[Board] new Sponsors page draft - marketing and board priorities

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Fri Oct 16 12:23:47 PDT 2015

On 17/10/2015 2:21 am, Sanghee Shin wrote:
> I think managing the relationship with sponsors is the typical marketing committee job. Can I know the status of marketing committee? It seems dormant.

Hi Sanghee,
Correct, the marketing committee is not active.
Previous marketing focus moved toward developing training material, 
which has focused on OSGeo-Live material. As a result, discussions about 
marketing has pretty much moved to OSGeo-Live.
Admittedly, this is only one part of potential marketing activities. 
However, track record shows that volunteers tend not to like getting 
involved in chasing money from sponsors, or managing requests for money. 
(Lots of interest in people asking for money for particular things, very 
little interest in deciding priority for which requests get funded and 
which don't, and very little interest in processing requests for funds.)

The current OSGeo board might want to revisit prior Board Priorities and 
consider whether they still align with thoughts of the current board.
In particular:

      OSGeo as a low capital, volunteer focused organisation

Should OSGeo act as a high capital or low capital organisation? I.e., 
should OSGeo dedicate energy to collecting sponsorship and then passing 
out these funds to worthy OSGeo causes.

While initially it seems attractive to have OSGeo woo sponsors, because 
we would all love to have more money to throw at worthy OSGeo goals, the 
reality is that chasing money is hard work. And someone who can chase 
OSGeo sponsorship is likely conflicted with chasing sponsorship for 
their particular workplace. So in practice, to be effective in chasing 
sponsorship, OSGeo will probably need to hire someone specifically for 
the role. OSGeo would then need to raise at least enough to cover wages, 
and then quite a bit more if the sponsorship path is to create extra value.

This high capital path is how the Apache foundation is set up, and how 
LocationTech propose to organise themselves. It is the path that OSGeo 
started following when founded under the umbrella of Autodesk.

However, as OSGeo has grown, OSGeo has slowly evolved toward a low 
capital volunteer focused organisation. Our overheads are very low, 
which means we waste very little of our volunteer labour and capital on 
the time consuming task of chasing and managing money. Consequently, any 
money we do receive (from conference windfalls or sponsorship) goes a 
long way - as it doesn't get eaten up by high overheads. This low 
capital path is something that is working very well for us, and the path 
we should continue to follow.

Cameron Shorter,
Software and Data Solutions Manager
Suite 112, Jones Bay Wharf,
26 - 32 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009

P +61 2 9009 5000,  W www.lisasoft.com,  F +61 2 9009 5099

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