Scrum Alliance business model?


I stumbled across an expired Request For Proposal on the Scrum Alliance website. As of today it is posted on their About page as Request-for-Proposal_SalesOperations2017.pdf.

Scrum Alliance is currently accepting proposals to assist the Corporate Relations team in
establishing a sales operations system of record using as the CRM platform and
increase selling effectiveness from advisory on recruitment of business development staff to the
establishment of a clear end-to-end sales process and operations.

If you read it in full it is very interesting. It seems to reveal a business model that goes well beyond “certs and shirts”. Does anyone know more about their business model? Do we as active members (which I can say as of today at least even though I have no plans to continue to fund them) have a right to their financial records, or is there a way to get the information due to their assertion that they are a “nonprofit”?

Side note: I was looking for the number of active cert holders for each cert when I found this RFP. It used to be possible to search their database and get back a total count of records for each query without restriction, and then be able to page through the results regardless of the total number of matching records. I actually mined the CST database once and captured the full records of was was then less than 1,000 CSTs. It is no longer possible to do such searching and scraping as I learned from a Twitter exchange this morning with Ron Jeffries. He was looking for updated stats, I would imagine for a blog post or book. Now one can only get back somewhere between 750 records (fact as of today) and my guess is 1,000 before the system responds with something like “Too many records - please refine your search”. Bummer. Now how am I going to be able to support my bashing of these diluted certifications with statistics and charts? :wink:


how am I going to be able to support my bashing of these diluted certifications with statistics and charts?

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Do what everyone else does, make up the charts and claim your source: DRE

(Digital Rectal Extraction)


To your question marks:

Scrum Alliance’s business model is, in simple terms, this:

  • It owns intellectual property (the badges and related trademarks)
  • It maintains a community of ‘distributors’ of said intellectual property (the CSTs and REPs)
  • It host events

In my opinion, that model explains all the activities and strategy of Scrum Alliance.

And no, its members have no right to the financial records. It is a non-profit, but it’s privately-held and not a charity – so, with my limited understanding of US corporate law, it has most of the rights and restrictions as any private corporation.

As for your speculation about the number of CSTs worldwide – there are currently less than 300.


Thanks for the info. Yeah, I’m not a laywer either. I google stuff.

I guess if someone wanted to they could review the records.


CSTs in fact show as 246 as of just a moment ago:[certs][]=&member[certs][]=&member[certs][]=&member[certs][]=Cst&member[country]=&member[email]=&member[first_name]=&member[last_name]=&page=13&searching=true

It was about CSMs and other more common certs where we had questions. It used to be possible to get back the count but now it seems something between 750-1000 records or more returns “Too many results, provide name or email to narrow your search.” So one can’t get a CSM count for example via self service.

Thanks again for the information.


I stand corrected. Thanks! (I’m Canadian … I wonder if non-profits’ financial records are governed differently here.)