#33 closed task (wontfix)

Alternate finance plan

Reported by: ejs Owned by: ejs
Priority: major Milestone: AGM 2018
Component: misc Keywords:

Description (last modified by ejs)

We should never decide to not buy something purely because the current membership fees don't cover it if the members are willing to pay more. We should also manage our surplus, limit the number of changes, and keep the financial decisions clear and simple.


The budget should be agreed at the AGM after discussing what we want to spend money on and any effects this would have on the fees.

We need to be able to handle fees that could change either price or volume we need to buy between budgets. These items will be budgeted some surplus, probably the same proportion for all relevant expenses. This would be used to cover any variations after a fairly simple check by the board/treasurer that they're reasonable and won't cause problems. Any changes beyond that would require an EGM to rebudget.

This surplus shouldn't build over years, particularly as new members will also be adding to this until their first budget. Instead it can be put towards paying for next years budget, and for similar budgets we can targets that will also keep the predicted total surplus similar.

Membership Fees

The costs should be born evenly by the members, only change with the budget, and be rounded to reasonable numbers. Ideally they will match the previous years fees.

Members can decide pay annually or monthly. Any international payments will also need to cover all their transactions fees.

Total payments by each member since the previous budget should be checked when setting these fees. Any needed corrections are to be made at that point, or by arrangement with the treasurer or board.

New Members

We currently offer new members a 50% discount. This covers three things:

  • an incentive to join
  • recognition that they haven't had a say in the current budget
  • recognition that their fees until the next budget are probably just creating additional surplus.

There are two ways we could continue this pattern, based off either calendar or budgeting cycles.


a new member pays half rate for the 12 months after they join. This provides a mostly predictable discount for the member while adding complexity to budgeting, and requiring an additional change in payments which will need tracking and checking.


a new member pays half until an AGM where they're able to have a relevant say, presumably after some months. This limits complexity of budgeting and accounting but means the length of the discount both varies and is slightly unpredictable

Given this setup we'd have the option to allow concessionary members to pay the new member fees for a year given agreement at the AGM.

Attachments (1)

DarkPeakFunding.ods (18.5 KB) - added by ejs 17 months ago.
clearer version

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Change History (15)

comment:1 Changed 18 months ago by ejs

Description: modified (diff)

comment:2 Changed 18 months ago by ejs

Milestone: The Hand Wavy Future

comment:3 Changed 18 months ago by ejs

This could have useful side effects:

We want as much accurate expenses data available for the AGM as possible so we can get the best prediction of the next years costs. Something like one month before the AGM at attempting to avoid any non-monthly expenses happening in that period.

If we shift the AGM back to early Dec that means we'd have a reason to have fully gathered, and processed, almost all our financial year's expenses by then making completing our annual accounts in July trivial and avoid having to do basically the same work twice (once with invoices, once without).

comment:4 Changed 17 months ago by ejs

this make annual payments for new members a bit awkward. It could be worth saying they pay half for 12 months, and their membership fee at their first AGM is adjust around that and what they've already paid.

comment:5 Changed 17 months ago by ejs

We may also want to think about:

  • What happens with annual payments if it's not roughly 12 months between AGMs. The answer may be "don't do that"
  • Annual payments made regularly (every 1st Jan) rather than every AGM
Last edited 17 months ago by ejs (previous) (diff)

comment:6 Changed 17 months ago by ejs

Some ideas to help keep things simple:

The new member period extends until the first AGM more than X months after they join. This keeps planning within a year clear and recognizes that if you join close to the AGM you may not understand enough to have a solid opinion on the budget.

Setting new fees includes checking payments of the previous fees and correcting adjusting the members payments if they've over/under paid. This is to cover things like missed payments and mismatch between monthly/annual payments if the AGMs aren't roughly 12 months apart.

Last edited 17 months ago by ejs (previous) (diff)

comment:7 Changed 17 months ago by ejs

Owner: changed from somebody to ejs
Status: newassigned

comment:8 Changed 17 months ago by ejs

Milestone: The Hand Wavy FutureAGM

comment:9 Changed 17 months ago by ejs

Milestone: AGMAGM 2018

Milestone renamed

comment:10 Changed 17 months ago by ejs

Description: modified (diff)

comment:11 Changed 17 months ago by ejs

Description: modified (diff)

Changed 17 months ago by ejs

Attachment: DarkPeakFunding.ods added

clearer version

comment:12 Changed 16 months ago by ejs

Personal preference:

  • Aim for 6 months surplus for all relevant costs
  • Pay Unity Trust for a company credit card to simplify invoicing (£3/month)
  • Pay for more backups for each server (£2/server/month)
  • Support ORG (£200/year)
  • Buy email hosting from Web Architects (https://www.webarchitects.coop/email £78/year for 10GB (1 per member))

Which will currently involve us spending £167 from our £642 over the next year if we keep member dues at £10/month.

Last edited 16 months ago by ejs (previous) (diff)

comment:13 Changed 12 months ago by ejs

Resolution: wontfix
Status: assignedresolved

comment:14 Changed 12 months ago by neil

Status: resolvedclosed
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