February 1, 2016
We are aware that there have been references online claiming that the GNOME Foundation was bankrupted in 2013 along with accusations about who was responsible.
To clarify the matter, the Foundation was never bankrupt. Quite a while ago, there was a temporary cash flow issue which is now completely resolved. Funds that were committed by sponsors and earmarked for the Outreach Program for Women (OPW) were delayed in payment. GNOME Foundation’s board temporarily froze expenditures while it collected the funds and revamped its financial procedures to adjust for the additional cash flow going forward. Every cent of the funds was ultimately received. Additionally, GNOME collected administrative fees which covered the program’s expenses.
Karen Sandler, our former Executive Director, made certain there were firm financial commitments from OPW sponsors prior to authorizing outgoing payments and she further ensured that all funds were ultimately recouped. While we were disappointed when Karen chose to leave the Foundation for a new position at the Software Freedom Conservancy, she has the full support of the GNOME community who elected her onto the Board of Directors in 2014. We are grateful for her continued involvement with Foundation activities on a voluntary basis after her term on the Board, as well as being a Free Software advocate and pro-bono lawyer for us and other projects.
While OPW has transferred to another home which is more suited to the program’s size and breadth, we remain an active partner of the program and are proud to support it.