The following has been approved by the Fundraising committee, and the OSGeo board (page protection valid as of Jan 18th, 2007).
Organizations will be given the opportunity to sponsor specific foundation projects through a process of Project Sponsorship. Project sponsorship is intended as a mechanism for organizations that depend on a project, or who otherwise wish to support it to provide financial support to support and sustain the project.
Such project targetted funding may be used by the project steering committee of that project for a variety of activities. These include funding new features, documentation, testing, maintenance, meetings or promotion.
Organizations may provide sponsorship support in any amount of at least $500USD. Any organization providing such funding will be known as a "Sponsor" of that project. At particular levels of funding the organizations will be additionally identified with a sponsorship level.
- Silver: $3000 USD
- Gold: $9000 USD
- Platinum: $27000 USD
Sponsorship is considered to be an annual contribution. To remain a Gold sponsor an organization would need to continue to provide an addition $9000 USD each year. Organizations who have made a contribution in the past, but not within the last year will be known as past sponsors.
The above sponsorship levels are provided as a default; however, projects are free to define their own sponsorship levels and names as long as none are less than $500. Projects doing so must clearly document their project specific sponsorship levels on their project sponsorship landing page.
To participate in the project sponsorship program, projects must opt-in. That is the project PSC must pass a motion to participate in the program, with the understanding they will have the following responsibilities.
- To maintain a prominent Sponsorship page off the main project web page listing all sponsors. The page should prioritize current sponsors by level, and clearly identify Platinum, Gold and Silver sponsors. Past sponsors should also be listed at the bottom of the page titled as Past Sponsors (at the sponsors option). Sponsors listed should include a sponsor logo or organization name with a link to the organizations web page.
- To pass well documented motions for any expenditure of funds from the project sponsorship fund.
- To provide clear direction (via the project chair/VP) to the OSGeo Treasurer for any payments to be made from the project sponsorship fund.
- To produce a detailed annual report of activities based on the sponsorship funding to be posted on the web site, and for distribution to sponsors.
As an unofficial addendum, it is required that projects either have completed incubation or receive a special exemption from the OSGeo board before entering the sponsorship program.
OSGeo Finance Management
Project sponsorship amounts will be held by OSGeo on behalf of the projects by the foundation treasurer (or delegate). One quarter of the sponsorship amount will be put into the general OSGeo account for any OSGeo use (such as paying hosting costs, general promotion, etc). The remaining three quarters will be put kept track of as funds only for the use of the project.
OSGeo responsibilities (via the treasurer or delegate) include:
- Keep clear records of sponsorship payments collected (date, sponsor, amount, special conditions).
- Keep clear records of all payments out of project sponsorship funds.
- Provide income, and payment details to project PSC chair/VP on request.
- Make payments as requested by project PSCs when given clear directions.
The treasurer also has the right to defer any payment until it can be discussed by the foundation board if there is a concern that it is improper in some way. If the board decides the proposed payment is improper it may, by motion, stop the payment. Generally speaking this is to be used in the event a payment does not appear to be properly approved by the project PSC or if the payment is one that is likely to bring the foundation into disrepute. However, the treasurer isn't responsible for a detailed review of project directed payments.
Projects PSCs may optionally designate special projects for which they are seeking funding. For example, development of a particular feature, or contracting for limited term maintenance services.
These special projects will be listed on the project web site, with details of what would be done, and how much money is required, as well as how much has been collected so far. Project sponsors can indicate that some or all of their sponsorship will be earmarked for a particular activity.
Once sufficient earmarked funds are collected for it, the project PSC will launch the activity.
- Sponsors help ensure a project on which they depend is better maintained and sustained.
- Sponsors will be listed on a prominent sponsors page on the project web site.
- Sponsors may call themselves sponsors of the project, and use the project logo in such an indication on their web site or promotional materials.
- Sponsors will gain some goodwill from the project, which may help get bugs fixed, or answers to usage questions.
- Sponsoring efforts are made public through project web pages, and possibly other project related mechanisms (Example: http://www.gdal.org/credits.html).
Who Might Be a Project Sponsor?
- End user organizations using the foundation packages, such as governments, NGOs and service organizations. These organizations are already saving money using free software, and have a stake in the successful future improvements to the packages and the health of the open source geospatial ecosystem.
- Consultants and integrators are building solutions for their clients based on foundation projects. The continued success of the packages is important to their commercial leverage. The PR benefit of sponsorship helps raise their stature when with potential clients.
- Proprietary software vendors using the libraries in their packages are good candidates. These companies depend on the quality of the libraries.
Who Solicits Project Sponsors?
Project sponsorships are primarily beneficial to the project being sponsored, so it is anticipated that members of the project community will be primarily responsible for soliciting project sponsorships. The fundraising committee of OSGeo will also be explaining the project sponsorship option to organizations it reaches out to, but will generally be encouraging Foundation Sponsorship.