PowerShell.org Annual Operating Budget

As we approach our annual shareholder meeting for PowerShell.org, Inc., I wanted to take a moment and share some details about our 2014-2015 operating budget.

First, you can always review the budget spreadsheet in our OneDrive account. This is updated as our plans change, prices rise, and so on; you're welcome to check back whenever you like.

Now, let's talk about some of our organizational goals, and what some of the items in the spreadsheet mean. As you know, we've been fortunate to have the support of several corporate sponsors since our invention. MVP Systems, Interface Technical Training, CBT Nuggets, and SAPIEN Technologies have been amongst those helping us out; Interface and SAPIEN both signed on for a generous three-year commitment right when we launched, and we couldn't have gotten to this point without them. However, we know that companies' goals and positions change over time, so we've been trying to drive to a point where we didn't need to rely on corporate sponsorship. We now believe that the PowerShell Summit is stable enough that, with a conservative budget, we can meet our operational needs out of the profits from the North America and Europe events.

As a note, PowerShell.org isn't classified as a nonprofit; we're a not-for-profit. We're legally allowed to make a profit; it just isn't a goal. The corporation pays Federal income tax on any profits, although most of our income is spent on expenses, which end up being deductions.

As you'll notice in the spreadsheet, we believe we can meet our annual operating budget by applying a $175 overhead charge to each attendee of the Summit, assuming we get 100 attendees between the two events annually. That's conservative; the N.A. show has done 100 and 150, in its two years. So in reality the number can probably be much smaller.

Our $750 annual AWPP fee includes Summit admission, VERIFIED EFFECTIVE exams, and other benefits; our operating budget reflects the costs for these items (including virtual machine hosting for the examination program). So $175 of that $750 is earmarked for PowerShell.org; that leaves $575 to cover actual Summit expenses. Due to the exchange rate, Europe is our worst-case show for expenses, with a $330/person overhead for food and beverage. The remaining $245 goes to cover speaker overhead: speaker food and beverage (we admit them to the event for free, but they still eat), and some speaker travel reimbursement. With 50 paid attendees, that's $12,250 in overhead income. Subtract $3300 for 10 speakers' F&B, and we have about $9000 left to cover other expenses, including some speaker travel reimbursement. The US shows do somewhat better; in reality; we probably will take less than the $175 per person from the Europe show, to allow for more speaker travel expenses, and take a bit more from the US show where our expenses are lower and attendance is known to be higher.

Most of the budget line items should be fairly self-explanatory. In some cases, we're receiving some of the services for free at present; we've budgeted to pays for them should our free ride ever end. You're welcome to ask about anything that seems unclear, too. But you'll notice that there's no budget for salaries: nobody associated with PowerShell.org, Inc. is paid for their efforts. We're run by volunteers.

So what happens when we get 200 global Summit attendees instead of the 100 we budget for? That'll give us an operational pad. In most cases, it means we'll be able to be a bit more elaborate with the Summit itself, buying some food for an evening event, for example. As I mentioned, it'll also allow us to better reimburse speakers for their out-of-pocket travel expenses, which is definitely a goal. In fact, one reason we've tried to pay the operational budget from just half our expected attendance is specifically so we'll have extra funds so that speakers don't have to be entirely out-of-pocket to present at the Summits.

I hope this is helpful. As always, feel free to post your questions.

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About the Author

Don Jones

Don Jones is a Windows PowerShell MVP, author of several Windows PowerShell books (and other IT books), Co-founder and President/CEO of PowerShell.org, PowerShell columnist for Microsoft TechNet Magazine, PowerShell educator, and designer/author of several Windows PowerShell courses (including Microsoft's). Power to the shell!

One Comment

  1. I think a PayPal donate button somewhere would be awesome! It would allow those people support your efforts who cannot attend a summit or cannot/don't want to pay a membership fee.