Background and Status

Many of the sponsors approached have asked questions around the value proposition of the OSI and what kind of return they may expect through participation:

  • vision for OSI... and explain your view on how [a sponsor's] continued investment will be of value to the community, to the industry, and to [the sponsor].
  • for many years they were the "only" entity that many open source projects begged for money from, and as a result, they are historically pretty hard-assed about needing to see ROI. Not to say we don't qualify, but be prepared for tough, directed questioning about the value to [the potential sponsor]."

Current and Potential Sponsors

Corporate Sponsor Portfolio & Working Notes

Prospects, Leads and Sponsors (Legacy, see CiviCRM for current contacts)

Year in Review / Annual Report

The "Year in Review is a document to be shared with our corporate sponsors to help them understand and appreciate how their participation supports the OSI and the open source community.

  • Update from President & GM
  • Organizational updates
    • infrastructure
    • operations
  • Financial report
  • Updates on initiatives (Incubator Projects)

Corporate Sponsor Scheme

The following information is used to generate our presentation and proposal materials for potential corporate sponsors.

Presentation versions:

Corporate Sponsor On-Boarding

  1. Initial contact
    1. Contact information in Civi
  2. Corporate Sponsorship Benefits Letter
  3. Invoicing (Accountant)
  4. Payment made
  5. Corporate Sponsorship Thank you (Acknowledgment) Letter
    1. Thank you
    2. Logo for website
    3. Link for website
    4. Press release
      1. Info on why sponsoring
      2. Activities in open source community
  6. Determine annual giving cycle

Corporate Sponsor Renewals

  1. Corporate Sponsorship Thank you (Acknowledgment) Letter
    Sent out to all sponsors after contributions have been received.
  2. Annual renewal letter
    Sent out to all current sponsors.
The below bullet points are a work in progress and should be used to develop our presentation and proposal materials for potential corporate sponsors as included above.

Current Organizational Standing

  • California 501(c)3 non-profit
  • The pragmatic community organization that understands how developers, businesses, governments, and open source interact
  • Keeper of the Open Source Definition
  • Certifies open source licenses as complying to that definition
  • Advocacy, education, and community bridge building
  • Increased representation across the community through
    • Introduction of membership classes to broaden our community and participation
      • Individuals: over 400+ members so far
      • Affiliates: over 20+ non-profit open source foundations and organizations
    • Board term limits
      • Individual Membership board seats
      • Associate Membership board seats

Changes to the OSI Starting in 2011-2012:

  • increasing our Corporate support and involvement
  • increasing our Affiliate support and involvement
  • increasing our Individual Membership support and involvement

OSI Goals for Corporate Sponsorship

  • Corporate use of, and participation in open source is vital to the overall success of OSS
  • Provide a open and transparent mechanism to allow corporations to show their support for open source, and the activities of the OSI.
  • Increase the diversity of stakeholders and viewpoints within the OSI.
  • Raise funds for the operations of the OSI

Value Proposition

  • Making open source safe to use:
    • maintaining the Open Source Definition
    • Approving licenses, and just as importantly,
      • rejecting non-compliant licenses
      • stopping license proliferation
  • Educational resources around open source
    • The creation, participation in and management of open source projects and communities
    • Best practices in the identification and evaluation of open source software and the communities that support it
    • Guidelines for updating corporate procurement / acquisition processes related to open source software and service providers

Sponsorship Provides

  • Refocus OSI on the activities laid out in our mission:
    • Educate
    • Advocate
    • Build bridges (community)
    • License certification
  • Become a more sustainable organization
  • Hire a (small) professional staff

Licensing: Program examples

  • Do more to guide developers to choose mainstream licenses to reduce license proliferation
  • Revamp and professionalize the license certification process
  • Transparent analysis and reporting of license popularity
  • Raise awareness of the importance of patent licensing in modern OSS licenses

Education: Program examples

  • Create the FLOSS Competence Center Network
  • Jointly define a central body of knowledge related to free, libre, and open source software:
  • Create the FLOWedu Working Group
    • adapt, develop and disseminate modular learning resources to help managers of projects, portfolios, organizations or consortia gain an advanced understanding of strategies, processes and methods to optimize value, to control costs, and to manage risk through effective coordination, resourcing and governance of Free/Libre/Open Works (FLOW)
  • International network
  • Continue OSI's history of involvement and community representation
  • The OSD and the OSI-approved license list has been referenced by many governments as defining FOSS
  • Recent examples of successful advocacy on behalf of the FOSS community:
    • CPTN:
    • UK open standards:
    • SOPA:

Community: Program Examples

  • Engage with civil society umbrella organizations
  • Collaborate with other FLOSS organizations (FSF, FSFE etc)
  • Seek membership from all FLOSS communities
  • Seek membership from all cultures
  • Seek membership from all continents
  • Successes: CPTN join submission with FSF; Affiliates from multiple continents
  • Software Package Data eXcahnge SPDX

How to Participate

  • Donate funds and/or services to the OSI
  • Support the organization
    • Invite the OSI to participate in corporate sponsored events
    • Promote the OSI through corporate communications channels
  • Can be publicly acknowledged if desired

2014 Initiatives

  • Working groups
    • Proposal process
    • Administrative support
    • Promotion and community building
    • Micro-funding opportunities
  • Infrastructure
    • Social/Community Platform

Sponsorship Levels

  • Each Corporate Sponsor will make annual donations to the OSI.
    (In a future revisions of the Bylaws, these may funds may be referred to as annual dues. But for now, they will be donations.)
  • The dues will vary by the annual corporate revenue of the total of all affiliated companies. Staggering dues makes it affordable for smaller companies to show their support of the OSI. Our goal is to create a large and diverse corporate membership.
  • These dues are in United States Dollars.
Annual Corporate RevenuesAnnual Dues 
greater than $250 million$20,000
greater than $100 million but less than or equal to $250 million$15,000
greater than $50 million but less than or equal to $100 million$10,000
greater than $10 million but less than or equal to $50 million$7,500
less than or equal to $10 million$5,000
less than $1 million and not more than ten employees or contractors on staff$1,000 

Services & Support: Value Proposition

ProgramActivitiesBenefit(s)Current Status
 Educate, License Guide developers in choice of mainstream open source licenses to reduce license proliferation  
 Educate, License Revamp and professionalize the license certification process  
 Educate, License Transparent analysis and reporting of license popularity  
 Educate, License Raise awareness of the importance of patent licensing in modern OSS licenses  
 Educate, Community Continue OSI's history of involvement and community representation  
 Educate, Community The OSD and the OSI-approved license list has been referenced by many governments as defining FOSS  

Sponsor Activities



General Awareness

  • Develop blog posts for OSI site focusing on how Cumulus' work, culture, activities, etc. benefit the values / principles of open source in line with OSI Mission.

Dedicated Promotion of Boot Camps

  • Membership mailing with link to Boot Camps (w/ trackable URL)
  • Tweets promoting member discounts for Boot Camps.


  • Share list of upcoming events
  • Coordinate opportunities with Apereo
  • Identify relevant contacts across OSI community (members, sponsors, etc.)
    • Linux Foundation
    • LPI
    • Deciso?
Created by Patrick Masson on 2013.12.06 at 08:37:14 PST

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