[Osmf-talk] Membership fee waiver

Steve Friedl steve at unixwiz.net
Thu Nov 15 15:26:47 UTC 2018

Unless I misremember all the meetings, the fee waiver, at least in its introductory form, is intended to address money transfer issues only (where there’s no reasonable money transfer facility), not to address needs-based waivers of the type you suggest.  In places that don’t have Paypal, or the wire transfer fees would overwhelm the transaction costs: those were the things I believe we had in mind.


My understanding is that sticking with objective tests, rather than subjective assessments, was a safer way to start.


If somebody else on the MWG remembers it differently, I’m happy to be corrected.




From: nicolas chavent <nicolas.chavent at gmail.com> 
Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:05 AM
To: Mikel Maron <mikel.maron at gmail.com>
Cc: OSMF Talk <osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org>
Subject: Re: [Osmf-talk] Membership fee waiver


Hi all,


Quickly, if this possibility for active mappers in developing and least developed countries to be eligible for fee waiver and be reimbursed be known up-stream of the election process, a significant amount of mappers (at least from Haiti and Africa) would have joined.

The 15£ yearly contribution being way too much for their level of resources. 


Reflecting upon diversity of OSMF membership, now that this info is known when it's no longer possible to sign for membership, can we pause and assess teh relevance/feasibility of shifting teh election process of a week and give time for this information to spread and OSMF to have a more diverse and geographically more widespread membership ? Can this be put as a talk item for the OSMF board meeting ? 







Le jeu. 15 nov. 2018 à 15:36, Mikel Maron <mikel.maron at gmail.com <mailto:mikel.maron at gmail.com> > a écrit :

Very good to note that people can simply apply for a waiver now. The resolution states


> In order to be eligible for the membership fee waiver, the applicant may be required to contribute something else of value (e.g: time, …) to the Foundation, for example write a paragraph on mapping in their region


So if this holds, an interested potential member emails the board (board at osmfoundation.org <mailto:board at osmfoundation.org> ) and MWG (mwg at osmfoundation.org <mailto:mwg at osmfoundation.org> ), with the details required for associate membership (name, OSM id, country) and a paragraph describing their need and some details on their contribution to OSM, we'll need to vote on it. 


We'll be discussing this in the OSMF Board meeting later today.


On a more systematic solution. I joined the Board a year after the 2014 resolution, and have not seen any requests for a fee waiver in that time (well before this thread started yesterday). I've been a strong proponent of addressing the fee waiver, and Joost's telling is accurate -- there's simply been too little volunteer help available. The Foundation welcomes more -- I think this could be sorted out with a short amount of determined work by just a couple people. Please consider it.




* Mikel Maron * +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron



On Thursday, November 15, 2018, 1:53:12 AM EST, Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch <mailto:simon at poole.ch> > wrote: 



Only the board would know (and I don't remember seeing anything in the minutes).


Am 14.11.2018 um 23:53 schrieb Rob Nickerson:

Any idea if that has happened yet Simon? 


Thank you,



On Wed, 14 Nov 2018, 22:20 Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch <mailto:simon at poole.ch>  wrote:

Forgetting all about making it easy and so on, there is currently IMHO no reason a potential member couldn't apply for a waiver, it would simply need to be decided on a case by case base.


Am 14.11.2018 um 23:08 schrieb joost schouppe:

Hi Rob, 


I can't give an account for the first three years, but I can share my perspective about the last. I specifically joined the MWG a year ago to help push forward the waiver fee program.


Over the last year, most of the volunteer time has gone to keeping the engine running. There were deep problems with the management software for membership (civicrm), which made it easy to lose members. There was a weird problem with reminders about lapsing membership. Since we do not have a self service area, people depend on these reminders. It was a hard problem to fix, which involved a lot of cooperation between people, as well as a lot if discussion about whether or not to hire consultancy to fix it; or even to make sure they could actually work if hired. 


At all the meetings I attended, I brought up the waiver fee. There always seemed to be new barriers to just start with it. A form, a procedure, default lettres, membership classes. Since the meetings were rather spread out, you also lose time with bringing back to mind all the details. Since a lot of the work required knowledge about the inner workings of the software, there wasn't a lot of work I could do as a not so technical newbie. When there were things I could do myself, my own time constraints came in the way - as well as recently finding out a lot of thinking work we did together was lost because we used an exotic open source tool that disappeared from the internet. 


So my analysis if the last year would be: too little volunteers to do the actual work, and a lack of efficient workflows. 


IIRC we did get several board checkups on the waiver fee and the occasional call to think bigger.

I don't think there is anyone to blame, except maybe if you start looking for the root causes of our lack of volunteers. Since I don't want to turn this into my position statement for the Board elections, I'll hold that thought for now. I will say that this experience is what led me to try and revive the local chapters group as a community building group. This group would try to work in and with the other working groups to support and push relevant projects forward. Unfortunately that try has not really resulted in much just yet.


All the best, 



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