With everything that’s happened in the infosec community so far this year, the team here at Hackers Helping Hackers (HHH) understands that we need to be completely transparent about how we intend to spend the money donated during our Seed Funding campaign.
Over the next few months, while our Seed Funding campaign is underway, we’ll be blogging regularly with updates and explainers about what HHH is doing and planning.
Today, we’d like to start by explaining why we’re seeking Seed Funding and what we intend to do with it.
Why are you Seed Funding? Haven’t you been around for years?
Hackers Helping Hackers has existed as an idea since 2015, when our Co-Founders Nathaniel Wakelam and Shubham Shah started fundraising among their friends and colleagues to send young hackers to infosec cons. However, the organisation never existed as a legal entity.
In late 2016, a decision was taken to “go legit”.
With the help of our Chief Operating Officer, HHH registered as a non-profit company, limited by guarantee, in Australia. We put together a board, including people who’d been a part of HHH since the beginning and experienced voices across the AU/NZ infosec community. We are currently registering as a charity with the Australian Non-Profits and Charities Commission.
Because of all the changes we’ve undergone these past few years, we’re basically starting from scratch with funding. Our Seed Funding campaign is a way to get the ball rolling and ensure that we can make our big plans for 2018 happen.
So, what will the money raised be used for?
We want to be clear that not all of the money raised will go on exciting and interesting things.
First of all, PayPal takes a small cut of all money donated through its platform.
We also have a series of boring-but-essential operating costs to cover: we need to pay for a database to manage and store information about people who apply to our program, we need to pay for Google Apps so that we can stop using our dodgy free email system, and we need to organise serious stuff like public liability insurance.
We’re also currently paying for an accountant to deal with company registration and tax stuff because that needs an expert and tax experts we are not.
Once basic operating costs are out of the way, we can get on to the exciting stuff: sending hackers to cons and diversifying infosec in Australia.
The way we do this in 2018 will be a bit different than in previous years. We’ll write a whole blog post about this in time, but for now the TL;DR is this:
- We’ll run a single round of recruitment in late 2017 and pick a bunch of promising hackers to become our 2018 cohort.
- These awesome young people will come with us to three cons in 2018, and we’ll provide them with accommodation and travel costs to each.
- On top of this, we’ll have team lunches at each con to help foster a supportive peer environment, and we’ll provide them with info packs and t-shirts.
- If we have the time and the money, we’ll also start organising networking and recruitment events to help them meet employers in the industry and get their careers started.
What happens if there’s cash leftover?
Look, that would be awesome, but we kind of don’t expect it to happen.
If it does, we’ll be investing sensibly to ensure HHH’s ongoing sustainability. We’re not fundraisers and we don’t want to have to spend all our time raising money.
Are you getting paid for this? What about salaries?
Everyone on the HHH team and board is a volunteer. We’re not getting any money for the work we do, and we’ll be covering our own expenses when we attend cons as members of the HHH team.
From time to time, some of the money donated might be used to cover things like the cost of our meals at HHH team lunches with our cohort of young hackers, but with the amount of hours we’re all putting in, we hope you agree that we deserve a sandwich.
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