YAPC Europe Foundation - Financial report for 2011
|Bank Account Charge||85.78|
|Online Payment Charge||215.28|
|Online Payment Fees||489.16|
|Online Payment (Transfer)||4111.00|
|Online Payment Refunds||-41836.00||1090.00|
|Perl QA Hackathon 2011|
|Donation QA Hackathon 2012||-1061.31||0.00|
|Income - Expenses||-2128.65|
- YAPC Europe 2011
- Italian Perl Workshop 2011
- Perl QA Hackathon 2011
- YAPC::Europe 2012
The process of refunding the conferences runs smoothly, and refunds are made on a monthly basis.
There were two issues this year, one related to a payment, and one to a whole conference.
One payment in June had issues, and ended up being accepted by the bank and not recorded by Act. I confirmed the payment to YAPC Europe 2011 organizers, and they entered it manually as a transfer. It should actually have been fixed by Act admins to be written as an online payment, so that my Act-related tools had the correct information. At the end of December, while preparing the financial report, I found €34.00 extra in the online payment records and connected it back to that problematic payment. In the end, Andrew Shitov preferred to make it a donation to YEF, rather than have YEF transfer such a small amount. (These €34.00 are written off as part of the "Online Payment Refund", for simplicity reasons.)
The other issue is that, while setting up the web site for the TwinCity Perl Workshop 2011, the Act admins also copied the online payment configuration from the 2008 version, even though no contract was signed with TCPW2011 organizers. A few users used the online payment system (and made bank transfers), so YEF ended up with €90.00 for the TwinCity Perl Workshop 2011. I sent a contract to the organizers for them to sign, and they proposed to donate that amount to YEF. No final decision has been made yet, hence the €90.00 liability related to the online payment.
Speaking of liabilities, YEF hasn't transfered the donation to the YAPC Europe 2012 organizers, because I don't have their bank account information yet.
Last year I explained that interest income could be increased by keeping as much of YEF assets on the savings account, and also by delaying the refunds of conference by a fortnight or two when possible.
YAPC Europe 2011 received a lot of payments through YEF (€40686.00 in total) which, combined with the small delay before refunding the money (when the organizers didn't need the money quickly) helped double the interests earned, compared to the previous year.
Hosting the Perl QA Hackathon bank account (see below) also added to the total held in the savings account.
I'm happy to see that the strategy exposed last year actually paid off, without causing any trouble to the conference organizers.
This year YEF made €1500 of kickstart donations.
First, the now traditional €1000 donation to the annual YAPC Europe conference, which hasn't been actually paid yet (see above).
Then a €500 kickstart donation to the Perl QA Hackathon 2012.
Apart from the €34 that were "forgotten" in the YAPC Europe 2011 refunds, YEF received no donation this year.
Therefore, YEF has a very negative balance this year (€-2128.65), once the cost of running the bank account and the online payment system are added to the total.
Other ways for YEF to help
Last year, I talked about others ways that YEF could help conference organizers. The idea was that YEF could do some advance refunds on the online payment, especially for big conferences like YAPC Europe, that receive a lot of money through the online payment system. (This can only work if YEF actually has enough money in the bank.)
This year, I found another way to help: hosting the bank account for a conference that doesn't have a non-profit organization to support it. This is a rather delicate thing to do, as YEF must not behave like a bank, and also YEF is not supposed to be the organizing body for any conference.
So in 2011, YEF hosted the bank account for the Perl QA Hackathon, of which I was the main organizer (this is a significant detail).
The Perl QA Hackathon in Amsterdam didn't have a non-profit organization behind it (the one in Vienna was organized by Vienna.pm, and the one in Birmingham by Birmingham.pm). The main sponsor needed to transfer its donation to some bank account, so after discussion, YEF's bank account was used.
As can be seen in the report, the balance for that account is zero, since it was decided that the profit of the QA Hackathon wasn't for YEF (it was not the organizing body) and was therefore donated to the organizing body of the QA Hackathon for 2012 (the French non-profit "Les Mongueurs de Perl").
I have taken great care in counting the "bank fees" for the hackathon, as YEF's bank obviously didn't make a difference between YEF and the hackathon when taking fees for a bank transfer (e.g. when sponsoring an attendee's travel costs).
In the end, I think this represents another way for YEF to help conference organizers. However, it is very tricky to do, and definitely requires that the YEF treasurer works closely with the conference organizers.
Last year, I showed that in 2009 and 2010, the income and expenses were nicely balanced. This is not the case this year, because YEF didn't receive any donation.
I concluded by saying:
YEF should not spend more in donations than the money it receives minus €750 reserved for expenses (mostly bank related).
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.
This is very true for 2012.
With only €2496.71 available, and €1750.00 of planned expenses (€1000.00 kickstart donation to the YAPC Europe 2013 organizers, and roughly €750.00 of bank-related costs, including the online payment charges and fees), YEF has very little money available for anything.
Until YEF receives a significant donation for 2012 (and dare I say, 2011), I will advise against any kickstart donation.
Expectations for 2012
I expect that YAPC Europe 2012 will use YEF's online payment system. Other conferences might too, even though the trend for smaller Perl event is more and more to be free.
For YEF to continue its work in the near future, it will need some money donations. We must send out a "call for donation", especially insisting on what YEF has done for the community (online payment, kickstart donations to small conferences). I think YEF is important for the community, and should not disappear. But if YEF doesn't receive any donation in 2012, it won't be able to make a single kickstart donation and will barely be able to support the online payment system in 2013.
January 2, 2012