Finance Committee/Minutes/2024-05-01

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

OpenStreetMap Foundation Finance Committee

Minutes of a meeting held on 1 May 2024,

Administrative Matters

  • Craig Allan (Chair)
  • Roland Olbricht (Treasurer)
  • Harrison Devine
  • Mateusz Konieczny
  • Mikel Maron
  • Guillaume Rischard
Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved without amendment.

  • Strategy for building Corporate membership
  • Timeline for the Individual Ask process
  • Confirmation of the membership of the Fundraising sub-committee
  • Development of the Grant-seeking process
  • The Open Technology Fund call or proposals
  • Production of the Monthly Financial Report for April
  • Any other Business
    • Meta Contract
    • TISA Invitation
  • Next meeting

Strategy for building Corporate membership

The Foundation has many corporate members, who we work to retain, but we would like to increase the numbers by recruitment of new corporate members.

Mikel proposed that the a first source could be the list of Overture members who are not yet corporate members of OpenStreetMap. One example is Amazon. Mikel will lead contacting the companies and Craig will support with compiling the list and researching supplementary data and providing it in a spreadsheet. The was some discussion on using CiviCRM, but the feeling was that adding complexity for so few companies was excessive and a spreadsheet will work.

There is a need to develop a message – a ‘pitch’ to sell the membership to corporates. The pitch will probably centre on the 20th Birthday. The renewal of existing corporate members is to be supported by a big refresh of communication materials. The plan is for all corporate members to be asked to consider go up one sponsorship level. The same communications materials can be used to recruit new corporate members. We may have a more high profile publicity campaign when we start to talk to our corporate members, both for upgrades and for recruitment.

Timeline for the Individual Ask process

The general approach for 2024 is to move the Individual Ask to a lower intensity. In 2023 there was a high intensity Ask and repeating an intense campaign every year has the potential to exhaust the donors (and the Fundraising team). Possibly we will move to a 2 year cycle of intensive asking.

This does not mean losing touch with our individual donors. It is important to keep people involved and there are many who are happy to contribute annually or on an ad-hoc basis. The donations and routine emailing of annual reminders to all members should continue.

Our individual outreach will align with the 20th Birthday campaign. The 20th Birthday campaign will serve to organise and promote the OSM project, but is not specifically intended to be about donation.

Confirmation of the membership of the Fundraising sub-committee

The Board membership of the Finance Committee is Craig, Roland and Guillaume. Harrison kindly supports the Accounting side of the work and Mikel represents the Fundraising side. Any Board member is welcome to observe and contribute, as Mateusz did during this meeting.

There are seven formally designated Fundraising Advisors, who have all signed NDA’s to allow access to internal documents and discussions.

These are Allan Mustard, Allen Gunn, Courtney Williamson, Harrison Devine, Kate Varfalameyeva, Maggie Cawley and Tyler Radford. Of the Advisors, Allan, Allen (Gunner), Courtney and Harrison will probably support fundraising this year. We are less certain of Kate, Maggie and Tyler. Specifically Tyler has left HOT. All the advisors will be contacted to determine their availability and time constraints.

The meeting asked Harrison if he could formally undertake to represent OSM US. Currently he is a recently elected Board member in the US and still finding his feet, but he will see if he can work towards that role. The liaison with OSM US is important to build co-ordination on fundraising and to avoid confusing or annoying donor corporates that are based in the US. We are trying to ensure co-ordination and complementary actions in growing the donations pie.

Mikel is to be added to the list of Fundraising Advisors. He has already signed the necessary NDA.

Development of the Grant-seeking Process

Craig presented a short preview of the discussions on developing the fundraising process that came out of the workshop at the Face to Face meeting of 27 & 28 April.

This topic links closely to discussions in the 17 April Finance Committee meeting. The process decided at the F2F meeting is still to be written up properly. When it is formalised into a document it will be again presented to the Finance Committee.

Discussion was around the proposal to set up an endowment fund. An endowment fund has some good and some bad aspects for fundraising. In principle it is desirable but at this time we shouldn’t be focusing on that. Our current priority is developing funding sources. The creation of an endowment fund will be regarded as a low priority action.

The Open Technology Fund - call for proposals

The Open Technology Fund, an American NGO, runs the FOSS Sustainability Fund which supports the long-term sustainability of established FOSS projects and the communities that maintain them.

The OSMF is a good fit for the FOSS Sustainability Fund, and the application process is not too onerous so we will put together a proposal. The Open Technology Fund will support grants from $150k to $400k.

The project that is most suitable for an immediate application is the enhancement of the main website

We have previously made application for funds from the Sovereign Tech Fund so we can work with that application and adapt it for the Open Tech Fund, ensuring that the applications do not overlap and do not contradict each other.

The first steps are for Craig, Roland, Sarah to meet to discuss the content of the application. We should consult the EWG.

We will try to get a draft proposal to the Board within 1 week (8 May) and we then have a week to polish and finalise. The submission date is Friday 17 May 2024.

Production of the Monthly Financial Report for April

Harrison agreed to talk with Michelle to try and ensure that the bank reconciliations are processed so that the financial report presented at the Board meeting on 30 May 2024 contains the financial details of April transactions. In the long term we want to try and ensure that the Board (and members) always see the financial report for the immediately previous month.

Any Other Business

Meta Contract

On the Meta contract we have reviewed the requirements and Roland will sign it in the next few days. The Board is aware and this meeting supports him signing.

TISA Invitation

Roland offers to represent the Board at the TISA conference. He is resident in western Germany so it is a short distance to Amsterdam. The meeting in in June so there is sufficient time to co-ordinate with the Board on content and prepare the presentation.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of this committee is scheduled for 8th May 2024.


Minutes of the meeting were prepared by Craig Allan