All UKNOF funding goes to UKIF who provide the operational services to run UKNOF such as renting venues, administrative, secretarial and IT services.
As of early October, UKIF only has sufficient funds to run UKNOF’s online platforms for perhaps a year, but not enough to commit to any future in-person events.
This a consequence of various cumulative factors meaning UKNOF is simply no longer viable as an ongoing concern under the existing UKIF/UKNOF business model. The UKIF Board has therefore decided to take a pause from running in-person UKNOF events for the next 12 months, and no venue commitments are being made for 2024 meetings. It is hoped UKNOF53 may happen around September 2024 if the sustainability issues can be addressed meantime.
The futureUKNOF mailing list has been created to seek input and assistance from the wider community into alternative, likely non-UKIF based, approaches for funding and operating UKNOF in a sustainable way.
The aim is to generate new ideas, options, volunteers, assistance, support/resources, etc, to be shared and discussed at the 2023 UKNOF annual meeting, which is planned to take place in the 3rd week January 2024. Discussions around UKNOF52 and on the futureUKNOF list, activity supporting creation of a new possible CIC entity, and a positioning paper by the Communications Committee, are all input to this process.
UKIF does not take a position on any particular solution, that is for the community to create and decide.
The role of the UKIF Board in the meantime is to:
- act as stewards to keep UKNOF’s online community resources and committees running.
- be ready to hand these on to an appropriate new home when we and the community have confidence this has been created.
- provide information and assistance to the futureUKNOF process as it is able.
- facilitate the futureUKNOF discussion process, enabling all options being put in front of the community to be aired towards a consensus outcome.
The intention is to wind up UKIF Ltd at end 2024, and to have UKNOF resources and event-running handed over to a successor entity or structure before that time.
Any future UKNOF funding/sponsorship will go to support future UKNOF activities, and will not be used to pay existing UKIF debts.
UKIF’s assets as of 3rd October were some £40k cash, £34k on balance sheet, before outstanding UKNOF52 venue and major costs of £21k.
Due to a family medical situation, Keith Mitchell is unable to serve as UKIF Managing Director or travel to the UK for at least the next 4-6 months. Denesh Bhabuta has therefore agreed to serve as Acting Managing Director of UKIF until at least the end of 2023. By mid-2024 Keith expects to have divested himself of DNS-OARC commitments, and should be available to facilitate a smooth UKNOF transition.
The Programme Committee is working on a way to re-define the role of PC Chair so that the load can be split into 2 or more less demanding roles once James Bensley stands down.