Proposed Funding Model
PKP has to date relied primarily on major research and infrastructure grant funding. This has been supplemented by in-kind support from the home sites, and modest (but growing) fee-based hosting and custom software development services.
The operating expenses for sustaining, with continuing development, the current suite of software and support systems will be approximately one million dollars annually. This figure is based on the complexity of the systems that are being maintained, the global scale of the user community that is supported, and the current and projected needs for further upgrading, development, and integration of the software systems as necessary to continue to provide systems that are comparable, if not superior in design, to those commercially available. The funding model and proposed budget draw on a decade of experience with a distributed, low-overhead open source software development team using a virtual collaboration model.
PKP’s Five Revenue Streams, with Annual Revenue Targets, 2012
- SFU Library Lead Institution: $100,000 cash and in-kind contribution.
- Sponsors and Partners: $400,000 for operations, upgrades and development.
- Software Hosting and Custom Development Services: $200,000.
- Research Grants: $200,000 from government agencies and foundations.
- Developing Country Support: $100,000 from donor agencies.
The proposed funding model will have three major components -- grant funding, cost-recovery services, and community partnerships/sponsors. Grant funding will continue to play a significant role in supporting PKP, especially for new software development initiatives and PKP’s related research activities. The intent is to flip the current 80/20 ratio so that grant funding accounts for only 20% of total PKP revenue sources. Cost-recovery services have already demonstrated their viability as a revenue source and preliminary consultations with key community members have confirmed there is significant interest in using these services. The newest and most significant component will be community partnerships/sponsors. A sponsorship model with four support tiers and similar to other open-source initiatives is proposed:
- Platinum Sponsors: $15,000 annually
- Gold Sponsors: $10,000 annually
- Silver Sponsors: $5,000 annually
- Bronze Sponsors: $2,500 annually
Sponsors will be formally acknowledged in various ways and be invited to participate in PKP planning and other activities depending on their level of support. PKP will also solicit 4-6 major development partners who will be expected to make significant financial and in-kind commitments comparable to the SFU Library. In return, they will participate directly in the proposed governance structure for PKP.
Cultivating and maintaining an open source user community requires central co-ordination. Communication venues and appropriate consultation and participation mechanisms have to be established and maintained. The implementation of an ongoing sustainability model with formal relationships with a much larger group of sponsoring partners increases the need for a more proactive approach in this area. The proposed budget addresses this requirement, and is presented in the interests of full disclosure and transparency.