Membership FAQ

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a non-profit corporation with global scope formed to educate about and advocate for the benefits of Open Source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the Open Source community.

OSI’s full mission statement can be found here.

What does it mean to be a member of the OSI?

Being part of the OSI means being part of the Open Source community. OSI members are people who support the mission of the OSI, which is to educate about and advocate for the benefits of Open Source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the Open Source community. 

What does the OSI do?

Our goal is to provide a broad meeting place for everyone who shares an interest in Open Source software, with the continuing aim of strengthening the OSI so that it can more effectively fulfill its goals over the long term. 

Having a large global membership base is an excellent way to achieve those goals. We encourage our Supporting and Professional members to advocate for open source in their communities and organizations. Supporting and Professional members, combined with OSI Affiliate organizations, can help make the OSI the strongest voice for open source around the world.

Who can join?

Anyone can join. Because the OSI is based in the US, we cannot accept contributions from certain countries where economic embargoes are in place. If you are in such a country, please contact us so that we can provide you with a complimentary membership.

What is the commitment?

Membership does not involve any formal commitment to participate in the activities of the OSI. However, there are many things that Members can do to help advance the goals of the OSI:

  • Express public support for open source and for the OSI.
  • Where possible, make annual contributions towards the running of OSI.
  • Help mobilize awareness of issues around the world that affect open source software.

What do the membership fees support?

The OSI Board decided a while back to hire a professional staff as the global work and relevance of OSI had grown larger than a purely volunteer organization could manage. Your membership fees help to pay for this, as well as for their activities promoting and protecting open source around the world.

What membership levels are there?

There are two levels of membership: Supporting member and Professional member.

Supporting members: 

Shape the direction and identify the leadership of the OSI by nominating and voting for the OSI board of directors. They can also run for a Director seat. Five members of the board represent the Supporting membership, and play a vital role in the Open Source community. Sign up as a Supporting member

If you’re not ready to be a Supporting member, are a student, have low or no-income, you can still support OSI by joining as a free Basic member. Voting privileges are not included for Basic members but you’ll get other benefits we’ll announce during 2023 and most importantly, you’ll demonstrate support for the organization.

Professional members:

This level of sponsorship is designed for individuals who have the resources either independently or through their employer and are interested in a higher level of involvement in OSI. Sign up as a Professional member 

How much does it cost to be a member?

  • Supporting Members – $50 / year
  • Professional Members – $300 / year

For the first time in 12 years, we’re increasing the supporting membership rate to $50/year on November 29th.  

Who is allowed to vote in Board elections?

Supporting members and Professional members are eligible to vote if they pay the membership fee before the election cycle starts. Read the full rules of the elections.

As a renewing member when do I get my pin? Can I get another when I renew?

Please use the contact form to let us know you’d like your member pin! One pin per membership. At the moment, shipping is limited to the US only. 

How do I get my discount with Adafruit?

A discount code will be provided to you when you sign up as a member.

Can I buy OSI merchandise?

We have branded merchandise available on

Are membership fees tax deductible?

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a California 501(c)3 non-profit, membership fees are tax-deductible in the United States by most tax-paying individuals. Please consult your tax adviser to determine the tax deductibility of your gift to the OSI. 

How can I ask other questions?

Please use the contact form to ask questions.