πŸ’» I did a presentation today on the topic of "Funding Free Software projects in a transparent way"

πŸ”— The presentation is available here

🧡 I'll make a little thread here as a "fedi edition" of the presentation.


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I'm coming from the perspective of developer/maintainer (or "gardener" as @cj used as a term) of @karrot a community organising tool, mostly used by food saving groups right now.

@dachary invited me to present because we had done our recent nlnet funding application transparently (

the transparency culture partly came from our history as part of the hippy project yunity (


Funding applications are hard for small teams, and it really helps to have templates, examples, to see what other people did.

Not only the final documents, but also the communications between project and funder.

Access to funding is often depending on knowing how to communicate in a certain way, and this is very unevenly distributed.

Transparency can help to share these ways.


Accountability is another reason for doing this. Helping understanding where money is coming from and where it is going.

We do open source, open data, but often become more closed when it comes to finances. Why not also open funding, open finances, open culture....


We can go further than this though and start to have more honest discussion about rates of pay, which are often hidden and vary wildly.

We can start to explore experimenting with wider economic networks, connecting to our whole supply chain, and creating a "bigger whole" than our individual siloed projects.

We can rethink what we mean by value, to include care work, not-tech work, and non-monetary ways of seeing our worth.


We can also start to ask what our needs really are.

Do we still need a fancy market-rate salary, with a fancy flat, fancy car, fancy holiday, fancy restaurant? Can we "check out" of these social/career/property ladders?

Many of our important needs are non-material and things like being seen, heard, understood, respected feel amazing and don't inherently need money to achieve.


Lots of difficulties ahead though!

When moving fluid/volunteer-y/open projects into formalised structures tensions can arise. Why some people get paid, and others work for free?

Do you need to start time tracking? Put on a performance for the "official things". Bank accounts, legal entities... boards...

Maybe accidental inherit the general society culture of secrecy. Fear of sharing, crossing into grey legal areas?


And when we open up all these topics, stuff like emotions, moralities, privileges, jealously, varying cost of living all comes up. It's tricky, troubles a-plenty!

Let's stay with the trouble and learn better how to live and work together.


Where do we go from here?

We can keep talking about it, it's all very emerging, and nothing particularly clear. Let's listen and share.

It's not just about being transparent about numbers, but processes, practices, cultures, and our hearts ❀️

Can we make standards? How to communicate these things? Templates? Or even data standards? To better understand flows, values, processes...?


That's it! It's all still very emerging for me, and within @karrot. In the next weeks/months we will get a bit clearer on how we go about this in more detail.

Lots of experiments here.

One of our older experiments was a monthly money circle call (see

Thanks for reading 😍


@nicksellen It's a nice thread you wrote together here. I'd suggest to also add it to the README, in so people who cannot work from the slides will have more words available (:

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