Category Archives: Funds

Ethical guidelines for fundraising at the OpenStreetMap Foundation

OpenStreetMap is gearing up for a campaign in 2023 to fund the maintenance and growth of the core services that enables the amazing mapping community. This is so important the OSMF Board consulted on and decided to engage paid help with organizing the fundraising campaign. With this big step, it’s imperative that this effort is guiding by the high ethical standards aligned with the mission and values of the OSMF.

The Board has written draft Fundraising Guidelines and wants to hear from the community about them. At a high level, fundraising is guided by these main points.

  • Funds are raised to support the OSMF’s mission.
  • We balance honouring donors’ wishes and preferences while upholding the communities’ values.
  • Our communication will adhere to high standards of integrity and transparency.
  • Collaboration and inclusivity of the diverse OSM community in fundraising efforts is paramount.
  • Fundraising will be executed and managed effectively.
  • Our guidelines are anchored in clear policies.

Please take a close look and provide any feedback in the forum, in the comments, or directly to the Board.

OpenStreetMap receives $25,000 Grant from American Red Cross

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is very excited to announce that the American Red Cross extended OSMF an USD 25,000 grant for purchasing hardware to support the ongoing resilience of the OSM platform infrastructure. The funds were allocated towards the purchase and provisioning of a ‘hot’ backup database failover server – which has been purchased and is currently humming along doing its important job! This trail-blazing contribution will ensure that we can recover from site failures quickly and with the minimum amount of disruption for those editing the map. This is a big step forward in platform resiliency that we otherwise would not have been able to make at this time.

American Red Cross and OpenStreetMap

The American Red Cross has steadily ramped up its support for OpenStreetMap. Indentifying OSM as a source of up-to-date map data crucial to their international disaster field operations, they quickly developed into a major contributor to OSM, through their own work, support of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), and most recently through their Missing Maps initiative, to which around 10% of all OSM map contributions can now be attributed. The American Red Cross has also supported OpenStreetMap through app development and sponsorship of State of the Map conferences.

If you are interested in the technical specifications of this new server, please see here.

We want to say a big Thank You to the American Red Cross and we hope that more organisations which use OSM data will be inspired to strengthen the OSMF infrastructure and support our great project! If you are interested in donating to the OpenStreetMap Foundation, please get in touch with us at

About The OpenStreetMap Foundation

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, formed in the UK to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data and to providing geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project. You can support OpenStreetMap by becoming a member, donating or joining our volunteer Working Groups.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters in the US; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. In 2017 alone, the American Red Cross sent humanitarian aid to 26 countries to help save lives in the aftermath of disasters. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. Visit of more information.

We reached our €70,000 goal. Thank you!

Today, we are grateful, happy and excited to announce that we have reached the goal of €70,000 for our 2016 donation drive! The purpose of this year’s drive – for the OpenStreetMap project to secure its independence and financial security – clearly resonated with you as strongly as it does with us. The continued existence of OpenStreetMap as an independent source of free and open data is priceless, but money is needed to secure it nonetheless. With this €70,000, we will be able to continue maintaining our infrastructure and fund our very modest operational budget.


We would like to thank all 1900+ individual donors, as well as Mapbox, who helped us push this drive over the finish line with a €10,000 matching donation.

If you have not donated yet, you can still do so at Please know that donations in any amount are very welcome throughout the year!

Thank you!

Target reached – Thank you!

Today we’ve reached our fund-raising target: £56,000 !

The Operations Working Group set out their detailed plans for the server upgrades they’d like to do: A big new database server, new tile servers and an imagery server. Thanks to your generosity, we now have the funds in place to make that a reality.

This has been our largest fund-raising target, but given the scale, reach and impact of OpenStreetMap, £56,000 is a small amount of money. For the thousands of data consumers, and millions of map end-users viewing OpenStreetMap, or the mega-corporations our maps are compared against. Don’t we deserve more? Lots of interesting discussions around this topic, but I will just say for now… Yes we do! And of course you’re very welcome to donate more:

The OpenStreetMap Foundation remains open for donations. If you have ideas on how to get more recognition and big donations for OpenStreetMap, this is always welcome too!

For now though, we want to say a big Thank You again to Mapzen and Mapbox who made big donations to kick things off, to various other organisations who made donations to support us, and to all the individuals (more than 1200 of them!) who generously chose to put their personal money towards the OpenStreetMap cause.

Skobbler Throws Support Behind New OpenStreetMap Infrastructure

Skobbler has pledged €5,000 to help fund improvements and new additions to the infrastructure powering OpenStreetMap. As part of the summer OpenStreetMap Infrastructure Funding Drive, this donation will help the Operations Working group add an additional core server to improve redundancy, add additional routing and tile servers, and extend the hardware contingency fund that kicks in when repairs are needed. The full spec on what infrastructure will be covered in the funding drive is here


Skobbler has made significant investments into OpenStreetMap this year, sponsoring the upcoming State Of The Map conference as well as the SOTM U.S. and SOTM Baltics local conferences. OpenStreetMap is a fundamental piece of Skobbler’s work – they use OpenStreetMap data to power location-based apps and services for mobile devices. You can read more about their work and see the apps they’ve built using OpenStreetMap.

A big thank you to Skobbler for helping improve OpenStreetMap’s infrastructure! The infrastructure funding drive is wrapping up this week, so it’s your last chance to pitch in to this fund-raising effort. Help us scale our infrastructure to support our rapidly growing map and users. Donate here

Extending the OpenStreetMap Infrastructure Funding Drive

There’s been an amazing response to the OpenStreetMap infrastructure funding drive launched last month. Given the incredible enthusiasm for strengthening OpenStreetMap’s core infrastructure, we’ve decided to extend the funding drive so we can do even more and do it right.

We’re now asking for an additional £32,500 / $50,000 that will allow the OSM Operations Working Group to make hardware purchases and build out our server set-up. This increase in capacity will open the doors to even more growth of our lively community, and ensure that map editing will always be available.

You can help us now by donating online or contact us.

Where Your Donation Goes

Phase 1: Cost £40,000 / $60,000 (Achieved!)

  • An additional master database server to improve reliability and performance.
  • A new central file server for greater capacity.

Phase 2: Cost £32,500 / $50,000 (Help us fund this!)

  • Routing servers (more details on this to come)
  • Tile cache servers in NA for faster loading tiles.
  • Off-site backup improvements so that, in the event of a disaster, OSM will be back up quicker.
  • Additional database read-only servers for greater speed and responsiveness.

Your contributions will directly improve the single most important piece of infrastructure for OpenStreetMap. Thanks for your support and for helping OpenStreetMap continue to grow and become faster, more reliable, and more powerful.
You can donate now at or by contacting us.

Funding Drive reaches 70% – thank you MapBox!

Thanks to MapBox who have pledged a $20,000 donation towards our fund raising drive.

MapBox provide tools for designing and hosting stylish maps using OpenStreetMap data. They’re bringing our maps to an impressive range of customers and end users. Meanwhile MapBox developers have driven progress in several important open source development efforts within the OSM ecosysem including of course the recently launched iD editor. They’re also big supporters of OpenStreetMap.US and the SOTM US conference. If you’re attending this (in just a few days now) you can thank them in person for this donation pledge.

Ever played one of those games where completing a task brings up an “Achievement Unlocked” message? Well, MapBox’s donation pledge is contingent on the fund raising goal being reached. So our task is to raise the remaining 30% and unlock the funds for OpenStreetMap’s new hardware.

For any questions around larger contributions, please contact the OpenStreetMap Foundation.

Why do we need this new database server? Simply because the growth in OpenStreetMap contributions is outpacing what our existing machines can handle – it’s a good problem to have. The new machines will handle our explosive growth for at least the next 12 months, giving our hard-working, dedicated operations volunteers time to plan for continued growth in the future.

You can read more on the MapBox blog

Donation from Esri

Esri are market leaders in GIS technology. Their software is used in more than 300,000 organizations wordwide, and their customers know the value of geodata. That’s why they are, of course, interested in OpenStreetMap. We’ve seen Esri incorporate our maps as a basemap option within ArcGIS online and the ArcGIS Editor for OpenStreetMap is a plugin letting users contribute to OSM from within this software. Esri have also sponsored our conference

And today we would like to thank them for a very generous monetary donation to the OpenStreetMap foundation!

This is a great boost to foundation funding, which will help us in our not-for-profit mission to support the OpenStreetMap project, creating and providing free map data for the whole world. We would like to say a big Thank You!

You will no doubt hear more about this donation if you attend the Esri developer summit in Palm Springs, California, next week. The founder of OpenStreetMap, Steve Coast, will be speaking on Tuesday March 27th.

OSMF Hardware Update

Servers, ramoth and bowser, in position.

The sysadmin team have brought some more hardware on-line for our delight. OpenStreetMap servers are named after dragons, taken from “Here be Dragons” the inscription denoting incomplete / unexplored places on historical maps. Learn more about OpenStreetMap dragons.

  • azure – Java-XAPI. Experimental. Provides read-only OSM data from a refreshed XAPI code base. Azure has recently received a long anticipated disk upgrade.
  • bowser – joins soup and fiddlestick as another Web Front End server. This server will make browsing the web site snappier for browsing the map, etc.
  • eustace – Web stats. Experimental. Tracks user behaviour across OSM servers to understand and improve user experience.
  • gorwen and orm –geoDNS tile caching. gorwen is kindly supplied and hosted by Teleservice Skåne AB GeoDNS serves tiles from the closest tile server. The sysadmin team hope to have a North American server available shortly. We seek a host for other, geographically diverse servers. If you are interested and not worried by 100Mbits/s, please speak to a sysadmin on #osm-dev at
  • poldi – Nominatim. Provides search and geocoding of OSM data. Return of a local nominatim instance after a hiatus.
  • ramoth – is the second database server. The successful fund raising campaign of December 2011 led to the installation of this server. This server increases the reliability and performance of OSM database operations. Current status: in rack, being configured.

We also welcome the two newest members of the server team, Ian Dees (iandees) and Sarah Hoffman (lonvia). They will be maintaining the Java-XAPI and nominatim servers.

Photo credit

Photo by Firefishy.

Mappy Christmas!

…and thank you to all the generous donors who helped us reach our fund-raising target! Some time yesterday (just in time for Christmas!) the donation tracker hit 100% meaning we have successfully raised £15,000 to pay for a new database server. We’ve placed the order, and we’re expecting a big box to arrive some time in the first few days of January. So to all the people who gave us this awesome Christmas present, we say a heartfelt thank you.

(If you missed it, of course you can still donate at

And now let’s wish a very merry Christmas to all the people who have administered the servers, developed the software, translated the documentation, constructed the websites, built the mobile apps, to all the people who have used our maps in all their weird and wonderful forms, and an extra mappy Christmas to the thousands of people who have helped map the world in 2011!