Transitioning to WordPress Community Support

tl;dr: After March 31, sponsorship payments sent to WordPress Foundation accounts will be returned to sender. Please send revised payment instructions to any sponsors who have not yet paid.

Since January, we’ve been working on switching all operations related to official WordPress event organizing to the new subsidiary of the WordPress Foundation, which is a public benefit corporation called WordPress Community Support, PBC (WPCS for short).

(Good background reading: Money, Money, Money, for background about this new financial entity supporting WordPress community events.)

Now that we finally have banking set up (mostly) the way we want it, we’re ready to start using WPCS for everything. This will affect the organizing logistics related to sponsorship, collections, ticketing, vendor contracts (including non-profit discounts), and insurance.

Sponsorship

One of the main advantages to the change from the WordPress Foundation (a non-profit) to the WPCS (a public benefit corporation) is that the rules around sponsoring official WordPress events are much simpler. The people involved in overseeing the program have updated sponsor rules accordingly, to eliminate the barriers to value-adding stuff like direct links, discounts, and calls to action, while keeping the ones that helped us form such a trustworthy, community-focused sponsor program, like the rule about not using superlatives or unprovable claims. A list of the updated sponsor rules for WordCamps can be found in the handbook.

All 2016 sponsors, whether they sent money to the Foundation or WPCS, will be able to follow these less restrictive rules. (If you’re a tax or nonprofit geek and want to know more detail about this, ask in the comments and I’ll explain, but it’s probably not going to be interesting to most people.)

Sponsorship collections

As of today, please use the Sponsor Invoices tool for any new sponsor you need to invoice (if you’re using WPCS as your legal and financial entity). This will ensure that all sponsors receive the most up-to-date payment instructions.

After March 31, we will no longer accept sponsor payments to WordPress Foundation accounts. Any check sent to the WordPress Foundation check address will be returned to sender, and the account we use for wire transfers will be closed. Please over-communicate with sponsors about the changes to our payment instructions! (We’ll also be emailing major WordCamp sponsors with this information directly.)

If you have invoiced a sponsor using the Foundation’s payment info and have not yet received payment, please send revised payment instructions to that sponsor.

Please strongly encourage your sponsors to pay electronically (preferably via ACH or wire transfer) whenever possible. It’s the very fastest way for us to collect and for sponsors to get credited for their support of WordCamp.

Ticket sales

On March 1, we changed the PayPal account that’s connected to CampTix from the account owned by the WordPress Foundation to an account owned by WPCS.

Here’s more information about how that affects refunds for tickets purchased between 1/1/16 and 3/1/16: https://make.wordpress.org/community/2016/03/01/switching-paypal-accounts-for-camptix/

Contracts

One of the few disadvantages to our switch from a non-profit to a corporate entity of the public benefit is that WordCamps and meetup/user groups are no longer eligible for non-profit discounts. (This is a bummer, but we hope that the less-complicated sponsorship rules will balance it out.)

The correct info for any contract related to WordCamp or meetup/user groups on the chapter account is:
WordPress Community Support, PBC
660 4th Street #119
San Francisco CA 94107

Federal Tax ID: 81-0896291

Insurance

WordPress Foundation currently holds a blanket insurance policy that covers all WordCamps in the US and Canada. WordPress Community Support, PBC is being added to that policy as a subsidiary, and we’ll be able to issue certificates with WPCS as the insured party, just like we did with the Foundation last year. All events using the WordPress Foundation name and info on their contract in 2016 will be covered by the blanket policy.

Still awake and reading? You win a gold star!

Thanks for sticking with me this far! If you are organizing a WordCamp and are waiting for payment of sponsorship invoices, please check in with all of your sponsors to make sure they have the correct payment instructions! If you are just getting started organizing your WordCamp, please use the Sponsor Invoices tool to invoice your sponsors! And if you have any questions, please ask them in the comments below! 🙂

#community-management, #wordcamps