LocalGov Drupal will remain open source and free for anyone to download and use.
We are asking councils to pay a voluntary subscription fee to resource core maintenance, offer support, and develop our platforms.
Choose your level of involvement
The code for the LGD platform is available to take and use as you wish, but the most significant benefits are to be had from participating.
Councils who join the project agree to commit some time to further the organisation's aims and sign our Contributors Agreement.
We also ask for a commitment from participants with specific skills, including:
- Dedicated developer time
- Management/admin time
- User research
- Product management
There are three levels of commitment for councils:
- Join the community on Slack
- Join the Technical Group and working groups
- Start to help out when you can, that could be building new functionality, testing, or sharing your new user research.
Subscribers pay a fee to Open Digital Cooperative to help keep the project running and pay for product development and technical support.
Fees are based on the size and budget of each council.
Subscribers get everything a contributor does plus:
- Join our Subscriber Group to give strategic direction to the open-source project
- Help to formulate our Collective Roadmap
- Receive additional recognition for their support of the project
Those councils paying the subscription fee are eligible to join our cooperative.
They receive all the benefits of a subscriber plus:
- they have part ownership of Open Digital Cooperative,
- can nominate and vote for members of the Open Digital Cooperative board of directors and
- vote at the AGMs.
Why we need to charge and what the fees will cover
We encourage councils to work with each other, but they don’t tend to do so without help.
The LGD team actively encourages collaboration, onboards new councils, runs community and show-and-tell sessions, blogs about progress, facilitates working groups to build new features, and more.
The membership fees will cover these core costs, plus additional technical support for councils, and product development.
How fees are calculated
Our subscription fees are based on the successful scheme run by the Co-operative Council Innovation Network and are designed to be as equitable as possible.
Fees will be calculated on a sliding scale based on turnover and population, varying from £1000 to £9750 per year.
This means that councils serving smaller populations with smaller budgets don’t pay as much as those with larger budgets. A cap on the overall fee will ensure that larger councils are not unduly burdened.
Benefits of subscription
We know that councils see the value in supporting a team to develop our products.
They also benefit from technical support from our dedicated team and the wider community.
The core team also helps facilitate collaboration and produce a collective roadmap for feature development based on clear user needs.
Subscribers are also directly involved in the strategic direction of the platform through the Subscriber Group.
Those who become members will also be involved in running the organisation through voting at the AGM and electing board members.
How the process works
We know that your time is precious so the process is designed to be as lightweight as possible.
1. Introductory meeting.
We’ll set up a 45-minute chat with an LGD team member. They’ll give you an overview of the project and products and answer any initial questions you might have.
2. Agree to our Contributor Agreement and community code of conduct
If you decide to continue on your LGD journey we ask you to agree to our Contributor Agreement and code of conduct. This outlines what we expect of councils and what they can expect from us.
3. Skills/team survey
We’ll send you a quick team survey. We can then add all your team members to the relevant channels. e.g. Slack, Community Group session invites, etc.
You’ll then be able to attend meetings and ask our community for support and advice over our well-used Slack channel (it currently has over 450 members).
Once the Contributor Agreement is signed we’ll work with you to announce that you’ve joined the project over our social and email channels.
5. Invoicing and payment
For those councils who want to become subscribers (and we hope that’s all of you), we’ll then issue an invoice for your subscription fee.
On payment, we'll add you to the Subscriber Group on Slack.
6. Technical onboarding
We also offer technical onboarding to help developers get their web build projects up and running. These are usually with our Tech Lead, Finn. It’s always useful to send him any questions in advance so he can prepare for your session.
7. Content onboarding
We also offer a session with our in-house Content Designer, Ben. He’ll be able to answer questions from your users and pass on any feedback you might have about the distribution.
8. Membership decision
For those who’ve paid their subscription fee, there is also the option of becoming a member of our cooperative. This would give you the opportunity to vote at our AGM’s and elect board members.
If you would like to find out more or have any questions just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always happy to chat about LocalGov Drupal, provide a demo of the platform, or show how councils are using it.