Dries Buytaert

Evolving the Drupal Association's organizational structure

At the Drupal Association, we have been working on a number of important changes. One of these change is a refresh of our organizational structure. The Board of Directors has been working on this for months. Now there is buy-in from the Drupal Association's General Assembly, it is a good time to start informing the community at large.

I helped start the Drupal Association in 2006 because we needed a checking account for the 10,000 dollar or so required to produce a Drupal Conference and to support our infrastructure. Today, millions of dollars flow through the Drupal Association each year, mostly because the Drupal Conferences have gotten so big. In a short five years, the Drupal Association grew from a small non-profit to a pretty sizable non-profit and we would like to do more, much more. We would like to organize more Drupal conferences in different continents in the world, promote Drupal more actively, continue to invest in Drupal.org to support our growth, and more.

To make that possible, we have to continue to evolve the Drupal Association from a volunteer-run organization where the Board of Directors is a working board, to an organization with paid staff where its Board of Directors is responsible for setting policies as well as the long-term strategy for the Drupal Association. These and other changes are necessary in order to lay the foundation for our next stage of growth.

Based on guidance from consultants and research into other non-profit organizations, we plan to change the governance structure such that the Board of Directors, instead of the larger General Assembly, has full accountability over the Drupal Association. The Board of Directors would be a policy board that enables different working groups or committees that consist of volunteers, staff and/or Board Members. In addition, the Board is advised by an Advisory Board.

This structure is very common in non-profits around the world and the logical next step for the Drupal Assocation. We believe that in adopting this structure, the Drupal Association can accelerate fulfilling its mission to help the Drupal project flourish.

For some additional details, I recommend reading the announcement on association.drupal.org. We have more figuring out and streamlining to do; I plan to share more updates in the next couple of days.

— Dries Buytaert