[Osmf-talk] sponsored membership

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Wed Sep 27 15:36:54 UTC 2017

On Wednesday 27 September 2017, joost schouppe wrote:
> [...]
> So a very simple proposition: make it possible for a person to pay
> the price of two memberships, with the express condition that someone
> is allowed to join for free in return.
> The safest is possibly to just allow donating into a pool, and then
> have people applying for the open spaces created in that pool.
> The alternative would be that the donator chooses to whom it goes.
> But that might seem paternalistic and opens the door to worries of
> influence-buying, especially if institutional donors would open their
> purses.

I had thought about this in context of my suggestion for making the 
membership fee optional as well - kind of as a cost neutral version of 
my suggestion.

The problem for me is that allowing the donors to choose who they 
sponsor is really problematic.  The most important task for OSMF 
members is to vote on resolutions and elect the board and even the mere 
implication there is some duty of those who got a sponsored membership 
to vote in the interest of their sponsor would be unacceptable IMO.

And as a potential sponsor i would not want my money to be given to an 
applicant based on the subjective selection by a third party (i.e. the 
MWG or whatever committee evaluates the applications).

So the only way i would see this working is

a) based on an anonymous pool.
b) granted based on transparent, objective and neutral criteria for the 
applicants.  This could be either on a first come - first served basis 
with constant requirements, i.e. there would be a waiting list in case 
there are more qualified applicants than there are sponsors or with 
dynamic requirements (the smaller the sponsor pool the higher the 
thresholds for being accepted as member without paying a fee).

As Martin indicated you would also need to think about if to give 
renewals of previously sponsored memberships priority over new 

Christoph Hormann

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