Board has agreed with NLnet to create a plan of Self-Sustainability. This page presents a collected set of ideas in brainstorming mode. Nothing here should be taken as agreed or intended, and indeed many of the ideas are flagrantly against our principles. That is deliberate, this is brainstorming. If there is some guess of income for an idea please provide an estimation.

Please add and expand, rather than take away. If you disagree, add a comment why.

Indication only of CAcert Income from Oct 2006 to Oct 2007 (AU$)


This does not include support from;

As can be seen the major component of CAcert income is from Google Ads. This is what affects the bottom line the most when financial reports will be lodged with Office of fair trading.

However every important event where we have managed to move CAcert to the next level has been funded externally. This can't continue, we can't keep going to sponsors with our hands out. We have to be seen to be self sufficient now. This income will not pay for hosting of 1RU server in a colo facility!


Greg and Henrik both have some T-shirt operations there. There could be different types of T-shirts: CAcert, CAcert Assurer (only available for Assurers), back side: certified. Income: 100 T-shirts per year: 200 euro?

Assurer caps (ease recognistion on events): 50 caps per year (probably no income). PR value.

Teus produces Assurer badges. The current ones were funded by NLnet. More PR value.

Henrik is negotiating CAcert logo on USB tokens.

Rob/Treasurer was asked to look at this at top although the minutes did not record that.

Sell the CAcert Assurer Handbook in pretty print with hard cover (still downloadable for free with open license) Consider (gstark)

Sell CAcert Assurer pins,

sell CAcert assurer notices (Jens Paul).

Expand the Fee Base

The existing Price page covers fees for some items. This could be expanded.


Expand the donations base.

Possibility to donate CAcert yearly as yearly sponsor, similar as FSFE Fellowship?

One possibility is to suggest that people and organisations routinely donate a percentage of activity. E.g., if a company facilitates an OA and setup into a client, it donates X% from its invoice. Commercial operations that impact on CAcert include:

Aspects to consider:

Comment from Philipp; Add donation button to page where people successfully get their certificate.

Sample donation buttons:

cacert_donation04a3.gif cacert_donation04a4.gif cacert_donation04a2.gif cacert_donation04a1.gif

cacert_donation05a3.gif cacert_donation05a2.gif cacert_donation05a1.gif


There is a demand for more coursework coming in due to the Assurer testing programme. As this expands, it is possible to expand the usage of the coursework outside to commercial trainers.

The Principles says Training: We train our users. We train our users to train other users. If we accept someone in a role, we train, we test, and we support them. The training is provided for free. For our core community roles such as Assurer, sufficient quality training will be available at no charge. This does not preclude cost recovery for commercial services.

Then, once into courses, we also see courseware, testing, accreditation, tutorials, the full monty.

Formal Funding

Funding from third parties is a possibility, and many open source organisations survive this way.

Funding would divide into project and ongoing.

Estimate: 10K per year as formal funding.

CAcert subsidary organisations

Funding from CAcert liason foundations and associations in countries. To raise funds in a particular can be easier and is more direct. Examples are: Oophaga Foundation (funding server hardware, ISP, local PR) in Holland and the German secure-u association (established in December 2007).


Google advertisements on web, wiki and blog pages. Income estimation: 3000 euro per year?

Direct advertisements: ??? €$£¥ per year.

Improve marketing of the Website:

Other Ideas

Other ideas, taken from top minutes. Where some comment exists, they can be moved above into a section.

SelfSustainabilityIdeas (last edited 2009-10-13 02:40:57 by UlrichSchroeter)