Call for Microgrants Committee

Drawing: “Balloon-Prospect”, featured in Thomas Baldwin’s Airopaidia (1786). Public domain. Image by the Communication Working Group.

Microgrants: enabling volunteers to do more by overcoming financial barriers.

The Microgrants project is ready for launch! When the OpenStreetMap Foundation received the Pineapple fund donation, the money was quickly earmarked as to be given back to the community. Now that’s finally happening, after a recent Board decision (plenty of background behind that link!). Any volunteer who thinks they can make an impact with a small grant will soon be able to apply.

But first we need the help of a few volunteers to manage the project. What do we expect of you?

  1. Running the call for projects.
  2. Making a selection of about ten projects.
  3. Following up with the selected projects.

Anyone can apply to be on the selection committee, and the Board will then make a selection. We are looking for people who know how the OSM community works, who have experience with making an impact for OSM – but also people with practical experience running these kinds of projects.

The policy document offers a guideline to what the Board wants to see happen with this project, but it leaves a lot of leeway for the committee to implement as they see fit. For example, the committee is expected to work out their own rules of order. During the entire process, you will be able to rely on Dorothea for administrative assistance.

The most impactful job of the Microgrants Committee will be the selection itself. The decision is expected to be based on deep community consultation. The Board did keep a veto right over the selected applications.

The committee is also expected to guide the projects to fruition. However, it is encouraged for the committee to extend the group with more volunteers, so as to lighten the workload and diversify points of view. For example, it would be really helpful to have volunteers who speak the language or are culturally close to the selected projects.

When the projects are finished and have reported on their experience, the Committee is almost done. A final task will be to make recommendations to the Board for the next phase of the Microgrants project – we’ve only just begun!

Send your application to join the Microgrants Committee
to microgrants at
by March 8th, 2020.

All relevant information will be accessible through the OSMF website at

All the best,

Joost Schouppe
for the OSMF Board

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The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed 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 of the Foundation.

OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 and is a international project to create a free map of the world. To do so, we, thousands of volunteers, collect data about roads, railways, rivers, forests, buildings and a lot more worldwide. Our map data can be downloaded for free by everyone and used for any purpose – including commercial usage. It is possible to produce your own maps which highlight certain features, to calculate routes etc. OpenStreetMap is increasingly used when one needs maps which can be very quickly, or easily, updated.

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