User:Econterms/Treasurer duties and updates

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I was the treasurer of this chapter starting as of the February 2013 chapter board meeting and I kept some notes here on how to do that. THEY ARE NOT UP TO DATE since I ceased being treasurer, but I keep them for reference.

  • Each month I'm to send a report to the board on the chapter's cash position, and a report from the Fundraising committee, and a report from our Grants-giving committee (which no longer exists). The summary becomes public after Board approval, which is routine each month.
  • As chair of grant cmte I shall give feedback on grant applications to the president, then for approved grants I'm to work out with the applicant how and when the money is transferred (see, Articles IV and V).
  • Our cash position is stable and improving. We can host routine events and we have an important grant application in to the Wikimedia Foundation; with that we can hold a big event too. Members are joining at a good clip, and we need more.
  • Accounting standards: We're to follow GAAP.
  • Note of interest: It is conceivable that Wiki DC could get a federal contract ; e.g. for a Wikimedian in residence or a NARA project. These are longshots.

Revenue issues

Finance tech issues

  • Our treasury numbers were in GNUcash through Sept 30 2013, and since then are on QuickBooks online.
  • Wikimedia Australia keeps their financial numbers online at Online has the advantage I guess that several of them can access the info, at least with read-only access. Cost maybe $360/year -- note they have much more revenue than WM DC does. For more, talk to treasurer John Vandenburg or previous treasurer now president Charles Franklin. Thanks for Charles Gregory, with whom I spoke at Wikimania 2013.


  • We've arranged with WMF to extend the period of our Outreach grant from them to end of Dec 2013 so it covers period of Wiki-Loves-Monuments. It had only covered up to Sept 2013.
  • plan for filing for FY2014 grant? possible expenses: SSL, business cards, handouts and goodies from WMF.
  • I met with several of the grant-givers and WMF staff for the first time at Wikimania and at the Foundation HQ in SF, which helps build relations. They emphatically want to support us and have money to do it.
  • reclassified bank account so we no longer owe a monthly fee for the small account. also have permission from WMF grants coordinator to move money between accounts if needed for this purpose in the future..
  • Our chapter's articles of incorporation have an updated statement of specific purposes as of Sept 2013, rephrased to match IRS requirements for tax-exempt charities:
  • Dec 2013: new Fiscal control policy, mainly describing what treasurer should do.
  • Re New England Wikimedians: Grant:Cape Cod Wiknic and Photography Bonanza travel reimbursements. Trip is to Barnstable County, Mass.. The photo event was definitively cancelled ; see the last edits here: w:Wikipedia:Meetup/Boston/Cape_Cod_Wiknic_and_Photography_Blitz

"The Corporation is organized exclusively for certain charitable, educational, and scientific purposes, said purposes being the advancement of general knowledge and the collection, development, and dissemination of educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code."

May 2014 reports

Treasurer's report for May 3, 2014 board meeting:

The WMF is in the process of saying yes to our big Wikipedia Summer of Monuments 2014 grant request which will notably fund a project manager. James Hare is finalizing details with them.

I approve Kirill's draft of the Form 1023 submission to the IRS, with thanks, and minor comments and questions to him.

We've had two large expenses since our last meeting, for refreshments at the Women in the Arts editathon, and for the Open Government Hackathon, totalling over $1100. Other events on our calendar had outside funding or no funding. In this month we also paid rent at two offices, as we transition from OSI to Cove. OSI charged extra for our last month there, which looked fine to me, assuming our business there is closed out now. Event spending is much larger than rent.

The WikiConference USA finance issues are not yet in my bailiwick but it is coming up soon. Discussions are underway about our chapter maintaining accounts for Wikimedians in New England and the GLAM Consortium. These look to be constructive steps, and not very burdensome. We may support a New England photo expedition by paying in advance to the organizer, which would be a new procedure financially speaking, but is fine with me as long as board members support it.

As of today's board meeting, Wikimedia DC has $13170 in liquid assets plus small amounts in equipment assets and prepaid expenses.

Report from public policy committee:

Members of the public policy meeting had a training meeting for congressional briefings. Jim Hayes was in charge and I thank him. We prepared for briefings with three congressional staff members on May 5. Expenses including donations for this are minimal; we follow this principle to maintain the chapter's tax-charity status.

We have drafted the comments to the copyright office on orphan works. I thank John Sadowski for mastering the issues and writing and editing. We requested comments from some Wikimedians and have more to follow up with. Our comments must be submitted by May 14; let's finalize around the 10th. This will be the first official statement or publication by the chapter drafted by our committee and I am proud of it.

We attended part of the Supreme Court case on software patents, the Alice vs. CLS Bank case on March 31. We were in line at 6am and even so were not early enough in line to see the whole thing. It seems that patent attorneys really wanted to see it --- their matters do not usually go to the Supreme Court. I had thought there would be programmers in line but did not find any. A full transcript of the oral arguments has been published. Some notes on our experience are on the event page about it. We can return to the Court in the future, if and when it seems worthwhile.

Members of the public policy committee have submitted presentations on congressional briefings and on patents for consideration for the upcoming WikiConference USA and Wikimania 2014 and plan one for WikiSym. These would not be official statements of the chapter.

Wikimedia DC physical property

  • We have had computer hardware donated to us and bought some too -- e.g. scanners, hard drives, and WiFi/mobile-hotspot equipment. These have money value which I track and apply straight-line depreciation at 20% per year. I know where most of it is or can find a board member who does. Contact me if needed.
  • Wikimedia DC has posterboards (below) of our lovely photo winners from Wiki Loves Monuments contest in 2012. These are on loan to member Yi-Fun for the moment. We can display them at an event, with a bit of planning. The cardboard at the corners protects them when they are moved around, and can be removed and stored separately. Each is about 18" high by 30" across. They are slightly different sizes.

WLMwinners2012onposterboard1.jpg WLMwinners2012onposterboard2.jpg