[OSGeo-Discuss] Membership fee (was: Proposed process for selecting OSGeo charter members)

Stephen Woodbridge woodbri at swoodbridge.com
Tue Jun 24 08:42:47 PDT 2014


I'll toss my two cents into this discussion. I think a lot of this has 
been already stated in part by others.

o while I don't object to a membership fee in principal it has to come 
with some benefits for the member not for OSGeo. While it might be 
beneficial to OSGeo by providing an income stream, I think it is more 
important that the member gets a significant benefit above and beyond 
whatever benefits of association they currently get.

o since this is currently a volunteer organization and there are a lot 
of people that volunteer a lot of effort to OSGeo it seems like a lot to 
ask them to also volunteer funds in addition to their time. I would be 
concerned that if people have to pay a fee then we might see a 
significant reduction in effort in time volunteered and this could 
potentially offset the funds received from fees.

This discussion started discussing membership and voting and has wrapped 
into membership fees. I understand that this is part of our growing 
process as an organization, but this feels like a random walk around the 
various aspects of how other orgs deal with members. I clearly don't 
know all the issues, but I think if we want to make a reasonable case 
for doing any of the things discussed we need a more coherent plan that 
we can "sell" to the members and should how "Membership has privileges 
and benefits" to them and how it also helps the organization over time.

When OSGeo was formed a lot of model for it was taken from the Apache 
Foundation model. I wonder how these issue fit in that, not that we have 
to follow that model, but I do think we need to have a big picture view 
of the OSGeo and where it wants to go as an organization for its members 
rather than just as a self perpetuating bureaucracy.

-Steve Woodbridge

More information about the Discuss mailing list