Women outreach program causes budget shortfall for Gnome Foundation

The Gnome Foundation, overseer of the Gnome user interface, has run out of cash. The news isn’t entirely bad: the Foundation says one of the programs it runs, the “Outreach Program for Women…  has proven to be extremely popular”. OPW engages interns who Gnome must pay on a regular schedule. But “incoming payments from sponsoring organizations are very fluid, thus we have had to front the costs of OPW. Fronting these costs has resulted in a budget shortfall” and a decision to “… freeze Foundation spending which is not essential to the running of the Foundation. 

The Gnome Foundation does not have any cash reserves as expenses on a women outreach program had to be made ahead of actually receiving payments from sponsors. As a result of a shortfall in the budget, the board of the foundation, which manages the free and open source Gnome desktop environment project, has voted to “freeze all expenditure which is not essential to the running of the Foundation.” The freeze affects sponsorship expenses which are unpaid at this time, but it does not affect the funds which the foundation holds for other organizations, foundation board member Ekaterina Gerasimova wrote in a post. The Gnome Foundation launched together with other organizations an Outreach Program for Women in a bid to get more women to get involved in FOSS (free and open source software). The OPW program is organized by the foundation.

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