[Osmf-talk] Operating reserves
jm at liotier.org
Mon Dec 14 21:47:10 UTC 2020
As a new member of the Board, I wish to start term my with a fundamental
topic - the Openstreetmap Foundation's operating reserves.
In answer to a guest question during the December 12th General Meeting,
Alan Mustard mentioned that the Openstreetmap Foundation strives to keep
a reserve amounting to three years of operational expenses. The
Treasurer's report's profit and losses
show yearly operating expenses amounting to 130k£ and the Balance Sheet
shows net assets at 621 k£ - of which even the 400 k£ in the reserves
savings account does cover about three years. From a cursory survey of
non-profits, three years is at the prudent end of the range, so I think
it is a reasonable goal to continue pursuing.
Nevertheless, this satisfactory state of affairs remains the informal
result of the Board's cautious management. In keeping with my pledge of
reinforcing the Openstreetmap Foundation's financial sustainability, I
wish to take it a step further and advocate for the Board to produce an
Operating Reserve Policy for a Board-Designated Operating Reserve.
As a novice in the business of operating reserves policies, I have
sought best practices and found the Grantmakers in the Arts' Operating
Reserve Policy Toolkit for Nonprofit Organization
to cover a lot of ground - interested individuals might wish to take a
Among other things, an Operating Reserve Policy would need to include
procedures, governance and conditions for drawdown and replenishment.
This comes too late to be made a topic of the 18th December Board
meeting, so I'll propose it for the January meeting. Meanwhile, let us
please discuss the desirability of such policy and what it might entail.
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