[Board] Possibility for OSGeo (the foundation) to hold money for one of its chapters

Daniel Morissette dmorissette at mapgears.com
Thu Dec 16 08:53:49 PST 2010

Hi Board,

I would like to discuss the possibility for OSGeo (the foundation) to
hold money for one of its chapters at today's board meeting. To
accelerate the discussion, here is a description of what I have in mind
for you to read before the meeting.

First, the main motivation behind this is that the Quebec local chapter
has a surplus of ~4,000$ from the organization of the June 2010
Rendez-vous OSGeo-Qu├ębec, and since the local chapter does not have any
legal status, we'd like to have a neutral place to put the money until
we are ready to use it again as seed money for a future edition of the
event (or other local chapter activities). The Foundation sounds like
the best place to hold that money in our mind.

I discussed this briefly with Tyler in the past, and he was not too keen
on the idea because of the overhead involved in dealing with and
tracking amounts like this for various chapters.

His reaction makes full sense, but what if part of the money stayed with
OSGeo to cover that overhead? For instance, 10% of the amount with a
minimum of 250$ for instance. Would that make it more worthwhile for
OSGeo to provide this service/privilege to its local chapters?

To minimize the overhead, we should also setup some clear rules, for
- The amount must be provided to OSGeo in a single payment, and
withdrawn from OSGeo in a single transaction (i.e. OSGeo is not
providing a bank account and won't handle multiple deposits/withdrawals)
- All transactions to be made in the same currency to avoid exchange
rate losses/issues for OSGeo (I presume that would have to be USD?). Or
perhaps if conversions to/from USD are required then the charges from
the bank (they always keep 2-3% on top of the going rate) would be
deduced from the amount.
- As suggested above, OSGeo would keep 10% of the amount with a minimum
of 250$ to cover its overhead
- No interest is paid or accounted for on the amount
- A local chapter should be allowed to take advantage of this privilege
no more than once per calendar year (just trying to prevent abuse here)
- At the time of deposit of the money, some clear rules should be
provided by the local chapter on when and by whom the money can be
withdrawn (e.g. require a signature from at least N members of the local
chapter's steering committee, or from person A, B and C in the absence
of a formal committee)
- Should we require a motion to the board for a deposit and another
motion for withdrawal, just to make sure there is a public record of
those transactions?

What do you think? I realize that OSGeo is not a bank, but OTOH this
could be very useful for local chapters who do not otherwise have the
need for a legal status and all the overhead that's involved.

Daniel Morissette

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