Detailed records of income (including donations) and expenditure by the Foundation are kept in accordance with UK accounting standards. The Foundation has a legal obligation to publish its accounts annually at Companies House.
The majority of the Foundations income comes from the annual State of the Map conference in the form of conference fees and corporate sponsorship. Periodic fundraising appeals for hardware have also elicit a good response.
Our income is from a variety of sources and we continually strive to identify new funding channels. Currently these include personal donations, corporate sponsorship, donations of hardware and bandwidth, commission from retail affiliation schemes (Storage Depot, Amazon), foundation membership fees and most recently the State of the Map conference (registration fees and sponsorship).
It is probably appropriate now to publish management accounts on a quarterly basis.
The treasurer tries to personally acknowledge as many donations as he can and, where possible, gives an indication of how that donation is likely to be spent.
Historically, not all funding gets channelled through the Foundation. For example in 2006 Multimap funded Steve Coast directly to spend some of his time working on the project. Another example, the Foundation submitted a proposal to Digital Pioneers and won funding in 2007 to stimulate mapping parties in the Netherlands. The funding went directly to Stichting Vrijschrift, a Dutch non-profit organisation, who actually had the responsibility for making the mapping parties happen there.
When the Foundation was formed the membership was polled about how income should be spent and we received a mandate to spend 60% of income on hardware, 20% on promotion and 20% on legal matters. Currently, the Foundation’s expenditure is mainly on server hardware, and activities that promote the project (typically, travel expenses for speaking engagements, board meetings and the like).
The project can always benefit from more hardware and this is where most of the funding goes. Personally, I (writes 80n) am not keen on tapping contributors for donations since they already made their donations of time and effort to add map data. In this respect my belief is that beneficiaries of the map data should fund the project. We are indeed starting to see sponsorship from the likes of MultiMap, Google and Yahoo although the reality is that we still need to rely on donations from contributors, and judging by the funding model of projects like Wikipedia will probably always need to.
It was agreed at an irc meeting on July 11, 2006 that spending over the next 12 months should be apportioned roughly as follows. The Board agreed to maintain this ratio for the 2007-8 and 2008-9 year:
- Legal 20%
- Hardware 60%
- Promotion (speaker’s expenses etc) 20%
Income and Balance Sheets
OSMF policy on expense claims
The Inland Revenue defines an allowable business expense as one that has been incurred wholly (entirely), exclusively and necessarily for business purposes ("business" means standard OSMF actvities here). OSMF will pay reasonable out-of-pocket expenses that are incurred during normal activities for the Foundation, provided a VAT invoice and/or receipt is also supplied with the claim.
- Replacing inexpensive items
- Mileage. This should be calculated by taking a mileage reading when you start and again when you finish your journey. Mileage is paid at the maximum allowed by Inland Revenue (without incurring a tax liability):
- 45p/mile for the first 10,000 miles per annum
- 25p/mile for mileage above 10,000 miles per annum
- Essential travel on behalf of OSMF meetings by public transport at economy class
- Car parking
Any expenditure where a non-member (that is anyone who is not a member of OpenStreetMap e.g. supplier) is not allowed by the Inland Revenue as a valid company expense and is counted as part of the profit and taxed accordingly. VAT cannot be reclaimed either. It is therefore very important to differentiate between an overhead expense and an entertaining expense.
Purchases on behalf of the company
Once a decision is made, most purchases, of goods or services, should preferably be processed through existing suppliers with whom OpenStreetMap has agreements, using the normal procedure of gaining internal authorisation and thus enabling the treasurer to manage the payment.
There may be occasions where a new supplier is sourced in which case the treasurer should be asked to open an account with the supplier and, if there is an urgent purchase required, to organise payment by the company. If the above procedures are not followed you risk incurring an expense for which OSMF is not prepared to re-imburse you.
Advances of cash should be exceptional and the full amount accounted for by promptly providing VAT invoices/receipts. Any surplus should be immediately returned to OSMF. When in doubt obtain prior authorisation before buying.
How to claim your expenses
When making a purchase ensure that you ask for a vat invoice (this should mean that it will contain all the details required for accounting purposes) or at the very least a vat receipt. A credit card payment receipt is not usually sufficient, but they are sometimes. Details normally required are:
- Name of company
- VAT number
- Itemised purchases
- VAT charged or the VAT rate included in the total
Complete the OSMF Expenses Claim Form, attach all invoices/receipts (or scan and email provided they are legible - DO keep the originals) and submit to the treasurer for re-imbursement. Mileage claims can be made on the same form by recording each journey, the actual mileage and claiming 45p per mile