[Openstreetmap] Re: Funding OSM with donations?

Petter Reinholdtsen pere at hungry.com
Sat Dec 31 12:59:53 GMT 2005

[Tom Carden]
> Not that I want you to stop sending Steve money if you want to, but
> I don't think "the project" should be funded by monetary donations
> to an individual.  It puts all kinds of weird expectations on the
> people receiving those funds (I would expect that to only be Steve
> at this stage) and it's difficult to reimburse everyone fairly.

I do not really see the problem.  We could of course find an
organization to hold the money, but I do not believe it is a
requirement.  If funds are used to cover direct and reasonable
expenses, I believe the progress of project could be increased and
more people could find time to contribute.

> We're all aware that the project has to cover certain costs, but you
> might not be aware that these are currently negligable.

There is also lots of stuff not being done in the project because
there is no funds for it.  In Skolelinux, another project am I aware
of, we organize development gatherings every 1-2 months with travel,
lodging and food covered for those participating, and this helps to
keep the speed of development high.  OSM could do similar.

I believe it is a bad idea to limit funding to concrete and one-time
items, and that we should instead try to find a way to get a steady
income to find all the activity this project could do.  For example
mapping gatherings like the one planned for the island during eastern,
or perhaps an "map Oslo" weekend, or some "optimize the server"
development gathering.  The possibilities are endless, and having more
funds to do it would make it easier to organize.

And a simple way to chip in money to the project could give us a
regular income to spend on the project.  We never know if it is going
to work before we try.

Yes, we need to make sure the spending is transparent, to avoid
suspicion and envy, but posting information on the amount of money
going in and out of the project money pile is not that hard.  It could
be done as easily as the Skolelinux economy summary page.  Check out
<URL:http://www.linuxiskolen.no/okonomi/>. :)

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