Join The New "Our Foundation Task Force"? -- Added My Personal Thoughts

Dear Haskell Community,

The Our Foundation Task Force is seeking its first members! This is an opportunity to help the Haskell Foundation expand its support for the community and at the same time encourage community support for the Foundation.

In consultation with the community, this task force will develop proposals for initiatives that could widely promote goodwill and a general sense of personal ownership of, and responsibility for, the Haskell Foundation, and increase donations to the Haskell Foundation or improve the process or experience of donating.

Two particular initiatives that the Task Force will consider in the short term are:

But that list is not intended to be exclusive.

The Task Force is led by Chris Smith and Matthias Toepp.

Who should apply?

Anyone who meets the following criteria should apply:

  1. You should have the interest and motivation to contribute to the mission of the task force by participating in discussion in both live meetings and asynchronous discussion.

  2. You should have enough bandwidth to attend meetings, which will happen weekly for the first month, after which a schedule for the reduction in the frequency of meetings will be voted upon. After a period of four months, meetings are expected to continue at a rate of once a month.

  3. You should be able to contribute opinions and ideas to the task force about fundraising and other individual outreach programs.

  4. You should be a good communicator, and be able to articulate to the task force when you will be available vs. unavailable.

We encourage any and all who satisfy these requirements to apply. We hope to build a broad sample of the community.

How can I offer to help?

To apply for one of these positions, send an email to Chris Smith ( and Matthias Toepp ( that includes the following:

  1. The header: “Our Foundation Task Force Election September 2021 - <your name>”.
  2. Why you think you’re a good fit given the above criteria.

When will membership be decided?

Please note the following dates:

  1. Membership submissions open: September 25, 2021
  2. Membership submissions close: October 24, 2021 (note: this has been extended from the original date of Oct 9)
  3. First meeting: ??? (TBD)

This document in PDF form: Our Foundation Task Force - Call For Membership (PDF)


We’ll now be looking for people to join this task force until Oct. 24th, 2021. I’ve updated the post above accordingly. Please ask if you have any questions!

I would like to give my perspective on what this task force is about and I’m eager to hear other people’s opinion on this. I would invite anyone interested, and especially Chris Smith (@cdsmith) to challenge or correct me if I get something wrong or we disagree on something.

Chris Smith (@cdsmith) and myself were invited to start what we are now calling the “Our Foundation Task Force” as the result of a Haskell Foundation Board meeting (Sept. 9, 2021) about the low number of individual donors to the Foundation at the time. All kinds of ideas were mentioned including Chris’ (@cdsmith) idea of Community Grants. The task force, once formed, is asked to “develop a concrete proposal to bring back to the board.”

I think there is a shallow interpretation and conversely a grander interpretation of what this task force will be.

A shallow version of the task force might be: “Our purpose is to fix this ‘problem’ of the low number of donors by recommending advertising and media campaigns and whatever it takes to convince people to donate so the foundation gets more money.”

I reject that approach. Here’s my attempt to convey a hopefully better way of thinking about the task force:

Especially now, in its first years, the Haskell Foundation needs all of us to nurture and shape it to increasingly better serve the Haskell community. I hope the “Our Foundation Task Force” will help to do exactly that, by making suggestions to the board for projects that will benefit the community and thereby increase the sense of pride people feel for the Foundation. Community Grants is one such idea we will be discussing, another could be asking the Foundation to provide support for conferences…there are many possibilities.

We want people to feel supportive of the Foundation. We want the task force to bring forward ideas to enhance the concrete things the Foundation is doing for the community, so people will have more good reasons to support the Foundation. We want to increase the ways in which the Foundation is earning the support of the community.

On similar tangent, we might also discuss and make recommendations to the board regarding ways to increase the Haskell Foundation’s transparency.

I made these points becase I wanted to give a sense of the diversity of the possible recommendations we might make for the purpose of “increasing donations” :slight_smile: .

Donations are more than cash. Whenever someone sets up donations to the H.F. it’s an act of support for the community and the ecosystem and that act has meaning beyond its cash value. I think when we give back to the ecosystem with either time or money, we become more deeply a part of the community. A year or two from now, when things are more settled, the number of donors to the H.F. (not the amounts actually donated) will be an indicator of the health and success of the Haskell Foundation and probably also a good indicator of the health of the Haskell ecosystem in general.

As part of the task force, I want to be deeply respectful of the community regardless of whether individuals are donors or non-donors, and especially keep this imperative at the forefront of my mind if the task force recommends something like a “media campaign” to increase the number of donors. I’m only interested in recommending these types of initiatives if they only present the community with information that they are likely to appreciate as useful or interesting. Respecting the donor, for me also means making sure they are properly thanked, and that the process of donating is pleasant etc. I hope the task force will recommend improvements in this regard as well.

We are looking for volunteers to be a part of the team, to bring diverse ideas and help to refine and make concrete the ideas of others. For those recommendations which the board approves, we would like to, in some way at least, help foster them to be realized.

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We want the task force to bring forward ideas to enhance the concrete things the Foundation is doing for the community, so people will have more good reasons to support the Foundation.

I would actually reduce the emphasis on the Foundation further. If this is essentially a “fundraising” task force then I would say that the mission should be to make it easier for people who might be interested in donating money to any Haskell project to do so. And I would split the kind of things people might give money for into three broad buckets in the context of the Foundation:

  • Giving money to support the Foundation’s own direct operations, whether administrative or work done directly by Foundation employees.
  • Giving money to the Foundation to pass onto other Haskell projects, either directed by the donor or at the Foundation’s discretion.
  • Giving money to other Haskell projects directly.


Your idea is interesting, and lots of people seem interested in the “earmarking” of funds…so that is something that the task force could recommend to the board.

With regard to:

I feel strongly that this is not a task force about fund raising. I’m glad you said that though, as that seems to be what a lot of people think.

Maybe the essence of the Task Force is to attempt to foster a sense of ownership of the foundation (i.e. the “Our Foundation” Task Force.) and an inclination to support the Haskell Foundation:

To achieve sentiments of ownership and support, the recommendations the task force will make to the board can go in two directions:

  1. changing the foundation so that it is more worthy and attractive to support
  2. drawing people’s attention to the reasons why they may wish to support the Foundation

The idea that the community is (in spirit) supportive of the Haskell Foundation, and has a sense of ownership of it, is extremely important, given that the Foundation’s mission is to support the Haskell community. Community donations to the Foundation will be a way of measuring the community’s approval and sense of ownership of the Foundation.

For me, the essence of the task force is absolutely not about fundraising.

If the essense of Our Foundation Task Force is not about fundraising, then how is it different from existing Community Engagement Task Force?

  1. changing the foundation so that it is more worthy and attractive to support
  2. drawing people’s attention to the reasons why they may wish to support the Foundation

This feels quite vague to me. Maybe you could break it down into more concrete things? For example:

  • Publicising the Foundation’s work
  • Helping to channel money from the community to worthy Haskell projects
  • Helping identify things for the Foundation to support (?)


I’m afraid I have only a weak understanding of the Community Engagement Task Force. I know of its existence and I’ve had a brief conversation with Wendy Devolder on Slack (who, I’m sure you’re aware, is one of the leaders of that task force). That conversation was just to see if she had any concerns about the formation of this new task force (especially if it conflicted with hers somehow).

The scope of the Our Foundation Task Force is:

  1. In consultation with the community, develop initiatives that could widely promote a sense of goodwill, ownership and responsibility for the Haskell Foundation. These could include (for example):
  • A community grant programme.
  • Making it easier and more attractive for individuals to donate to the Foundation
  1. Submit these initiatives to the Haskell Foundation Board of Directors for ratification.

  2. Foster the creation of teams to implement those initiatives accepted by the Haskell Foundation Board of Directors.

Our primary purpose, at this point is to make a proposal to the board (it will likely suggest multiple initiatives). So if we stay focused on that, we have a task that could be completed in a time span of some number of months, and possibly we wouldn’t need to continue on. (Although I can also see a need for a Task Force like ours to continue on an ongoing basis). Right now, I think, unlike the Community Engagement T.F., we have a sense of focus on getting this specific job done (i.e. making this proposal to the board) and then we might disband.

We’re now planning to run the group for 6 months, once a week for the first month, and then see where we are at.

If we recommended that a program would be started to provide financial support for conferences, for example, then perhaps we could collaborate fairly closely with the CETF.

If, as a member of the OFTF, I were to suggest that the H.F. support conferences, I might also include a requirement that each speaker would be required to include a slide in their presentation that acknowledges the Haskell Foundation’s support for the conference. Lets say that the Haskell community itself, and the CETF and the OFTF might all wish for conferences to be financially supported by the H.F., but perhaps the OFTF might have the most keen focus on having the community made aware of the benefit that the Foundation has provided with this initiative.

I think the OFTF, is exclusively focused on the existing Haskell community, unlike the CETF which has expanding the Haskell community as an objective.

Recently Andrew Boardman has invited Chris Smith (@cdsmith) and myself to participate in biweekly “community track” discussions. We both indicated that we will participate in those discussions to the extent that we are able.

Those are my thoughts off the top of my head.

Thanks for the interest!

Hi everyone,

@Bodigrim asked a very good question, so here is how I think of it. The Community Task Force is the analogy of the Technical Track, a place where people can propose ideas, request resources, and coordinate efforts. The meetings are mostly to discuss proposals, get status updates, find efforts that need more attention, etc.

If the Community Task Force needs more resources, it can ask me, if I have budget available, or the HF Board, if it is more ambitious.

So in that sense I see the Community Task Force as the group that helps make the Our Foundation group, who is doing the actual work, successful. It will provide resources, make sure there’s no overlap with other efforts, etc.

The work @human154 and @cdsmith have kicked off is to ensure we have strong voices advocating for the community. Although the genesis was very much about individual financial support for the HF, really I think it will be more about making sure the HF is helping the community in many different ways.


I found @myShoggoth’s explanation of the relationship between the Community Task Force and the Our Foundation Task Force useful, and it stimulated some thoughts.

I agree that broadening the funding base of the Haskell Foundation is important, and one thing that I think could make individual donations more attractive would be the ability to direct donations (probably at the level of categories, such as documentation, package development support, tool development, etc.).

But perhaps the Our Foundation Task Force should broaden the scope beyond funding, since I think feeling ownership in the Foundation can go beyond financial support. A couple of ideas come to mind, which I mentioned in a comment to another post: how to develop greater bench strength for contributing to various Haskell packages (i.e., are there ways to help make becoming an open source contributor less intimidating) and how to leverage existing resources to further training (e.g., how can the Haskell Foundation help make it possible to use resources created by companies/organizations like kowainik, typeclasses, and Monday Morning Haskell without disrupting their business models).

I think our two projects that are relevant are Matchmaker, which is intended to help find volunteers for projects and projects for volunteers, and the Documentation Task Force, which is indeed trying to figure out how to leverage and support people working on training materials within our ecosystem while providing resources like the Haskell School.

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Perhaps we might also need a Task Force Task Force that records which Task Forces are at force? :thinking: :joy: Or at least someplace to get a quick overview.


Yes, I think Matchmaker will be useful matching projects and volunteers. I think what I was talking about is having some training materials for potential volunteers, that would include finding projects, finding suitable activities and PRs for their skill level, tips on getting familiar with new code bases, etc. On the other side, it might be useful to document some best practices for project owners on what they can do to make their projects more accessible (e.g., tagging PRs as suitable for newcomers to open source projects). I think all of those would definitely fit under the purview of the Documentation Task Force.

Here is our announcement of the first members of the Our Foundation Task Force: