[OSGeo-Conf] [Board] Financial limit on advances and guarantees to FOSS4Gs

Eli Adam eadam at co.lincoln.or.us
Mon Aug 24 15:39:17 PDT 2015

On Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 11:21 PM, Massimiliano Cannata
<massimiliano.cannata at supsi.ch> wrote:
> Dear all,
> I want to share my personal view  just to make discussion starting.
> I see two very different cases.
> 1) organizers decide to make a foss4g conference to earn money. Remember not
> only making profits but also get paid for organizing...
> 2) organizars decide to make a foss4g conference for other reasons as
> vilunteers.

I see a possible third option:

3) Organizers decide to make a foss4g conference for other reasons as
volunteers but after returning the seed money and some considerable
amount like $100,000 the LOC and Local Chapter gets some small sum
like $10,000 for funding future local OSGeo activities.

> In case 1 the financial losts shall almost completely be on the organizer
> side: it is their business risk.
> In case 2 the financial risk may be on osgeo since he get the full revenue.
> Only reimbursement for members and all shall be public and fully
> transparent...
> I would love to see a table with for each foss4g a row expressing:
> - year and location
> - n. of participants


> - conference fee
> - osgeo seed money amount
> - conference costs
> - conference revenue
> - organizer revenue
> - osgeo revenue

These additional aspects may be collected from other sources and would
indeed help. They may be scattered over the wiki and other places.
Conference fee can probably be dug up from old websites or attendees
inboxes and receipts.  There are probably some individuals who may be
able to better guess than others (current or past Treasurers might
know seed money amount, and OSGeo revenue).

Also helpful might be a pie chart of all OSGeo revenue over the years.

Best regards, Eli

> That will explain a lot to me.
> Best
> Maxi
> Il 21/Ago/2015 16:37, "Jeff McKenna" <jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com> ha
> scritto:
>> Hi Steven,
>> Thanks for bringing this to the attention of the Board.  I think it is
>> excellent that the OSGeo Conference Committee is committed to establishing a
>> process for FOSS4G financial support.
>> In terms of tackling this at the next Board meeting, I've added this to
>> the agenda[1].  Note though that the next meeting is not until October 15th,
>> as we'll be going through Board elections (5 new members), through
>> September.
>> So I don't think this should wait until October.  I encourage all Board
>> members now to jump in and help Steven.
>> I believe we need an accurate look at our yearly expenses, to get an idea
>> of how much we can set aside, in advance.  I've taken a look at our yearly
>> budgets[2], and we can seem to expect costs of around 70k, not including
>> this FOSS4G advance/seed money.
>> In terms of estimating revenue, that is more difficult because most of our
>> revenue is tied to the FOSS4G profits, so this can change drastically each
>> year.
>> I'm not sure how to tackle this, but I'm sure our Treasurer and others can
>> jump in and help.
>> [1] http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Board_Meeting_2015-10-15#Current_items
>> [2] http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Category:Budget
>> -jeff
>> On 2015-08-21 7:03 AM, Steven Feldman wrote:
>>> Board
>>> You are aware that Till has requested an advance and a guarantee for
>>> FOSS4G 2016 to protect the LOC and the German Chapter from liabilities
>>> (apologies if my very short summary is inaccurate).
>>> The Conference Committee are trying to draft a standard process for
>>> financial support to FOSS4G events, a straw man will be available on the
>>> wiki shortly. Regardless of the detail of that process there will be a need
>>> for the OSGeo Board, presumably via the Treasurer, to set a financial limit
>>> on the reserves available to support advances and guarantees. Could the
>>> Board schedule a discussion at their next meeting to consider what % of
>>> their funds they are willing to set aside to fund FOSS4G events. Given that
>>> we will be making commitments to the 2016 event before we know the financial
>>> outcome of the 2015 event (etc etc) prudence would suggest reserves might
>>> need to cover 2 years advances and guarantees. If events are successful and
>>> remit a significant proportion of their surplus back to OSGeo, the
>>> proportion of reserves needed for advances and guarantees should decline
>>> over time.
>>> Cheers
>>> ______
>>> Steven
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