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IETF 2021 Draft Budget

14 Dec 2020

The IETF Administration LLC has prepared its draft budget for 2021 and now seeks community feedback.

The IETF LLC 2021 Draft Budget contains the following sections:

  1. Budget
  2. Meetings budget
  3. Chart of accounts

Note: This budget has been delayed due to the extended work with ISOC on their new funding agreement.

Key assumptions

  • Continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue for all of FY2021 and this will disrupt typical meetings and subject the budget to above normal uncertainty. 
  • New ISOC contribution amount included
  • New 2:1 endowment fundraising match from ISOC is not included as that is paid in the following year.
  • Meeting & travel costs included are the most conservative (costly) cases for planning purposes):
    • IETF 110 will be online and no cancellation penalty paid.
    • IETF 111 and IETF 112 will go ahead as in-person meetings but with in-person attendance down 15%.
    • Strategic retreats will go ahead with a few exceptions.
    • Air travel costs will return to pre-COVID levels.
  • Some form of RSE role and that RPC staffing stays at elevated levels to maintain the current SLA.
  • Investment returns are  4% over the year.
  • 2% inflation reflected in staff and some admin costs.


2021 Draft Budget 2020 Budget Variance 2020 Reforecast
Non-Meeting Revenue $7,489,940 $5,457,414 $2,032,526 $5,457,414
Meeting Revenue $3,104,437 $3,818,999 $(714,562) $1,390,493
TOTAL REVENUE $10,594,377 $9,276,413 $1,317,964 $6,847,907
Operating Expenses $5,642,035 $5,010,448 $536,587 $5,135,618
Meeting Expenses $3,347,792 $4,110,242 $(1,112,250) $1,557,989
TOTAL EXPENSES $8,989,827 $9,215,690 $(225,863) $6,693,607
NET INCOME $1,604,550 $60,723 $1,543,827 $154,300
Capital Expenditure $585,000 $160,500 $424,500 $160,500
NET INCOME AFTER CAPITAL $1,019,550 $(99,777) $1,119,327 $(6,200)

Key changes from 2020

Budget changes

  • Income (non-meeting)
    • Includes $500k endowment fundraising target, budgeted to be received at 1/12 per month and earning interest at investment rate of 4%.
    • Non-meeting revenue up by $2,032,526 due to increased ISOC contribution, Endowment fundraising targets and increased investment income.
  • Meetings:
    • The meetings budget is put together every year by the Secretariat and constructed individually for each location based on the location and contracts. This has then been amended for IETF 110 moving online:
      • Online fee framework with adjusted participant numbers based on our IETF 108 experience.
      • No travel, hotel, food, space, network etc
      • Significantly reduced sponsorship as we were anticipating a local host to pay 50% of the host fee.
      • All other costs are the same as IETF 108.
    • Added on-site childcare costs for each in-person IETF meeting
    • Added provision for network costs for each in-person IETF meeting in case we cannot get donated circuits.
    • Added our sponsorship of the ANRW (Applied Networking Research Workshop) as part of the IRTF support line. This is an existing cost that has not been shown in previous budgets.
    • In total meeting revenue down $714,562 on original 2020 budget with meeting expenses correspondingly down $1,112,250.
  • Administration:
    • Removed telephone conference services and IT support.
    • Removed RFP Management Expenses.
    • Added provision for occasional external counsel.
    • Added provision for fundraiser expenses
    • Increased CPA budget to cover their HR support and removed specific HR Administration budget.
    • Increased administrative SaaS subscriptions.
    • Increased comms deliverables to support reset of EMODIR and strategic transformations related to supporter engagement.
    • Increased insurance costs.
    • In total administration costs down $55,511.
  • RSE and RPC
    • Estimated recruitment of a permanent RSE to replace Temporary RFC Series PM for last 6 months of 2021.
    • The existing two additional RPC editors continue throughout 2021 as the introduction of XML as the publication format has led to a permanent increase in work and more resources are therefore required to meet the SLA.
    • RFC Services up $113,500
  • Community Leadership / IETF Trust
    • IETF Trust at $80,850 as requested by the Trust.
    • Increased IAB costs website template replacement.
    • Halved IESG strategic retreat costs as they do not expect to meet in the first half of the year.
    • Community leadership down $19,264
  • Tools:
    • Tools Team PM now full time.
    • Significant new investment to support strategic transformations related to tools.
    • The total tools expenditure (opex and capex combined) increases by $505,212 from $937,910 (F1 budget) to $1,443,012.

Presentation changes

  • Separated out community leadership support costs from administration costs
  • Redo of administration costs:
    • Broken out key contracts (CPA/Legal)
    • Rolled RFP Expenses into Administration
    • Split LLC staff and operational costs
    • Moved Tools Team PM to Tools section
  • Redo of Tools section
    • Instead of showing the different contracts, now show different stages in the tools development lifecycle with budget associated with those. This is partly as the contract costs were not very informative and partly because this imposes some discipline on the overall planning process.
    • Tools Team PM now counted as a Tools cost and not an admin cost.
  • Redo of meeting budget:
    • Expenses rearranged to split out Travel, Accommodation and Expenses and combine all staff and contractors in one figure as previously some contractors were included and some shown separately.
    • Additional contract with Secretariat for Sponsorship support now counted as meeting expense not a general admin expense.
    • IRTF (ANRW) meeting income is no longer shown on the main page as the corresponding meeting expenses were not also shown and this is rolled up into the meetings budget page. Note, this is distinct from our sponsorship of ANRW which is just one element of the overall ANRW income.
  • Single figure for our investment income as these are all now managed together.

Community feedback

Community feedback on the budget is welcome and should be made either directly to the IETF Executive Director at, who can also answer any questions, or to the administration discussion list  Please provide any feedback before January 7th 2021.

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