Category: VOICE

Dear OS/2 community members and VOICE supporters,

On the 6th of August 2014 me (Roderick Klein) and Gerrit Schoenmaker went to a Dutch public notary to start the OS/2 VOICE International foundation, after the VOICE members approved this transition.  Since then, VOICE has been active but we have not had much time to communicate to our donators what has been done with the money!

But first, as to why. There were two reasons to convert VOICE from a Canadian organization to a Dutch foundation.

  1. There was one was potential fiscal issue. To the best of our understanding the treasurer of OS/2 VOICE in Canada could be viewed by the Canadian IRS as a person with a private bank account. VOICE had never been officially reported to the Canadian IRS as non profit organization. We also could not find somebody to replace Gordon Snider as a treasurer in Canada.
  2. Another reaseon we wanted to convert the organization was to speed up the decisions process. Often it wold take weeks to get from an idea to a board and member vote. This issue was also described in the document sent to all VOICE members so they could read why we (the board) wanted to convert OS/2 VOICE into a Dutch foundation.

In my opinion a lot of OS/2 users just want to see stuff get done. Having said that, VOICE also wants to be transparent on how it spends your donations.

VOICE is now an official Dutch foundation registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce and its bylaws are registered with a public notary.  You can find a best-effort translation of the bylaws from Dutch to English here.

All projects supported have to be in line with these bylaws. This for example means if we sponsor software development the binaries will have to be available for everybody free of charge and the source code has to be covered by some sort of "open source" license. Another example are organising or supporting  events like Warpstock Europe to promote OS/2.

In short the  OS/2 community must benefit of actions taken by OS/2 VOICE. The OS/2 VOICE board has 7 members who have to approve all proposals, as an extra safe guard to make certain your money is spent as wisely as possible. You can find the financial report for 2015 here.

Note: The reason OS/2 VOICE has about 19.000 US Dollars on its bank is mostly due to the of the PMMAIL product over the last 10 years.

What has OS/2 VOICE been spending your donations on ?

You might wonder why VOICE supports Warpstock Europe, while a lot of donators never visit the event. The core reason for doing so is that it brings together paid and unpaid people who develop software for OS/2. For example, in May 2016 people from Arca Noae and Bitwise Works at Warpstock 2016 in Cologne, Germany. But also other volunteers and end-users meet at the conference and talk with each other. And for those who could not make it to Warpstock Europe we provided a video and audio stream.

We believe it is this interaction between developers and end users that provides a basis for new projects and ideas. It also puts OS/2 in the spotlight outside of its small community, with articles on and TechRepublic. While the article does not have such a positive "tone" it was still placed on the website of Heise, thanks to a a press release release by OS/2 VOICE.

In 2015 Warpstock Europe operated at a loss (see the financial report). This was mainly due to time constraints on behalf of the chairman. While we still need to do the accounting for this year's Warpstock, it likely operated at a loss also. But we intend to break even or even make a small "profit" on the next event. Nevertheless, Warpstock Europe was a success in the sense that we had 40 visitors in Cologne this year, a significant rise compared to previous years. We think this has also to do with all the news surrounding ArcaOS (also known as Blue Lion), which encourages more people to visit Warpstock Europe/US.

Warpstock Europe 2017 will be held in Rotterdam and the website already reflects this. By announcing Warpstock Europe 2017 earlier than the previous two Warpstocks Europe we hope to attract more people and break even or even make a small profit. We already secured sponsoring from Daniel Caroll from the US for the social event, which does not haveto be paid for by VOICE.

Future projects we are working on:

On behalf of the OS/2 VOICE board I would to thank all members for your donation and I hope you feel the money you donated has contributed to keeping our favorite operating system moving forward.

Best regards,

Roderick Klein

President OS/2 VOICE