Annual General Meetings/2022/Fundraising

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

We expanded the remit of the Fundraising Committee to include budgeting and financial management, refreshed as the Finance Committee.

The Board Members forming the core of the Committee are Roland Olbricht as Treasurer, Mikel Maron leading fundraising, and Guillaume Rischard. Additionally we have community members focusing on fundraising: Allen Gunn, Allan Mustard, Maggie Cawley, Tyler Radford. We welcome interest and help on both support to financial management and fundraising.


For Fundraising, the main activity was our Board Members participating in a multi-part workshop on fundraising organized by our friends at Aspiration Tech. Geoffrey MacDougall is a very experienced fundraiser for nonprofits, and led us through a well designed program. provides an overview of the course.

We started confronting and deflating the power imbalance many feel when asking for money, and reflecting on the incredible power the OSM community brings to the table. We also reflected on our own feelings about “selling”, and looked at fundraising as a partnership where everyone is getting something they want, not simply a transaction. Raising money starts from building a relationship, whether a broad campaign or talking one on one, so focus on what people want to achieve and through that engage them in the excitement of where OSM is heading. While we approach as the OSMF, it’s important to center the work and the community, not the organization. We worked together to refine our story – starting from the challenge OSM has risen to, and how this will be taken into the future – and practiced delivering pitches. All of the results were very rough, but provided a good framework for developing the story. We learned about tactics for organizing meetings, and getting beyond initial objections to a yes.

A good portion of the workshop was very operational. We went into details on the differences of the main kinds of fundraising (grants, gifts, and donations), and how to organize work for each. For grants, we discussed how to research opportunities and develop leads, and building network of people to help uncover the right funders to work with. We looked at tools for budgeting and developing that pipeline. For donations, we talked about the importance of engaging the entire community in supporting the work. We learned about how to organize over the course of an annual campaign cycle.

There was much learning to bring back to the whole Committee.

Plans for 2023

Emerging from the workshop, we have a shortlist of next actions to pursue.

Consult on Corporate Membership rates

We’ve been thinking about how we can bring more predictability to the resource needs of OSMF. Corporate Membership fees are a predictable way for corporations to plan their support to OpenStreetMap, and a reliable income source for the Foundation. As you know, we’ve expanded staffing at OSMF to support infrastructure and core software stability. With that has come higher but manageable expenses. We want to ensure this level of resourcing is stable into the future. To support these goals, we are considering raising the Corporate Membership rates. Consultation has begun with corporate members on this approach.


In years past, OSMF would periodically run fundraisers to raise money to support hardware purchases and other core resources. This has been a major financial contribution, and has engaged everyone in our community and supporters from across the world to take part in keeping OSM going. We want to run an individual funding drive in 2023.

Develop pitch and outreach to grant makers

We want to diversify our funding to include grants, and need to refine the story of OSM. We need to build a target list of grant makers to approach and coordinate outreach.