[HOT] Help HOT give 10 communities the resources to map!

Severin Menard severin.menard at gmail.com
Fri Dec 2 00:13:13 UTC 2016

Let us figure out what is happening here:

HOT US Inc starts a micro-grant program supposedly to support 10 local OSM
communities worldwide by raising money. Some of them being already
HOT-Sponsored through grants, others being totally autonomous from HOT US
Inc. Looks great. Micro-grants are not HOT US Inc speciality as it has been
refusing from 2013 to deal with projects under 10,000 USD grants, what may
explain why it is not clear at all how the money from these smaller grants
will be used: who decides how to split, if the 10 communities will all
receive a tenth of it or if it is related to their requirements (if only
HOT US Inc took the time to ask them), if the communities will receive all
the money in cash or if HOT US Inc will proceed to purchases, etc. OK, it
is totally unclear/unexplained, but damn let us donate, this a good cause!

But if you read the explanation text you can read this: “*When donating,
you have the choice of where your funds go: to micro-grants or where
they're needed most to support HOT's critical work and technology*”. What?
The first time this 1 million dollar organization (according to
https://hotosm.org/sites/default/files/HOT_2015_Annual_Report.pdf) raises
money specifically for far less funded local OSM communities, it really
needs to suggest to take money from them?

I don’t know if HOT US Inc needs fund-raising again to fix a new
unexpected, mismanaged 100,000+ USD financial hole like last year without
explaining it to the donors (or even its voting members) forgetting that
the O of HOT is for Open, but this is certainly not the right way to do it

Even better, all the people participating in the video have been
automatically called “HOT community leaders”. Ladies and gents, you belong
to the HOT US Inc brand now, just because you showed up in the video. From
my long experience with HOT US Inc, I can tell you that this wording will
be next used in every, every grant HOT US Inc will try to get in the
future, emphasizing this community support in its storytelling. In short,
for the 1 USD you may get from HOT US Inc through this micro-grants
program, aside from the 1 USD it will directly keep, HOT US Inc will
multiply this in the future for its very own use.

Do not be surprised, this is not the first time HOT US Inc takes over the
work from others. For the last two years or so, everyone using the HOT US
Inc Tasking Manager instance becomes instantaneously a “HOT volunteer”,
even if she or he does not even know what HOT is, and included in HOT US
Inc statistics. People contributing in OSM with the iD editor are not
“MapBox volunteers”, as long as I know. Nor book authors using Microsoft
Word to draft their new work are “MS writers”. A basic OpenStreetMap rule
that the HOT US Inc Board should read and think about during one of their
(non public - always) meetings: respect attribution.

OSM local communities, HOT US Inc needs you to get money from you. But you
do not need HOT US Inc to get money to grow your activities. Rather than
having ten seconds in this video, build your own fund-raising, take time to
present your community, its history, achievements and goals and describe
precisely what you need and want to get. You will likely get more funds and
nobody will make financial profit from you.



On Mon, Nov 28, 2016 at 9:20 PM, Tyler Radford <tyler.radford at hotosm.org>

> Dear HOT community,
> Today, on behalf of the HOT Fundraising Working Group, I'm excited to
> announce our 2016  campaign #mapthedifference.
> This year's campaign is about coming together to raise funds for a
> micro-grants initiative. Micro-grants will support small but highly
> impactful projects carried out by HOT/OSM community leaders. More details
> on the application and selection process will be announced in early 2017,
> but until then, please check out the video below and help us
> #mapthedifference!
> Tyler
> Help HOT provide 10 communities with equipment and funding to map
> Many of the world's most vulnerable places do not exist on any map. Meet
> 12 leaders who are working to change that by putting their communities on
> the global map for the first time.
> You can show your support by starting your own Fundraising Page using the
> button below or making a donation today.
> *We have 33 days to raise $30,000 in support of this life-changing work in
> 10 communities.*
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