In general, you should not have to spend your own money to attend relevant events, such as conferences, on behalf of Tails: in most cases the project will reimburse the corresponding expenses. Here is how to get such sponsorship.

General rules

Can I request sponsorship?

If you're reading this page and wondering whether you can request sponsorship, then you probably can; e.g. If you've spent more than 20 hours working on Tails this year, be it as a volunteer or as a paid worker, then you definitely qualify :)

What kind of costs are covered?

This sponsorship can cover your travel costs, food, hydration, local transportation, and conference tickets.

Some of the teams doing paid work have a policy to pay for the time and work done at certain events. Check with your team. As a general rule, people are not paid while traveling to an event.

When spending Tails' money, keep in mind that the project is working with a limited budget that is to be used with frugality.

Food budget

We allocate a budget for food based on the travel cost rate of the German Federal Ministry of Finance. See the calculation below.

Extra food budget

If, for some reason, you go over your food budget, you can explain why the budget was insufficient when reporting your expenses to the accounting team. Most likely it won't be a problem. It will also help us adjust our estimates in the future.

Is it OK to request sponsorship after the fact?

No, it's not OK. In order to avoid biasing the decision-making process, sponsorship should be asked before spending the corresponding money, and thus before the event.

See below for specific deadlines.

What should I write in my sponsorship request?

Sponsorship requests must include:

  • A detailed estimated budget of travel costs, hosting, and other expenses (like local transportation).

  • A list of objectives for the event; in other words, what do you plan to do there, and why will it be beneficial for Tails.

    Take it easy though, we're not asking for a detailed work plan: for example, "getting to know many other Tails people in person" is often a valid objective.

  • The number of lunches and dinners that you will have to pay yourself, including during travel.

    We will calculate your food budget using the following formula:

    ( number of lunches + dinners ) × factor × official German rate

    You only need to share the number of meals with us. We can do the calculation for you.

    For example, if you are traveling to London for 3 days and eat 2 meals during your travel, your food budget will be:

    ( ( 1 lunch + 1 dinner ) × 3 days + 2 meals ) × 0.3 × 62€ = 148.80€

    Your food budget is the maximum that you should spend on food but you will have to justify your exact expenses when reporting about your travel.

Who should I write to?

Send your sponsorship request to the Board.

There must be a trap, what I am committing to exactly?

After the event, you will have to send a report about the event to the relevant mailing list.

Most of the time the public list is the best place to report to, but you may also have additional bits to report privately, for example to the Fundraising team if you found funding leads.

How do I get actually reimbursed?

The process to get your expenses reimbursed is not documented yet, stay tuned. Meanwhile:

  • While spending money on behalf of Tails, as much as practically feasible, keep the original proofs (e.g. paper receipts) of all the expenses you want Tails to reimburse. Once the sponsorship is approved, the accounting team will send you more precise rules.

  • Reimbursements are processed by our accounting team: contact.

Decision-making process

  1. If you're requesting an amount below 400€, then you can use your Magical Joker. This only works once per year. If you choose to do so, then make it clear in your sponsorship request.

  2. Send your sponsorship request as documented above.

  3. If you used your Magical Joker, then your sponsorship request will be implicitly approved a week after you have sent it… unless the Board says otherwise.

    Else, if you are not using your Magical Joker, then wait for an answer.

Special cases

Highly popular events

Events that many Tails contributors will probably want to attend, for example the Chaos Communication Congress, are handled in a specific manner: we want to avoid any "first come first serve" unfairness, and instead make a decision with a good overview of how many people want to attend.

Sponsorship requests for such events are not handled individually, one after the other. Instead, two months before the events starts, the Board looks at all the sponsorship requests received about this event, makes a decision, and answers everyone at once.

Sponsorship requests received later are still considered but they have less chances to be accepted.

The Magical Joker does not work for highly popular events.

Events that have been highly popular in the past include: Chaos Communication Congress, DebConf, Internet Freedom Festival, FOSDEM.