Open Collective
Open Collective
Supporting the Drupal Association in their time of need and uncertainty
Published on April 9, 2020 by Jacob Rockowitz

During the past three years, while building and maintaining the Webform module for Drupal 8, I recognized the need for Drupal and Open Source to be more sustainable. Along the way, I experimented and pushed people to get more involved in sustaining Drupal's software and community. The Drupal Association provides the infrastructure that our collaborative code sits on and the event, DrupalCon brings us together. Within the Webform module's user experience, I have nudged people to join the Drupal Association. Anyone installing the Webform module sees the below banner. 


The Drupal Association is the backbone of our community.

One of my Open Source sustainability experiments led me to start an Open Collective for the Webform. Open Collective is a platform for global collaborations to collect and distribute funds transparently. Last year, I used the Webform module's Open Collective funds to have a logo designed and printed on t-shirts. Otherwise, I have struggled with deciding how to spend the collected funds.

 Over the past year, the Webform module's Open Collective has received over $4000 dollars. I have spent 100's of hours working on the Webform module, and I would be entitled to use the collected funds to help compensate me for my time. 

I have continually stated that I am not contributing my time and passion to Open Source to make money. For me, contributing to Drupal helps me build my resume and professional experience. My primary source of income comes from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in NYC. MSKCC values my contribution to Open Source and occasionally sponsors a feature, including support for webform variants. During the current crisis, MSK has been able to build complex and critical staffing and screening webforms in a matter of minutes. I am very fortunate to still be employed, and my family is okay.

 If DrupalCon is canceled or postponed, the Drupal Association is not going to be okay. 

The Drupal Association is going to lose between $400,000 to $1.1 million. This loss could easily translate into people within the Drupal Association losing their jobs, and this will significantly impact Drupal's infrastructure, future events, and the community. As a community, we need to do whatever is feasible to help the Drupal Association. And I want to add that it is great that DrupalCon sponsors are pledging to donate their sponsorship to the Drupal Association if DrupalCon Minneapolis is canceled.

I am guilty of letting my Drupal Association membership lapse; now, it is time for everyone to step up, join or renew your membership. Frankly, anyone, like me, who can say our livelihood is built on Drupal should make a financial contribution. It's equivalent to paying union dues to support the infrastructure, events, and community that is a significant part of our careers.

I see no better use of the Webform module's Open Collective funds but to donate them to the Drupal Association in their time of need and uncertainty.

I want to help ensure that the Webform module, Drupal, and our community have the infrastructure it needs. I want to continue to look forward to DrupalCon, where I get to share my passion for Open Source while enjoying great meals with close friends. The Drupal Association is what makes all this possible. As individuals and organizations, the Drupal Associations needs our support now more than ever.