be too much hassle to administrate. Much more interesting would be to be able to promise prizes that would be delivered directly from Nokia. It could be everything from small Qt trinkets and t-shirts to Nokia phones. That I think would be a more interesting way to get sponsorship for small but promising projects.

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