News

Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship

We’ve added information on the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship, which provides funding annually for a woman who contributes to WordPress to attend WordCamp US, to our site. We’ll also announce the 2017 awardee here, when this year’s selection process is complete.

The Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship supports the mission of the WordPress Foundation to democratize publishing, supporting participation in open source by people who are historically underrepresented in the world of tech.

Financial Reports Available

Financial reports from 2013, 2014, and 2015 are now posted and available. Later this year we’ll close the books on 2016 and share those as well. Part of our mission is to ensure free access to the software projects we support, which we do in many ways including educational events, financial support of non-profits, and charity hackathons.

Some highlights of our work in the past three years:
– In 2013 we had $848,925 in sponsorship donations funding 71 WordCamps, 40 of which were international.
– In 2014, the WordPress Foundation organized an experimental travel assistance program to remove financial barriers to attending the WordPress Community Summit at WordCamp San Francisco.
– The number of WordCamps outside the United States increased by 17% over the reported period ending with 47 events over the course of 2015.

For more information, follow the links below:
WordPress Foundation 2013 Financials
WordPress Foundation 2014 Financials
WordPress Foundation 2015 Financials

Looking forward to a great 2017

Happy New Year! We are excited for a great 2017. This year the WordPress Foundation will continue to pursue our educational mission in a number of ways.

First, we plan to contribute financially to other non-profit organizations; we’ll be making major (to us) grants to Hack the Hood, Internet Archive, and Black Girls Code. Second, we’ll be working with local WordPress communities to organize charity hackathons, helping non-profits benefit from open source tools. Finally, we plan to promote education about open source in economically disadvantaged nations.

If you’re interested in how you can support the WordPress Foundation in these efforts — maybe you want to organize a charity hackathon in your community or volunteer to teach a free class about open source software — please drop us a line and tell us how you’d like to help.

The other major news from 2016 is the creation of the new subsidiary, WordPress Community Support, PBC. This entity will continue to support WordCamps and WordPress user groups across the world hand in hand with the volunteers who dedicate their time.

For more news and details, keep an eye on this blog!

Introducing WordPress Community Support, A Public Benefit Subsidiary

Since January, we’ve been working on switching all operations related to official WordCamp and Meetup organizing to the new subsidiary of the WordPress Foundation, which is a public benefit corporation called WordPress Community Support, PBC (WPCS).

One of the main advantages to the change from the WordPress Foundation (a non-profit) to the WPCS (a public benefit corporation) is that the rules around sponsoring official WordPress events are much simpler. The WordPress Community team has updated sponsor rules to eliminate the barriers to value-add details on promotional items, while keeping rules that helped us form a trustworthy, community-focused sponsor program.

This also means that, by and large, the WordPress Foundation is no longer the financial entity for WordCamps and Meetups. Donations to the WordPress Foundation will still be accepted, and will support the Foundation’s charter to educate the public about WordPress and related open source software.

One of the few disadvantages to this switch is that WordCamps and meetup/user groups are no longer eligible for non-profit discounts. While this does present a problem for some groups, we think that the benefits we can provide outweigh the loss of the discounts for non-profit status.

WordPress Foundation currently holds a blanket insurance policy that covers all WordCamps in the US and Canada. WordPress Community Support, PBC is being added to that policy as a subsidiary, and we’ll be able to issue certificates with WPCS as the insured party, just like we did with the Foundation last year. All events using the WordPress Foundation name and info on their contract in 2016 will be covered by the blanket policy.

Large portions of this are excerpted from the post here, by Andrea Middleton.

WordPress Foundation: An End-of-Year Snapshot

Howdy! The WordPress Foundation filed taxes for 2012 recently, and we’d like to talk about how we pursued the Foundation’s charter to educate the public about WordPress and supported opportunities for people to get involved in web publishing and open source projects across the globe.

In 2012, the WordPress Foundation provided support and guidance for a total of 67 WordCamps, organized by volunteers in communities all over the world. There were 22 WordCamps in cities or countries that had never had a WordCamp before — exciting! The WordPress Foundation supported 43 WordCamps by acting as their legal and financial entity in 2012. Not only does this provide legal protection in case an organizer is sued, but it also makes it possible for anyone, no matter what their financial situation, to organize a WordCamp, and protects organizers from getting into tax trouble with their respective governments.

Of the Foundation’s total revenue, the majority related to WordCamps that used the WordPress Foundation as their financial entity (43 in all):

  • $345,020 — Corporate sponsorship donations to WordCamps (59% total revenue).
  • $228,132 — WordCamp ticket sales (39% total revenue).
  • $9,343 — Individual sponsorship donations to WordCamps (1.6% total revenue).
  • $3,298 — Donations unrelated to WordCamps (0.6% total revenue).
  • $528 — Royalty income (0.09% total revenue).

Total Foundation’s expenditures equalled $580,161, as detailed below:

  • $525,361 (91%) related to WordCamps that used the WordPress Foundation as their financial entity.
  • $32,741 (6%) related to WordPress.tv content production.
  • $22,059 (3%) related to operational expenses.

Unsurprisingly, major WordCamp expenses were concentrated in venue and food & beverage.

Expense

Percentage of total expense

Average

Food & beverage, including after-parties and speaker events $216,003 41% $4,214
Venue rental $150,347 29% $3,348
Event tees and other swag* $93,208 18% $2,163
Travel scholarships** $26,952 5% N/A
Printing & signage $19,276 4% $448
International WordCamp grants*** $7,054.47 1% $164
Furnishing rentals $6,390.79 1% $149
Insurance $5,280.98 1% $123

*  Classified as advertising and promotion on tax documents.

** The WordPress Foundation occasionally provides travel scholarships to commit-level contributors who require assistance to travel to WordCamps and speak. Also, in 2012, the WordPress community organized its first Contributor Summit, which included approximately $20,000 of travel scholarships for attendees who could not afford to attend the summit otherwise.

*** The WordPress Foundation helped some 2012 WordCamps that didn’t use the Foundation as their financial entity by forwarding corporate sponsorship payments from companies unable to send them money directly.

The WordPress Foundation also supported the publishing of 431 videos from WordCamps held in 2012 to WordPress.tv by providing video camera kits to WordCamps. These kits include an HD camcorder, tripod, external microphone, SD cards, and a hard case for shipping. We covered the cost of shipping the video camera kits from WordCamp to WordCamp and added seven video camera kits to our collection: two new kits in the US (for a total of eight kits in the US), three in Canada, and two in the EU. 445 WordCamp videos were posted to WordPress.tv in 2012, almost double the number from 2011.

The total expenditure of this program was $32,741:

  • Video Kit Shipping: $6,526
  • Video Kits & A/V Equipment: $9,605
  • Video Processing or Videography: $16,610

Major Foundation operational expenses included:

  • Legal and accounting fees: $7,115
  • Paypal fees: $6,648
  • Meetup.com dues for WordPress meetups: $4,500
  • Banking fees (which allow us to execute international wire transfers): $2,341

We hope to publish 2013 data sometime in the first half of 2014. We’re so happy with the way the WordPress community is growing!

WordPress.tv in 2013: Video Selections

There’s always something new on WordPress.tv, from keynote presentations to behind-the-scenes looks at recent WordCamps all over the world. Here, we’ve compiled some great videos uploaded this year, primarily of first-time presenters at WordCamps. You’ll find an assortment of topics, so dive in — there’s something for everyone.

Kronda Adair — WordCamp Portland 2013
WordPress DevOps Power Hour
Kronda introduces Capistrano, what you can do with it, and what it takes to get started using it. She also provides starter resources to help you get going with automated deployments.

Nicole Rose Dion — WordCamp Reno-Tahoe 2013
Integrating Social Media Into WordPress
Nicole discusses how to make it easy for visitors to engage with your site socially, and how to make sure you’re tracking everything with Google Analytics.

Mark Tilly — WordCamp Reno-Tahoe 2013
How Content Curation Makes You a Better Writer
Mark covers the essentials of content curation and explains how, with regular practice, this type of content can enhance your site and improve your own writing.

Steph Yiu — WordCamp Providence 2013
VIP Tools for Writers and Editors
Steph’s presentation shares plugins an editorial team at a small publication can use to get the VIP treatment.

Kyle Unzicker — WordCamp Grand Rapids 2013
My First 414 Days as a Freelancer: A Retrospective
Kyle’s talk is a straightforward and candid retrospective of the first 414 days as a freelancer.

Alison Barrett — WordCamp Phoenix 2013
Advanced Actions and Filters
In this session, Alison talks about actions and filters, and covers some lesser-known yet useful WordPress hooks. She discusses creating and using your own hooks when making theme frameworks, parent themes, and plugins.

Michelle Weber — WordCamp Phoenix 2013
Zero to Hero: Customization, Content, and Community
Michelle offers an overview on getting started on WordPress.com, covering site customization, creating content, and becoming part of the blogging community.

Andrea Tetrault — WordCamp Winnipeg 2013
Ride. Write. Repeat.
Andrea talks about blogging on WordPress within her niche and the relentless use of social media.

Lindsay Branscombe — WordCamp Providence 2013
Navigating the Forest of E-commerce: A Guided Tour
Here, Lindsay talks about developing an e-commerce site.

Interested in upcoming WordCamps? Browse the WordCamp schedule. Don’t see your city on the list? Check out what it takes to become an organizer.

Making WordPress: How to Get Involved

WordPress is an Open Source project, which means there are hundreds of people all over the world contributing to it — they work on code, provide support, do translations, organize events, write documentation, review plugins and themes, and are involved in many other projects.

Contributors are grouped into teams, and each team has a site on make.wordpress.org to communicate with others and share updates about what they’re working on. Want to get involved in the WordPress community but not sure how or where to start? Start your search at make.wordpress.org, where you can follow these official team blogs and WordPress developer resources.

WordPress contributor teams at a glance

Accessibility: This is the site for the WordPress accessibility group, dedicated to improving accessibility in core WordPress and related projects. To get in touch with the team, use the contact form. They’re also seeking WordPress users to join their Working Group — from assistive technology users and users with disabilities to developers who have experience in the field of web accessibility. You can tweet the team @WPAccessibility or join the weekly chat on Wednesday at 19:00 UTC in #wordpress-ui on Freenode.

Community: This blog of the WordPress community outreach team is dedicated to growing and strengthening the WordPress contributor community. The group strives to improve the contributor experience with projects like the welcome wagon, mentorship programs, and diversity initiatives. If you have a question about one of the team’s projects, use the Ask a Question form.

Core: Interested in what the core development team is working on? Here, follow the team’s progress with weekly meeting agendas, project schedules, and updates. To learn how to get involved with core, the core contributor handbook offers resources on contributing with testing and with code, best practices and coding standards, and tutorials and guides. You’re welcome to attend weekly developer chats to keep up with what’s happening (Wednesdays at 20:00 UTC in #wordpress-dev on Freenode), though the agenda is generally limited to discussion by active contributors.

Documentation: This site is the hub for all things documentation — the WordPress Codex (the online manual for WordPress), developer handbooks and other projects, and best practices. The team’s weekly chat is on Thursdays at 20:00 UTC in #wordpress-sfd.

Events: The events blog is the nerve center for events-related news and updates, including WordCamp and WordPress meetup announcements, WordPress.tv moderation discussions, and general event planning and guidelines. Join in on weekly chats in #wordpress-events (check the site’s sidebar for times). (You can also learn about organizing a WordCamp or getting involved with WordPress.tv, too.)

Meta: The meta blog is for announcements and resources by (and directed to) the developers of the WordPress.org website.

Mobile: This development blog for all the official WordPress apps (iOSAndroidWindows Phone, and BlackBerry) compiles dev chat summaries and project updates. For developers itching to get involved, the best place to start is the mobile handbook, which gives instructions on how to get set up with any app environment. You can also join the team in #wordpress-mobile on Wednesdays at 8:00 am PST to learn about the status of mobile projects and how to contribute.

Polyglots: The polyglots site is for translators working on the latest releases of WordPress, and the blog to follow if you’re interested in contributing language support.

Plugins: If you’d like to keep up with announcements and read resources for WordPress plugin developers and the Plugin Directory, this P2 is for you!

Support: The Supporting Everything WordPress site is for people who wish to make WordPress Support the best it can be and to help improve support in the forums, codex, and IRC. (To clarify, this site is *not* the place to go if you seek support for your own site — the WordPress.org Forums are the best place for this!) The weekly chat is on Thursdays, 20:00 UTC, in #wordpress-sfd.

Themes: This is the space for the theme review team, who reviews and approves themes submitted to be included in the Themes Directory. The team also maintains theme review and testing guidelines and educates the theme developer community on best practices. If you’d like to dive in, check out the How to Join WPTRT page. If you have questions about theme review guidelines or best practices, ask on the mail-list.

UI: Here, you can follow along and chime in on project updates and big-picture discussions of the WordPress UI design and development team. Weekly UI chats are Tuesdays at 19:00 UTC in #wordpress-ui.

Updates: This blog is a space for the reps of the WordPress teams above to post weekly updates on project activity for the week, as well as to discuss notable changes to the WordPress project to keep all contributors in the loop. Refer to the site’s sidebar for the schedule.

With nearly a dozen teams contributing to WordPress in different ways, there are many ways to get involved, depending on your background and interests. So, follow along and subscribe to the sites that interest you, and check out this list of team reps to see who’s currently representing a particular team.