Thoughts on DSF Board 2023 and beyond

I’ve written up a blog post with my thoughts. It would be great to document what others in the community are feeling right now, both for posterity and to help next year’s DSF Board have some direction around what to act on.

-Will Vincent


I feel you have noted valuable points of which acted will advance Django even more.

My personal opinion is this:
We have people who learn Django but because the community is not very active to encourage these people to continue on their journey, they eventually change path. We need to make more noise about Django. Every means to advertise Django should be deployed. We have to put Django in peoples faces.

We also need to make more organisations see reasons to go the Django route.

Djangogirls is doing very well but we need more of that.


Here is what the PSF currently does around a monthly newsletter btw.

Highlights the Python survey, news, calls out PSF Fellows, and thanks sponsors. With a call-to-action to sponsor the PSF itself. Very easy to replicate.


We could have a more automated system and different levels similar to the PSF. This requires time, energy, focus. It also means keeping Members as opposed to just regular users informed about what’s happening, where there are needs.

This feels like something that could be a grassroots effort and doesn’t require the Board to drive. Yes, it does need oversight and approval. However, a good part of the project could be done by a few DSF members, then reviewed by the Board and merged into the formal processes.

The additional benefit of not asking the Board to drive this is that this work would also facilitate other grassroots type work. Someone pitches an idea, there’s some type of approval either by the Board or by tacit agreement from other members, the group forms, completes the work, it’s reviewed, approved, merged, then the group scales down into maintenance mode.

Like Will mentioned it’s predicated on the ability to tell members that help is needed.

Another focus for the DSF Board should be on diversity and representation on the board. Perhaps this election cycle will result in similarly diverse board as we’ve had in the past. However, I think we’d be better off if we had specific mechanisms in place to prevent a homogeneous board. For example, in the last PSF board election it ended up with a much less diverse group than the previous group. Admittedly, I don’t know how the DSF election works, but since it’s not pointed to during PSF election discussions, I suspect it’s the same, “vote for all acceptable candidates and those that have the most votes win” system as the PSF.

There have been ideas on how to approach this for the PSF. Since there’s no clear path forward, I doubt we’ll find general consensus among the DSF membership. However, that doesn’t mean the membership would be upset with altering the election process to try something new. After all, like everything else we need to give focus to things that we want to see improve. We can’t rely on our momentum to carry us to where we want to go.

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This fits into a category I’ve seen named in other circles as a “Call for action”.

Maybe this is already being done and I’m just not seeing it or realizing it for what it is. (But if it is being done, I would hope that there’s a more prominent way it could be advertised.)

But I suspect that there may be a number of people who, for whatever reason, don’t feel that Board membership is appropriate for themselves, but are able to chunk some time at a specific task or initiative. (I know at least one such specific individual - me.)

There’s a big difference in attracting volunteers between:

  • We would like for you to be a member of our Board, the commitment is “X” hours per month for a year.
  • We’re looking for volunteers to help the Board. (No defined task or commitment)


  • We’re looking for volunteers to help us do “X”, where task “X” is expected to last “n” months at a projected involvement of “y” hours per month.

Now, definitely, requests for those first two categories is vital. We as a community need that sort of long-term commitment from some.

But we might be driving away potential volunteers who are on the fence by not giving them a well-defined way to help with a limited commitment.


Following Will’s example, I wrote an article with some proposals I had in mind for the development of Django
I tried to tell the story of how my proposal for the Django Core Sprints was born during the last DjangoCon US 2022 in San Diego


Being a long time Django user, but relative Board / DSF outsider this post really resonated with me.

One thing in particular that I strongly believe is that Django / the DSF could easily 2-3x the amount of money it brings in with a relatively small amount of work done by the right person / team, and this in turn could have a huge impact on what the organization can achieve. As a beneficiary of Django I would be very happy to be a part of that effort or team, but I don’t currently have any idea how I could make that happen.

I just applied for the board in hopes of being able to help with these contributions, but if I don’t get in I would still welcome an opportunity to devote time and energy into some of these projects. So if there was a set of defined tasks (or a even a clear process for defining them) I would definitely use it.

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To your point’s Tim, I think the current DSF Board does a pretty good of representation. We do need at least one US citizen to file/sign the non-profit forms each year–I do this currently since Anna cannot–but beyond that there doesn’t need to be more than 1 American.

Most of the corporate money comes from US firms so discussions with them is easier from a timezone and cultural perspective if someone is American, but that doesn’t need to be the case at all.

To me having a diverse Board is very important. Equally so is each Board member has an area/thing that they own and drive. On the PSF many of the Working Groups have a Board member involved so that makes communication easier and lets them have Board meetings be about delegating/deciding vs doing. It does though mean more than 1 hour/month for all Board members.

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