Monthly Archives: October 2019

Making it easier to join the OpenStreetMap Foundation

Joining the OpenStreetMap Foundation used to always require a membership fee (£15 per year, which you can pay by PayPal or bank transfer). However, if you are involved in the OpenStreetMap project, and cannot pay this membership fee, it can be waived. Some OSMers live in a country under economic sanction/embargo (and thus without PayPal). Others are in nations where the bank transfer costs themselves exceed the cost of membership. Others live under circumstances where this fee alone would constitute a substantial personal financial hardship. One of the main reasons for the Membership Fee Waiver program, is a wish to be more representative of mappers from around the world.

To address this, the Fee Waiver Program was created, which, for those who qualify, will grant an Associate Membership in the Foundation at no cost, subject to annual renewal.

Some reasons to join the OSMF

As a member of the Foundation you can influence the future direction of the project by

  • participating in the discussions between members and by
  • voting in the annual OSM Foundation elections for the board that steers the project.

Without being a member you can still edit OpenStreetMap, by creating a free account at and help the Foundation by joining one of the Working Groups.


Currently you are eligible to apply for a fee waiver if:

  • You are an active mapper, and are from a country which lacks suitable money transfer.
  • You are an active mapper, and paying the membership fee would present an unreasonable burden to you because of financial hardship

Please note that there might be changes after the 2019 Annual General Meeting.


You can apply in a language other than English.

Where to find more information

Please read the Fee Waiver manual on the OSM wiki, to find out how to fill the forms, the procedure and the links to the forms.

How to help

If you are interested in helping more people from your community become members of the Foundation, please:

Thank you.

Membership Working Group

The fee-waiver program has been developed under the Board’s direction by the volunteers of the Membership Working Group, with particular thanks to Joost Schouppe, Michael Spreng and Steve Friedl who have kept up the regular work with the Registrar.

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The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed in the UK to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member.