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Organization for Transfomative Works: 2017 budget

2016 was a busy year for the OTW's Finance team, and we're hard at work improving the organization's bookkeeping and financial policies. Budgeting is another area where we've improved in the past few months—especially with regards to collaborating with our various teams to project their likely expenses and accounting for unexpected changes.

Without further ado, here's our budget for 2017 (download the budget spreadsheet for more detailed information):

2017 Expenses

Expenses by program: Archive of Our Own: 75.7%. Open Doors: 0.5%. Transformative Works and Cultures: 1.5%. Fanlore: 2.7%. Legal Advocacy: 1.2%. Con Outreach: 1.8%. Admin: 8.4%. Fundraising: 8.2%.

Archive of Our Own (AO3)

US$7,013.49 spent; US$206,325.51 left

  • US$7,013.49 spent so far out of US$213,339 total this year, as of February 28, 2017.
  • 75.7% of the OTW’s expenses go towards maintaining the AO3. This includes the bulk of our server expenses—both new purchases and ongoing colocation and maintenance—website performance monitoring tools and various systems-related licences (access all program expenses).
  • Starting last year, we've conducted a search for companies that could work with us on upgrades to AO3's infrastructure. We've collaborated with two companies so far on preparing for our much-needed Rails upgrade, and look forward to expanding our contracting projects this year.

Fanlore

US$312.61 spent; US$7,174.89 left

  • US$312.61 spent so far out of US$7,487.50 total this year, as of February 28, 2017.
  • Fanlore expenses are mostly its allocation of server purchase, maintenance and colocation costs, in addition to related licenses and Fanlore web domains (access all program expenses).

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC)

US$400.04 spent; US$3982.96 left

  • US$400.04 spent so far out of US$4,383 total this year, as of February 28, 2017.
  • Transformative Works and Cultures’ expenses are its allotment of server costs, as well as the journal’s publishing and storage fees (access all program expenses).

Open Doors

US$60.80 spent; US$1,475.67 left

  • US$60.80 spent so far out of US$1,536.47 total this year, as of February 28, 2017.
  • This year’s expenses for Open Doors are hosting, backup and domain costs for archives imported by Open Doors (access all program expenses).

Legal Advocacy

US$0 spent; US$3,500 left

  • US$0 spent so far out of US$3,500 total this year.
  • Legal’s expenses consist of filing fees and travel expenses for conferences (access all program expenses).

Con outreach

US$0 spent; US$5,000 left

  • US$0 spent so far out of US$5,000 total this year, as of February 28, 2017.
  • Our convention outreach expenses consist of preparing and shipping promotional material related to the OTW and its projects for volunteers to share with other fans at conventions, as well as potentially organizing spaces of our own during conventions (access all con outreach expenses).

Fundraising

US$ 1,573.52 spent; US$21,486.48 left

  • US$1,573.52 spent so far out of US$23,060 total this year, as of February 28, 2017.
  • Our fundraising expenses consist of transaction fees charged by our third-party payment processors for each donation; thank-you gifts purchase and shipping; and the tools used to host the OTW’s membership database and track communications with donors and potential donors (access all fundraising expenses).

Administration

US$977.15 spent; US$22,683.68 left

  • US$977.15 spent so far out of US$23,660.83 total this year, as of February 28, 2017.
  • The OTW’s administrative expenses include hosting for our website, trademarks, domains, insurance, tax filing, as well as project management, communication and accounting tools (access all admin expenses).

2017 revenue

OTW revenue: April drive donations: 32.4%, October drive donations: 42.2%. Non-drive donations: 24.3%. Donations from matching programs: 1.1%.

  • The OTW is entirely supported by your donations—thank you for your generosity!
  • We receive most of our donations each year in the April and October fundraising drives, which together should account for about 75% of our income in 2017. We also receive donations via employer matching programs and Amazon Smile.
  • The OTW Finance team is investigating options for a sustainable plan to invest the OTW's current reserves; our forecasted income should be enough to cover this year's expenses without requiring emergency withdrawals from our reserves.
  • US$6,839.56 so far (as of February 28, 2017) and US$308,500 projected until the end of the year.

US$6,839.56 donated; US$301,660.44 left

Got questions?

If you have any questions about the budget or the OTW's finances, please contact the Finance committee. We will also be hosting an open chat to answer any questions you may have. This chat will take place in our public chatroom on April 9 from 5 to 7PM UTC (what time is that in my timezone?).

This post will be updated with a chatroom link a few hours before the appointed time. Come chat with us, and bring your questions!

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE CHAT

To download the OTW’s updated budget for 2017 in spreadsheet format, please follow this link.

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Published:
2016-09-24 20:24:50 -0400
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2016 OTW budget

In March this year, the OTW published its first official budget. Since then, our Finance committee has been rebuilt by volunteers who have non-profit and/or accounting backgrounds! They've been busy working with other committees to reorganize and rebuild key internal processes for bookkeeping, budgeting, tax filing, and general financial policies.

This improvement is a work in progress for us as an organization, and we've already learned a lot since March about how to forecast our expenses and income better. Because of that, we're publishing an updated version of the 2016 budget that better reflects our current financial situation (download 2016 updated budget spreadsheet).

2016 expenses

OTW expenses by program: 67.79% AO3, 14.11% fundraising, 12.27% administration, 2.74% Fanlore, 1.69% Legal Advocacy, 1.08% TWC, 0.33% Open Doors

Archive of Our Own

AO3 expenses: $73,176.82 spent so far out of $128,458.92 total this year.

  • US$73,176.82 spent so far out of US$128,458.92 total this year.
  • Most of the OTW's expenses go towards AO3 upkeep, including the bulk of our server expenses (new purchases and ongoing colocation and maintenance), website performance monitoring tools and systems licenses (access all program expenses).
  • The amount allotted for the original contractor for the Archive of Our Own in the March budget has been reduced due to time constraints. Both the Accessibility, Design & Technology and Systems committees plan to seek new contractors before the end of the year, and next year's budget will include more accurate forecasts for their work.

Fanlore

Fanlore expenses: $3,360.12 spent so far out of $5,187.57 total this year.

  • US$3,360.12 spent so far out of US$5,187.57 total this year.
  • Fanlore expenses are mostly its allocation of server purchase, maintenance and colocation costs, in addition to licenses and domains pertaining to Fanlore directly (access all program expenses).

Legal Advocacy

Legal Advocacy expenses: $2,196.76 spent so far out of $3,196.76 total this year.

  • US$2,196.76 spent so far out of US$3,196.76 total this year.
  • Legal's expenses consist of filing fees and travel expenses for panel presentations (access all program expenses).

Transformative Works and Cultures

TWC expenses: $1,736.32 spent so far out of $2,040.30 total this year.

  • US$1,736.32 spent so far out of US$2,040.30 total this year.
  • Transformative Works and Cultures' expenses are its allotment of server costs and fees associated with the journal's publishing and storage (access all program expenses).

Open Doors

Open Doors expenses: $305.89 spent so far out of $627.16 total this year.

  • US$305.89 spent so far out of US$627.16 total this year.
  • This year's expenses for Open Doors are hosting, backup and domain costs for imported archives (access all program expenses).

Fundraising

Fundraising expenses: $10,227.54 spent so far out of $26,737.54 total this year.

  • US$10,227.54 spent so far out of US$26,737.54 total this year.
  • Our fundraising expenses consist of transaction fees charged by our third-party payment processors for every donation, thank-you gifts purchase and shipping, and the tools used to host the OTW's membership database and track communications with donors (access all fundraising expenses).

Administration expenses

Admin expenses: $15,158.96 spent so far out of $23,254.49 total this year.

  • US$15,158.96 spent so far out of US$23,254.49 total this year.
  • The OTW's admin expenses include hosting for our website, trademarks, domains, insurance, project management, communication and accounting tools, as well as contracted services for CPA assessment and tax filing (access all admin expenses).
  • We worked with a CPA to receive an initial assessment of our financial situation and procedures earlier this year, and with an external tax preparer to file our taxes. Having completed both of these, we don't foresee needing other external financial services until next year. Finance is currently organizing our ledger and processes, and will then reassess the best setup for external services in the following years.

2016 revenue

OTW 2016 revenue: $99,727.54 from April drive donations, $130,000 from projected October drive donations, $57,519.60 from non-drive donations, $839.08 from Amazon Smile purchases

  • The OTW is entirely supported by your donations—thank you for your generosity!
  • We receive most of our donations each year in the April and October fundraising drives, which together should account for 80% of our income in 2016.
  • We're aiming to raise more than our projected expenses for this year, which should help cover us until next year's April drive (including a new server!), plus increase our reserves by about US$30,000. The Finance team is currently looking into the best possible low-risk investment options for the OTW's reserves; our 2017 budget post will provide more details regarding our reserve policy, such as how many operating months we can sustain with zero donations and under what circumstances committees are allowed to request reserve funds for spending.
  • US$137,886.22 so far and US$150,200 projected until the end of the year.

2016 OTW revenue: $137,886.22 so far, $150,200 projected until the end of the year.

Got questions?

If you have any questions about the budget, contact the Finance committee. We will also be hosting an open chat a week from today to answer any questions you may have about the OTW's finances. This chat will take place in our public chatroom on Sunday, October 2 from 20:00 - 21:00 UTC (What time is that in my timezone?) Update: Here's the link to our chatroom.

This post will be updated with a chatroom link a few hours before the appointed time. Come chat with us, and bring your questions!

To download the OTW's updated budget for 2016 in spreadsheet format, please follow this link.

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Published:
2016-03-02 15:36:47 -0500
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Banner by Diane with the outlines of a man and woman speaking with word bubbles, one of which has the OTW logo and the other which says 'OTW Announcement'

A lot of work has been done behind the scenes since our last update! Today we bring to you our prospective budget for 2016, as promised. This budget is one of a number of steps we are taking as we continue to work toward a more formal financial setup for the OTW long term, with a particular eye to openness and sustainability.

The budget can be found on the OTW site. It was prepared taking into consideration project needs, committee requests and our regular expenses from past year, and covers all expected expenses necessary to keep the OTW running in 2016. It anticipates fundraising income (including income from drives and other fundraising sources) of US$303,750.00, which is consistent with recent years' income.

This budget also addresses the OTW's need to keep a reserve on hand for emergencies, such as a sudden need to replace a server, or other unexpected costs. To the extent that the OTW may face unexpected expenses during 2016, they will be paid from the OTW's reserve funds. With that in mind, we believe the most prudent course of action is to make sure we are able to raise enough money to cover our annual running costs (expected to be US$303,750 this year) without having to use our reserves, keeping those for emergencies and hardware investments.

With our current funds sitting at about US$436,000 we are in a comfortable position that allows us to prepare for our growing expenses. In the next few months we plan to keep improving our financial set up, including contracting a CPA and rebuilding our Finance Committee, as well as reevaluating our resource allocation and reserves for 2017 as needed.

Follow this link to access the OTW’s budget for 2016.

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