Handling surplus funds for WordCamps in India

With the increased number of WordCamps in India (yay!) running a financial surplus (double yay!), we’ve had more people trying to figure out how to handle surplus funds. Sending the money back to the WPCS is generally how we handle these things, but that is costly when we’re talking India –> USA $$ transfers.

My proposal is this: I think if/when an Indian WordCamp closes out their budget and has a surplus, they should send those surplus funds to the next WordCamp on the calendar. At the same time, the organizers should post the final budget on their site, and post how much in surplus funds that they’re sending to which WordCamp. The receiving WordCamp can post on their own site that they’ve received the transfer.

This way, we achieve financial transparency (triple yay!) and help make connections between WordCamp organizers in India. Additionally, organizers won’t have to deal with tax issues that might result in the event showing a surplus.

Why don’t we just start a local entity in India?

Wherever we can, we provide a legal and financial entity for WordCamps to use to handle their money, via WordCamp Community Support, PBC. In some countries, though, it’s difficult to send and receive money to/from the USA. Based on advice from legal and financial counsel, as well as observing changes in policies in other community programs like Wikimedia Foundation, starting a local entity seems to be a bad idea for lots of reasons (maintaining any legal/financial entity takes up valuable volunteer time and the choices around who’s on the board/staff of the entity can facilitate entrenched leadership or community conflict). I think if there’s any way we can ease  money-handling issues for organizers *without* creating new, more difficult issues, we should try. 🙂 So I think we should try this “pass the surplus to the next WordCamp” system before we talk about a local entity/society in India.

Do you have feedback on this proposal? We’d love to hear it! Leave your thoughts in the comments!

#finance