Budget 2024 draft


in its meeting last Monday, the board has discussed the budget for 2024. The publication of the official board meeting minutes and motions will follow soon, but with this e-mail, some initial information is shared already. What follows is a quick summary from the call:

This draft is based on the December 31, 2023 budget voted by the previous board.

The board commits to a draft of the budget by the end of April. The board invites the MC, the team, the members, the ESC and the community to make concrete proposals for items to include in the budget for 2024.

These proposals should be submitted to the Executive Director no later than 18 March 2024 for consideration at the Board face-to-face meeting.
(Note: The board face to face meeting has been postponed due to logistic issues, so likely the deadline will be shifted. The board in any case appreciates timely proposals.)

The board currently works under the assumption that the budget draft (see also [DECISION] - Approve 2023 annual budget and reserves) is applied until a different motion has been formed.

The current budget draft spreadsheet can be found at The Document Foundation Nextcloud


A few questions (and not a critique; forum posts can’t carry a tone of voice :slight_smile:) about the draft:

  1. : Can you remind us regarding the “building of a reserve” of ~1 Million EUR in 2023? And why it is referred to as “capital investment”?
  2. There is a “credit card / VAT / claims” item in “funds not to be used / already claimed”. Can you explain why this item is in this category rather than part of the regular expenses to be tallied up against the budget allocations? Does this regard commitments undertaken in previous years?

Hi Eyal,

no worries, happy to answer questions. :wink:

TDF can build a reserve of roughly up to 10% of the donation income per year. In detail, it’s a bit more, as also parts of the business entity minus some overhead can be factored in, but 10% is a good ballpark number. This so called “free reserve” can be used, but it does not have to be used timely. In other words, this means we can keep this money without being forced to spend it. Therefore we do our budget in a way that only lists what we minimally have to spend, the free reserve is not planned in.

TDF has made use of this 10% since its beginning, so in the draft for 2024, we will have a free reserve of about 1 million €.

TDF made a capital investment of 750.000 € in 2021. This is not directly tied to the free reserves. However, as the budget only works with the minimal expenses we have to make, it also helps to make the capital investment “budget transparent”, so to speak. The sum invested is less than the free reserves, so it does not automatically reduce what we can spend otherwise.

Capital investment was made in a way that, if needed, money would be available on short notice, it is not blocked for months, although of course depending on the time of withdrawal we might occur a loss.

For credit card payments, the expenses are billed monthly, but the payment (=deduction from the bank account) is a few days after the end of the month. This means that as of January 1, we know how much will be taken from the bank account for the previous month’s credit card expenses, but it has not been deducted from the bank account yet. Similar for VAT, we do know how much we have to pay, but it is deducted later from the account, up to 5 weeks after the VAT month ends. It is listed on the initial sheet because this is affects the sum we must minimally spend. We could technically also list it on the other sheets, but then this is not a project per se, so we list it on the first page.