Fiscal Sponsorship Setup
These are the basic steps a fiscal sponsorship project must take in order for the PSF to collect donations to a restricted account and reimburse receipted expenses from that restricted account.
Please note that after this is setup, at least one budget review with the PSF board will be scheduled for the project.
If the PSF is willing to expend the resources to collect donations/sponsorships for the project, get a resolution passed, following a standard format:
RESOLVED, that the PSF provide fiscal sponsorship for the "direct project" <project name>. The PSF will collect targeted donations and reimburse properly receipted expenses on their behalf up to the level of the donations made to this project. This project must not represent that they are independent legal entities
2 Donation Page
A donation webpage will be then set up on psfmember.org, which is running CiviCRM, a FOSS web application designed to support non-profit organizations. For this task, we are using the CiviContribute component. This page can also be used to process conference sponsorships.
The project's own webpage or wiki will provide one or more links to the project's customized CiviCRM/CiviContribute donation webpage.
There are two tasks involved in setting up the donation system: CiviContribute form text customization, and integration with the PSF donation processing system.
Customization involves filling out a set of CiviContribute forms that guide the donor through the process. During the process, the donor will be re-directed to PayPal for payment. Payment can be made using a PayPal account or a credit card. At the end of the process, an acknowledgement email is sent to the donor, with a copy to one of the PSF's lists, firstname.lastname@example.org , and a copy to one or more leaders of the project.
The donation page is customized by changing its webpage text and the contents of the acknowledgement email. These must be set up by the PSF's Treasurer based on input from the project.
There are two CiviContribute sections that have to be customized. On the "Title and Settings" page, there is a paragraph describing the project. Example:
pyArkansas is the only organized user group in the State of Arkansas dedicated to the Python programming language. We have been together since 2008 and run an annual conference in Conway, also by the name of pyArkansas. As a group, our focus is to promote the use of Python and help provide educational experiences for new users, enthusiasts, and existing users of Python. Your donation will help support our conference by providing funds for meeting space, speaker support, and other conference expenses. For more details, visit example.org.
On the "Thank You and Receipting" page, there are two text forms. The first contains the text the donor sees on the screen after completing the donation. Example:
Thanks so much for your contribution to pyArkansas and the PSF. Your money helps us keep the pyArkansas community thriving and vibrant.
Thank you for your payment. Your transaction has been completed, and a receipt for your purchase has been emailed to you.
The second form contains the text that is included in the acknowledgement email. Example:
Thanks so much for your sponsorship of pyArkansas made via the Python Software Foundation.
The PSF USA Federal Tax ID number is 04-3594598.
Chad Cooper and Greg Lindstrom, pyArkansas co-Chairs
Kurt B. Kaiser, Treasurer, Python Software Foundation
Besides the text for these forms, we need the name and email address of the acknowledgement signer(s). It is possible to hide the email address in a Bcc:, if desired.
The texts above are only examples, and could be more extensive, if desired.
3 Sponsor Invoices
In most cases, sponsors can make their sponsorship payments directly though the donation page. In some cases, especially for larger corporations, a PSF invoice is required by the sponsor. Sometimes the sponsor will generate a purchase order which is required to be referenced on the PSF invoice. Contact the PSF Treasurer for further assistance with invoicing.
4 PSF Accounting
The next part is getting the donation into the PSF accounting system. The PSF donation system processes the acknowledgement email sent to psf-donations, resulting in an entry being made in the PSF's donation database. The PSF Treasurer makes an accounting entry each month which moves restricted donations from the general donation account to the restricted account associated with each fiscally sponsored project.
5 PSF Oversight & Liability
When a user group becomes a direct project of the PSF through fiscal sponsorship, there are certain liabilities we have to keep in mind.
- The scope of the meet ups have to align with the PSF's mission. If the event lacks a Python component, we will not be able to reimburse you for any expenditures related to that event. If you are unsure about an event you plan on hosting, we suggest you reach out to us first before you continue to plan it. The same rules apply for any material you will use to solicit donations. If you plan on printing material, mentioning it on your website, or emailing requests for solicitation, please have them pre-approved by the PSF. You can email them directly to the Director of Operations.
- The PSF takes on the insurance related liabilities of your events. If you have an event that will have more than 300 people in attendance, the PSF will have to acquire insurance for the event. If this is the case, be sure to let the Director of Operations know months in advance so the PSF can work on getting the insurance paper work in order. When you are addressing step #1, be sure to let the PSF know how many people you have in attendance on average. If the count grows over time or if you have an irregular event scheduled that will attract more people, please notify the Director of Operations.
Please email the Director of Operations to confirm that you have read this section and agree to it. The Director of Operations can be reached at <ewa AT python DOT org>.
To make disbursements from the restricted fund, send the PSF Treasurer copies of your receipts/invoices, along with a summary "invoice" with a line item for each receipt requiring reimbursement.
Large invoices don't have to be previously paid by the project. If the project sends the PSF Treasurer an unpaid invoice, the PSF will remit payment directly to the invoice originator. (This approach is only appropriate for relatively large invoices, where the project lead can't reasonably prepay the invoice.)
However, all invoices should come through the project, and not be sent directly to the Treasurer by the vendor. That way, the PSF knows that the project lead has approved payment of the invoice.
To avoid writing and mailing a lot of small checks, it is preferred that the fiscal sponsored projects batch and pay the smaller invoices and send the Treasurer an overall invoice with receipt copies. Please number the receipts and tie those numbers to a line item on the summary. The summary invoice will be reimbursed in one payment. Please include the payee, method of payment, and postal address on the summary.