[Osmf-talk] Budget for 2016

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Thu May 5 19:17:16 UTC 2016


On 05/05/2016 05:29 PM, Matthias-Christian Ott wrote:
> On 2016-05-01 16:21, Frederik Ramm wrote:
>> In very simple words, according to this budget we will have about £43k
>> left in cash at the end of the year. That will be enough to survive in
>> 2017, but by the end of 2017 we *must* have found new funding sources or
>> else we go bust.
> Can you define what you mean by "go bust"? 

With hindsight, I shouldn't have said that because it is going to be
quoted out of context. It is obvious that we won't allow this to happen.
What I wanted to say is that we must find new funding sources full stop.

> If I understand the budget
> overview correctly the facts are that at the moment donations from
> individuals seem to be enough to cover the hosting costs. So as long as
> people believe in OSM and want to support it, it will continue to exist.
> All other expenses aren't strictly necessary to keep OSM operational.

Some of the other expenses are necessary to keep the OSMF operational -
of course you could go back to having a private individual who owns the
trademarks, a private individual who collects the donations etc., but it
won't be long until an accountant would be required to deal with proper
bookkeeping and the guy who collects the donations and pays for the
servers would want to buy an insurance and... you'd have built yourself
another OSMF.

You're also neglecting the fact that even if OSM wasn't growing, aged
hardware would have to be replaced by new stuff. Hardware has in the
past been mainly funded out of donation drives but not fully.

> I also think that the OSMF should never spend more on ongoing operations
> than it receives from individual donations 

Are you in favour of a Wikipedia-style annual donation campaign? It is
certainly something that *could* be done. I think it is difficult
because unlike Wikipedia, we are not the main user interface for our
content; only a fraction of OSM users are OSM website users. Therefore
it is more difficult for us to reach our users.

> I think it has been discussed sufficiently how to cover one time
> expenses like purchasing new hardware and how to deal with unforeseeable
> events. I think in a worst case scenario there are also public
> institutions like universities or libraries that could host some of the
> hardware to keep OSM operational (as it seems to be the case already).
> Moreover, the ODbL ensures that OSM could exist without the OSMF. So I
> think there is little to worry about.

I think that having a mature organisation that supports the project is
desirable. OSMF has occasionally had a rough ride but we're growing into
that kind of organisation. I'd hate to start at zero again. OSM without
an OSMF to back it up is IMHO a romantic fantasy; if there was no OSMF,
then OSM would align itself with another free knowledge organiation or,
even more dangerous, allow its affairs to be run by a commercial entity.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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