Difference between revisions of "FinancialPolicy"

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'''NoiseBridge Finance Policy (and related considerations)
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{{Template:OutOfDate}}
Draft for Discussion'''
 
  
 +
==NoiseBridge Finance Policy - Currently in Draft for Discussion form==
  
'''Minimum Reserve'''
+
===Minimum Reserve===
  
''A NoiseBridge bank account should have at least six months' expenses to pay rent, insurance, ISP, power, and various supplies.''  
+
It seems reasonable to create a NoiseBridge bank account. It should have at least six months' expenses to pay rent, insurance, ISP, power, and for various consumable supplies. Currently we're in the burn rate evaluation phase. Once we've determined our average monthly burn rate, we'll know how much we should keep in the bank.
  
''NoiseBridge should run a funding drive if balance falls below five months, to continue until balance exceeds  
+
NoiseBridge should fund raise if our bank account balance falls below five months of our average burn rate. It seems reasonable to continue until balance exceeds seven months or more of a nice money cushion.
seven months. ''
 
  
''Consider having parties as part of funding drives. What other events and efforts?''  
+
We may have rent parties in the same spirit as NYC Resistor. We may also simply make phone calls and ping our network. We may want to teach classes but it's counter to our spirit to charge for them (except possibly for parts cost, this TBD). If we're really feeling adventurous, we can apply for grants.
  
[Per Jake, 20080930: ] This is very much in line with
+
===Bank Account Access===
what we've been trying to do. So far we've raised pledges
 
of around $10,500USD. [EndJake]
 
  
 +
Noisebridge corporate account will probably have debit cards or checks. The board should allocate some petty cash for having in the space and will otherwise sign checks as stipulated by the membership. Anyone that's signing checks will also report financial status updates in an open manner.
  
'''Bank Account Access'''
+
The finances will be published, hopefully in real time. Transparency is key. We want to avoid major issues with
 +
money by letting it all hang out.
  
''Noisebridge corporate account checks should require two signatures, any two of four Noisebridge members may sign checks (or all board members or all officers may sign checks: the important point is to require two signatures for a check). Those who can sign checks should also have the responsibility for reporting current financial status at regular times.''
+
We'd like someone to help research a second short-term CD or other interest-bearing account as a complement to the checking account. Such an account should have a restriction to control release of funds. It seems reasonable to have funds released to the checking account only.
  
[Per Jake, 20080930: ] It's possible that we'll implement
+
===Member Dues===
something like this. I suspect the limiting factor is
 
two-fold:
 
    1) Banks are probably not going to like this very much.
 
    2) Members may not be happy with any two people being able to drain the bank account.
 
  
[Per Jim rejoinder, 20080930: ] i believe a two-signature
+
We have two official Membership rates, both with the same privilages and responsibilities.  The rate you choose is up to you, and you can change it at any time.
checking account is within common practice of most banks.  
 
  
the alternatives are having one person able to sign checks
+
The Regular Membership Dues are $80 per month. The Starving Hacker Membership Dues are $40 per month.
or having a number of persons able to sign check. both
 
seem more problematic than having a small number of persons
 
able to sign checks and requiring two signatures on each
 
check. the thinking behind this is that of the old pogo
 
cartoon: "i have met the enemy and it is us". there's
 
another appropriate maxim, "trust is efficient." [EndJim]
 
  
Remember that we've structured the (soon to be) 501c3 in
+
'''[[Donate or Pay Dues| Click here for info on how to pay your Membership Dues]].'''
such a way that we're all capital 'M' "Members." This is
+
<br>
an important legal distinction and one that I'm really
+
<br>
happy about (we may live to regret it but we don't yet).
 
  
[Per Jim rejoinder, 20080930: ] 501(c)3 status might be
+
If you're planning to be a member for a year, consider a simple check or cash payment in one lump sum.
far enough in the future not to merit too much discussion
 
at this point. it seems to me that membership ought to
 
be defined and probably more formalized than it is
 
currently. [EndJim]
 
  
The finances will be published, hopefully in real time.
+
===Physical Supplies===
Transparency is key. We want to avoid major issues with
 
money by letting it all hang out. [EndJake]
 
[Per Jim rejoinder, 20080930: ] Amen. [EndJim]
 
  
''Consider a second short-term CD or other interest-bearing account as a complement to the checking account. Such an account should have a restriction to control release of funds, perhaps funds can only be released to the checking account.''  
+
Donations of equipment and other physical goods do not count as member dues. It certainly will help your reputation as being a generous member of the community but it won't pay the rent. It's possible that we'll consider exceptions as a membership. Consider donating things for NoiseBridge use, however - we do not accept things with strings attached.
  
[Per Jake, 20080930: ] This is a great idea. If you have
+
We have drinks and food in the kitchen. Costs are being evaluated. It's an honors system bar. If it doesn't work, we'll change things.
some suggestions for a bank that canhandle all of the
 
above, that would be wonderful! We've put up a lot of
 
banking stuff on the finances page. Do you have any
 
preference? [EndJake]
 
 
 
[Per Jim rejoinder, 20080930: ] this idea belongs in the  
 
list of questions to ask banks. [EndJim]
 
 
 
 
 
'''Member Dues'''
 
 
 
''Two-tier membership plan: higher tier pays a higher monthly dues for unrestricted use; lower tier pays a
 
lower monthly dues but must also pay a per-use fee. All payments must be by check.''
 
 
 
[Per Jake, 20080930: ] Here's where we're going to
 
diverge. We're a flat organization. There are no "high
 
priests" here. We're not running a service center,
 
people won't just stop by and pay a daily use fee to use
 
the electronics lab. If people stop by to fix something,
 
we're hopefully not going to be so hard up that we can't
 
share with them. This is critical in fostering a good
 
relationship with our neighborhood and in bringing in
 
new people as something more than their so called
 
"worth" measured in dollars.
 
 
 
We will accept money in any form people want to send it.
 
Check, paypal, cash, anonymously blinded (David Chaum!
 
Why didn't you sell to visa or mastercard?!) e-cash,
 
e-gold, sacks of quarters, etc -
 
 
 
When we're officially a 501c3, we'll even issue specific
 
receipts to ensure people get the tax benefits they
 
expect. [EndJake]
 
 
 
[Per Jim rejoinder, 20080930: ] i think i'm free of
 
elitist tendencies, to a large degree at least. my
 
private motivation was to allow a poor man's participation
 
so that i can be a paying member (i'm hurting for both
 
time and money just now). just to be clear on the point,
 
i do not equate anyone's worth with money but rather on
 
their good will, mainly.
 
 
 
it seems to me the issue of cash and other such (bag
 
of quarters, gold ingots...) is problematic in terms of
 
the membership getting it to the NoiseBridge bank
 
account, so i raise the issue even in light of Jake's
 
note. as a point of policy, what actions create too
 
much trouble? [EndJim]
 
 
 
''Consider a vetting process for new members. SF Gem and Mineral Society's vetting consists of prospective members getting two current members to vouch for them (first step is a short chat with each of the existing members, second step has two members okaying the prospect at a meeting, third step consists of new member payment and receipt of a card.''
 
 
 
[Per Jake, 20080930: ] We have a vetting process. In
 
short, people coming to the space need to be a part of
 
the community by being a part of the community.
 
[EndJake]
 
 
 
[Per Jim rejoinder, 20080930: ] i, and possibly others,
 
are not clear as to any process for becoming a member.
 
i've assumed that my having joined the mailing list,
 
taking on this (and in the future possibly other) little
 
job, and having come to one meeting are enough that i am
 
a member. i don't believe any vetting has been involved,
 
and it seems to me that as the group grows, some vetting
 
process will be prudent defence against trouble. [EndJim]
 
 
 
''Consider issuing a NoiseBridge member card with a member number and a date. Possible to barcode or otherwise enable electronic verification (alternate possibilities could be fun).''
 
 
 
[Per Jake, 20080930: ] If we have any card, it will
 
probably be a blank entry card. People can decorate it
 
however they like and we (as an org) will hopefully do
 
nothing of the sort. We're not creating a flashy emblem
 
or status symbol. People can do that themselves.
 
 
 
We're very likely to use the anonaccess system by Das
 
Labor (as has been discussed many times, David and I are
 
looking at the hardware for this as I write this):
 
http://events.ccc.de/congress/2007/Fahrplan/events/2351.en.html
 
 
 
We want anonymous credentials for our door and the
 
card shouldn't identify someone as a member. We don't
 
need or want status symbols. [EndJake]
 
 
 
''Consider requiring higher tier members to maintain at least two or three months' paid-ahead status.''
 
 
 
[Per Jake, 20080930: ] We almost certainly won't
 
require anything. People can do as they please. Their
 
contributions will be noted in public, on the wiki and
 
in the bank balance statements. [EndJake]
 
 
 
[Per Jim rejoinder, 20080930: ] the only issue i had in
 
mind was various means for keeping the NoiseBridge bank
 
account up. groups have their seasons, and a healthy
 
bank account can see us through an unhealthy season.
 
[EndJim]
 
 
 
''Consider releasing keys only to higher tier members. This idea suggests regular hours and some set of persons willing to open the place for those without keys.''
 
 
 
[Per Jake, 20080930: ] We're going to ensure that the
 
space is open to all members. We're not going to
 
treat some of the group like less because of their
 
financial status. A member who donates $1000 but never
 
hacks, never shows up and doesn't participate (other
 
than bike shedding) isn't actually part of the
 
community. Money isn't the most important facet of
 
community participation. [EndJake]
 
 
 
''Some small group should share managing and tracking this stuff.''
 
 
 
[Per Jake, 20080930: ] The entire thing is currently
 
and will continue to be managed with our wiki, mailing
 
list and possibly using crabgrass in the future.
 
[EndJake]
 
 
 
[Per Jim rejoinder, 20080930: ] details of room access
 
are not part of financial policy, sorry i opened that
 
door. how to manage access seems to be unaddressed,
 
though (and should be addressed in some other part of
 
the wiki, yes?). [EndJim]
 
 
 
 
 
'''Physical Supplies'''
 
 
 
''Donations of equipment and other physical goods do not count as member dues. Consider loaning or giving things for NoiseBridge use.''
 
 
 
[Per Jake, 20080930: ] If someone donates us a $20,000
 
laser cutter, they're probably going to get a pass on
 
their $50 membership dues. Not from any one specific
 
person but from the membership as a whole. I'm also
 
pretty sure this is going to self regulate. Some people
 
will contribute things that are of value that cannot be
 
counted in terms of dollars per month or per hour or
 
whatever time frame, etc.
 
 
 
We do not need _anything_ currently. Loaning things is
 
probably a very bad idea. If you're burdened with
 
something and Noisebridge could use it or would want it,
 
please by all means donate it. When we're a 501c3, this
 
will especially be great. With that said, we're probably
 
going to destroy or consume a lot of things. It's  
 
unrealistic to want it back and it may even create
 
personal drama when someone brings in "their" do-hickey
 
that is "misused" or otherwise not available to them on
 
their personal whims. [EndJake]
 
 
 
[Per Jim rejoinder, 20080930: ] My point as a matter of
 
financial policy was to disinclude donations and loans
 
of stuff from membership dues, mainly as an effort to
 
keep the bank account up. of course exceptions may apply.
 
 
 
as an example of loans: it may be that we would like to
 
paint the room. i have a lot of tarps and painting
 
equipment that i'd be willing to loan. i'd want the stuff
 
back. i'd make a big noise about proper care and feeding
 
of paint brushes and other equipment and hope to be
 
present enough during the work to enforce my wishes. if
 
things got away from me, i'd have to eat it as is: it
 
makes no sense that i'd try to seek redress from the
 
group (in the form of dues credit or recompense or
 
anything else). [EndJim]
 
 
 
''Supplies to be paid for as part of ongoing expenses could include cleaning chemicals (to be determined) along with one good quality broom, one good quality mop, up to four various-sized sponges, supplies of paper towels, toilet paper, toilet seat sanitary covers, plumber's friend, toilet bowl brush and holder, two five-gallon plastic buckets, two two-gallon plastic buckets, up to four other various-sized buckets or containers.''
 
 
 
[Per Jake, 20080930: ] This is pretty reasonable. It
 
should go on the wiki somewhere, perhaps under a
 
supplies page for the space? [EndJake]
 
 
 
''Consider drinks to be personal items. Or consider purchasing a vending machine. Having an honor bar with a cash jar and the responsibility of getting the cash and stocking contents seems too much
 
hassle for the possible rewards.''
 
 
 
[Per Jake, 20080930: ] Heh. We're a space full of
 
hackers. If we put a vending machine up, I'm
 
personally going to hack it and give away whatever is
 
inside. If we can't trust each other to put in for
 
soda or whatever, it's probably a moot point to even
 
attempt sharing _anything_. Personally, I'm of the
 
mindset (and I'm not alone) that we're going to
 
assume some risk. Someone will drink a soda without
 
having a dollar. Someone else will put in a five
 
and not ask for change.
 
 
 
[Per Jim rejoinder, 20080930: ] myself, i think we
 
shouldn't bother with drinks: let people bring and
 
share as they please. as to hacking our own community
 
stuff, that seems possibly self-defeating, though
 
also possibly amusing. [EndJim]
 
 
 
We're not solving that problem until we actually have
 
it! [EndJake]
 
 
 
[Per Jim rejoinder, 20080930: ] This is a great
 
policy! [EndJim]
 
 
 
 
 
'''Other'''
 
 
 
''What's missing?''
 

Latest revision as of 22:42, 7 February 2011

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NoiseBridge Finance Policy - Currently in Draft for Discussion form[edit]

Minimum Reserve[edit]

It seems reasonable to create a NoiseBridge bank account. It should have at least six months' expenses to pay rent, insurance, ISP, power, and for various consumable supplies. Currently we're in the burn rate evaluation phase. Once we've determined our average monthly burn rate, we'll know how much we should keep in the bank.

NoiseBridge should fund raise if our bank account balance falls below five months of our average burn rate. It seems reasonable to continue until balance exceeds seven months or more of a nice money cushion.

We may have rent parties in the same spirit as NYC Resistor. We may also simply make phone calls and ping our network. We may want to teach classes but it's counter to our spirit to charge for them (except possibly for parts cost, this TBD). If we're really feeling adventurous, we can apply for grants.

Bank Account Access[edit]

Noisebridge corporate account will probably have debit cards or checks. The board should allocate some petty cash for having in the space and will otherwise sign checks as stipulated by the membership. Anyone that's signing checks will also report financial status updates in an open manner.

The finances will be published, hopefully in real time. Transparency is key. We want to avoid major issues with money by letting it all hang out.

We'd like someone to help research a second short-term CD or other interest-bearing account as a complement to the checking account. Such an account should have a restriction to control release of funds. It seems reasonable to have funds released to the checking account only.

Member Dues[edit]

We have two official Membership rates, both with the same privilages and responsibilities. The rate you choose is up to you, and you can change it at any time.

The Regular Membership Dues are $80 per month. The Starving Hacker Membership Dues are $40 per month.

Click here for info on how to pay your Membership Dues.

If you're planning to be a member for a year, consider a simple check or cash payment in one lump sum.

Physical Supplies[edit]

Donations of equipment and other physical goods do not count as member dues. It certainly will help your reputation as being a generous member of the community but it won't pay the rent. It's possible that we'll consider exceptions as a membership. Consider donating things for NoiseBridge use, however - we do not accept things with strings attached.

We have drinks and food in the kitchen. Costs are being evaluated. It's an honors system bar. If it doesn't work, we'll change things.