[Board] Fundraising Purpose

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Wed Feb 20 18:41:09 PST 2008

Tyler Mitchell (OSGeo) wrote:
> Hi all,
> For discussion purposes with all of you on the board, I've pasted a few 
> brief paragraphs about the purpose of fundraising (along with some 
> general preamble which will be more important as the rest of document 
> develops).  The next section I'll paste up talks about Methods, but I'd 
> like to take the discussion one piece at a time so it's more manageable.
> Can you have a quick read of this and make any edits or provide comments 
> please?
> http://wiki.osgeo.org/index.php/Fundraising_Strategy


For the purposes of answering the question "what is the money for", I think
it is helpful to have some generic source of income (foundation sponsorship)
and some more targetted ones (conference sponsorship, project sponsorship,
etc).  It may be that some new programs will be suitable for targetted
support - it is my hope we might do this with OSGeo4W for instance.

For now, I think the core of our general purpose fundraising - the kind
I imagine you will be focusing on - will be foundation sponsorships and
so we need a reasonable compelling justification for our use of that
money.  I think you have done a reasonable job of explaining that under
"Cover Ongoing Costs", but hopefully you can find a more compelling
way of explaining what we are doing with our current ongoing expenditures!

I think turning the one paragraph "cover ongoing costs" into something
reasonably compelling is part of what you need to do to sell foundation
sponsorships.  Part of this is a compelling explanation of what you do
for the foundation, the projects and the community.  This includes:

  * In person promotion and community building at conferences and other
    types of meetings.

  * Operating the administrative machinery of the foundation.  Financial
    management, contracting, legal filings, invoicing, keeping records.
    This is critical to our organizational legitimacy and provides critical
    "organizational infrastructure" to our conference (FOSS4G), and project
    programs (GDAL sponsorship).

  * Acting as a point of contact for the foundation, and outward facing
    representative for the whole foss4g movement to press, potential new
    user organizations, etc.

  * Acting as a point of contact, and facilitator within the community.
    Letting interest folks get involved, answering questions, connecting
    folks with related interests.  In some cases (the web site, journal)
    this extends to doing quite a bit of the heavy lifting to ensure
    critical work gets done to support larger efforts.

  * Acting as official interface between various committees and FOSS4G
    efforts.  Putting together the annual report is a good example of this,
    making sure needed work gets done to keep the foundation operating.

We can't hesitate to put your community/movement focused effort front
and center when selling foundation level sponsorship.  It is our biggest
cost, and our biggest "unique value" we bring to the community.

I also think that bigger organizations understand the need for this sort
of role and can understand the leverage it brings.

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | President OSGeo, http://osgeo.org

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