State of DPF in 2013
October 2nd, 2013
The Distributed Proofreaders Foundation, has been incorporated in New Jersey. It is a non-profit (501C3) organization and has no members. DPF provides the legal backbone of a volunteer organization that gathers around the website pgdp.net.
A. DPF as a legal entity
Since its incorporation the by-laws of DPF have been substantially changed. While the first board was installed by the founders, the board is now elected through a voting process of the active volunteers. The process of getting the by-laws in shape has not been finished. There still are some glitches, but no dangerous ones.
The board is the single governing body of DPF, it elects the officers of the corporation (President, Secretary, and Treasurer).
The non-profit and the incorporated status have been maintained through the years and are now secure at least for the year 2013. As the current board has found out, filing the necessary information is very easy.
The foundation is financially secure, insofar as there is enough money in the accounts to pay the cost incurred for the next years. Cost are rather low because nobody is paid for their work, the foundation only reimburses expenses and not many ask for reimbursement.
The board does its business mainly via telephone conferences (once a month, usually two hours). All board members agree that those conferences should be prepared by e-mail or forum postings, but this has not happened satisfactorily.
B. The volunteer organization
Traditionally the volunteer work around the website is managed by a General Manager who is elected by the board, but gets no orders for the day-to-day work.
The relation between the board and the GM has been discussed at length and in depth for almost two years. Discussion resulted in a Job Description for the General Manager that has just been adopted by the board and procedural rules adopted in September 2012. Still missing are evaluation criteria for the GM.
Over the 13 years since the start of its activities pgdp.net has provided 26,000 unique titles for Project Gutenberg, an average of 2,000 titles per year or 167 per month.
In the last two years volunteer activity has slowly but steadily declined. In every step and on every level of activity the numbers of 2011 are higher than those of 2012 and those of 2013 are still lower. One exception is the final output of books posted. Since 2012 pgdp.net has posted more titles per month than the overall average of 167 titles.
While pgdp had two bottlenecks in 2011 (P3 and F2) the P3 queues have been declared "normalized" in February 2013 and F2 is much reduced. This happened while P1, P2, and F1 proofed and formatted fewer pages than before and have fewer projects available. Access to P3 has been almost impossible for more than nine months through lack of evaluators. The phase of standstill has been ended by the GM who took over evaluation herself.
PP on the other hand still has a huge backlog and PPV (while it still happens) is provided by fewer volunteers than ever and is difficult to get in some languages.
The board has been notified that the current GM will end her office Dec. 31st, 2013. Finding a new GM has started, a committee has been formed that consists of board members, project facilitators and volunteers.
Martin Sträßer (mstraesser)