YAPC Europe Foundation - Financial report for 2010
|Bank Account Charge||74.66|
|Online Payment Charge||215.28|
|Online Payment Fees||335.68|
|Online Payment (Transfer)||3392.00|
|Online Payment Refunds||-28527.00||500.00|
|Income - Expenses||237.51|
- Dutch Perl Workshop 2010
- Perl Mova + YAPC Russia 2010
- YAPC Europe 2010
- YAPC::Europe 2011
- Perl Ecosystem Group
Like the previous year, we end the year without any online payment related liability. The process of refunding the conferences runs smoothly, and refunds are made on a monthly basis.
I try to keep as much money as possible on the savings account, so that YEF makes some income from the interests. The quick refunds of online payments means that the extra money from the online payment doesn't usually stay very long on the savings account: the money arrives on the main account, I manually transfer as much as possible to the savings account (before the interests due dates of the 1st and the 16th on the month), and make the refund after the 1st of the following month. All in all, the online payment money received before the 15th stays a fortnight (just enough to gain some interest), but any money transfered after the 16th doesn't stay long enough to build any interest.
There was also a mishap this year during conference season, due to "value dates": I transfered the money from the online payment to the savings account when I saw it on the main account, but the "value date" meant it was only available after the transfer I had made to the savings account was already completed, which led to some negative balance for few days and some agio (1.03 EUR, that the bank refunded after I called and asked for an explanation).
To close on this topic, the gain from the savings account this year (€63.13) is very little compared to the effort required (and the €28527.00 that transited through the YEF account via the online payment system). The only way for this to be a little more profitable would be to delay the refunds to conference organizers (for example refund the money received during month M after the 16th of month M+1, except when the conference organizers need the money urgently).
This year YEF made €1500 of kickstart donations.
First, a €1000 donation to the annual YAPC Europe conference (a tradition started in 2009). Then a donation of €500 for the Perl Events Group (managed by Gábor Szabó and Renée Bäker) was voted to sponsor Perl goodies to be given at non-Perl events. Gábor and Renée later created the Perl Ecosystem Group (http://perl-ecosystem.org/) to formalize and support the efforts of the Events group. Since the goodies donation hadn't been paid due to lack of receipts, it was decided to turn it into a kickstart donation to PEG, to be spent exclusively on giveaway goodies.
The PEG donation appears in the 2010 report as an expense, but also as a liability, since the contract hasn't been finalized yet and the money still hasn't been transfered. I expect to complete this in January 2011.
YEF received €2300 in donations from the organizing teams of the YAPC Europe conference in Pisa and the Belgian Perl Workshop.
Other ways for YEF to help
The organizers of YAPC Europe in Riga brought up an interesting question this year: they had to make a large advance payment (about €3000) to secure the venue for the conference, and didn't have the money available upfront. So they requested an advance on the online payments from YEF.
Since the case never happened before, there was a lot of discussion within the board, with a positive outcome, balanced with some apprehensions that YEF must not behave like a bank. The board came to the conclusion that so long as this is only advance money (money that YEF would have transfered from the online payments a few month later anyway), and not a loan, there shouldn't be any issue with the Dutch authorities.
In the end, the Pisa team made a direct donation to the Riga organizers, and the issue was solved for Riga this year.
YEF already makes a kickstart donation, which is pure sponsorship, aimed at covering the early expenses of the conference. This request showed that the early expenses can be quite significant, especially since sponsors usually enter later. Conferences such as YAPC Europe, which are bigger and more professional every year, will be more and more likely to have this kind of issues.
Offering such advance money (when it is needed) is another way YEF can help conference organizers, especially for large conferences like YAPC Europe.
On a case by case basis, offering a advance refund on the online payment (within the limits of YEF's own finances) would very likely help large conference organizers. Since we can expect over €20000 in online payment for a typical YAPC Europe, there is very little risk in doing an advance of less than €5000 (again, provided YEF has the funds).
This definitely advocates for YEF to have sufficients funds in the bank at all times. €5000 seems a good figure: it's not too big, and allows for advances up to €3000-€4000.
While preparing this report, I found out that I incorrectly counted some kickstart donations as expenses the year they were paid, instead of the year they were voted (donation to BPW2007, voted in 2007, paid in 2008, and donation to FPW2007, voted in 2007, paid in 2009). I corrected all the financial reports since 2007 to get a better picture of YEF's yearly balance.
Summary of the yearly balances (in Euro):
- 2004: -424.18
- 2005: +2713.24
- 2006: +5112.44
- 2007: -3320.13 (kickstart donations: 2700.00)
- 2008: +276.74
- 2009: +29.74 (kickstart donations: 2000.00)
- 2010: +237.51 (kickstart donations: 1500.00)
What follows is my interpretation of these figures. During the first few years (2005-2006), YEF built a cash cushion from initial donations (offering the online payment system from the beginning). When the cash cushion started to look too big (2007), it was decided to spend it in kickstart donations (5 donations that year!). Starting in 2008, we see a nice balance between income and expenses.
So the Foundation earns a little more than it spends, with the available money slowly growing. My target for available finances year to year would be around €5000, which would leave room for unexpected expenses/support (as discussed above).
To reach this target, YEF should not spend more in donations than the money it receives minus €750 reserved for expenses (mostly bank related).
The cost of running YEF (bank account charges, online payment charges and fees) amounts to €625.62 this year. €562.49 when deducing the interest income. My estimate from two years ago still holds. :-)
If YEF wants to give more in kickstart donations, it will have to collect more money in donations. Public relations are key in this matter.
Expectations for 2011
Several conferences have already expressed interest in using YEF's online payment system in 2011: Italian Perl Workshop and YAPC Europe.
Regarding conferences using the online payment system, last year I said we should be more strict with past conferences, and ask for their pre- and post- conference budgets, and put it on the website. This wasn't really enforced, and the data hasn't been collected or put on the website. This is still the kind of information new conference organizers need and want, so we should ask for it systematically.
January 4, 2011