Funding for IETF activities primarily comes from three sources: participant registration fees, corporate sponsorships, and an annual contribution from the Internet Society. The IETF leadership believes that the IETF must diversify its revenue sources in order to preserve the important work of the IETF. The Open Internet Endowment (OIE) is being established as one way to provide funds for the IETF as long as the purpose exists. Once the OIE is capitalized, its principal generates a return—the kind of return that can provide a new revenue source for the IETF. The larger the endowment, the larger the support it will provide.
At IETF 84, the Internet Society, as the administrative home of the IETF, and IETF leadership launched the OIE to the IETF community. The endowment’s stated purpose: to support open standards initiatives, including the IETF and complimentary activities that promote the health of the Internet.
In addition to support for the IETF, the OIE will also provide funding for initiatives that support an open Internet. At IETF 84, an aspect of the OIE was launched that will directly support the work of the IETF. Thus, the introduction of the OIE was called a family launch. The IETF community was invited to be first supporters and give directly before a more public announcement of the OIE takes place, most likely in 2013.
The response was fantastic! During the Vancouver meeting 110 persons gave or pledged support of more than $28,000. Monies will continue to be raised to capitalize the endowment—look for the OIE booth at IETF 85 in Atlanta. And remember, everyone who gives at IETF 85 will receive donor recognition gifts (including the new OIE t-shirt!) based on their level of their giving.
For more information and to donate, see http://www.openinternetendowment.org.