Comment on Different Tropes for Different Folks - October 2015 Drive

  1. Will we see a breakdown of exactly what this money will be used for?

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    1. Hardcore seconding this, actually. I realize I have no idea what servers cost, or whatever, but a budget in excess of a quarter million a year seems like a lot for an all volunteer run org. I'd be VERY interested in seeing a breakdown.

      Last Edited Sat 10 Oct 2015 03:20AM EDT

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    2. I don't think a breakdown of individual expenses is publicly available but you can get a better sense of what contributions are used for by looking at OTW's annual report. Since OTW's year-end is December 31, the financial statements for 2015 probably won't be available until next year. In the meantime, the Income Statement for prior years might be able to help paint a clearer picture since it shows annual contributions and expenses broken down into categories. The qualitative parts of the reports should also be considered since prior year numbers aren't always the best indicators of the future. To echo the above comment, a budget for fiscal 2015 would be even more useful in terms of making an informed decision.

      Here's the 2014 report if anyone's interested: http://transformativeworks.org/annual-report-2014-0

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      1. Thank you for posting that. I found it really informative and interesting. Such a comprehensive and well run fan archive. I paid for Premium Services back when fanfiction.net was charging for statistics and such, so of course I'll contribute to help keep this place ad-free and running so well.

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      2. I knew financial statements wouldn't be available yet but I was curious if they had some kind of budget prepared. Thanks for the link - it hadn't even occurred to me to look at the annual report.

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    3. OTW DevMem - C. Ryan Smith

      Hello risingbird!

      I'm posting this on behalf of the Treasurer, MJ MacRae.

      "The Board of Directors is in the process of finalizing the 2016 budget right now, and we hope to put up a public version on transformativeworks.org when we do get a final draft. Most of whats in the budget isn't exactly fun. (Fun is free, but servers aren't!) The Archive grows at an awesome pace which requires adding new servers and that raises our operating costs. On the AO3 News tumblr there is an estimate that the chair of one of our committees made about the archive's operating costs this year. Additionally, several of the servers we bought in 2009 are approaching the end of their useful lives and will be replaced next year. Other things include ticketing software for our Support team who deal respond to bugs with the Archive; covering costs so our Legal team can keep working to make sure transformative works do not violate US copyright law; and we hope to get a merchandising store running in the new year so you can buy an AO3 t-shirt or a Fanlore.org mug.

      I hope that answered your question. If you have any follow up questions, or anything else that you would like to ask please let me know!

      Best,

      MJ MacRae
      Treasurer, OTW Board of Directors"

      Echoing her sentiment, if you have any further questions, please let us know! Also, the AO3 News tumblr post that MJ was referencing can be found here. It covers the year to date and projected expenses for AO3 alone; it doesn't take into account costs like tool access, miscellaneous server costs, and other such things. As Melodica said below, you'll be able to find a break down of that in the 2015 Annual Report.

      C. Ryan Smith
      OTW Development & Membership Committee

      Last Edited Wed 07 Oct 2015 11:54PM EDT

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      1. This is very helpful, thank you!

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      2. Having looked at the 2014 statements linked above, I have some follow up questions:

        A) There are fundraising goals of $175k. How are these figures set, if there is no budget? Your comment mentions a 2016 budget being finalised, but where is the 2015 budget? Or the 2014 budget? Either you have a budget showing your total budgeted expenditure, which you have used to formulate your fundraising goals, or you are pulling figures from thin air.

        B) "We made important strides at the retreat towards drafting a three-year strategic plan for the OTW," Since this was from the 2014 report, and it is now October 2015, is this plan finalised and visible anywhere?

        C) Based on those statements there is over *$300,000* in Paypal and a CHECKING account. Paypal is known for sometimes freezing accounts, with difficulty getting things sorted, is it a good idea to leave money sitting there? Also, in my country checking accounts provide no interest whatsoever. Are you really leaving $278k in an account gathering no interest whilst charging bank fees?

        D) "Concentration of Credit Risk: The OTW maintains its cash balances at one bank. Accounts at the bank are insured by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000." In relation to point (c) above, this worries me, if it means what I think it means, seeing as OTW has *over* 250k in the one bank.

        E) If you have that much money sitting there, I don't see how you can justify asking for another 175k, without providing proof of exactly where this money is going to be spent in form of a budget. This is basic business/organization/accounting process - I don't understand how this organisation has been running for so many years without one. If there is one PLEASE provide some of link. Unless, that Tumblr link of projected AO3 expenses is supposed to be the budget? But it looks more like the actual expense spent this year already? In which case, having the 2015 budget to compare it to so we could how they are lining up this far through the year would be helpful

        F) Speaking of, you linked Tumblr for a projected expense pie graph, the website got linked for the financial statements - surely this should all be in one central location, so it is easy to find? It is very hard to claim to be transparent if nobody can find anything.

        And finally for several years I was under the impression from those donor banner that all money donated went only to AO3, because I had no understanding of what OTW is. I feel linking to 'AO3 Projected Expense' falsely gives people the impression that 100% of the money donated will go towards A03 expenses, when there is no guarantee of that. Have you considered that some people might prefer to only donate to support AO3, but have no interest in the rest of the OTW? Or that the banners might give a false impression of what people are donating to?

        Thanks.

        ( Oh "Also, the AO3 News tumblr post that MJ was referencing can be found here. It covers the year to date and projected expenses for AO3 alone; it doesn't take into account costs like tool access, miscellaneous server costs, and other such things. As Melodica said below, you'll be able to find a break down of that in the 2015 Annual Report." - Unless I'm crazy the Annual Report didn't show a breakdown of expenses into AO3 v non-AO3 which your sentence here seemed to imply?)

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        1. I love you for asking these questions. However, I am sad (yet not the least surprised) that we're yet to see any answers.

          Hey, OTW: I'm not giving you a single dime (and neither should anyone else) until you get your shit together. You would not need to upgrade your servers so frequently if you would use that money on a good sysadmin and professional coders who could make your spaghetti code a bit better.

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          1. Actually, 6 years is pretty good for servers, especially database servers. At the IT company where I worked we recently replaced one of our databases (approximately the same age) because the hardware was failing and it was no longer possible to get replacement parts without turning to secondhand markets or cannibalizing parts from other environments. In addition, vendor support typically ends around 5 to 6 years (and this was a large vendor, not some small shop).

            Perhaps maybe you could make your point without insulting the staff that runs this website?

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        2. Hi onlyforreading,

          We have a two part comment here for you from our Treasurer in response to your post. (It is two parts because of length. 4300 character limit on posts! :) ) We hope it will address your concerns.

          Thank you,

          Dan Lamson
          Development and Membership, Co-Chair

          ---

           

          Dear Onlyforreading:

          Thank you for your detailed comment and questions. I apologize for any delay in my reply. Please understand that fully answering your questions takes time, particularly given the fact that like everyone else at the OTW, I am a volunteer, and we are distributed across multiple timezones and continents.

          Also, before I respond to the questions themselves, I want to mention that I have held my position for less than a month, and a few weeks ago I had no idea that I would be Treasurer for this drive! It is an honor and a privilege to serve the OTW and fans in this capacity, but I want to make sure you understand the context of my answers.

          As for your first question, our goal for this drive is based on several things.

          First, the Board of Directors worked with the Development & Membership committee to set the goal for this fundraising drive based on results of past drives and our anticipated needs for the remainder of this year and beyond. To determine our anticipated needs, we took into consideration the rapid growth of the Archive and our other projects, and produced a draft budget, which--even without a finalized budget--can give us a very good idea of our costs for next year.

          We know that even if the use of the Archive holds steady (and the history of the Archive shows that that is highly unlikely), we will need to replace several of our servers because they are approaching the end of their lifespans. It is simply irresponsible not to plan to remove them before they fail, as I am sure our incredible Systems committee can discuss at length. In fact, these aging servers have been a contributing factor in some of the recent Archive downtimes. Likewise, our Systems committee anticipates that if the growth of the Archive continues at the current pace, we will need additional servers next year. Those estimates are all in the pending 2016 budget.

          Similarly, our other projects also continue to grow. To take one example, we are in the process of rebuilding transformativeworks.org to fix some persistent problems that has been ongoing. Again, the costs associated with revamping the website are in the pending budget.

          In short, the goal for this drive is based on our estimated costs for the coming year. I can’t speak to the 2014 or 2015 budgets since those both predate my time as treasurer. I can promise you that I am committed to instituting a sustainable budgeting process that means that the organization will have a final budget going into future drives. When I became Treasurer no work had been done to create a 2016 proposed budget. Preparing a budget for an organization with five hundred volunteers, twenty-five committees, and multiple projects takes a lot of work, and at this point the Board of Directors has reviewed the proposed budget, but not yet approved a final version.

          As soon as we finalize the 2016 budget we will release a public version on our website.We are aware that parts of the current design of the OTW’s website make it hard find information on it. We do have plans to to improve the OTW’s website to make it easier to find some of the most commonly sought information that we already share there. You can also follow @OTW_News on Twitter for updates on the organization.

          I will answer the remaining questions in a second comment.

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          1. OK.

            I am just going to be REALLY FUCKING BLUNT.

            The OTW appears to be operating with gross fiscal irresponsibility.

            Before anyone girds their loins to swing up onto their high horse and wail about time zones, volunteering, limited time, strapped resources, differing agendas, blah blah blah, I'm going to stop you right here and say: I created and balanced an over 30 million dollar annual Networking Services budget for a finance corporation. I did this personally, and from scratch. I have never had so much as an accounting class.

            It took me fewer than twenty hours a week, and believe me when I say I spent a lot of time web-surfing, novel-reading, mental fic plotting, and nail filing.

            Never in all my years of high finance have I heard of a not-for-profit running so much money with so little responsibility. This shit is NOT THAT HARD. To the entire OTW Board: You should be ashamed of yourselves, all of you.

            Do everyone in your organization a favor and request a bid from five accounting firms to set your house in order. Forget about this supposed irresponsibility of not fundraising for future servers (!!!), pick up the phone and find someone to figure out where the hell your money came from, how it was spent, and why. FFS, people. PAYPAL. You're running your org through PAYPAL.

            This is like the time I discovered your OTW secretary had not heard of Roberts Rules, did not understand quorum, and appeared to believe that secretary meant the person who took notes. This is embarrassing, folks.

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            1. a very happy squid saying "hello!".

              This is like the time I discovered your OTW secretary had not heard of Roberts Rules, did not understand quorum, and appeared to believe that secretary meant the person who took notes.

              WOW wow wow REALLY????

              Last Edited Sat 10 Oct 2015 10:16AM EDT

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              1. Sadly, yes. I was like O.o for days. IIRC, Synedochic tried to help them out, but didn't get anywhere. It was just-- IDEK, man.

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        3. Your remaining questions are easier to answer.

          The Board of Directors approved the strategic plan last week, as well as an implementation plan for it. Since October 2014, the Strategic Planning committee has solicited multiple rounds of feedback and revised the draft plan accordingly, until it submitted the final draft to the Board of Directors last week, which we approved. The result is a strategic plan that is stronger and better fits the organization, which couldn’t have happened without the thoughtful and thorough feedback that committees, staffers, and volunteers provided during the last year. The plan will be released to the public shortly, and we will begin implementing it on January 1, 2016.

          Moving on to your third point. First, I can’t speak in detail about the organization’s banking practices and internal procedures because those must remain confidential in order to safeguard the organization. That said, the Board of Directors is in the process of evaluating and revising the organization’s practices and policies to maximize returns, minimize risks, and ensure we have the liquidity to address unexpected issues.

          Your next question builds directly on this. To clarify, the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) only insures up to $250,000 USD for each corporation no matter how many bank accounts or banks the corporation uses. (The OTW is incorporated in the state of Delaware, and therefore it is a type of corporation according to U.S. law and FDIC regulations.) This is different from accounts owned by an individual. Likewise, forming additional corporations solely to increase deposit insurance does not work. The FDIC’s website explains all of this in more depth.

          I understand your concern, and I can assure you that the Board of Directors is aware of U.S. corporate law and banking regulations as part of our fiduciary duty to the organization. As I said above, we are committed to evaluating and modifying the organization's financial practices to better support the OTW’s continued growth. As part of that process we are working with lawyers, certified public accountants, and other experts who understand the technicalities of banking regulations, U.S. law, investment structures, and best practices for non-profits as related to all of the above.

          As for your final two points, I believe that I have answered them above already. If I have not, I apologize, and please contact me with any specific concerns that I have not addressed.

          We appreciate your interest in the OTW and the work we do, and we look forward to sharing our 2016 and all future budgets with you.

          Best,

          MJ MacRae
          Treasurer, OTW Board of Directors

          Last Edited Thu 08 Oct 2015 07:34PM EDT

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          1. Hi -

            Just wondering about this:

            First, I can’t speak in detail about the organization’s banking practices and internal procedures because those must remain confidential in order to safeguard the organization. That said, the Board of Directors is in the process of evaluating and revising the organization’s practices and policies to maximize returns, minimize risks, and ensure we have the liquidity to address unexpected issues.

            What does 'in order to safeguard the organization' mean in this context? I've primarily encountered financial statements of for-profit US corporations, and it's my understanding that the OTW is registered as a nonprofit, and thus is regulated differently and carries different responsibilities towards concerned parties. But even publicly traded companies have to disclose their financial status, albeit with a cultural assumption of a considerable level of careful accounting that might help hide losses. But the OTW is both a nonprofit and an organization that carefully caters to fandom as a community, so I'm curious about what safeguarding is necessary. If someone was asking for your Bank of America password or whatever, sure, but I don't think it's unreasonable to ask about details pertaining to money management. A non-profit with 240k in a checking account should, I think, reasonably be expected to account for running a loss on their own deposit - was it an informed decision not to move that money to somewhere that could earn interest? If it wasn't an informed decision - if your previous treasurer was unaware that different types of bank accounts give an individual or organization different returns, and a checking account carries fees specifically because a higher level of activity is expected by the bank, and thus the charge for use is higher - then why did you have a treasurer who was ignorant of the basics of banking?

            I'm uncomfortable with the way you, as a representative for the OTW, are abstracting questions to obfuscate organizational responsibility and accountability. I volunteered with the local health department as a teenager, and I had to obey HIPAA then. Volunteering, while a great thing to do, isn't really a pass on basic responsibility. I think it is very important that the OTW acknowledge the responsibility assets of $250-300k carry. It concerns me, both as someone who donates money to various organizations and as an AO3 user, that an OTW representative isn't recognizing that.

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            1. scribe

              I'm commenting here to add my voice to Imp's and onlyforreading.

              Let me begin by saying that, outside of work and my e-mail, AO3 is my most used website by far.

              I would be happy to donate a considerable amount of money to keep it running, and running well.

              MJ and Dan, your concern for the OTW and its members, and your commitment, are palpable. This is not in doubt.

              However, I think what we are saying here is: your accountability is not sufficient. This has nothing to do with intentions, or with objectives, or with commitment. Ultimately, it has to do with bureaucracy and paperwork.

              You are volunteer-run, led, and operated, and producing paperwork and fulfilling bureaucratic responsibilities is almost impossible to do when you are depending on people's goodwill. However, you are also an organisation that now has assets in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and is currently asking people for almost two hundred thousand more. Guys: this is the big time. And it's time to use some of that money to hire professionals who can support you in fulfilling your responsibilities as a fully transparent, accountable, well funded organisation.

              I spent five years working in the world's largest non-profit organisation. That makes me extremely well qualified to say: you aren't always able to account for every penny spent in what I would call 'best use of money' terms. In my organisation sometimes we weren't able to 'best-use-account' for hundreds of thousands of dollars, apart from saying things like "we spent it on important travel". People weren't stealing; there wasn't corruption. They were travelling. We could have, most likely, made better choices about how we spent that money, but ultimately we spent it flying people to things. That was our (in my opinion, bad) choice. It may not have been 'best use of money', but if you asked us, "Where's the piece of paper detailing the exact cost of each flight, the name of the person who flew, the details of the conference they attended, and the contribution they made there?" you can be damn sure we were able to produce that piece of paper. Those types of pieces of paper, in their fully formalised, systematised form, are essential to maintaining credibility and, for most organisations, necessary to convince people to fund you. That many fans donate to the OTW without asking these questions, because they enjoy the AO3, is not a reason to forgo the proper tools and products of accountability, and not having these as part of your regular operations is detrimental to your credibility and your long-term sustainability.

              Most importantly, I promise you that these pieces of paper are absolutely fucking crucial to ensuring people don't do things like steal or misdirect money, and to keep control of your budget and your operations, and ultimately to be able to say in good faith that you are a credible entity to which people can direct funds without concerns.

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            2. (9 more comments in this thread)

          2. Hello, thank you for your answer. I can appreciate if you are very new to the Treasurer role, that you are still finding your feet.

            However, it concerns me that there is still no linkable budget for 2015. Based on what I have read, OTW has a Board. The Board should be signing off the annual budget and reports. Yes, a Treasurer might prepare them, but the Board is responsible for signing off on those figures, and being the final stop guard to going 'heeeey, wait a second, we're spending HOW much?'.

            For a organisation sitting on 300k, to not be able to produce any sort of budget for either this year or any prior years, makes me significantly concerned about what exactly the Board has doing. It is ultimately the Board's responsibility as to what happens to the money. How can any future decisions be made (actually how have any current decisions been made) without a budget? My high school trip to Japan organized by two 17 year olds had a budget, because without it, *we did not know how much to fundraise*.

            And I can appreciate that you have said a budget is being prepared, but it is under review by the Board - the same Board that doesn't seem to have been fazed about not having any sort of budget for the last few years. The same Board that for at least two years, doesn't seem to have been fazed about hundreds of thousands of dollars sitting in a checking account. This worries me.

            You said you couldn't comment on 2014/2015 budgets as the (very) new Treasurer, having not been in that role at the time, which I can understand, but surely this is where a Board member who has been around longer should step in and provide some more answers, as they should have the missing knowledge?

            It's very late here, so I might be missing it, but I think i had one point in my original comment that wasn't addressed, and that was about the spending breakdown. The comment I replied to seem to indicate that the financials provided a breakdown of AO3 spending vs OTW (other) spending, but I can't see that breakdown. I didn't label my final paragraph as a point per se, so I have copied and pasted it below:

            "And finally for several years I was under the impression from those donor banner that all money donated went only to AO3, because I had no understanding of what OTW is. I feel linking to 'AO3 Projected Expense' falsely gives people the impression that 100% of the money donated will go towards A03 expenses, when there is no guarantee of that. Have you considered that some people might prefer to only donate to support AO3, but have no interest in the rest of the OTW? Or that the banners might give a false impression of what people are donating to?

            ( Oh "Also, the AO3 News tumblr post that MJ was referencing can be found here. It covers the year to date and projected expenses for AO3 alone; it doesn't take into account costs like tool access, miscellaneous server costs, and other such things. As Melodica said below, you'll be able to find a break down of that in the 2015 Annual Report." - Unless I'm crazy the Annual Report didn't show a breakdown of expenses into AO3 v non-AO3 which your sentence here seemed to imply?)"

            Thank you for your time.

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          3. I appreciate that you weren't the treasurer when the previous annual reports and financial statements were reproduced but looking at these does raise questions. Besides the above mentioned regarding the lack of interest on a large cash balance (in fact, the otw earned more interest on a lower cash balance in 2013 that on higher balances in 2014 for some reason?), can you explain your depreciation policy?

            I notice that you aren't actually depreciating your machinery/equipment asset pool but are in fact adding value to it? This figure ($3,791.68) hasn't changed since Dec 31 2012 - can you explain what this is? I'm assuming the majority of this asset pool is servers and the equipment/machinery assets have increased by over $75k. Are you not depreciating new servers? As someone said above, even a 6 year life is optimistic for servers and generally it's recommended to assume 4/5 years. Even assuming you bought all the new assets that came in in 2014 on the 30th December 2014, should you not be depreciating the 2013 capital increase? That's almost $25k that should be depreciating at 20% to 25%. I'm qualified in the UK but I can't imagine accounting rules regarding the depreciation of assets are wildly different in the U.S.

            I notice you're also not depreciating the other long term asset pool.

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            1. >I'm assuming the majority of this asset pool is servers and the equipment/machinery assets have increased by over $75k. Are you not depreciating new servers?

              I'll second that concern. Admittedly, I'm qualified in Australia and I had to remind myself of US GAAP guidelines through a quick google search, but I'm fairly sure that the same fixed asset standards apply regarding not-for-profit entities so assets should be depreciated. Admittedly, there doesn't seem to be a required standard that the balance sheet states the accumulated depreciation amount (so possibly net asset value has been stated on the 2014 reports) but I am concerned about the state of the asset register.

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              1. >so possibly net asset value has been stated...

                That's what I assumed as well but then they're showing the negative depreciation separately. I'm not sure how you'd add value to a server but admittedly I know nothing about servers. Would be good to understand that gain at least.

                I'm guessing that because depreciation is tax deductible and the OTW obviously doesn't have tax calculations to prepaprethat the balance sheet doesn't show it separately but to be honest I would still expect it shown separately in external statements for transparency's sake.

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          4. goldfish

            >To clarify, the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) only insures up to $250,000 USD for each corporation no matter how many bank accounts or banks the corporation uses. (emphasis mine)

             

            This is not correct. FDIC insurance insures against bank failures. From an insurer's point of view, they would LIKE you to spread out your risk -- so the cap is per organization per bank.

            I really respect people at the OTW who've devoted so much time and energy to establishing and running AO3 and the other projects. But it does sound like it has gotten large and complex enough to need more formal budgeting and auditing, so I'm hoping the comment about the BoD evaluating banking practices is a good first step.

            - - -

            Cutting and pasting from the FDIC website:

            https://www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/brochures/your_insured_deposits-english.html#CP

            Corporation/Partnership/Unincorporated Association Accounts

            Deposits owned by corporations, partnerships, and unincorporated associations, including for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, are insured under the same ownership category. Such deposits are insured separately from the personal deposits of the organization's owners, stockholders, partners or members.

            Unincorporated associations typically insured under this category include churches and other religious organizations, community and civic organizations and social clubs.

            To qualify for insurance coverage under this ownership category, a corporation, partnership or unincorporated association must be engaged in an "independent activity," meaning that the entity is operated primarily for some purpose other than to increase deposit insurance coverage.

            All deposits owned by a corporation, partnership, or unincorporated association at the same bank are combined and insured up to $250,000.

            Accounts owned by the same corporation, partnership, or unincorporated association but designated for different purposes are not separately insured.

            For example: If a corporation has both an operating account and a reserve account at the same bank, the FDIC would add both accounts together and insure the deposits up to $250,000. Similarly, if a corporation has divisions or units that are not separately incorporated, the FDIC would combine the deposit accounts of those divisions or units with any other deposit accounts of the corporation at the bank and the total would be insured up to $250,000.
            The number of partners, members, stockholders or account signatories established by a corporation, partnership or unincorporated association does not affect insurance coverage.

            For example: The FDIC insures deposits owned by a homeowners' association at one insured bank up to $250,000 in total, not $250,000 for each member of the association.

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        4. Stained glass wood.

          I can only echo others in support of these questions. I work in an educational institution which takes donations on a different model to this, usually - but the idea we would even go to our small, mass donors asking them to support our operational costs without a finalised budget is absolutely ludicrous. The organisation is asking for open donations, which is fine, but without an agreed budget this is basically a request for people to throw money at the organisation on faith that it will be spent appropriately. What makes this target a target? If this is for six months, what happens if the drive goes over its goal? How will the extra money be used? Will the drive set the budget for the next six months, or will any difference be made up by/go into reserves? If there are such extensive reserves as others have said, what justifies this marketing push that without donations the AO3 might cease to exist?

          I have no financial expertise, and only want to respond as an AO3 user who received this message via email (with no other information). Others clearly have not agreed, but I find it quite tacky for the organisation to be raising this level of cash on the back of fans' inexperience and/or goodwill. Maybe fans are lucky to have this place (although, as I recall, we muddled by without it). At the same time, the organisation is exceptionally lucky to have donors who have this level of trust that their money will be looked after, not least when there are reports suggesting that money people have donated in the past has been mismanaged, ie. put in accounts which earn negligible interest, and that a reasonable chunk of this money will therefore be covering for funds that the organisation should have had as income. More than encourage new donors, it must be a matter of respect to those current donors to get the organisation's finances sorted out.

          Last Edited Sat 10 Oct 2015 09:48AM EDT

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      3. Hi,

        I have a few questions based on looking at 2014's annual report. Some of them repeat questions others have asked, but as I have yet to see an answer, I'll repeat them. Maybe if enough of us ask, we'll get answers?

        1) With year-end assets of $302,655.08, and interest of $18.18, these funds are clearly being held in the wrong type of account. Even an utterly pathetic interest rate of .05 on the end-of-2013 balance would have returned over $8,000. Are there plans in place to move the funds into a genuinely interest-raising account?

        2) There is a cost of $16,884.77 listed for fundraising, but the report mentions no fundraising activities beyond the April and October drives in which the work was done by Translation and Communications. Aren't these two groups volunteers? If so, how was the money spent? Were there other fundraisers not mentioned in the report?

        3) $18,000 spent on travel is a significant amount, yet the report gives no mention as to the purpose or outcome of this travel beyond a brief mention of conferences. Was all of this money spent on conference attendance? How many conferences, attended by how many people, and what were the goals results?

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        1. Not associated with the OTW in any way, but I've basically spent the last two days reading everything I could find on their website in the news and board sections - which are a mess and incredibly annoying to get to btw - and I can answer your third question.

          It would appear that the 18k was spent on bringing the board and to a face to face "retreat" in Maryland last October. Information about it can be found here and the minutes for each day are here, here, and here. From what I've gathered from skuttlebut and other org newsletters, the vast majority of the items discussed at this meeting had to be tabled.

          Apparently they finished up the Board Retreat for 2015 earlier this month in Vancouver.

          edited to correct Canadian cities. :P

          Last Edited Sat 10 Oct 2015 04:15AM EDT

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