[Osmf-talk] Financing the OSMF

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Tue Aug 27 00:07:13 UTC 2013

Am 27.08.2013 01:18, schrieb Steve Singer:
> On Mon, 26 Aug 2013, Simon Poole wrote:
>> I believe the issue is clear, we need a medium to long term model for
>> financing the OSMF. My personal favourite solution would be to balance
>> out our fixed costs with a similar amount of fixed income. Based on the,
>> not unreasonable, feeling that it is relatively easy to get donations
>> for hardware, asking the same to cover insurance is likely not to work.
> Why do you think a donation drive to cover the 2014 operating costs 
> wouldn't work? I suspect many of the people who donate more than 
> trivial amounts during these donation drives realize that the 
> insurance, deprecation, and other administration expenses are 
> important and that the money needs to come from somewhere.

It might it might not. Which is already part of the problem, we are not 
talking about hardware purchases here, but far more contract based stuff 
that typically cannot be stopped on a whim and requires at least some 
kind of term commitment (I'm not going touch on some of the legal issues 
this might cause).

Further what we are looking for, is some forward looking planning, for 
example producing an annual budget and similar things.

And, I probably have to point this out, forgetting about marketing for a 
couple of seconds, there is no denying that this years donation drive 
had some serious issues compared to earlier ones. As I mentioned earlier 
this year the planning exercise done by the OWG runs up to £1M over the 
next five years (investment and operational costs combined)  on average 
we are talking about 3-4 times more in that area than we are now. So, 
no, donation drives are not going to go away, but relying purely on them 
would seem to be foolhardy.

>> Assuming further that we are not going to change our business model, our
>> only potential source of such fixed income are our membership fees, and
>> given that we would rather lower, than increase such fees for
>> individuals, that leaves fees for corporate membership as the only
>> source of such income.
> What benefits do you see us granting corporate members to entice them 
> to donate? If the answer is 'none' then I don't see this as any any 
> different than a company clicking on the 'donate' button today outside 
> of hardware earmarked donation drive.   Maybe we need to do a better 
> job of giving big donors more recognition than $50 donors.

Obviously there are some things along the lines of special mentions, a 
package of reduced cost SOTM entries and similar stuff that could be 
devised. But again the goal is not necessarily to increase the income by 
a lot, but to provide a base line level of income that allows us to do 
better planning and to provide a secure (well at least more secure) 
level of financing for the bare necessities.


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