OERF:Donation planning/Draft FAQs

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Where does my money go?

Your donation helps the OER Foundation and WikiEducator support access to free and open education for all. Working collaboratively with the free knowledge movement, we aim to develop free digital learning materials in support of all national curricula around the world which educators are free to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute without restriction.

Through your generosity, donations to the OER Foundation are used to:

  1. support the technology infrastructure and bandwidth costs of the WikiEducator website -- one of the largest and most productive OER wiki projects serving the formal education sector.
  2. provide free training opportunities to thousands of educators in more than 120 countries around the world to build capacity in how to develop OER using collaborative authoring approaches
  3. create and adapt free textbooks and digital learning materials for sharing around the world.

Does my donation go to support WikiEducator or the OER Foundation?

The OER Foundation is the legal entity responsible for raising and administering the funds which support the technical and operational infrastructure of the WikiEducator community in accordance with the policies approved by the WikiEducator Community Council. The OER Foundation subscribes to the Donor Bill of Rights, which requires that gifts are used for the purposes for which they are given. All donations sourced from the WikiEducator website are applied to the WikiEducator project.

Will WikiEducator consider online advertising as a source of revenue for OER?

No. The WikiEducator website is committed to providing our core learning materials free from advertising. The OER Foundation will launch an online magazine with a print alternative in the near future. As an optional publication, we will sell advertising space in this magazine to assist with defraying the costs of development and distribution. Any surpluses arising will be reinvested back into the WikiEducator project.

Is the OER Foundation / WikiEducator a registered charity?

Yes. The OER Foundation is a non-profit company registered with the New Zealand Charities Commission (No.CC40964). The activities of the OER Foundation are carried out exclusively for charitable educational purposes and not for the private pecuniary gain of any person.

Can I make a donation for a specific purpose?

Yes. Our commitment to the Donor Bill of Rights requires us to honour restrictions requested by donors. This means that if you specify that your donation needs to be restricted for a specific use, we will either honour your request or return your donation. Please consider that unrestricted donations are much more useful for us. Should you have a specific purpose in mind, please send an email to the OER Foundation for us to explore options to establish a grantee contract to achieve the specific purposes you intend for your contribution.

How much should I donate?

We are very grateful for all donations we receive, whatever the amount. We simply ask people to donate what they feel comfortable with and if the donation is meaningful to you, it is meaningful to the WikiEducator family.

Some organisations that use WikiEducator as a repository for their OER projects and activities have asked us to provide a general guideline. We have created a distinctive category of donor for these institutions and individuals which we call "Donor Partners". At current operational levels, it costs the OER Foundation approximately US$116,74 to provide an educator a free training workshop. As the project scales we will be able to reduce the unit cost of training considerably.

Donor Partner

A Donor Partner believes in the educational value of sharing knowledge freely and their contribution helps us to build sustainable OER futures. Their financial contribution is part of our planned giving campaign to support the WikiEducator/Open Education Ecosystem. They are acknowledged on the OER Foundation website on the Donor Partners page and may join in the capacity of an:

  • Institution (US$200 per annum)
  • School (US$50 per annum) or
  • Individual (US$50 per annum)

This form of planned giving enables the OER Foundation to plan future operations more accurately. Should your organisation ...

Individual contributions

All donations are gladly received. For example, if six people donate US$20, this will cover the costs for providing free training in collaborative OER development for a teacher, lecturer or trainer.

Estate planning

There are many ways to give and support the future of open education. You may wish to consider a gift in your will. A bequest to the OER Foundation will continue support for our mission long after you're gone.

As an individual, how can I make a donation?

As an organization, how can we make a donation?

How are donations acknowledged?

Donations are acknowledged in accordance with our Donor and Contributing Member Privacy Policy. You can request an anonymous donation, or choose to be recogised in the following ways:

  • In the case of a general public donation, you can specify your name and post a donation message of up to 200 characters on our public donation wall.
  • In the case of choosing to become a Donor partner, we will publish your name on the Donor partner's page under the institutional, school or individual categories, in addition to the general donation message above.

The OER Foundation does not publish the dollar amount of your donation.

Is this an annual fundraising campaign?


How much money are you hoping to raise?

Why is there a minimum donation?

Their is a minimum donation amount of US$1. We are really grateful to all donors, however small the gift. The minimum donation requirement helps to reduce the administration associated with individuals using donation channels to test stolen credit cards to see if they work. Using a minimum donation amount deters these individuals.

What is your donor privacy policy?

The Open Education Resource (OER) Foundation maintains the highest level of respect for the privacy of its donors and contributing members. The Board of Directors have approved and implemented a donor and contributing member privacy policy. We are very serious about your privacy and will not share, sell or trade your email address with anyone.

How is the OER Foundation run?

The OER Foundation, is managed by a Board of Directors in accordance with the objectives and activities contained in the policy statement of the organisation. The inaugural Board is of the OER Foundation is:

  • Robin Day, Ph.D, Deputy Chief Executive of Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand, is the Chair of the Board
  • Rory McGreal, Ph.D, Associate Vice President, Research at Athabasca University, Canada, is the nominated representative of the international contributing members
  • Wayne Mackintosh, Ph.D., founding Director of the International Centre for Open Education at Otago Polytechnic in New Zealand as nominee of the International OER Centre. He is also the founder of the WikiEducator project and elected member and Chair of the WikiEducator Community Council.
  • Christopher Staynes, as nominee of the Otago Polytechnic Council.
  • Philip Cullen, Chief Operating Officer, Otago Polytechnic as Secretary.

How is the OER Foundation funded?

The OER Foundation assists individuals and organisations to achieve their objectives through open content. We oversee the world's largest capacity building project in the formal education sector providing free training to thousands of educators building ICT skills for the collaborative development of OER.

Voluntary public donations is one category of three main income streams for the OER Foundation. We derive income from:

  1. International donors, international agencies and government contracts
  2. Organisations that join the OER Foundation as contributing members -- We provide value added services in helping these members achieve their objectives through OER.
  3. Voluntary public donations through our giving campaign (including individuals and organisations who choose to gift as Donor Partners)

As a charitable organisation, all surplus funds are invested in OER projects, for example, commissioning the development of OER learning materials or paying consultants from the WikiEducator community to facilitate capacity building workshops.

What projects do you currently support?

The OER Foundation supports a number of international strategic OER projects, including:

  • WikiEducator: A global open source project dedicated to developing open content resources in support of all national curricula by 2015, in line with the UN's Millennium Development Goals.
  • Learning4Content: The world's largest attempt to develop wiki skills for education. In return for free training, we encourage participants to become WikiEducators themselves by developing and donating free content learning materials back to the community.
  • OER Course Collaboratory: An international collaboration among individuals and institutions to create, reuse, revise and remix OER course materials and resources on the field of of open education. In short OERs for courses on OER.

(Comment.gif: Make sure to mention the language instances of the wiki - English, French, Portugese, Spanish, Chinese, etc., and the translation of wiki tutorials into appropriate languages, reaching out far and wide Randy Fisher 02:26, 31 May 2010 (UTC))

Are future projects planned / in the pipeline?

  • WikiResearcher
  • CollabOERate
  • OpenTextbooks - WikiPublishing
  • Future languages / wiki instances

How does the OER Foundation pay for WikiEducator services?

The OER Foundation is an international virtual organisation which employs only two full-time staff members. We rely on the support and professional services offered by an international community of consultants. All consultants contracted by the OER Foundation for WikiEducator activities are active and experienced members of our community. For example, all our training facilitators who assist with our free training workshops and the development of workshop materials are experienced WikiEducators who have an intimate knowledge of our project. This virtual model provides the OER Foundation with the agility to respond to local needs by providing access to an international team of OER professionals.

Can I contract the OER Foundation for specific services and support?

Yes. The OER Foundation provides support for a wide range of open education support services, for example, consulting services to assist individuals and organisations to achieve their objectives using OER. However, the funding for these value-added services are not sourced from the general public giving campaign. We recommend that you consider joining the OER Foundation under one of our contributing member options.

Where do I find financial information about the OER Foundation?