[Osmf-talk] Financing the OSMF

Ivo Stankov ivo at e-stankov.com
Tue Aug 27 08:56:21 UTC 2013

I really hope the OSMF does not slide into the slippery slope of online advertising, even if it is just for a select group of "sponsors" at the beginning.

One of the most commendable stances of the Wikimedia Foundation is that it chooses to ignore its huge advertising potential in favour of independence, lack of user tracking, etc.

If they can shoulder such a big operation with donations only, I can't see why the OSMF couldn't.

Sent from my Nokia N9

On 27/08/2013 10:26 Marek.Strassenburg-Kleciak at elektrobit.com wrote:
Smart Idea Jaak,
why not?
Marek  Kleciak

From: Jaak Laineste (Nutiteq) [mailto:jaak at nutiteq.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 10:24 AM
To: Kai Krueger
Cc: osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
Subject: Re: [Osmf-talk] Financing the OSMF
Just for context, one random "website valuation" calculator cubestat [1] estimates yearly advertising revenue potential of openstreetmap.org to over $100.000. Of course no one wants to pollute osm frontpage with google ads, but it looks like monetizing a fraction of it with polite sponsor's logo sector would cover minimal running costs easily. 
Specifically, I'd put 3-5 top sponsor logos to a non-prominent place in the frontpage, and add "other sponsors" link to all the rest of them, so natural bidding would end up with fair price. Maybe even upper limit should be set to avoid becoming a cash machine.
[1] http://openstreetmap.org.cubestat.com/
On 27.08.2013, at 10:23, Kai Krueger <kakrueger at gmail.com> wrote:

On 08/27/2013 12:14 AM, Oleksiy Muzalyev wrote:

Here is the website of the Los Angeles marathon:

As you see the name of the sponsor company "Asics" is not only on its
logo at the down part of the page, but also in the title itself of the
event. It is the "Asics LA MArathon".

In 2011, when I ran it, it was called the "Honda LA Marathon".

The largest marathon of the world is called "The Ing New York City

In addition to be present in the title, there is also the logo and link
to "Ing" bank website at the lower part of the page.

These events are very expensive and cannot be organized without
sponsors. The sponsors are not hidden but proudly presented as, well, as
sponsors in the events' titles. It does not make these events less noble
and everybody understands it.

Participating in these events also costs money, but any runner gets a
medal on crossing the finish line. Besides one gets the finisher
certificate and finisher t-shirt. At LA it is electronic certificate in
the PDF format.

At "Ing New York City Marathon" it is the paper certificate printed on a
quality paper and signed by Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York
City. The certificate is mailed 3 months after the event in an A4
envelope with piece of cardboard to avoid crumpling.

Also the name and result of runners who finished in less than 5 hours
printed in the New York times newspaper. Besides, a medal in New York
gets the name and result engraved on it.

In 2011 120 thousand applied for New York City marathon and 47500 were
accepted. But everybody knows the iron-clad rule - cross finish line, -
get the medal, certificate, finisher t-shirt. Give up - get nothing (it
is done this way to avoid frivolous registrations).

It is close to impossible to invent a new business model, but it is
quite possible to research how others solve the problem of financing.

Although I support the idea of exploring the options of certain
corporate donations, imho it needs to be absolutely clear that OSMF
remains entirely independent and not influenced by individual corporate
interests. To ensure this OSMF needs some very clear policies on what is
acceptable and what not in this respect. However something like the
"Honda LA Marathon" would imho go far to far. For a (large) donation, a
sign of gratitude to the donor in form of perhaps a blog post, which
naturally also generates a certain publicity, seems acceptable. But
anything beyond that is imho problematic for the core OSMF mission. The
language distinction between donation and sponsorship is probably rather
important in this respect and sponsorship of OSMF itself is imho not

"What do companies want in return for donations?" was possibly poorly
worded. I was referring more to the kind of bureaucracy companies might
have to go through in order to make donations and if there is something
that OSMF can do to facilitate this process. E.g. make sure there is a
"official" person to talk to, or make sure that OSMF has "marketing
material" available for project people to make it easier to sell the
idea of a donation to their management who needs to authorize it, or the

OSMF overall in the grand scheme of things still has a pretty small
budget. And hopefully that ensures that we do have the ability to spread
it across enough small and medium donations that there aren't any real
strings attached to any money given. OSMF has to make sure it remains in
support of the community and its mappers.



On 27.08.2013 03:30, Kai Krueger wrote:

What do companies want in return for donations? 


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