iOverlander is a nonprofit project. We are almost completely volunteer run. Thousands of hours have gone into building, upgrading, maintaining and moderating our places and our apps. If you enjoy our app, if it has saved you some time, or petrol, or cash, please consider giving back.


For those of you that want the full story:

Despite our amazing team of volunteers, it does still cost money to host and run a site and apps. And moreover, to maintain those apps to keep them relevant and useful for travelers.

Until 2020 our expenses exceeded our income and this debt was personally funded by iOverlander founders, Sam & Jessica. We don’t tell you this to feel guilty, in fact both of us have been completely willing to front these costs to keep our apps going (let’s just say, we believe in this little app!)

Awesomely, over the last few years, increasing donations and income from other sources have allowed us to not only meet our expenses, but upgrade and improve our apps. We’ve been able to invest in larger projects to save more down the road (like setting up our own map tile server). And because all income from all donations goes straight back into our app, we’ve been able to accelerate development on many new features. These improvements and stabilization of iOverlander are a direct result of continued donations!

Here’s that button again in case you missed it:


Now to answer some FAQs:

If OSM is free, why are you paying for maps?

OSM is not free. The map data is free, but the API that generates the map tiles and the server that hosts those tiles is not. As of mid-2018 Google maps are also no longer free. We have recently switched to our own map tile server which is helping to reduce costs.

Why don’t you just charge for the app?

Two reasons: #1 we made a commitment when we launched this app years ago to always keep a free version going. We don’t plan to go back on that promise. #2. Charging for our app complicates our business exponentially. We have to provide technical support, we have to pay taxes, we have to hand a huge part of our income over to apple/google.

However, let me be clear, just because we want to have a free version of the app, it does NOT mean that we won’t ever charge for an app “upgrade”. There is a good possibility we will release a pro version of the app so that we can pay our expenses, but also use that income to add new features (like favorites, and offline maps!) These bonus features would only be available on the upgrade version.

Why don’t you just put up ads?

Several reasons. Mostly, because ads suck. You hate them. I hate them. Everyone hates them. They don’t earn very much money especially since many of our users are offline. No internet, no ads, no income. Unfortunately, if we fail to raise more donations or income, our next step is to put ads on our app and website. We don’t like it, but we gotta pay the rent somehow.

FAQ break for that button again. I know you want to push it this time!


Is my donation tax deductible?

No. We are not a registered nonprofit. The complexity and costs in registering and maintaining a non-profit business are substantial. It is not worth it to us to add this extra cost. Most of our donations are small, and we don’t feel that offering a tax deduction would increase them significantly.

If other travelers are doing all the work to add places, why should I give you money?

Our contributors and our volunteers are incredible people for whom iOverlander has great appreciation. And when you meet a famous iOverlander contributor or a moderator on the road, you should buy them excessive amounts of beer, or tacos, or both! However, the places in our database are only a part of what makes iOverlander work. We built these apps and website from the ground up. We moderate every single new place that comes in. And we pay the bills to Amazon, Google, MapTiler to keep this going. Even though our data comes from our users, the cost to display it, maintain it, and package it in a way that you can view, is not free.

What happens with my donation?

A small percent is lost to PayPal. Everything else goes straight into the iOverlander bank account. That money is used to pay operating expenses first (such as hosting and mapping fees). On occasion when donations exceed our expenses, one of two things happens: 1. We roll the excess to pay for future months of hosting. 2. We use the excess to build new features for the app (to pay a developer that can do this for us.) Donation income is tracked independently of other income and it will never be used pay salaries to owners or profit draws.

Why don’t you <ENTER IDEA HERE> to earn more money?

I promise we have considered every possible funding method you can think of, so please understand that we love your suggestions, but what often seems like a very simple solution generally is not so simple. I’m saying this while working full time and spending every other possible minute of the day figuring this out. And Sam would be doing the same but he’s too busy doing something with Linux and servers and generally making sure this app stays online so ya’ll can find a place to sleep tonight. The easiest way to solve our funding problems is if even a small percent of our users decides we’re worth a donation of a few bucks. It doesn’t require any more time, or management, or other fees. It’s just easy.


Questions? Comments? Send us an email [email protected].

About iOverlander

iOverlander is a free website and app created to help overlanders on the road find their next destination. Please help us improve our data by updating and adding places you have been.

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