Syndicate update: Events, software, finance, and our board

Hi all! Here’s an update on Stumptown Syndicate’s program work, finances, board membership, and upcoming activities.

  • Programs
  • Finances
    • Assets: Stumptown Syndicate currently holds $23,246 in assets. This puts us in a confident position regarding our upcoming event planning, including planning for Open Source Bridge 2015. However, we are interested in growing our revenue stream so as to provide a better buffer and open up possibilities for a wider variety of program work (such as supporting more community-led events). For comparison, our position on Oct 31, 2013 was $26,054.
    • OSBridge: To better understand a facet of our income and spending, check out these OSBridge charts:
      Open Source Bridge 2014 Income (as of Oct 16, 2014)

      OS Bridge 2014 Income (as of Oct 16, 2014)

      Open Source Bridge 2014 Expenses (as of Oct 16, 2014)

      OS Bridge 2014 Expenses (as of Oct 16, 2014)

      As the charts illustrate, the bulk of Open Source Bridge’s expenses are for the venue and for food and drink, and the bulk of revenue comes from its sponsors.

  • Our board
    • Departure: We’d like to thank Melissa Chavez for her longtime service to the Stumptown Syndicate board of directors. She decided to step down in September, but is still helping make Open Source Bridge 2015 happen and contributing to other Stumptown Syndicate events. Thank you Melissa!
    • Currently: With Melissa’s departure, the Stumptown Syndicate board of directors is now Christie Koehler, Kirsten Comandich, and Reid Beels.
  • Upcoming
    • Early days: We’re in the initial planning stages for the next BarCamp Portland and Ignite Portland.
    • OSBridge: Stumptown Syndicate is supporting the planning of next year’s Open Source Bridge, which will be June 23–26, 2015, and is discussing the possibility of adding another OSBridge 2015 in another North American city. You can volunteer now to help with next year’s event.

That’s it for now! To keep up on our events and plans, you can always follow us on Twitter and join our announcement mailing list.

And to support us, please consider becoming a supporting member or sponsoring a program year or an individual event, or volunteering (whether you’re in Portland or not!).

Stumptown Syndicate logo

Ignite videos are up!

In case you missed Ignite Portland in November, you can now watch all the videos of the presenters on our YouTube channel.

If you want to further the conversation about anything you see, tweet at us or use the #ip12 hashtag.

We’d also like to thank all the sponsors of Ignite Portland 12 once again: 32 digital, brytCAST, Hollywood Theatre, Maids by Trade, PDX Pop Now, and Social Venture Society.

  brytCAST  Hollywood Theatre

Maids by Trade  PDX POP NOW  Social Venture Society

If you or your company would like to sponsor any of our events in the future, please contact us at

Regarding Michael Schwern

Michael Schwern has reached out to us regarding an incident that occurred in September of this year where his actions harmed another community member.

The Stumptown Syndicate Board has concluded that the safety and well-being of our community is best served by not allowing Schwern to attend our events or other activities until such time as we indicate it is appropriate for him to resume involvement. We have communicated this to Schwern.

The board continues to discuss the matter, and we seek ways to collectively restore the health and peace of our community through communication, education, and accountability.

Please contact us with questions/concerns:

Welcome Melissa Chavez, our newest Board member!

Effective September 1, Melissa Chavez joins our Board of Directors. Melissa is a long-time contributor to Syndicate activities, most recently serving as Chair of our Communications Committee.

Melissa Chavez gets a surprising amount done without caffeine. She is a web developer and data journalist who utilizes open source technology in her designs, research, mapping, and reporting. In her free time, Melissa documents street art, records locations of unisex and gendered restrooms in the metro area, reads sci-fi, and contemplates world domination.

Welcome, Melissa!

Volunteer Appreciation Party – August 24, 2013

Have you volunteered at one of our events? Want to help out in the future? Come party!

To celebrate all of the amazing volunteers come together to make Stumptown Syndicate events successful, we’re throwing a little shindig. Join us on Saturday, August 24 for a picnic in the park with roller skating!

We’ll be providing some party trays from Nicholas Restaurant, picking up some beverages, and securing an alcohol permit for the park. Feel free to bring food or drinks to share (vegan/vegetarian preferred) or games to play.

The Details

Saturday, August 24, 2013
Picnic starts at 1:30pm
Skating starts at 3:30pm
View on Calagator

Mt. Scott Park & Roller Rink
View Map

Thanks again for all your help making our tech community better. We hope to see you at the party!

Announcing Monthly Happy Hour Socials

Photo by reidab

Photo by reidab

Beginning in August, the Stumptown Syndicate will be hosting a monthly happy hour on the fourth Friday of every month. This is a great opportunity to hang out and mingle with other amazing members of the tech community as well as to meet members of the Stumptown Syndicate.

This month, we’ll be at the Green Dragon (928 SE 9th Ave) from 4-6pm on Friday, August 23rd. Come join us!

Calagator link.

OSCON is next week and we’ll be there! (volunteers needed)

We’ll be at O’Reilly’s OSCON next week. Not only are we running a booth in the non-profit pavilion of the expo hall, but we’re also giving a tutorial called Community-Driven Event Planning. So, please stop by and say hi!

The Expo hall is open during the following times:

  • Tuesday, 7/17: 5:00pm – 6:00pm (Opening Reception)
  • Wednesday, 7/18: 10:00am 4:30pm, 5:40pm – 7:00pm (Booth Crawl)
  • Thursday, 7/19: 10:00am – 5:00pm

If you don’t already have a ticket for OSCON, use the code OS13FOS for a 20% discount, or register for an Expo hall pass (free with code PDXEXPO).

Also, we’re looking for a few volunteers to help staff our booth. If you’re interested in helping for an hour or two, let us know.

Reflecting on Five Years of Open Source Bridge

While Stumptown Syndicate is younger than Open Source Bridge, our annual open source technology conference, many of the same people have been involved in both efforts from their beginnings. As we celebrate our fifth Open Source Bridge, we reflect upon what we have learned so far.

Creating inclusive spaces enables attendees to focus on what matters.

When we feel welcome and safe, we create space to have all sorts of conversations that we wouldn’t be able to have otherwise. We’re able to talk about technology as well as culture and how the two are interrelated. We have the energy to focus on the things that brought us to Open Source Bridge, like wanting to learn a new programming language, or finding out about tools and techniques that will help us do our jobs.

Inclusion is in the details: food, t-shirts, social activities, and more.

The details matter. Over the last 5 years, in response to attendee feedback, we’ve learned that the following ensures everyone feels welcome and is able to participate:

  • enacting a comprehensive Code of Conduct
  • providing food everyone can eat
  • hosting social events where the focus is not on alcohol
  • creating areas of respite away from high-energy social interaction
  • providing event t-shirts in a full range of fits and sizes

And we’re constantly learning and applying more by listening to our community.

Positive change in our community is carried forward.

What we do enables others to go out and use these tools in their own communities, events, and workspaces. Open Source Bridge attendees take what they’ve learned from our event, and they apply this knowledge elsewhere. Our efforts help minorities and allies make the case for the things they need in order to participate everywhere.

The end result is that a more diverse set of people are able to join and contribute, and even people who contributed before have a better experience. We’re still learning and improving, but this is the practice that matters to us, and we’re excited to continue in the future.

We end every conference with a wrap-up and feedback session, where we solicit feedback that shapes future conferences. If you have thoughts on our five years of Open Source Bridge, please share them in the comments!

It’s Official: We’re a 501(c)(3)!

We’re happy to announce that we’ve received confirmation from the IRS of our 501(c)(3) public charity status!

Being granted 501(c)(3) status confers several new benefits:

  • Your individual contributions are tax-deductible. This is retroactive to our founding in December 2010.
  • We are eligible for matching programs offered by many of your employers.
  • Matching programs can match cash donations as well as volunteer hours.
    We are eligible for many free or discounted services, like Google apps, and products, like beer.
  • We can apply for many grants and other donations from foundations. Many companies are associated with foundations but can only give to another 501(c)(3).

Now that we’ve been recognized as a 501(c)(3), we’re ready to move forward with a number of initiatives.

Revising our membership structure

Our current membership structure doesn’t accurately reflect the kind of support we need or the kind of offerings we provide to the community. We’re currently working on a revised membership program. Look for this to debut in July of this year (after Open Source Bridge).

Establishing an office and community space

One of our main goals has always been to have a physical space to support our activities, our members, and our community. We’ve begun the search for a location to lease. With the support of our members, we would like to find and move into a space sometime this fall. Our vision for this space includes being able to host board and planning meetings, as well as small- to medium-sized user groups, hackathons, and workshops.

Providing fiscal sponsorship

An important part of our mission is to support those of you who want to run events and user groups. One way we can do this is by providing fiscal sponsorship, meaning that we provide the business and financial infrastructure you need to run your programs. We’re currently working out the details of this program and we’ll announce details over the summer.

How can I help?

There are many ways to pitch in. The simplest is to donate.

If you’d like to volunteer your time, let us know by completing our volunteer interest form. We have many opportunities, from helping to design and implement our new membership program, to helping plan one of our events.

Many Thanks

Thank you to the entire Syndicate board for helping put together our application. Thank you especially to Kirsten who dove in and helped us get our financials together so we could submit our application to the IRS on time.

And, of course, thank you to the many contributors and volunteers who make all of our activities possible in the first place!

Celebrate with us this Friday, 5/10, 4-6pm

We’d like to celebrate this milestone with all of you. Please join us this Friday, May 10th from 4-6pm at the Green Dragon (calagator).