The Drupal Association has grown an immense amount in the past year and we have been  busy building a stronger Association. Last year the Drupal Association made a decision to shift to a staffed organization to better support the community. In this process we recognized that we had internal faults with our governance and board management that would prevent the Association from reaching its next level of growth. In the Fall of 2010 we began a process to evaluate and create a new structure to help support the Drupal community in the future. We recognize that while we were busy researching, building, and changing that we have not been communicating as much with our community as we should have been. We can do better.

I'd like to take this opportunity to discuss how we are growing and learning to do better.

In the Fall of 2010 we hired a consultant to review our board structure and provide us with recommendations on how we could do better. We received this report in December of 2010. The report showed that we needed major changes to our board structure including the skills and diversity, governance, and the creation of permanent and temporary committees. This report made us realize that we had a lot of work in front of us.

At the start of 2011 we enlisted the help of Adam Goodman from Northwestern University's center for leadership to get us to our next level. Adam worked with us virtually and held an in-person retreat at DrupalCon Chicago, his work provided us with the tools to help us create a governance and leadership structure that would best support the unique community of the Drupal project. His report was provided to us in April of 2011. We left this retreat with a list of action items, which included items such a:

  • Removing the Executive Director from the Board of Directors
  • Adopting an annual board calendar
  • Shifting from a working board to a policy board
  • Creation of a governance committee, finance committee, and a conflict of interest committee

After the retreat in Chicago the governance committee went straight to work creating a new governance structure for the Drupal Association.

We have yet to implement this new structure but work is underway now. I want to cover a few topics and answer some questions that were submitted to the upcoming Town Hall meeting.

Nomination Committee

Previously the Drupal Assocation waited for individuals to come to us, which resulted in several uncontested board seats due to low involvement. The nomination committee shifts this dynamic by seeking talented individuals for inclusion on the board.

Conflict of Interest Committee

A permanent committee with a charter of responding to or investigating potential conflicts of interest.  

Governance Committee

Initially this committee worked to create the new governance structure of the Drupal Association. It has now disbanded but will be recreated to continually monitor and make changes to the governance of the Drupal Association, which could include a resizing of the board to include additional members.


There is a lot of work to be done and we are just scratching the surface of what we can accomplish in this new model. It is not perfect but it provides us with the flexibility to grow with our community.

Questions from the Town Hall Meeting

A few questions submitted to the Town Hall meeting were passed my way.

Does the Drupal Association have a specific policy regarding conflict of interest?
If so, is it public and how can it be found?

Yes. At the retreat in Chicago a process to create a conflict of interest policy was started. This was largely borrowed from the work done for DrupalCon Inc., which had a policy since its filing. It has not yet been formally approved by the board so it is not yet public.

Is there a code of ethics board members must subscribe to as a condition of participation in the Drupal Association? If so, is it public and where can it be found?

Changes to the board structure 

Public Meetings

No. This is a great suggestion and one the many areas that we can do better so we can build trust with our community.  However, during the last several years of elections nominees were requested to review and comply with the statues of the Drupal association. 

Next Steps

Over the spring and summer a number of changes have been happening behind the scenes and I want to highlight them. I am also going to respond to a request from Randy Fay that was originally directed towards Jacob Redding. As Jacob Redding in no longer a board of the Drupal Association it is not appropriate for him to respond. 


Meeting Minutes: The board of the Drupal Association has been taking meeting minutes since its inception in 2007. We never released them to the public due to a lack of process. We needed to learn how to properly take meeting minutes, vote on them, and get them through a formal process. This summer we learned how to do this and I'm happy to announce that they are now and will continue to be available at

Randy Fay requested the following:

Completely clarify an industry-standard policy on conflicts of interest regarding DA money.

This process was started earlier this year and will be completed by the Conflict of Interest committee.


Commit to a standard annual audit. An organization of this size must have one.

This is a very good suggestion and one that the Association will consider. However, there a few complications here. First, Drupal VZW does not have a lot of funds. DrupalCon, Inc., the separate and independent organization that runs DrupalCon has significantly more assets. As I was involved in the decision of DrupalCon Inc's choice between 501(c)3 and 501(c)6 status I can state that one of the many reasons why (c)3 made more sense was the increased public scrutiny of a 501(c)3 compared to a (c)6. DrupalCon, Inc's filings are prepared and certified by an independent IRS enrolled agent.


Implement and publicize a reporting and conflict resolution process for issues of this type. One of the key issues in this whole dispute seems to be that a [member of our community] did not in general get appropriate, professional responses to his reasonable concerns.


The Association has always taken community feedback with the utmost seriousness. In the example you are referring this individual was provided access to the board, spoke with our chairman of the board, and also discussed his concerns directly with the laywer of DrupalCon Inc. We want it to be clear that we listen to our community and react. However, we can do better.

In addition to the contact form and open sessions at DrupalCon we have added two new methods to report issues to the Drupal Association. Here are all the methods to file a report:


It has been an amazing year of growth for the Drupal Association. I have been involved in the Association since its inception and I'm excited to see what the next phase of the Association will bring to the community. We are now properly positioned to support the Drupal project for years to come.