[Ambassadors] EMEA Membership Questione

Jeroen van Meeuwen kanarip at kanarip.com
Thu May 8 11:31:17 UTC 2008

Christoph Wickert wrote:
> Am Dienstag, den 06.05.2008, 22:56 +0200 schrieb Gerold Kassube:
>> Hi all together for the second,
>> because I forgot and some are asking for; there is only a german bank
>> account possible (if we have elected a new Treasurer) and the
>> membership fee is EUR 128,-/year for Full membership. This amount can
>> be payed at Linuxtag in person (because of high transfer costs from
>> foreign countrys) ...
> AFAIR the Fedora EMEA NPO was founded to make it easier for us TO RAISE
> money for Fedora and not TO SPEND it. Or did I get something
> completely wrong here?

Regardless of the height of the membership fee, Fedora EMEA will enable 
us, Fedora Ambassadors, to RAISE money easier, as well as SPEND it 
easier. That money however does not necessarily need to come from your 
pocket, and if it does, it doesn't necessarily mean it needs to be a 
membership fee.

> IMHO 128 € is way to much especially for those of us who are not from
> the wealthy countries of Europe. I think once again the European
> Ambassadors/Founding members of EMEA did not take the situation of all
> ambassadors into account. Remember, the letters "ME" in EMEA mean
> "Middle East" and "A" is for Africa. Has anybody really thought about
> the people there?
> Could someone also please point out what the difference between the
> different membership grades is (full membership, family membership and
> so on)? According to the declaration of accession to Fedora EMEA the
> cost-reduced membership requires "a confirmation accepted in the Federal
> Republic of Germany." What does that mean?
> Next question: What do I get for my membership? If I read Jörg Simons
> mail of March 24th 2008 correctly, members are getting a "one-off and
> exclusive" welcome present, whatever this means. Must be a hell of a
> present though... ;)
> Also EMEA members are allowed to vote what to do the raised money. Of
> course
> understand this but I'm afraid we are going to divide the ambassadors
> program into first and second class ambassadors: Those who (can afford
> to) pay and therefore have more rights and those who don't.
> Sorry, but this scares me off

I do understand there are those of us that will want to become a member, 
but can't bring up this kind of money; I'm very sorry for that and I'll 
make sure this issue is raised as soon as we get the chance to 
reconsider the membership fee. I would like to see more feedback on what 
it is you think is an appropriate membership fee.

Here's a couple of my own personal thoughts on the topic - so take this 
with a grain of salt, as it does not reflect Fedora EMEA's official 
policy, or anything other then what I think;

Fedora EMEA is founded to provide Ambassadors with a means (non-profit 
organization) to a goal. This includes all Ambassadors, and not just 
Ambassadors that are willing to, or able to, become a member of the NPO. 
Being able to take donations is one of those means, being able to sell 
(and buy!) stuff is another, not to mention the investments (booths, 
hotels) now often done by Fedora community members themselves, to a goal 
that remains similar if not entirely equal between _all_ Ambassadors, 
and as such is the single most important item to take into consideration 
each time we consider changing anything within the organization itself, 
or do anything on the outside. This doesn't say anything about the 
membership fee, yet, I know.

One does not necessarily need to be a member of the NPO in order to 
claim resources, gain resources or participate in any discussion - In 
fact I think it is key in the success of Fedora EMEA that this is in no 
way a requirement, ever. When it comes down to voting on anything 
however, one is required to be a member -which is a legal requirement in 
any country we could have founded the NPO, not our own policy. Votes 
could include electing Board members, changing statutes and membership 
fee - all directly related to the operation of the NPO within itself - 
and possibly matters that need to be voted upon from a legal stance.

Now if I needed to remind a large subset of Fedora Ambassadors as voting 
members of the NPO that they need to take into consideration the greater 
good for _all_ Ambassadors - not to mention all of Fedora Project - and 
vote accordingly, I'm not as sure about the end-result as I would with 
kindly reminding any number of voting members that specifically choose 
to join us because just that (the greater good for all Ambassadors, 
Fedora Project) is what they're after -specifically-, and they want to 
take into account EMEA only stands for a subset of the community members 
dearest to us. I'd like to think that in such cases, we won't even vote 
on any such thing, rather then vote to let FAmSCo decide and accept 
their verdict. It's our responsibility to make that work for all of us, 
and not against any of us. In fact, let me put it like this: The one 
thing Fedora EMEA will need to remember, is that there is no Fedora 
EMEA. We're a means to a goal, your goal, our goal. Nothing more, 
nothing less.

Another key in success of Fedora EMEA is that we should not, ever, 
become the sole NPO that takes money in form of donations or revenue and 
spend it without regard to any given party that actually enabled 
anything generating revenue from. Whenever I need to clarify that I like 
taking "selling Unity Re-Spins" as an example as I'm heavily involved 
with those as well. I'd like to think that should Fedora EMEA start 
selling Unity Re-Spins, the revenue (minus production/shipping costs) is 
not entirely EMEA's to spend. I know they (including me) spend money as 
well, and lacking an organization like ours, the money comes from out of 
their(our) own pockets -and they(we) can't take donations in any form. 
I'd like to think that, should Fedora EMEA start selling Unity Re-Spins, 
revenue that belongs to them ends up in their spending budget regardless 
of the factual owner of the bank account the money lives on.

One other thing is, what happens with money that we take from donations, 
that actually belongs to the Fedora Project rather then just 
Ambassadors? I'm thinking it shouldn't be Ambassadors solely benefiting 
from any revenue gained -including revenue coming from membership fees. 
I'm not sure where we're going with this though, yet. Not that I lack 
vision on the topic; I think we may need to raise the topic with FAmSCo 
as it is -ohw, how politically correct- not entirely up to us to decide. 
Again, key to success is to prevent us (Fedora EMEA) from moving inside 
our own little niche without regard to us (Fedora Project in general and 
Fedora Ambassadors in particular).

That being said I hope Ambassadors understand we are not (at all) aiming 
to become the largest subset of members within the Fedora Ambassadors 
FAS group -or any other FAS group for that matter. I hope people in 
general and Ambassadors in particular understand it is not like a small 
group of people deciding what the NPO should or should not do. I hope we 
all understand it is not only Ambassadors we need to take into account 
but other parties as well. And, that if (read: when) we do need to take 
all Ambassadors into account, or we, as Ambassadors, need to take into 
account other parties, the question/problem/issue at hand then is more 
appropriately being addressed by a group works globally, for us all, and 
is elected by us and from amongst ourselves, without requirements to any 
paid-for-membership; FAmSCo.

Thank you,

Yours sincerely,

Jeroen van Meeuwen

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