As posted to the foundation blog just now ( http://blog.osmfoundation.org/2011/12/01/funding-drive/ ) :
OpenStreetMap is growing fast. We’ve recently welcomed our 500,000th signed up user, and we’ve logged our 10.000.000 th update to the map. Over the next few weeks we’re running a fund-raising drive while we invest in server infrastructure to improve reliability and performance of OpenStreetMap. If you’d like to support the project in this way, or you know anybody else who would like to give OSMers an early Christmas present, visit our fund raising site:
You have the option to include your name on the donors list. We’re aiming to raise £15,000 (~ 23,000 U.S. dollars). Let’s see how quickly we hit the target!
We wanted to run another fund raising drive, because last time we had a big one was back in 2009 (old blog post) and we were blown away by how quickly we raised the target amount. It seemed as though people were looking for an outlet for their generosity and goodwill towards the project. Since we’re planning to buy a new server, now seems like a good time to do it again.
The Operations Working Group, which has the important role of keeping core OSM services running smoothly, plans to invest in a new server. This will provide us with a database replica. This improvement is at the very core of the OpenStreetMap infrastructure, giving services greater resilience. It means we’ll bounce back quicker and easier in the event of a hardware failure. In time the new server will also bring about some performance improvements. We have a wiki page with more technical details and plans for the new hardware.
We hope you’ll agree that, although these improvements are very much behind-the-scenes, they are important. Please give generously to help make them happen!
(Communications Working Group)