Sun 14 Jan 2024 4:47AM

Discussion - Individual sponsorship / donations / membership levels

EH Ewen Hill Public Seen by 8

In the January 2024 board meeting, some time was set aside for discussions on corporate and individual sponsorship. This Loomio is to allow to discussion and focussed on individual payments only. This is the discussion and a further voting Loomio or a vote at a board meeting will occur if we have a firm proposal. So feel free to discuss.

Potential discussion points

  • Do funds go into consolidated revenue or into a microgrant pool / Travel Grants Program, software support or can the person select which area to fund?

  • Will our receipts be tax deductible?

  • Will we accept equivalent NZD to make it easier for Kiwis?

  • What levels/tiers will there be and will there be a student level?

  • What will the individual receive in return if anything other than a warm inner glow?

  • Can this be fully automated (other than monetary distribution to microgrants etc.) ?

  • Are there any negatives that you can see to this?

  • What level of pickup would the board expect to see to make it viable?

  • Will there be a six month review of the program?

  • The cost (hours/fees) of servicing this?

  • Will GST for Aus/Non-Aus be easy to perform?

  • Do we start this prior to Corporates or at the same time?

Over to you...


John Bryant Sun 14 Jan 2024 1:03PM

Thanks Ewen,

It feels like this might initially raise a small amount of revenue (relative to conference sponsorship for example), so I'd be inclined to keep it as simple as we can, for efficiency reasons. We should be careful not to take on a big administative burden for what might be a few hundred dollars a year.

This particularly gets my attention: "What will the individul receive in return if anything other than a warm inner glow?". A warm inner glow sounds great! The only other thing I think we should offer is (optional) recognition for their contribution. OSGeo Oceania is powered by voluntary contributions and I feel these could be jeopardised by trading benefits for cash.

Our experience with the Good Mojo program proves that people will make donations if they think it's for a good cause. We might consider tying contributions to grants if it's not too onerous. I believe we did this in the past (the "Good Mojo Fund"), though I'm not sure how this has played out from an accounting point of view in the last couple of years.

Maybe: characterise it as a "donation", you pay what you want, basic recognition, no special benefits. This is more or less what QGIS does for individual donations. They have Stripe, PayPal, bank transfer, and GitHub donation options.


Elisa Puccioni Sun 14 Jan 2024 9:30PM

I'm not the most skilled person in the admin part of receiving funds, so I'm happy to hear more informed opinions on the level of difficulty of handling tax deductions, income fees and other stuff.

I wouldn't create tiers but leave it free for everybody to donate what they can when they can. Surely, being tax deductible would be a good perk, but not sure how difficult can be for us to organise it? I also think personal donations should have a 'clear aim' to help the individuals feeling the warm glow which would be their only retribution even in my view, plus of course credits on our social channels. I'd like to thank people that donate money and tell everybody what we did with the donations. Grants are the best receivers in my opinion: I feel people would be happy to contribute to practical initiatives more than generic OO admin.


Alex Leith Sun 14 Jan 2024 11:28PM

The "good mojo fund" was accounted for separately for a few years, but it became less important. In a way, our whole budget is "good mojo"! For example, we allocated $20 k to travel grants for the conference, and when we didn't spend it all, we used some of it to get people to the PGRSC.

We have microgrants too, and we're not going to stop funding microgrants when we run out of 'good mojo' funds.

Anyhow, on the donations, the mechanics of it are simple. We use GitHub Sponsors. We could set up a Wordpress plugin or something, but it's probably more messing around than it's worth.

Payments are only in USD, which is a bit clumsy... and no GST, which I don't think is an issue.


Jonah Sullivan Mon 15 Jan 2024 12:21AM

I tried out the GitHub Sponsorship Program for OSGeo Oceania and OSGeo, it's easy to set up recurring donations, but it's in USD so my bank adds a surcharge. I don't like subscriptions, so I'd rather do one-off donations.

OSGeo has several named tiers of sponsorship with defined benefits (https://github.com/sponsors/OSGeo):

  • $1/month = "enthusiast"

  • $5/month = "super enthusiast"

  • $10/month = "basic supporter"

  • $50/month = "bronze sponsorship"

    • Your logo listed on OSGeo Website

    • Use of OSGeo Bronze sponsorship logo

  • #250/month = "silver sponsorship"

    • Your logo listed on OSGeo Website

    • Your logo listed on in the footer of each website page

    • Blog post announcement of your support

    • Invitation to partners and guests networking event

    • Use of OSGeo Silver sponsorship logo

The monthly sponsorship values on GitHub don't exactly match the values on the OSGeo website, but they're close.

OSGeo Foundation doesn't claim to be a non-profit on their sponsorship page but does have US 501(c)(4) legal status as a non-profit.

There is a discount for the sponsorship tiers for prior sponsors and organisations in low or lower-middle income economies.


Ewen Hill Sun 4 Feb 2024 6:45AM

Hi, I would like to see a range of amounts with no tiers and no ties. It is a donation (tax invoice or not) and it needs to be easy for both sides of the transaction, hence I would consider Stripe first and formost for their multi-currencies into AUD including NZD, FJD and PGK (about 135 currencies in all!) It also has an API that allows us to hopefully automate thank you letters via MailJet and summary reports rather than having to delve into Stripe dashboard all the time and will allow us to add a basic dashboard to the website. The only one question is GST - do we need to factor this in for all currencies?

Proposed web donation form

  • Details

    • Name*

    • Email*

    • Address fields*

    • Company Name

    • ABS number (optional)

  • Amount option (AUD as example)

    • $5, $25, $100, $250, $500, Other (if possible or redirect out to another form)

  • Preferred usage:

    • General revenue (default)

    • Good mojo fund

    • Travel grants for conferences