[OSGeo-Discuss] Proposed process for selecting OSGeo charter members

Alex Mandel tech_dev at wildintellect.com
Mon Jun 23 12:58:19 PDT 2014

I think that might be a slight misunderstanding. We are an international
organization, our main funding accounts happen to be subject to US law

The main funds used to seed FOSS4g each year come from this, which 2/3+
of the time is outside the US. Exhibition packs to local chapters comes
from this, servers come from this. Other requests for seed funding for
local FOSS4g sometimes comes from this. So I'd say much of the funds are
actually spent on the international community.

Many local chapters keep their dues locally, actually most if they have
fees. Which is great the funds should stay local as much as possible.
The downside is the overall budget is quite low in the centralized needs

Example, we've been discussing how to put osgeo server mirrors more wide
spread across the globe. That reality is impossible without more funds
in the central org. So unless projects and chapters start passing some
funds in to be re-allocated by OSGeo there's not really a way for the
org to fund the mirrors, or code-sprints, or more local Foss4g events,
or materials for new chapters, etc.


On 06/23/2014 12:33 PM, b.j.kobben at utwente.nl wrote:
> I am very dissapointed in this whole membership/fees discussion. In
> reading the emails one does not see the international volunteer community
> I would like to think OSGEO is (should be), but it rather seems we are
> dealing with a US-based professional organisation, mostly keen on not
> paying US taxes, and that is not what I want OSGEO to become...
> --
> Barend Köbben 
> ITC - University of Twente
> PO Box 217, 7500AE Enschede (The Netherlands)
> +31-(0)53 4874 253
> @barendkobben
> On 23-06-14 21:00, "Alex Mandel" <tech_dev at wildintellect.com> wrote:
>> On 06/19/2014 11:58 AM, Peter Baumann wrote:
>>> Hi all,
>>> good - and important! - discussion!
>>> Being Charter Member I am somewhat concerned:
>>> - I am surprised that the common democratic procedure of election is
>>> perceived as creating "dissent".
>> Well it's somewhat conjecture without public confirmation that someone
>> walked away from OSGeo because they didn't get picked.
>>> - yes, democracy is expensive, but generally it is considered worth the
>>> effort.
>>> - is "lifelong membership" compatible with community participation?
>> Nope and we've actually have discussed in the past what the rules should
>> be to weed out charter members who no longer particpate in the community.
>>> - "Recognised OSGeo Community Leaders" seem to get determined in a very
>>> special, selective way (as compared to standard election procedures).
>>> Altogether, the criteria seem to make OSGeo a self-sustaining group:
>>> insiders will remain insiders for a lifetime, outsiders will...well,
>>> face a hurdle.
>>> So the contrary of "open".
>>> Just an idea: what about applying the OSGeo incubation checklist to
>>> OSGeo itself to determine feasible procedures?
>>> cheers,
>>> Peter
>> I think the discussion of membership fees is timely this year now that
>> we officially have our IRS 501c4 status. Why, well when we were aiming
>> for 501c3 that would have given us donations as tax write offs for US
>> members. Without that incentive to donate, membership now seems like it
>> might be the way to push individuals to donate.
>> The amount should be researched quite a bit though, factoring in how to
>> reach maximum membership, with lowest overhead (collecting and tracking
>> membership will incur a cost).
>> Since we don't maintain a huge office, an in print journal, a lobbyist
>> or things like that we should be able to be much lower that other
>> professional societies. I agree it should be relative to country of
>> members, and there probably should be some sharing in places where local
>> chapters exist - or the local chapters trust us to split the money back
>> to them for things they need.
>> I'd suggest something in the $20-$30 US, students $5-$10. Maybe with a
>> sliding scale like PBS or Kickstarter, where if you voluntarily pay more
>> in a given year you get swag of some sort.
>> I'm trying to avoid the syndrome (I'm guilty of this) where one pays for
>> membership only in a year when it will get you a discount worth more
>> than the membership for the conference.
>> I agree with Arnulf that these decisions should probably go to e-vote of
>> all the current charter members, the boards responsibility is to put
>> forward a coherent plan for the vote. Obviously if the board all hates
>> the ideas it should stop there for now.
>> Thanks,
>> Alex
>> _______________________________________________
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>> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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