where do donations go and how much is donated

Hi there,

just wondering if there is a place where one can see how OpenMRS is funded, or how donations are spent. Ive been seeing a few threads on fund raising but am not up to date, please forgive me if I missed that. I remember thinking about donating to OpenMRS but then thought, I have no clue if thats possible and where the money will go.

I just looked at wiki:

The site is in German but click on the “Wohin geht meine Spende?” on the right side which means “where do my donations go” and you’ll see an image that is easy to understand.

Is there something like that?

1 Like

Has the trasparency situation changed? I’m not quite sure we’ll even get the answer to this.

I’d love to see something like this being produced for OpenMRS. I’m on the board for a non-profit that does something very similar.

While I’m not directly involved with handling of money, I can offer a few things:

  • Theresa Pritchard is helping manage finances for OpenMRS Inc.
  • Financials are now regularly discussed on the weekly public leadership meetings. I found an example on 2 Feb with links to this doc and this doc.
  • Ongoing expenses cover infrastructure that we don’t get for free (e.g., help desk, mailchimp, etc.)
  • I know in the past funds have been used to help with Implementers Meetings & scholarships (these are nearly self-funding now), help GSoC students with travel to Google.
  • I’d expect other expenses involve paying for services for the community (legal fees, fundraising advice, etc.)
  • The ability to take online donations was only worked out at the end of last year (Nov/Dec), so we’re still figuring out how to do it effectively.

Regular financial updates is a step in the right direction, but I agree we need to communicate more clearly (e.g., like the graph in your example) if we expect people to make donations.

@teleivo - I think it’s a great request. Burke had some information on process, but I’d also like more clarity on the specific priorities OpenMRS is funding through the individual donations (which included a very modest donation from me).

@terry pointed out to me that the fiscals are public, and that there is information in the (also public) weekly leadership team meeting notes (linked to in the Community/Leadership talk threads https://talk.openmrs.org/c/community/leadership ) about specifics of how much money we’ve raised, etc., but a single, easy to track summary (I second the idea of a graph) would be great.

I think the amount of money raised through individual donations in the first, somewhat experimental campaign over the 2016/17 holiday season was a bit over $2000 USD. (Update: I went back to the 2017-01-12 notes and found a note which I think indicates that $2,312.20 USD was donated by 11 individuals - update #2 - maybe it was “by the 11th” - the notes are not that clear!)

But, the answer should be some place people can easily click to, and it should be updated as we receive new donations, and identify specific priorities for those relatively limited funds.


So for our online fundraising efforts, PayPal is currently the financial intermediary. I help support fundraising efforts and was reporting the contributions through our online fundraising campaign on our weekly public leadership meetings, as Burke stated.

Users that have direct access to our PayPal account can generate financial reports manually which look like this:

It would be cool if this was just accessible at any given time by anyone… Does anyone know if PayPal has that functionality? It seems like it’s a more manual process…

Like Burke said, each month we have a monthly budget report lead by Theresa Pritchard on the public leadership calls which include links to the balance sheets, like these:

It would be super cool to have nice visual representations for these numbers. Maybe each month we can update the charts/graphs and do a year summary at the end of the year?

At the very least, we should have a Wiki space for these reports as opposed to having them be within the leadership meeting notes.

If I was to suggest something to start, I’d say that graphs in google spreadsheet could be an awesome start. Maybe a tab per month? No idea.

Also, I know we spend some money in infrastructure and software, but I don’t think this information is collected on a nice way :slight_smile:

If I could choose, what I’d love to see would be something like:

Month - March-June 2017 Balance carried over: X Income paypal: A Income other donation: B

Payments staff/people: C Payments training: D Payments ITSM: E Payments legal/banking: nothing, hopefully

Balance: $$$$$

Those are pretty broad and ‘open’ categories, but it’s understandable by anyone.

1 Like

thank you all for the links and information!

@jeffneiman your first link to a google drive doc isnt working.

That would be a good first step! Having a wiki with a link to a google spreadsheet like @cintiadr suggested that shows clearly where money is spent. Since in the docs you provided I couldnt see any item regarding IT infrastructure for example.

After this doc has been refined I assume it should be linked to at


Oops, must be a mistake. I’m not sure why I put that link there or what it is!

(Btw, I moved this to the #community:leadership category, which is about operational community leadership, rather than the advisory council at #community:adco.)

Thanks for everyones ideas. We started reporting the income/balance late last year, and we just switched accounting firms. We will do the following- please add/edit this based on what you think will help

  1. continue to present the budget/balance sheets at the beginning of each month to the leadership team ( the balance carry over is on these sheets but may not be easy to find; the categories are determined by the accountant to be consistent with best accounting practices; we had asked for donations to be their own category); the fiscal situation is also reported to the Board of Directors on a routine basis
  2. make these documents more visible ( not just a link in the notes) on some new page on the wiki, and increase the usability of them for the viewer
  3. figure out how to call out the infrastructure costs into a clearer format… they are lumped at this point
  4. indicate what money has paid for - as you may know, we had paid for a fundraiser for a few months to try to increase our foundation support ( Still being worked on); we also fund a part-time support person to help with our ongoing operations ( e.g. production of the annual report; our communications; our operational plan tracking) , and we fund the normal monthly costs ( accountant, mail chimp, some phone stuff, etc).

Please let us know if you have any other ideas. As you know, our primary funding was from the Rockefeller Foundation and amounted to 500,000 over five years. We are working to identify additional foundational and/or individual donors to help continue to support the community. We currently spend less than 8,000/month supporting the community. We are aware of the need to continue to find a funding stream that we can use into the future for these expenses. At this point, while we have collected a little over 2000 in donations, we have not spent that money. We have been spending the RF grant to support us.

The fundraising page is here https://wiki.openmrs.org/display/RES/Fundraising if community members want to see our approach and what we want to do.



I think every month(maybe quarterly) – there should be a financial summary posted to Talk of:

  • WHAT funds OpenMRS got
  • HOW it is being spent – a nice breakdown would be cool!

I don’t think I have to even say I want transparency.

thanks @r0bby . we will do that…

Thanks for the answer, @terry , I think those ideas are great :slight_smile:

Look, I’m not going to be person to explain accounting practices for an accountant :smiley: , but the thing is that the purpose and target of account budget/balance sheets is slightly different of what we are suggesting here. Both are somehow related to monies, but with different perspectives.

The advantage I saw in google docs was adding nice graphs :smiley:


I like pictures!

We should be able to take what the accountants give us and translate into graphs and easier ways to understand. I have asked them if that is possible.