[Osmf-talk] Budget for 2016

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Sun May 8 12:35:46 UTC 2016

On Sunday 08 May 2016, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> > While it is true that many OSM-data users never get to see the
> > osm.org site, the most motivated and likely to donate ones
> > definitely visit it regularly.
> Those are most likely our mappers (as opposed to those who only "use"
> OSM and don't otherwise participate).
> Our mappers are already doing very important work for us. I would
> like to avoid milking them for cash in addition to the countless
> hours of their spare time they're already giving to OSM. If ways can
> be found that make the users of OSM pay the bill, rather than the
> makers, I would be very much in favour.

Not sure if i have already made this suggestion here in the past or only 
elsewhere but one possible approach to putting finances on a solid yet 
broad basis would be to offer a 'supporting membership' for normal 
people to provide support for the project in financial form on a 
regular basis.

My idea would be to reduce the basic membership fee (to something like 
5-10 GBP) and thereby broadining participation in the OSMF (which as 
likely everyone will agree would be desirable) and at the same time 
offer a supporting membership for something like 50 GBP.  This would be 
without any formal benefits but it would be clear that anyone who can 
afford it and who benefits from what OSM offers is expected to sign up 
for this type of membership, especially if they do not actively 
participate in the project (i.e. are mere users).

IMO having 500 supporting members each contributing 50 GBP would be much 
more desirable than having 5 corporate members each with 5000 GBP - 
furthermore having corporate members with significant contributions 
seems much less problematic to me if there is also a solid basis from 
other sources.

Yes, getting these 500 would not be easy but there are ways to encourage 
people, even without being overly annoying.  And if ultimately most of 
the supporting members turn out to be active mappers that would IMO not 
be a problem - if active community members want to finance the OSMF who 
would seriously want to tell them they should not?

The most important measure to get more financial contributions from any 
side is to show the money is well spent of course - publishing and 
openly discussing the budget is well working in that direction.

Another completely different approach would be based on the quite common 
practice of companies to donate a certain percentage of their earnings 
to charity and to advertise this as an incentive to buy from them or do 
business with them.  It would not be unreasonable to expect companies 
making use of OSM in their work to regularly donate a certain 
percentage of their earnings to support the project.  This approach 
would be different from a corporate memebership in a number of ways:

- it would not be a fixed upfront payment but an afterwards donation 
that dynamically adjusts to how the business goes.
- the incentive to do this would not be benefits received by the OSMF 
but to be able to advertise this as an advantage to customers and to 
comply with the expectations of the customer base in this regard.  So 
the OSMF would not primarily try to convince corporations to sign up 
for a memebership but to convince customers of OSM based services in 
general that pledging a certain percentage of earning to the OSMF can 
be expected from a company offering such services or that higher prices 
for OSM related services should be accepted if the company offering 
them does such a pledge.

Christoph Hormann

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