Honoraria Policy

Towfiqu barbhuiya (CC-BY)

This policy covers how OLS gives honoraria. How OLS employees, independent contractors, or consultants receive honoria from other parties and engagement will be detailed in a separate policy.

An honorarium is a one-time, token payment granted in recognition of an individual’s contribution to OLS’s work.

The types of activities for which honoraria may be offered include:

  • Mentoring, speaking, and facilitation in an OLS cohort
  • Participation in other OLS events as a trainer, speaker, mentor, etc
  • Participation in other OLS activities, e.g. hiring
  • Participation/contribution in an event on behalf of OLS

No honoraria from OLS can be offered to currently engaged OLS employees, independent contractors, or consultants. The recipient of the honorarium is not permitted to set the honorarium amount. The arrangement between the recipient and OLS should not involve an existing contract.

Currently, OLS may offer:

  • 250 USD for expert speakers in an OLS cohort;
  • 500 USD for mentoring in an OLS cohort;
  • 50 USD/hour for facilitation in an OLS cohort;

Generally, OLS community members who have been asked to perform a paid task by OLS community organisers are paid at 50 USD/hour.

Individuals who are offered an honorarium can choose to donate the honorarium back to OLS’s work or to a charity of their choice. They can also choose to ask OLS to pay for a training session/conference fee up to the value of the payment - this offer expires 12 month) after the submission of the honorarium payment form, if unused.

All honoraria must be approved by a Director or staff member of OLS.


Q: I mentored two projects during a cohort. Does that mean I can claim two mentoring honoraria?

A: Unfortunately, no. Whilst we would love to be more generous, honoraria are gifts, rather than payment for services. We’d be happy to discuss the confusing tax and working regulations around this if you have any questions, but it’s unlikely to change.

Q: My mentee never showed up for any meetings or cohort calls. Can I claim an honorarium?

A: We’re sorry your mentee didn’t show up! If it’s one or two calls, but generally they participated, then yes, definitely. If they never participated in the program, then no, we don’t offer an honorarium.

Acknowledgement: This document is based in part on Invest in Open Infrastructure’s honoraria policy, made available under the CC BY 4.0 license.