Associate Dean, Library Technology and Digital Strategies & Chair, Samvera Steering
Heather Greer Klein
Samvera Community Manager
Over the past two years, Samvera has implemented structures meant to ensure sustainability of the Community, including: an elected governing body, a contribution model, and the hiring of a Community Manager. The Community’s existing fiscal sponsorship agreement was set to expire in mid-2021, and could not be renewed without a change to both the terms of the agreement and the rate charged for services. The Samvera Community recognized an opportunity to critically evaluate the Community’s fiscal and organizational needs, and to explore the options available in both the library open infrastructure community as well as the wider open source software landscape.
This presentation will review the critical role of fiscal sustainability in open infrastructure communities; common models for this relationship; and the process Samvera used to evaluate fiscal and administrative needs against those options available in the open market. We will also present how the newly selected fiscal sponsor for Samvera represents an innovative model that is becoming more common in the wider free and open source software ecosystem. This model could help other open infrastructure projects seeking to ensure the best fit for financial, legal, and community leadership sustainability.