June 1, 2004
Dear members of OSI(US) Board,
Please find attached the proposed letter of agreement for the partnership between OSI (US) and myself. I hope to engage fellow Board members of OSI(US) in conversation about these ideas immediately, with the goal of announcing to OSLIST the ability to receive donations to the Access Queen Fund via the OSI(US)’s web site as soon as possible – as the fundraising drive for the September OSonOS has already begun (and it is mid-May at the time of this writing). I look forward to discussing this during the upcoming OSI conference call.
I wish to share the history which gave way to me creating the Access Fund initiative. At the 2001 OSonOS in Vancouver a group of us posted issues for discussion regarding how to help those who wish to attend the annual global meetings to physically get there. A number of us are from other countries where the money it would take to attend is simply impossible - others of us live on very low financial levels. We developed an idea where one of us could raise awareness on the OSLIST (our OS global learning community's virtual discussion list)regarding who needed support and who had support to give -- as a way both to raise awareness of those who'd like to be included and as a way to pool support across our community.
I (Lisa Heft) volunteered to be the awareness-raiser / town crier / weaver of people and needs. Our dear colleague Laurel Doersam soon after named me "Access Queen".
So between one OSonOS and the other I shared ideas of how people could raise funding (I put a sample Request For Funding proposal online for people to use parts or all of for giving to potential funders --- I invited those who came to the OSonOS to bring handicrafts from their countries to sell [in the "Global Village Marketplace" to raise money for the Access Queen Fund or to get some money back for their own outstanding travel expenses -- I encouraged folks to believe in themselves and the community by asking for assistance --- I asked people to consider donating their Frequent Flyer miles, sharing their accommodation on-site and paying for that other person's bed) --- just about everything I could think of.
I also received from the OSonOS 2001 the money left over after expenses were paid. Into that fund a few folks sent me money from the sale of original works of art on Books of Proceedings that had been auctioned off at their Open Space events, books of poetry they'd sold, and more.
Some amazing people had the courage and faith to ask, and some generous people responded, as did the Open Space Institutes of Australia and of the United States. We (you) helped six people get to OSonOS in Australia in 2003. In 2003, again with the help of many individual donors plus the Institutes of Australia and the United States, and the addition of the Open Space Institute of Canada, we helped six people get to the OSonOS in "Swenmark" in 2003. And in "Swenmark" during the OSonOS people raised additional money for Access Queen by holding a silent auction, selling capoeira and salsa dance lessons and massages, and buying each others' crafts and books at the Global Village Marketplace.
I am pleased to be working with you on this project and I thank you for the partnership.
aka Access Queen
Access Queen Fund coordinator mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
an initiative coordinated by Lisa Heft
Purpose: Our intent is to increase the ease with which concerned individuals and organizations can donate funds to the Access Queen Fund, a small annual fundraising project designed to help individuals wishing to attend the annual global gathering of Open Space facilitators and enthusiasts: Open Space on Open Space (OSonOS). With the OSI(US)’s ability to take credit card payments as well as bank checks and drafts for US currency, the scope of Access Queen’s donation base is increased. Residents of those countries where tax rules are such may receive deductions for their donations to a 501(c)3 organization, and Lisa Heft can receive money for this fund without it having to go into her personal account (and be seen as taxable income). The establishment of OSI(US) as the Access Queen Fund’s fiscal agent therefore can serve the “Askers”, the “Givers” and Ms. Heft’s ability to assist as the coordinator of this ongoing program.
Relationship with OSI(US): OSI(US) is the fiscal agent for this program. Lisa Heft is the contact person and liaison to the OSI(US) Board regarding this program. If she eventually or temporarily chooses someone else to become the coordinator, she will propose this person to the OSI(US) Board in writing.
Decision-making: Day-to-day decisions, and all decisions about receipt of donations, relationships with Askers and Givers, representation of the Fund to others, and the nature of disbursements will be made by Lisa Heft, and communicated promptly to OSI(US).
Accountability: Recipients of Access Queen funds will sign a receipt verifying the amount they received along with the date. Lisa will save receipts for any expenses, which she pays directly, for a recipient of AQ funds. Information about money disbursed—number of people receiving funds and amount each received, directly or indirectly--will be reported in AQ’s annual report. Lisa will submit fundraising letters to OSI board, prior to general distribution. Financial transactions associated with Access Queen will, along with all other transactions of OSI(US), will be subject to periodical audits by independent sources.
Ownership and Review: Either Lisa Heft (or her representative) or OSI(US) can decide at any time that the Access Queen Fund program will no longer be an OSI(US) program by stating these intentions in writing and proposing a plan for responsible transition. Lisa Heft (or her representative) as the program’s coordinator will have the option of taking with her the program’s name, as well as any money (minus the percentage that goes to OSI(US)) in the program’s account at time the program becomes independent. If Ms. Heft does this, OSI(US) may continue similar activities under a different name. If Ms. Heft decides not to continue the program independently, OSI(US) can continue the same program with the same name if Ms. Heft agrees. The OSI(US) Board will formerly review the relationship between AQ and OSI(US) three years after the decision takes effect.
This agreement is for an ongoing program – after its acceptance it may be reviewed and edited as necessary before each new fiscal year.
Under the Reimbursement and Audit bullet, wouldn't it be better for OSI(US) to remit funds directly to the ultimate recipients or service providers rather than to Lisa ? (john thinks not) Would that be too onerous for OSI(US)? Are you satisfied that her after the fact reports on what has been done with the money are enough to justify remitting funds to her whenever she requests them? (yes, i believe we all feel comfortable with this) There is no clear statement of any audit or independent review being done annually for the fund. Is that considered an unnecessary expense for such a small fund ? (statement added under accountability to address this point.) Under Reporting, her processing of receipts should be in full compliance with all legal requirements applicable in the countries where the donors reside. (added) Under Decision-making, you should add "and communicated promptly to OSI(US) " at the end of the sentence. (added) No earth-shattering comments, but hopefully they will be of some help. Don't hesitate to buzz if you have any more questions. Bob