Objective

The Finance and Donations Working Group develops processes for handling donations and expenses for the Occupy Austin General Assembly. Finance is not the Fundraising Group, which works on actual development and donor programs.

Finance and Donations Working Group

Email for Finance and Donations Working Group: finance@occupyaustin.org

Occupy Austin Budget (balance sheets) http://occupyaustin.org/budget

National Finance/Accounting Working Group

http://interoccupy.org/category/call/

Occupy Austin Finance Working Group Processes

About these Processes

The goal of these processes is to establish what can, and can not, be expected of Occupy Austin’s Finance Working Group. They will never be “finished” and will always be subject to improvement and revision. Proposed revisions will be brought before the Austin General Assembly (GA) for approval.

Transparency and Accountability

1. All monetary transactions will be witnessed by at least two members of the Finance Working Group (FWG)
2. All monetary transactions will be recorded and verified by at least two members of the FWG.
3. All monetary transactions, and process governing those transactions (this document for example), will be reported to the public via the OccupyAustin.org website. Reports will be made on a regular basis, at a minimum of once per week.
4. All FWG meetings will take place at or nearby the site of Occupy Austin occupation. Any Occupy Austin (OA) participant may observe these meetings.
5. The Austin General Assembly is the ultimate authority on Occupy Austin financial matters. The GA may over-rule the FWG on all matters and will be consulted on all important matters.

Meetings and Membership

1. FWG meetings will take place at least twice per week.
2. Active participation by FWG members is extremely important. We define “active participation” as attending at least 50% of weekly meetings over a two week period. All are welcome to attend and observe FWG meetings, but only active participants will bring forth or vote on proposals.
3. For the sake of transparency, the FWG encourages observation of its meetings and activities by any participant in Occupy Austin.
4. The FWG is responsible for recruiting new members in order to maintain sufficient size for operations.

Expenses

1. Any expense, no matter how small, must be approved by at least two members of the FWG.
2. Any expense over $100 must be approved by the Austin General Assembly.
3. For accountability’s sake every effort will be made to pay for expenses in with checks, which must be signed by two people. In some cases, expenses will be paid in cash.
4. To make cash payments, the FWG will occasionally fund a petty cash bag with up to $200 per day, to be used for both direct expenses and for reimbursements.
5. The FWG must collect a receipt for every expense.
6. The FWG must store receipts in a safety deposit box associated with the Occupy Austin checking account.

Reimbursements

1. The FWG may reimburse any person for goods or services purchased for less than $100. Reimbursements requests for amounts exceeding $100 will be referred to the General Assembly.
2. No reimbursement request may be made to the FWG unless accompanied by a receipt.
3. At least two members of the FWG must approve every reimbursement request.
4. Reimbursement transactions must be recorded as such.
5. If a reimbursement request is denied by the FWG, the requester has the right to bring his request before the General Assembly.

Donations

1. The FWG will be solely responsible for collecting monetary donations.
2. In Kind donations, such as food and supplies, are not the purview of the FWG.
3. All monetary donations to any working group, person or location operating under the name of Occupy Austin must be reported to the FWG within 1 week of collection.
4. Monetary donations for Occupy Austin will be regularly collected by FWG in at least two places: a “donation bucket” that resides at the Occupation, and at the Occupy Austin WePay account. The FWG’s involvement with other fundraising activities are addressed in the “Fundraising & Development” section.
5. Donation Buckets
* The FWG will collect donations on a regular basis from a donation bucket located at the Occupation, such as at the food table and/or the information table.
** This donation bucket will be a lockable or at least secured container, like a piggy bank.
* The FWG will collect donations at the GA at least 3 times per week.
* The FWG will collect, count, record, report, and deposit all donations on a regular basis.
6. Online Donations
* Online donations are to be collected through the Occupy Austin WePay account.
* The FWG will automate the transfer of online donations to the Occupy Austin checking account.

Fundraising & Development

1. To ensure transparency and accountability, the monetary aspect of Occupy Austin fundraising activities will be handled through the FWG.
2. For offline fundraising events, such as rallies, actions, performances, etc., FWG members will collect donations. FWG will not necessarily be responsible for other fundraising activities, such as planning, promoting, and execution.
3. Likewise for Development efforts, FWG will be responsible for the collection of funds, though we encourage development agents to ask that donations be made online.
4. For online fundraising events, FWG’s involvement will consist of ensuring that the proper online account is the recipient of donations. For now, the OA We Pay account is the proper account for all online donations to Occupy Austin.
5. Collection, counting, recording, reporting, and deposits of fundraising and development money will be handled by the FWG.

Bookkeeping and Accounting

1. The FWG will record all OA monetary transactions. For the sake of accountability, all information recorded by the FWG must be reviewed a FWG member other than the person who recorded it.
2. For transparency’s sake, the FWG will report all OA monetary transactions to the OccupyAustin.org website on a regular basis.
3. Web-based software, such as Google Docs, will be used to do book-keeping and reporting.

Resources