Membership Process 2014

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Approved by board vote in July 2014. Please see Membership_Process for current procedure.

General Process

Each year new charter members are nominated and elected by existing OSGeo charter members, in a process operated by the Chief Returning Officer (CRO).


  1. The nominations period should be roughly 2 weeks, and should be announced by the CRO on the OSGeo announce and discuss lists.
  2. An existing charter member can nominate potential new Charter Member(s).
  3. Nominees should meet the Positive Attributes for Charter Members.
  4. A person may ask a charter member who can vouch for the Positive Attributes of the person to nominate them.
  5. Nominations for charter membership should be sent to the CRO (at The nomination may reference a candidate's OSGeo Advocate profile if it exists. (The nominee may wish to create or update their profile beforehand).
  6. Anyone who is not already a charter member is a potential nominee.
  7. The CRO should verify with the nominee that they are willing to stand for the election. This should include an explanation of charter membership responsibilities. Once confirmed, the CRO should forward the nomination to the OSGeo discuss list. No seconder is required.
  8. All OSGeo members (members as well as charter members) are encouraged to discuss candidates on the discuss list.
  9. Once all the nominations close, a summary of charter candidates will be prepared and posted by the CRO to the OSGeo discuss list.


From 2014 elections make use of an Electronic Voting process.

  1. Voting occurs for approximately one week, following the closing of nominations.
  2. The CRO should ensure that all charter members receive the voting announcement - the OSGeo Secretary can provide a charter member list with contact info. This will happen before the voting period starts.
  3. Each charter member will receive an email with a personalized url to access the Electronic Voting system.
  4. Charter members then vote (Yes/No/Abstain) for all nominated charter members.
  5. After a successful registration of the vote, an email will be sent to the Charter Member to confirm the vote has been registered.
  6. Each candidate with more YES votes than NO votes, and greater than 5% of voting charter members voting YES for them, will be included as new charter members.
  7. The voting period is approximately 1 week long.
  8. Once the voting period is over, the CRO tallies votes and assigns (charter or board) membership to the candidates with the most votes (depending on the positions being voted on).
  9. The CRO will announce the selected charter members on, update the official list with the Secretary, and update the following web pages:
  10. The CRO will invite new charter members to update (or create) their OSGeo Advocate profile, as per:

Positive Attributes

Recommended membership selection criteria include:

  • Previous participation in or support of OSGeo activities
  • The person should already have made a contribution to free and open source geospatial software, education or open data.
  • The person should be willing to put in time and effort on the Foundation, perhaps joining committee(s), or volunteering in some other way that gets the Foundation going.
  • Members should believe in the general goals of the Foundation. To support and promote the use of free and open source geospatial software, education and data in a collaborative manner.
  • Members selected should provide a diversity of geographic regions, diversity of projects, diversity of programming languages and diversity of interests (e.g., corporate, hobbyist, educational, scientific).
  • Members should be prepared to work constructively and positively towards the goals of the Foundation. Good teamwork skills are an asset.


Official responsibilities for charter members are important, but relatively light. As of August 2014, they include:

  1. Annually vote for OSGeo Board members.
  2. Annually vote for new OSGeo Charter members.
  3. Be aware of and protect against a hostile takeover of OSGeo. This threat is incredibly low but has been known to occur in other volunteer organisations.

TBD: As of mid 2014, there has been some suggestions on board and discuss email lists about using web based voting tools to have OSGeo Charter members vote o specific OSGeo issues. Agreement and details are yet to be finalised.