The Value of Business Planning for the Open Source Initiative

Business planning for the OSI Board is a way of answering, “What problem(s) are we trying to solve?” or “What are we trying to achieve?” but also, “Who will get us there, by when, and how much money and other resources, will it take?” The business planning process within the OSI should take into account the OSI mission and vision, the role of the board, and external environmental factors, such as the climate for fundraising.

Ideally, the OSI business planning process will also take into consideration the potential for changes in our basic assumptions about our operating environment, as well as the communities we support and the continued evolution of Open Source Software. Thus, the OSI Business Plan is a living document that should be updated frequently to reflect our evolving goals and circumstances.


  • Identify goals and establish milestones.
  • Better understand our beneficiaries, partners, and other stakeholders.
  • Assess the feasibility of the Open Source Initiative and document fundraising/financing model.
  • Position your nonprofit and get clear about your message.
  • Attract investment and prove the Open Source Initiative is relevant and required.
  • Attract a board and volunteers.
  • Ensure continuity across boards and understanding among directors.
  • Ensure consistency in practice, and reference point for change.
  • Promote continuous improvement through reflection and research to reinforce current practice or uncover new opportunities.
  • Identify gaps in resources, issues in performance and hold the organization, its staff, and Board accountable.


The OSI Business Plan will be developed in the OSI wiki, available to all for comment and contribution. The OSI General Manager will manage the development, review, and maintenance of the OSI Business Plan. The OSI Board of Directors will have sole responsibility for determining what is in the OSI Business Plan.

OSI Business Plan

Executive Summary

Created by Patrick Masson on 2019/09/10 23:13

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