[OpenLayers-Dev] OSGeo Project Sponsorship

Dave McIlhagga dmcilhagga at dmsolutions.ca
Sat Nov 15 20:09:26 EST 2008

A small note from the peanut gallery.

I hope folks can see the broader benefit of channeling funds through  
OSGeo for sponsorship -- although 25% is a chunk of change -- remember  
that the projects ARE the foundation and in that sense, that 25% also  
goes back to benefiting the project in other means.

Sometimes there is a perception that OSGeo is arm's length from the  
technical activities -- but nothing can be further from the truth. It  
is an entity whose exclusive membership is those seen as the most  
deserving from within the community developing OSGeo technologies,  
with a board selected from within this same community. OSGeo needs to  
find ways to sustain itself - in part through volunteers and in part  
through hard cash -- just as the projects themselves need to sustain  

On the surface - I understand the desire to avoid going through OSGeo  
for project sponsorship - but in some sense, think of this as a small  
way in which OpenLayers can help sustain the broader foundation we  
collectively benefit from.


Dave McIlhagga

On 15-Nov-08, at 4:58 PM, Christopher Schmidt wrote:

> On Sat, Nov 15, 2008 at 04:02:30PM -0500, John R. Frank wrote:
>>>> In the case of going with the OSGeo Project Sponsorship program,  
>>>> the
>>>> OSGeo acts as our fiscal agent.  As a 501(c)(3) (US tax code)
>>>> organization, they can accept tax deductible contributions toward  
>>>> OSGeo
>>>> projects.
>>> Their application is still pending acceptance.  So, it could be a  
>>> few
>>> months before they start giving out receipts for tax purposes.
>> The tax exempt status of the donation channel is probably crucial  
>> --- at
>> least for US-based donors.  Other solutions can't really compete with
>> OSGEO without that also having tax exempt status.  501c3  
>> applications are
>> not complicated but they take calendar time.
>> OTOH, until OSGEO gets approved to process donations to projects,  
>> they are
>> an expensive savings account :-)
>> If a donor shows up *before* OSGEO can make the donor's donation tax
>> exempt, we might as well just open a bank account at regular bank.
> I'm not sure who "we" is in this case -- It's either a person (which
> then means that a single person is taking on the liability) or
> "MetaCarta". The latter has serious social issues with it, since the
> only way I can see collecting money in that situation is people  
> writing
> a check directly to MetaCarta -- which hardly seems likely to go over
> well. (Perhaps there is some other way that I'm missing?)
>> 1)  PSC agrees that OL should find a tax exempt donation channel
>> 2)  PSC hopes that OSGEO will soon be that channel
>> 3)  PSC agrees to seek donations while #2 sorts itself out
> Note that we can still *accept* donations even before #2 sorts itself
> out, and I think that's worthwhile. If people are willing to dnate  
> money
> to an organization which is not yet completed with 501c3 status -- as
> they might in the "open our own bank account" above -- then I don't  
> see
> a reason to tell them "no, you shouldn't".  (It's not clear from the
> above if you agree on this point.)
> Regards,
> -- 
> Christopher Schmidt
> MetaCarta
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