As a not-for-profit organization working in the public interest, one of the ICANN organization's most important responsibilities is to develop an annual operating budget. We posted our Draft Operating Plan and Budget for Fiscal Year 2020.
Long-term financial planning and fiscal responsibility is necessary, and can only be achieved when the ICANN org, Board, and community work together to properly plan. In FY20, we continue to anticipate minimal growth in funding; it is forecasted at $140.1 million, up 2% from FY19.
Expenses are budgeted below funding at $137.1 million.
As a result of the budgeted increase of the Reserve Fund, the budgeted funding is slightly higher than last year. We've budgeted to contribute approximately $3 million (2 to 3% of the total budget) to the Reserve Fund, which will not have any negative impact to planned work. Annual allocation to the Reserve Fund will be the standard approach, at least until it is replenished to the minimum target level. This simply is the right thing to do.
Constituency and fellowship travel support will remain at the same level as FY19, as will the ICANN org staff, which stands at approximately 400 people. To ensure the best support for the community's work, we have controls in place to hire or replace staff only when clearly required, but we still ensure the best support for the community's work after driving efficiency improvements.
We've also brought the timeline for Public Comment forward to begin before the end of 2018. We've extended the comment period to 53 days to give you more time to review the documents. You will find five detailed documents, with content broken into six modules by topic: Contractual Compliance and Consumer Safeguards, Direct Policy Support, DNS Marketplace and Identifier Ecosystem, Technology and DNS Security, Engagement, and Reviews.
The FY20 planning cycle is the final year of the current strategic plan, which makes it a transition year, as we are developing the 2021-2025 Strategic Plan in parallel. During FY20, we will use the new strategic plan to plan for FY21.
You, the community, play an essential role in planning for the year ahead. We need and want your feedback and input. I look forward to productive discussions about this proposed Budget over the coming months before it's finalized in March 2019. Please take action! Share your comments here during the Public Comment process.