Finances/Treasurer's Report for the December 2019 AGM

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

Treasurer's report for the December 2019 AGM

prepared by Frederik Ramm

Please also consult:

2018 Business Year

All figures are rounded. Some figures differ slightly from the advance report given at the 2018 AGM because corrections have been applied.

The switch to a new accounting platform, "Xero", has brought some delays in publishing the quarterly figures as it took some time to get everything set up correctly, but we're now in a position where Xero works well for us.

Donations and Membership Income

2018 started with a 2.64 Bitcoin donation from an unknown benefactor followed by a 18 Bitcoin donation from Pineapple Fund. We converted most of that to GBP in the beginning of 2018 at rates of between £8,500 per BTC and £10,400 per BTC, but held on to 3.0 BTC.

In December 2018 we received another anonymous 0.75 BTC donation, and because several of our members warned against engaging in currency speculation of any sort, we converted our now remaining 4.0 BTC to GBP at rate of a little over £3,000 per BTC.

In total, the Pineapple Fund donation amounted to £170,000, and the other donations (in all currencies including BTC) amounted to £40,000. The plan is to set the Pineapple donation aside for the Microgrants programme which is being worked on. The money currently sits in our bank account and does not generate interest; it is, however, difficult to find no-risk ways to actually derive any interest from it.

We also received a £4,600 grant from Google for our Summer of Code participation (part of which was disbursed for travel to their mentor summit).

Note: Our official accounts for 2018 have accidentally lumped in the 2.64 BTC received at the beginning of 2018 and the 0.75 BTC donation received in December with the "Pineapple Fund" donation. Our official accounts therefore list £186,790 in Pineapple fund donations and only £23,164 in other donations.

We received £19,000 from individual and £69,000 from corporate memberships.

SotM 2018 in Milan

SotM 2018 in Milan brought £55,000 in sponsorship and £49,000 in ticket sales, and has cost £69,000 (about 1/3 of this for scholarships), yielding a surplus of £25,000 after taxes. Rob Nickerson from the SotM team commented that SotM income was pushed up by higher than expected sales of business tickets.

Operations and Move to Amsterdam Data Centre

The total operations expenditure in 2018 was about £31,000. About £13,000 of that were spent in connection with the server move from Imperial College to Equinix in Amsterdam (actual cost for moving as well as setup fees and the purchase of small hardware components like switches or power supplies). This move was made necessary by the closure of the Imperial College data centre we were using. Other than that, in 2018 only replacement parts and upgrades for existing servers were bought – no new servers. Summarized by service vendors, we've spent £6,800 with Equinix, £5,600 with Imperial College, £3,200 with Amazon AWS, and £2,500 with Cogent.

Other Costs

Other large cost items for 2018 are:

  • £17,000 for freelance administrative help (Dorothea's work – note that £2,500 of that are are included in above SotM expenses)
  • £10,000 for legal fees (in 2018 these were exclusively trademark related; about £4,000 have been spent successfully opposing the registration of the trademark "Openstreet" in France, the rest are renewals or new registrations elsewhere)
  • £6,800 for accounting (paid to our accountant Michelle Heydon)
  • £6,400 for insurance (to AJG, an UK insurance broker through whom we had a Hiscox insurance)
  • £5,400 for board face-to-face meeting and SotM participation

Our servers have lost about £27,000 in value, which appears on our accounts as depreciation "expense" even though of course we haven't actually paid this money to anyone. We spent £10,800 in corporation tax for the income generated by SotM; this money has already been subtracted from the surplus to arrive at the above-mentioned figure of £25,000 conference surplus, even though the money was actually only paid in 2019 after the 2018 accounts were submitted to the authorities.

Our accounts also list £2,600 of "bad debt write off", this regards the corporate membership of "Quantum Inventions" (July 2017-June 2018) and "Mapiful AB" (Nov 2017-Oct 2018) who have quit after we had already issued the renewal invoice; these £2,600 mean that while reported out corporate membership income of 2017 to be £66,700 we actually only got £64,100.


In total, at the end of 2018, we had

  • £261,000 on our EUR bank account
  • £139,000 on our GBP bank account
  • £74,000 on our EUR PayPal account
  • £14,000 on our USD PayPal account
  • £5,700 on our GBP PayPal account

Our official "net surplus" for 2018 is £236,000, compared to £70,000 in 2017. If we consider the out-of-the-ordinary £170,000 Pineapple donation, this means we've closed with a similar result to 2017.

A volunteer audit for 2018 is in the works but has not been completed yet which is entirely down to the treasurer being too slow.

2019 Business Year

Accounting for 2019 is not complete yet. All numbers below are for the first three quarters (January through September) and are subject to change.

We have taken in £39,000 in corporate membership and £6,700 in individual membership fees, as well as £18,000 in donations.

SotM 2019 in Heidelberg

(Numbers in this section include expected payments to give a complete picture, even though accounting is not complete yet.)

The State of the Map conference in Heidelberg has spent roughly £116,000 (about 20% of this for scholarships), making it our largest SotM to date. The income was £44,000 from ticket sales and £101,000 from sponsorship which should yield a surplus of around £25,000 after UK corporation tax. For the first time ever, we had a sponsor paying more than £20,000 (the €25,000 Platinum sponsorship by the Ministry of Transport of the German state of Baden-Württemberg). I would like to thank Christine Karch from the SotM working group for running a tight ship financially!

Also a first in 2019, we had to register with the tax authorities in the host country and pay VAT on ticket sales. This can be offset against VAT spent on catering etc. so it should not affect the result – in fact we expect a small refund.


We've spent £32,000 on hardware, and £14,000 on hosting, connectivity and domains. The internet expense is going to rise to approximately £18,000 by year's end since we have decided to renew our important .org domains for 10 years (the maximum time possible), expecting price hikes in the future. Summarized by service vendors, we've spent £9,100 with Equinix, £2,600 with Cogent, and £2,300 with Amazon AWS.

Administrative help

We have spent £15,000 for freelance administrative help to Dorothea (£7,000 of that are included in the SotM expenditure figure). This is expected to rise to £20,000 by the end of the year. We have also engaged a payroll consultant to help us find a good contractual basis to stabilise our working relationship with Dorothea which we would like to be able to rely on.


We have switched to another insurance broker (S-Tech Ltd.) in 2019. The cost has remained about the same.


There was justified criticism from some members last year about keeping large amounts of money on PayPal. We have moved over EUR 100,000 from PayPal to our bank account over the course of 2019 but since conference ticket sales are mainly handled through PayPal, this is a never-ending task. Due to technical limitations, these transfers cannot be simply done with a click of the mouse like your usual PayPal withdrawal; that would incur a two-fold currency conversion fee (EUR->GBP and back). We're looking into perhaps doing this with TransferWise.

Handover of the Treasurer job

After 5 years as the person responsible for OSMF's finances, I'm signing off. You'll read a statement from someone else here next year. We don't know yet who it is going to be; I will continue performing the essential duties until the new treasurer has the necessary access to bank accounts and so on.