Samvera Contribution Model Working Group

This Group is no longer active and has been archived.

Scope and objectives

This Group is chartered at the request of the Samvera Partners following their acceptance of the recommendations of the Samvera Governance Working Group.

From the Samvera Governance Working Group recommendations:

“In order to support centralized staffing the Samvera Community needs a strategy to raise significant funds on an ongoing basis.  Partner discussions have supported the idea of a required contribution model that equitably distributes the burden. The contribution model will include both financial and in-kind staff time tiered options.  Equity, good standing, how to value in-kind contributions, and incentives will be addressed in the proposed contribution model.”

It should be noted that the Community has other financial needs in addition to staffing costs albeit these are relatively small in comparison (fiscal sponsorship, legal fees, website, sponsorship etc).

From the Partner Meeting minutes (03/30/2018):

“In scope:  

Define what a Partner in good standing means

    • Partnership cannot be defined by financial contribution levels.

  • Develop a mechanism for identifying, valuing, and monitoring in-kind contributions

    • Get information from partners

  • Make recommendations about fundraising

  • Interim report by Connect 2018, final by no later than March 1, 2019.

“Out of scope, but will eventually touch contribution model work:

  • Fundraising models for the community

    • Fundraising for a stable source of funding for central hires:

      • Duraspace’s advice is that if the funded position is through a partner institution, it would be $165K (US) per year

      • If employed by Duraspace, more like $200K”

The “key decisions and takeaways” circulated to Partners words these guidelines slightly differently:

  • “in-scope

    • develop a contribution model

    • determine how to track in-kind contribution

    • reviewing other community contribution models

    • gathering feedback from partners

    • honor the commitment of the community to have a path to partnership that does not require monetary contributions

  • “out-of-scope

    • determine all fundraising models for the community; although they can make recommendations around fundraising models generally or specifically”

The tasks of the WG will therefore include looking at the current state of contributions from the Samvera Community, investigating and comparing the resourcing methods of comparable organizations, and proposing a way forward that reinforces the value proposition of Partnership but which also provides sufficient incentives for non-Partners in the community to make significant contributions.

Deliverables and timeframe

Report detailing recommendations in time for the Partner Meeting immediately prior to Samvera Connect 2018 (8th October).  In the event that the timescale cannot reasonably be met an interim report will be delivered for that Partner Meeting with the full report delivered in time to enable implementation no later than March 2019.  Acceptance and implementation of the report will require a ⅔ majority vote by Samvera Partners.

Meeting times and communication channels

The WG is now in abeyance whilst the draft report is circulated to Partners and discussed at the Partner Meeting in Salt Lake City 8 Oct 2018.


In order to facilitate the tight working timelines necessary to achieve the target deadline, working group membership was limited to a small 6-8 person agile team which can collaborate efficiently to produce the deliverables in the desired timelines.

  • 3-4 members present at the March 2018 Partner Meeting discussion to represent and synthesize the discussion from the Partner Meeting.

  • 3-4 at-large members drawn from the broader Partner community to represent stakeholders not able to be present at the in-person Partner Meeting

  • Hopefully the Group’s membership reflects the wide range of institutions within the Samvera Partners (education/cultural heritage; North American/European; large/small; cash-rich/cash-poor; etc). It is drawn from a range of Partners spanning old-established to relatively new.

Phase 1 membership

  • Richard Green, co-facilitator (University of Hull)

  • Ryan Steans, co-facilitator (Northwestern University)

  • Julie Allinson / Steph Taylor (CoSector, London)

  • Karen Cariani (WGBH)

  • Nora Egloff (Lafayette College)

  • Annie Wu (University of Houston)

Phase 2 membership

  • Chris Awre (Hull)

  • Harriet Green (Washington University, St. Louis)

  • Karen Estlund (Penn State)

  • Robin Ruggaber (University of Virginia)

  • Rosalyn Metz, facilitator (Emory University)

  • Tim McGeary, (Duke University)

  • Charlotte Nunes, (Lafayette College)


Meeting notes: Phase 1

CMWG 9th May 2018

CMWG 21 May 2018

CMWG 4 June 2018

CMWG 18 June 2018

CMWG 2 July 2018

CMWG 16 July 2018

CMWG 13 August 2018

CMWG 27 August 2018

CMWG 10 September 2018

CMWG 24 September 2018

Meeting notes: Phase 2

2019-02-20 Meeting Notes

2019-02-25 Meeting Notes

2019-02-28 Meeting Notes

2019-03-21 Meeting Notes

2019-03-22 Meeting Notes

2019-06-21 Meeting Notes