Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The PSF's Growing Success

In honor of the 2016-2017 board of director's first board meeting today, I wanted to share the PSF's growing success with the public!

For as long as I have been with the PSF, our goal has been to encourage people all around the world to learn and use Python. We have done this by funding conferences, workshops, and dev work. Due to the success of our community, each year more and more people have become aware of the PSF and our mission.  The success is hard to measure. More in-depth research can be done on how the PSF's mission has bettered the world, but for now, let us start with a simple, tangible, measurement: money.

Turning gut feelings into metrics
Besides our treasurer, Kurt Kaiser, most of us have not paid much attention to these metrics. Even though members of the PSF have received yearly reports from Kurt, sometimes that snapshot does not have the progression across several years. I have been helping with grant management since 2012 and recently it felt like the board mailing list was receiving much more traffic than when I first joined the board as Secretary. In April I decided to scrape https://www.python.org/psf/records/board/resolutions/ to the best of my ability. Luckily, Kurt was able to help me extract that data from the PSF’s accounting system. Below is a graph depicting the data from those reports. The reporting only goes back to 2010 as prior to that our accounting was done elsewhere and the transitioned info is not as detailed as the accounting we keep now.

If you would like to see a higher resolution copy, click here:

I did a comparison of grants disbursed from the 2014-2015 term to the 2015-2016 term and noticed that our disbursements increased by approximately $65,000. When I compared the 2013-2014 term to the 2014-2015, I saw that the grant disbursement also increased by approximately $65,000! As I mentioned above, this was surprising to me because I was under the impression that we only recently started receiving many more requests. Therefore, I also plotted the average grant size; which shows a spike in 2013-2014 and has since returned back to its former level. In conclusion: we gave out more money between 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, but that money primarily went to larger grants. The total amount we disburse continues to increase, but that money is spread across more grants, explaining the visibly increased volume of requests.

A growing trend?
Personally, I feel this is a huge milestone for the PSF and our community. If we continue in this pattern, the 2016-2017 term might give out over $300,000 USD to fund python education all around the world! I am astonished by this comparison, especially since when I started the disbursements totaled a little over $40,000. If it is an indication, we will have to continue expanding our staff as well as look into software that can help us better manage these tasks!

For now though, let's keep up the great work!