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

The only reason this thought of scope came up for me is that @cdsmith had the idea that it could be valuable to the community to collect on one page all the different ways that people can contribute financially to the Haskell Ecosystem

That could perfectly well be one of the recommendations of a working group, convened by you and Chris, under the auspices of the Foundation. The purpose of the Foundation is not to fund the Foundation – it is to benefit the Haskell ecosystem! So the Foundation might say “please join the Core Libraries Committee” (as Emily our CTO did yesterday) or, as you suggest, “here are several ways to contribute financially to the Haskell ecosystem”. We’d have to see what the working group comes up with.

Do you see the distinction I’m making between (a) the working group as an activity of the Foundation, and (b) the specifics of what that working group recommends?

Of course, if we then want the Foundation to help with executing the recommendations, the Board will need to support them. And I hope it will … that’s one reason for wanting a couple of board members to serve on the working group. But, to say it again, the goal is to nourish and enrich the Haskell community, not to fund the Foundation. (Of course, to have a Foundation at all we need enough money to run it; but we are currently doing reasonably well on that side, thanks to generous support of our corporate donors.)

Does that help at all?


Yes that helps! I see the distinction you are making.

Andrew said:

Are you in agreement with that characterization?

I do hear you saying that promoting non-Haskell-Foundation funding is something you would need to be brought to the board.

Maybe there is a misunderstanding? There doesn’t seem to be a way to quote multiple lines properly…so just to be clear, when I referenced this quote (below) in a previous post directed at @myShoggoth, the important text for me didn’t appear in the visible portion of the quote: (unless the down arrow is clicked)

I’m meaning to quote the whole post. Specifically the important part of this for me is trying to define the scope of a group. I’m wanting to know if we (already) have the go-ahead from the foundation with the group as outlined in the specific points there.

If that scope is already acceptable to the board, Andrew and also Chris (maybe excluding the github etc part) then I see myself as being able to launch into lots of (raising awareness related) things under that mandate. Before launching in, we can have an ongoing lightweight process of putting ideas forward (for raising funding awareness) to our new group and as long as we, including the board members who are working with the group don’t see a problem with it, we can move forward with lots of things that are consistent with that mandate (all basically communications/media related).

So in the points of that mandate, because I wanted to be clear about how we are defining the purpose of the group and I want to have a kind of license from the Foundation to execute on it, (under the supervision of the involved board members) I mentioned github and patreon because that could be a grey area, and I wanted to have clarity there.

Making recommendations to the board could be seen as a separate activity(?)…but we could add it to the mandate.

Should we make the whole idea of the “Haskell Funding Advocates” (roughly as per that post) also a recommendation to the board or is it safe to move forward with that mandate and just take out the bit about github funding being in scope for the group for now (and then potentially make that a proposal)?

Sorry if i wasn’t clear enough or missing something. What you wrote was helpful. Clearly, I will require your patience with understanding the expectations.

The HF exists to improve the Haskell ecosystem and drive more adoption. We are not tied to a particular way of accomplishing that, and we’re looking for both ways of doing so, and volunteers to make it happen. So from that point of view, what you’re proposing is exactly what we need!

I suggest we figure a good time to meet, advertise it to get more participants, and discuss the details there.

Let me clarify what I meant by taking things to the HF Board. If the group were to come up with a plan for getting the word out to a wide audience about to how financially support the Haskell community and wanted to buy ads, or hire a graphic designer to make the materials look really nice, or produce videos, etc., you could take that plan to the Board and they could approve adding it to the HF budget.

Absolutely, we would love to have more individual donors supporting the HF, but the goal of that is to accomplish great things with the community! Spending HF resources to improve the Haskell community is exactly the right thing.

When works to talk?


Thanks for your positivity.

I’m off of work to care for family so I have an extremely flexible schedule in the eastern time zone of North America

We could set up an agenda here, in this thread, unless you have a better idea.

Thanks Matthias. I think the best thing is to increase bandwidth: have a conversation with our ED Andrew Boardman – namely @myShoggoth . I’m just speaking as an individual, albeit a member of the board.

But my suggestion is:

  • Form a small working group, inviting members from across the community, and a couple of board members
  • The group formulates (in writing, but not necessarily very long) a proposal for what the Foundation should do in this space, to submit to the board. This isn’t just bureaucratic: as well as resources (which Andrew mentions above, it ensures that any actions taken in the name of the Foundation enjoy the board’s support.
  • Once a plan of action is agreed, execute!

I think it be worth waiting until the group has formed some kind of consensus before launching full-bore on new actions.

@simonpj Ok that sounds fine to me. Thanks Simon.

@simonpj Is this group something that you would like to continue to be a part of? :slight_smile:

Also, should I ask the whole board if anyone would like to participate or just Scott Conley (since he indicated “general willingness” to participate) in the board meeting?

board meeting minutes

Ah, yes.

I posted on Discourse yesterday the minutes from last week’s conversation on individual donations. See Individual donations board meeting minutes (Sep 9)

The other minutes are now available at their canonical home of https://gitlab.haskell.org/hf/minutes. Sorry for letting this slip – we’re in the process of changing our structure in the hope to avoid a similar lapse in the future.

1 Like

Thanks, Andrew. Keeping in mind that scheduling is difficult, at this point I’ll just commit to being available at whatever time works for everyone else for an initial meeting. It’s much easier then to work out timing for future meetings synchronously.

@myShoggoth (Andrew) mentions individual contributors during office hours here (yesterday) at around 22:42 in the video:

@cdsmith @myShoggoth (and anyone who is interested)

Based on the discussion to date, here is a draft for the consideration of all those interested, especially the yet to be fully formed “Haskell Working Group tasked with making proposals to the Haskell Foundation with regard to increasing the currently low number of individual donors to the Foundation” (less than 50).

This is all entirely changeable. There is an additional disclaimer note at the end.

If you would like to be a part of these discussions, please jump in!

Draft Proposal:

Given that it seems clear the Haskell community would benefit from sustained, long-term efforts to increase and maintain community awareness of opportunities for individuals to financially support the Haskell ecosystem through the Haskell Foundation, we propose the forming of the “Haskell Funding Advocates” team.

This team would have the mandate to:

  • maintain and increase the public’s awareness of opportunities for individuals to support the Haskell ecosystem by donating to the Haskell Foundation
  • serve as a focal point for sharing ideas and coordinating efforts to achieve the primary goal of increasing public awareness
  • bring proposals to the Haskell Foundation that relate to this mission
  • encourage feedback from the community on related concerns
  • be respectful to the community by:
    • never pressuring people to make donations
    • striving to create or promote interesting or helpfully informative content rather than intrusive content (see examples and an elaboration of this below)
  • operate with transparency to the Haskell community and with the guidance and oversight of the Board of Directors of the Haskell Foundation

More specifically, we propose that this team would have the freedom to take various media related actions while operating with the transparency and oversight outlined here:

The team would maintain one or more threads on Haskell’s Discourse forum for coordination and also to give advance notice of actions they intend to take (or to suggest tasks that could be taken). For example: “I intend to post this… to redit in 5 days.” All actions would only be embarked upon after they have been publicly visible for 5 consecutive days after the resolution of all concerns expressed in the forum by any member of the board or the Funding Advocates team. The full community is invited to participate in oversight but the team and the board would have the power to express blocking objections. In this way the team can continuously move forward and execute on actions, as long as no concerns are voiced. Completed actions would be marked accordingly and would then serve as a log of activities.

The phrase: “Striving to create or promote interesting or helpfully informative content rather than intrusive content” (which appears in the “mandate” above) is exemplified in actions such as Chris Smith’s blog post:

“Why I Support the Haskell Foundation” https://medium.com/geekculture/why-i-support-the-haskell-foundation-1ac3cda1f82f

…and in the Haskell Discourse Post:
“Tell Us! Why Did You Donate To The Haskell Foundation?…And If You’re Holding Out, What Would Make You A Regular Donor?” Tell Us! Why Did You Donate To The Haskell Foundation?...And If You're Holding Out, What Would Make You A Regular Donor?

…and finally in the message: “…currently there are less than 40 individual donors to the Haskell Foundation…”

These are interesting and/or informative messages which hopefully enrich or empower the community and also generate and maintain an awareness of the possibility of donating to the Foundation. These are the types of messages which the team would attempt to distribute with the transparency and oversight mechanism described above. Any other more creative endeavors would require a new proposal to the Haskell Foundation.

*Again the above is a very rough first draft, none of this will necessarily make it into the final proposal. I am wide open to all feedback and ideas for the proposal as the full working group on this has not even been formed yet and no meetings have been held yet.

@simonpj Is this group something that you would like to continue to be a part of? :slight_smile:

Yes, I’d be happy to help, albeit with somewhat limited bandwidth. Thanks for inviting me.

1 Like

That’s great! Thanks Simon. I’ll contact the other board members to see who else is willing. (I’ll try just Scott first since he indicated “general willingness” according to the meeting notes.)

Given that Andrew said recently that we got 20 new donors in the last few weeks, I hope that this message will quickly become obsolete.

I’d also warn that, in general, my understanding is that this sort of message is effective for a small number of donors, but not the right one for a broader fundraising effort. Rather than highlighting the small number of donations, we might consider a more optimistic message about the number of people impacted by the Haskell community and what we can accomplish when working together. However, this does require having some message about what would, in fact, be beneficial about more individual donations.

The Haskell Foundation Board has asked Chris (@cdsmith) and myself to lead a working group to make proposals related to the low number of individual donors to the Haskell Foundation.

When the board discussed this they were told there were just 13 individual donors. (Thanks for linking the Board meeting minutes @rae)

As of the last update, there are now 20 more individual monthly donors (33 in total). Without even asking any of those people, I know that based on people’s comments that 3 of the new donors were not aware until the last few weeks that they could donate. So without even surveying people, we know that more than 10 percent of those monthly donors were not aware they could donate until the last few weeks. It’s probable that the percentage is much higher since 100% of the 3 new donors who have made statements on this have indicated that they just learned that donating is now a possibility,

It seems like that could be strong evidence that it’s not that people have decided not to donate, but rather they either are still not aware that it is possible, or just haven’t quite gotten around to it yet since being alerted to the possibility recently. If the Foundation gained 20 new donors in a few weeks after only small efforts to raise it into people’s consciousness then that’s a pretty positive indicator isn’t it? I mean it seems like it could be an indicator of exponential increases!..

How long has it been since people could make donations? @myShoggoth

Depending on the answer to that question, it seems like there were approx. 12 “new” monthly donors over a period of some number of months since donations became a possibility. Then over a period of a few weeks (during our awareness raising efforts, but possibly due to some other reason) 20 new monthly donors signed up. If you plotted those numbers out over time, it looks like the rate of increase in donors is skyrocketing, i.e. dramatically accelerating.

If the increases are correlated to our efforts then its good news that there is a fair bit more of the same kind of work that we can do.

(Note, by the way, that we or I at least have now kind of stopped making efforts to increase awareness on this in order to be sure that we are engaging appropriately with the Haskell Foundation on this before moving forward. Hence the nature of my draft recommendation above. On the bright side, at least our past efforts on this are continuing to gain attention without extra effort.)

Regarding my proposed example of an informative message in my draft proposal above:

…and @cdsmith’s comment:

@cdsmith (or anyone else interested)

Thanks, I’ve been wanting discussion on that message. I’m happy to replace that example message in the proposal.

Probably you are right, the negativity of it outweighs the benefit. (The low numbers kind of motivated me though!) It suggests that there may be a problem and people may generally not support the Foundation. (I suspect that actually people just aren’t aware enough yet that it’s even possible to donate, or they haven’t given it enough thought yet). This negativity struck me as well but I thought that message was a fact that clearly calls people to action, i.e. if the low numbers are an uncomfortable fact then it strongly suggests the remedy of becoming a donor. It seems that the shockingly low number justifies (us) reaching out to people with the message and taking action to resolve it. I liked that it was was an important fact-based, informative message. I also liked that it might challenge the thinking that “someone else will donate to the Foundation, I’m sure its being taken care of”.

Now that we have more data, maybe we could go with the more positive message:

“Over the last 3 weeks, 20 new people became monthly donors to the Haskell Foundation!”.

That message nicely implies: “it’s now possible to donate to the Haskell Foundation”, in case people are not aware of that.

From your perspective, would that be a satisfactory replacement in the proposal as an example of an informative and yet awareness raising message (for now)?

I’m really hoping we can get back to actually putting messages like that out before they are outdated and an opportunity is lost. Does it make sense to you to try to quickly get a proposal like that to the Board, to enable us to keep working on both fronts: the proposals and helping to let people know about this.

What do you think about this aspect of the proposal:

That kind of prevents us from putting out simple messages like: “please consider donating to the Haskell Foundation”, because I would say that in itself is not interesting or informative. That requirement of informative or interesting is what I would like it, but an argument could be made that we would be limiting ourselves too much.

Thanks for the feedback Chris!


Are new individual donors being thanked? That’s something I wouldn’t mind doing, i.e. physically sending them a thank you email, obviously the text content can come from you. At the same time I would like new donors to be invited to write a post on that discourse thread: “tell us! why did you donate…” Does something need to be done here? Do we need to make a proposal to the board to move forward with something here?

I’m realizing it will be helpful to have the dates that new donors make their first contribution included with your monthly updates on new donors. Having the dates might help us to know what media messages are making a greater impact etc. (sorry to mention it, if that’s what you’re already doing or already planning on doing anyway).

Thanks for all your efforts Andrew!

New individual donors are not at this time being thanked, and I think it would be fantastic. Particularly nice to have it come from a community member, and I would be very happy to do so in addition.

The PayPal button for donations went live May 6th, and we added the recurring option on June 15th. So maybe not as long as you may think!

I believe we can get the information pretty easily about when people made their first donation, and I’m happy to provide that information to the task force. We can also ask, as part of the thank you note, whether people want to (opt in? opt out?) have their donation be anonymous.


How about Wednesday at 16:00 UTC? Anyone interested please email me at andrew@haskell.foundation and I’ll send the meeting invite. The Jitsi link will be: https://meet.jit.si/ComplicatedTypesSecureNever.

Thank you!


So we’ve had a first meeting with Andrew Boardman, Chris Smith, Simon Payton Jones and myself (Matthias Toepp).

We are working to create what we’re calling the Our Foundation Task Force.

You can see our call for membership document here:

I see this as an opportunity to help the Haskell Foundation expand its support for the community and at the same time encourage community support for the Foundation.


I’ve started a new thread: