Question to candidates: Foundation’s five year plan

Thank you everyone for running for the board! It’s a good number of candidates for this election.

Since the Foundation has just published its draft strategic five year plan, it would be interesting to know what the candidates’ thoughts are about it.

Is it something you’d enthusiastically ratify, and work on implementing in its current proposed form?

Is there anything you’d change, or emphasise about it?


Hi Philip, thank you for your question!

I am pretty enthusiastic about the strategic plan, and I will happily ratify it. There are always individual opinions on specific topics. But I think it covers much of what I’d like to see in a strategic plan and can see how much work was put on it. So I would avoid asking the ED and the board to re-assess it. My only feedback (which I already provided as a member), is that Strategic Goals One and Two still need to be more developed. They are worded in a pretty generic way, which means it would be impossible to assess their success in the future. This is in strong contrast with Strategic Goal Three, where things are more concrete and goals can be objectively assessed. For example, “Develop direct funding relationships with at least twenty new foundations, at least 20 new corporate partners, and at least ten government agencies in 2024.” in Objective Eight, vs. “Create more commercial and other partnerships” in Objective Three.


Thanks for your question.

I enthusiastically ratify the Foundation’s 5-year strategic plan “draft” which did a lot of 1:1 meetings with board members and staff members early this year, and now we need feedback from foundation members and the community.

I believe that it’s certain that we need a 5-year plan, and the new board should discuss and revise it again after this feedback period to create a final version because we always listen to our foundation members and community.

(EDIT: add an addition part to your question)

We can see that Strategic Goal 1 is People which 3 objectives show how we care about the community and the sustainability & growth of the community.

Goal 2 is Initiatives to enhance communication in the community and strengthen its ecosystem to look for more opportunities for the GNOME project.

Goal 3 shows that we have a lot to do to strengthen & stabilize the GNOME Foundation as a non-profit organisation.

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I’m very pleased to see the plan entering into a wider consultation phase with the community. I’ve been extremely impressed by Holly’s work on the plan, and we spent quite a few cycles in the board debating and giving her detailed feedback.

I think it provides a very good holistic vision of how a healthy Foundation can act as an interface and “signal boost” between the project and internal community, and external communities, funders and audiences of prospective new users - it looks after both of these groups intentionally and looks for the opportunities for outside funding, advocacy and support to provide improvement and investment in community health, project development, etc.

There’s a lot of talk about funding for project development and what we can look for as a community - this is absolutely awesome and we should pursue all of these to boost the development initiative as set out in the plan. There is also a much wider landscape of funding we’ve never accessed previously - other parts of the strategic plan like the Pathways initiative can be packaged in ways to appeal to different grant or corporate social & responsibility funding, tapping in to additional revenue sources to invest in technology (eg accessibility), reaching new user communities and onboarding newcomers into the community.

I agree that it’s an ambitious plan; but it does cover a five year period and we can be mindful about picking our focus areas and setting our more specific shorter-term objectives according to the capacity of the Foundation. I’m confident that we can make real progress against this plan, and the main investment in “bootstrapping” these new programs is in fundraising first, which is exactly the current area of focus/priority. Holly is in the process of applying for grants that will boost the capacity in the Foundation to pursue some of the tracks in parallel.

I think being more explicit about environmental goals (these are considerations underlying some of the points here, but they are not called out explicitly) is something we can strengthen through the community consultation process.

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Thank you for your question.

I am of the opinion that the foundation’s strategic plan sets a clear and ambitious direction for the future. The plan comprehensively addresses critical areas for growth and sustainability, including community development, technology integration, and organizational capacity. I look forward to the community members’ reviews and potential adjustments based on their feedback.

I am enthusiastic about the strategic plan’s vision and objectives for the next five years, as it presents an opportunity to iterate and learn along the way. While I support the overall strategic direction, there are a few areas where adjustments could enhance the plan’s effectiveness. Specifically, I believe there is a need for continuous feedback loops and metrics to keep the community informed on the progress of the initiatives proposed in these strategic efforts. Additionally, the executive director’s role as a key ambassador should include monthly or quarterly meetings with the community to provide progress reports, maintain transparency, and encourage active engagement. We should share the results of these meetings and reports through channels such as our website’s news page, discourse, “This Week in GNOME,” and our social media channels.

Objective Two of the Strategic Goal One entails effectively communicating the social benefits of GNOME to a diverse audience, which requires robust storytelling and marketing efforts. Drawing from my experience in marketing and engagement, I have actively participated in the GNOME awareness initiative, advocating for the project at various conferences. While we’ve made significant progress with the GNOME project, programs, and initiatives over the years, there remains a need to raise awareness about these accomplishments to attract new funders. To address this, I propose collaborating closely with the engagement team to craft compelling narratives and leveraging social media for broader outreach—a domain I’m interested in contributing to.

In general, the draft strategic five-year plan provides a strong foundation for GNOME’s future growth and success. I am committed to working towards these goals and look forward to contributing to their realization.

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