From OpenStreetMap Foundation

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Detailed records of income (including donations) and expenditure by the Foundation are kept in accordance with UK accounting standards. The Foundation has a legal obligation to publish its accounts annually at Companies House.

The majority of the Foundation's income comes from donations and membership. Donations come in two kinds - regular donations we receive all year round, and specific hardware donations in response to occasional fundraising appeals.

It is worth noting that there's a lot of OpenStreetMap funding that does not get channelled through the Foundation, such as funds being made available to local chapters or related organisations, or businesses allowing their employees to spend time working on OSM related matters.

When the Foundation was formed, the membership was polled about how income should be spent and we received a mandate to spend 60% of income on hardware, 20% on promotion and 20% on legal matters. Currently, the Foundation’s expenditure is mainly on server hardware, and activities that promote the project (typically, travel expenses for speaking engagements, board meetings and the like).

Treasurer's Report

General Meeting reports

These are human-readable reports prepared by the OSMF treasurer for each Annual General Meeting (AGM). They usually cover the full finances for the previous year plus a partial report on the finances of the AGM year.

Treasurer's updates during board meetings

Below are financial-related updates provided by the OSMF Treasurer during the monthly board meetings. Please note that additional financial topics are discussed during some of those meetings.

Independent Volunteer Auditor's Report

The work of the accountant and treasurer are checked by an independent volunteer auditor from the OSM community.

Expenditure / Budget

When OSMF was founded, it was agreed that spending should be apportioned roughly as follows:

  • Legal 20%
  • Hardware 60%
  • Promotion (speaker’s expenses etc) 20%

This ratio was deviated from in later years (2015-2017).

Income and Balance Sheets










  • Expenditure for "telephone and computer charges" is misleading since two yearly Imperial College invoices are contained in the 2015 window; normally the amount would be half that per year.
  • The yearly result looks exceptionally good but that is largely because £58k have been collected in a server donation drive, and only £20k of that have been spent, so in your head reserve £38k for future hardware spending.
  • Doesn't contain depreciation and taxes.


OSMF policy on expense claims

The Inland Revenue defines an allowable business expense as one that has been incurred wholly (entirely), exclusively and necessarily for business purposes ("business" means standard OSMF activities here). OSMF will pay reasonable out-of-pocket expenses that are incurred during normal activities for the Foundation, provided a VAT invoice and/or receipt is also supplied with the claim.


  • Replacing inexpensive items
  • Mileage. This should be calculated by taking a mileage reading when you start and again when you finish your journey. Mileage is paid at the maximum allowed by Inland Revenue (without incurring a tax liability):
    • 45p/mile for the first 10,000 miles per annum
    • 25p/mile for mileage above 10,000 miles per annum
  • Essential travel on behalf of OSMF meetings by public transport at economy class
  • Car parking

Non-member Entertaining

Any expenditure on entertaining a non-member (that is anyone who is not a member of OSMF e.g. supplier) is not allowed by the Inland Revenue as a valid company expense and is counted as part of the profit and taxed accordingly. VAT cannot be reclaimed either. It is therefore very important to differentiate between an overhead expense and an entertaining expense.

Purchases on behalf of the company

Once a decision is made, most purchases, of goods or services, should preferably be processed through existing suppliers with whom OSMF has agreements, using the normal procedure of gaining internal authorisation and thus enabling the treasurer to manage the payment.

There may be occasions where a new supplier is sourced in which case the treasurer should be asked to open an account with the supplier and, if there is an urgent purchase required, to organise payment by the company. If the above procedures are not followed you risk incurring an expense for which OSMF is not prepared to re-imburse you.

Cash Advances

Advances of cash should be exceptional and the full amount accounted for by promptly providing VAT invoices/receipts. Any surplus should be immediately returned to OSMF. When in doubt obtain prior authorisation before buying.

How to claim your expenses

Ask the treasurer for a Xero expense account.

When making a purchase ensure that you ask for a VAT invoice (this should mean that it will contain all the details required for accounting purposes) or at the very least a VAT receipt. A credit card payment receipt is not usually sufficient, but they are sometimes. Details normally required are:

  • Name of company
  • Address
  • VAT number
  • Itemised purchases
  • Total
  • VAT charged or the VAT rate included in the total

Complete the Xero Expenses Claim Form, attach all invoices/receipts (or scan and email provided they are legible - DO keep the originals) and submit to the treasurer for re-imbursement. Mileage claims can be made on the same form by recording each journey, the actual mileage and claiming 45p per mile.