Will You Join In A Media Campaign?...To Let People Know They Can Now Donate To Support The Fledgling Haskell Foundation

In first days of the Haskell Foundation, it wasn’t possible for individuals to donate money… The better part of a year has passed, and while hundreds of thousands of dollars have been collectively donated by corporations, there have been less than 20 people who have made a donation as individuals. It seems probable that a lot of people who love Haskell may not be aware that they can now donate to the Foundation. I hope that people will help give the Foundation a strong start and join in a collective public push to encourage individual donations.

People may think that a donation of $5 or $10 a month won’t make a big difference in the face of large corporate donations, but if we had 5000 donors averaging just $10 dollars a month that would be 600000/year, a fair bit more than all the corporate donations to date combined!

Some people are able to do more than $10/month. We already have one heroic individual donor who is setting a very high bar! You can read his touching post about why he supports the foundation here: https://medium.com/geekculture/why-i-support-the-haskell-foundation-1ac3cda1f82f

See the latest update on the Foundation’s donations here:

With the foundation’s blessing and guidance… I would certainly like to work on raising awareness of the possibility for individuals to donate, and encourage people to take advantage of it. Please let me know if you are with me on this and hopefully together we can help the Foundation to an even more successful start!

On a related note, I’ve also started a Discourse topic: Tell Us! Why Did You Donate To The Haskell Foundation?...And If You're Holding Out, What Would Make You A Regular Donor? So please share your reasons and stories there!

Please share your thoughts.


I will definitely help with this in any way I can. I’m not a marketing person, so I’ll let someone else take the lead, but I’m happy to help out. I’d absolutely love to know that the Haskell Foundation has a base of individual donors that’s a substantial source of their funding. And you’re right: there are easily 5000 people whose care about the Haskell programming language is worth $10 / month to them.

A few points, though. We need to make sure:

  1. People are aware of the many ways they can support Haskell financially.
  2. They have considered the Haskell Foundation as a possible hub for their support.
  3. They aren’t overwhelmed and don’t feel pressured to do anything.
  4. In engaging, we hear their concerns and ideas rather than just talking at them.

On point 1, I think it’s important to make this first and foremost about supporting the community, which can be done in several ways. One of those ways is to donate to the Haskell Foundation, but there are other organizations within Haskell (HLS, Haskell.org, etc.) that take donations as well, and lots of individuals who are looking for financial help in supporting their own roles in the ecosystem. I hope that eventually, the HF can be a hub for supporting the community and making community-led decisions about distributing funds. But until HF has the budget to play a role like that, it’s important to offer people that choice to also contribute to other parts of the community.

On point 3, a lot of Haskellers are employed as software engineers and can definitely spare a few dollars a month to support the language and will not notice the difference. For these people, it’s just a matter of overcoming the inertia to ask them to donate. But others are students, or non-professionals, for whom making a contribution like that wouldn’t go unnoticed. They should continue to feel welcome and valued as a part of the community.

Point 4 matters quite a lot to me. I still believe very strongly in the HF, but I know people have reasons to be concerned about the HF and things it has done so far. I think everyone’s heart is in the right place, but it’s just a contentious space of community decision making, and it’s important to be respectful and listen to those who may feel less positively about the Foundation’s work. This should be part of any communication plan.

For what it’s worth, my blog post was my attempt to raise awareness about donations to the Haskell Foundation. It was read by around 14,000 people, but based on Andrew’s numbers, that accomplished only around 10 donors at an average of maybe $10 each. :frowning: I don’t know if something went wrong there with the presentation, or if individual fundraising is just very difficult.


@myShoggoth Any comments on this?

Than you Matthias, that is a very welcome offer. I’m going to raise the question of (a) encouraging and (b) recognising individual contributions at the board meeting this Thursday.


I think this is amazing, and absolutely this is what we need! Someone not directly associated with the HF letting people know they should donate is far more powerful than the HF asking.

I completely agree with @cdsmith’s point that we aim to be a hub for supporting the community, where donations to us spread across the ecosystem to encourage and enable the great work we are and want to be doing.

To coordinate volunteers for this effort please feel free to create a Slack channel, if that’s a useful way to collaborate.

1 Like

@cdsmith, @myShoggoth, @simonpj

Thanks for each of your supportive comments on this and all the thoughts/advice given seem valid and constructive. I look forward to the results of the board meeting.

While giving this some thought I liked the idea of offering people “valuable information” which at the same time serves as a little reminder of the possibility of donating to the Haskell Foundation. A post like “Why I Support The Haskell Foundation” has these properties!

One message we could be communicating now is:

“After almost a year, less than 20 individuals have donated to the new Haskell Foundation. It seems like lots of people might not realize that they can now make a donation. Let’s give the Haskell Foundation a strong start!”

(I like it nice and simple and positive like that. It sounds like you guys might like to add to the message something that conveys that constructive feedback is welcome. )

That first phrase (“After almost a year, less than 20 individuals have donated…”) is a piece of data that might be new and valuable information to the receiver of the message. That value may justify engagement and it sets the stage for a call to action.

Eventually (hopefully) there will be more donors and then what valuable data content can we offer that would also draw attention to the topic of donation on an ongoing basis?..

This got me thinking that we could create a website called HaskellRising.org. I could forge ahead in making the site. I would welcome community involvement.

The idea is that the site would display monthly or annual data that “documents the rise of Haskell”. It could be a kind of dashboard for community health and growth…

Included in the data, we could prominently display the number of individual donors for the month and the total amount donated so people could either see healthy progress, or slippage if it happens. Either way it would be prominent, and hopefully interesting to watch for changes.

Of course that would be just one of several data points…

An annual data point that we can graph is the number of respondents to the State of Haskell Survey (Which hopefully encourages participation there as well).

To add further value for visitors we could have additional information like news about progress in the Haskell ecosystem for the month.

I imagine there’s a lot that we could track and display that people would find interesting to warrant a monthly visit.

I thought of this just this morning, but I posted it because I wanted feedback while I think it over myself.

1 Like

When it comes to publicizing numbers, you might be inviting a sort of chicken-and-egg problem where your web site must now become popular in order for the excitement you’re looking for to be generated. One way around this might be to approach information sources that already exist and are successful within the community, and https://haskellweekly.news comes to mind. I wonder whether, if someone volunteered to compile some useful statistics about the Haskell Foundation, including individual donors, they would be willing to include a status report regularly in the publication. From there, it would generally be shared to a number of parts of the Haskell community and be read by thousands of people.

Even better if there were a regular section around supporting the Haskell community. People have even reached out to me directly since I started talking more about this about projects like xmonad that are looking for funding, and Kowainik already curates a list of Haskell GitHub sponsorships at https://github.com/kowainik/awesome-haskell-sponsorship, so there is information out there. There are a number of Haskellers on Patreon, as well, but I don’t know very many of them. HLS uses OpenCollective. Haskell.org and others take direct donations. Combining all of this into one place along with information on contributing to the Haskell Foundation, where it could all be added to and kept complete, would be very valuable, in my opinion.

Then we’d be reaching out about a few things:

  1. Is there a way you know for Haskellers to contribute to the community? We want to make a complete list.
  2. Making sure people are aware that the Haskell Foundation, along with these more specific groups and people, accept individual donations, and giving a status update on HF funding.
  3. Asking for feedback (perhaps via a link to the thread you created) for people to share (positive or otherwise) and see what others are saying about contributions, so we can see and maybe try to change how people see the Haskell Foundation.

As a self-plug for my own proposal, I think that the community grant proposal is also, actually, a great idea for fund-raising. One of the problems with fundraising for the Haskell Foundation right now is that it’s very early on, and the Foundation isn’t really seen spending money in a way that obviously benefits the community. A few good blog posts from people about exciting work they are able to get done for the Haskell community because of HF community grants could change that.

Yes, yes. I didn’t mean we should only do the website.

We should leverage existing channels.

Perhaps we can form a little committee that could meet monthly or something, brainstorming ideas like this, divide the workload etc.?

I’m absolutely up for meeting occasionally to go through ideas and assign action items as people are able to handle them. As I said, I cannot really take the lead on this one, but invite me and I’ll do my best to be there.

Ok, great Chris. I’m going to give this some thought.

I’m trying to wrap my head around what the scope and nature of this committee would/should be. It does seem like there are opportunities to do something good here.

Lets see what we hear from the board meeting tomorrow.

Thank you, Simon! I went looking for a summary of anything that may have been discussed at this meeting. However, it looks like board meeting minutes have not been posted since May 6. I hope we can get a summary of any discussion or decisions during the board meeting.

1 Like

That’s a bit odd… I’ll investigate.


This thread started with the specific hope of enlisting people to help with a one-time message. It seems clear that the Haskell community would benefit from sustained, long-term efforts to increase awareness of opportunities to financially support the Haskell ecosystem.

In light of this, I’m proposing we start the “Haskell Funding Advocates” team.

It could have the mandate to:

  • increase the visibility of opportunities to financially support the Haskell community infrastructure and open source projects written in Haskell (this includes increasing the visibility of funding opportunities through github and patreon etc)
  • serve as a focal point for sharing ideas and coordinating efforts to achieve the primary goal of increasing visibility.
  • be respectful to the community by:
    • being helpfully informative rather than intrusive
    • not pressuring people to make donations
  • operate with transparency
  • encourage feedback from the community on financing related concerns

(By the way, I’m not an expert here. I’m willing to take the lead and make things happen, but I’m more than willing to let someone else lead and I would happily support them in their efforts.)

How does that sound?

1 Like

This sounds great! However, I think we should wait until minutes are available from the Haskell Foundation board meeting on Thursday. From my conversations, there were some definite ideas expressed there, and a direction that I think is very exciting, but I’ll wait for the official record to express them because I am not on the board and would only be reporting second-hand interpretations. I think several people from this thread and other threads are likely to be involved, and I hope you’ll be there, as well. Looking forward to working on this in the very near future!

Thanks Chris (@cdsmith) , you are right about waiting.

(I am still meaning to wait as well, but for some reason I also thought that perhaps the sooner I could get my thoughts out on that the better.)

I’m looking forward to hearing the results of the board meeting!

Thanks again.

Again these thoughts will probably need to be altered in light of what ever the foundation comes up with…

Somehow what we are talking about (and already doing) is very intimately connected to the Haskell Foundation so coordinating with them and following their guidance makes perfect sense.

There is also the other side, like Andrew said that there are advantages to us being (perceived as) a part of the community somewhat removed from the Haskell Foundation (personally I think of the foundation as part of the community as well but some may not see it that way). For example: “Hi I’m John with the foundation…” sounds different than “hey guys lets (i.e. the community) help get the foundation off to a great start…”. So, I’m just saying that that is an interesting factor here.

Also, as you mentioned there are financing activites through github, patreon, google SOC, maybe your community grants proposal…corporations paying people to work… It would be nice to be able to look at finances holistically within the community.

Its going to be a balancing act of working under the guidance/approval of the Haskell Foundation vs allowing people to run with the inspiration of their ideas. I’m looking forward to having more clarity on that.

Hi all!

@cdsmith asked me during HF Office Hours today how many new recurring individual donors these efforts had brought in, and it took me a lot longer than expected to answer that question. I was knee deep in data entry to add the TWENTY new donors! That brings us to 33 recurring individual donors!

It was, I think, the most fun data entry I’ve ever done.

I would like to help facilitate your work on this. The Board meeting was much more of a brainstorming session than anything else, but the key takeaway is we would like @human154 and @cdsmith, if willing, to lead a group that can offer proposals to the HF Board, if HF resources are needed, or just take actions where appropriate to bring in more individual donations and involvement in the HF.

Myself and one or two Board members would join the discussions and offer our time and effort to help out. Of course, anyone from the community is welcome and encourage to join and help.

Administration is my job, so I’m happy to schedule the meetings, take notes, etc. What say you?

1 Like


Basically I’m enthusiastic to be a part of this.

That’s great news about the increase in number of donors! Are they being thanked somehow? That’s something I wouldn’t mind doing, i.e. physically sending them a thank you email and invite them to write a post on that discourse thread: “tell us! why did you donate…” Obviously the text content can come from you. Let me know if I could help with that.

How does this post (in the following link) mesh with what the board is proposing? Notice especially that I wanted the scope to be larger than the Haskell Foundation. We could add to this the idea of bringing proposals to the foundation.

I guess if you all are ok with that name Haskell Funding Advocates for the group, I will grab the domain and I could start putting up a site? (HaskellFundingAdvocates.org)?

I like the idea of you being a part of meetings and facilitating this.

I certainly welcome the prospect of working with @cdsmith

It’s a little embarrassing to admit but honestly until the other day I didn’t even realize everything was actually ready for HF to start taking individual donations. I had been ready to donate for a while but was just waiting until I could (I am donating now).

Of course all we can do to encourage donations will be helpful, but I think perhaps one thing that would be good is simply turning up the volume knob on letting people know they can donate.

1 Like

@rebeccaskinner I agree completely that focusing efforts on “letting people know they can donate” is a priority. (That was the original point of this thread). We were kind of holding back a tiny bit just to see how the foundation felt about us kind of getting involved in their business so to speak. @myShoggoth just let us know that we basically have the support of the foundation to proceed.

I think (roughly) this is a message that we can use to call people to action:
“It’s been almost a year since the new Haskell Foundation has been established and it has received donations from less than 40 individuals. That’s probably because lots of people who love Haskell aren’t even aware that it is now possible to make donations. Lets help the new Haskell Foundation off to a great start!”

One of the key items I would put first on our agenda is dividing up the work of getting (basically) that message out to different corners of the Haskell community.

After that there are lots of different things we can do to keep the possibility of donating in people’s awareness (without directly just asking for money), such as keeping alive the Discourse thread “tell us, why did you donate to the Haskell Foundation?”. I think its quite nice to read people’s entries in there and it also serves our purpose to keep the idea of the value of donating in people’s awareness.