This marks the beginning of the fifth year that I've been handling the
Treasurer's job -- I began in January of 2012, apparently, and, I think,
have been mostly pretty good about updating the monthly Financial Report
within a reasonable amount of time.
If you take a look at the current report
(http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/CZ:Financial_report) you'll see that
when I took over the job the cash balance at the end of January was
about $2,317. In the four years since, the high mark has been $2,570
and the low mark $812. For the last two years the monthly figure has
always been in the 800s and 900s.
Thanks the great efforts of a number of people, the monthly outflow has
now been stabilized at a much lower $111.95. Hopefully we can reduce
the amount we pay for the Server even more, but that effort is out of my
A number of Citizens have questioned me about the $12.00 monthly service
charge that we pay our bank. This is, in fact, a pretty high PERCENTAGE
of our monthly expenses -- about 10%. Many of you live in countries
(NOT the United States) in which it is apparently fairly easy to have
modest bank accounts with very low or even non-existent monthly service
charges. Here in the States, however, this is definitely not the case.
When I took over the Treasurer's job, the first thing I tried to do was
to open a PayPal account that would serve CZ exclusively and that would
use a new bank account I had established at my own bank, Wells Fargo. I
do enough business with Wells Fargo that the CZ account would be linked
to my personal ones and in consequent there would be NO service charges
at all. PayPal, unfortunately, had other ideas about this.
Apparently because I ALREADY had a personal PayPal account of mine,
using Wells Fargo as the base, PayPal WOULD NOT PERMIT me to open a CZ
account based on Wells Fargo. This seems hard to believe, but, as far
as I can tell, it is the ONLY reason that I was unable to go ahead with
my initial plans. I spent many hours online trying to open a Wells
Fargo PayPal account for CZ and, no matter WHAT I did, I was never able to.
I have four major banks on the same intersection not far from my house,
Wells Fargo being one of them. I contacted the three others, and the
best plan I could obtain was from JP Morgan Chase. I opened a bank
account there and, without undue difficulty, linked it to the CZ PayPal
method of payment. Initially our monthly balance was sufficient that
the monthly service charge never came into play. But, as time passed,
the balance dwindled, and the $12 service charge is now a standard item.
I recently met with an officer of the bank and obtained the following
information: there would be NO service charge PROVIDED that the amount
of money in the account NEVER goes below a $1,500 threshold. We could
have an AVERAGE daily balance of $4,000, say, and if there were ONE day
in which the balance dipped to $1,499.99, then the service charge would
be incurred. (With a $5,000 average monthly balance, there would be no
If we are paying the Server $99.95 monthly, that means we would need to
have an account that NEVER dips below $1,599.95 in order to avoid the
service charge. Let's say $1,625.00 to be on the safe side.
Right now, thanks to the generosity of a single donor last month, we
have raised our account's ending balance from $960 to $1,435 -- within
striking distance of the goal of $1,625. There are several of us who
make regular monthly donations, and several more who make donations
every three or four months. Based on the track record of the last
couple of years, I think we can now count on keeping our monthly balance
at least in the $1,435 range. But this is NOT enough to eliminate that
pernicious service charge!
I hope that you will have noticed that during my four years as Treasurer
I have not ONCE sent out a single one of those dreaded messages we all
receive far too often in our internet lives: "PLEASE DONATE!!!!" I hope
that you appreciate that small blessing....
Now, however, I AM asking you: PLEASE donate something, even the most
modest amount (we recently had a $5 donation from Italy and a $5
donation from India, BOTH of them from people who are NOT Citizens!),
and let's see if we can get ourselves up to $1,635! If we can: no more
monthly $12 service charge -- and an extra $144 per year in the coffers
To make a donation, simply go here:
Many thanks for doing so!
(And incidentally, if any of YOU would like to take over the Treasurer's
post AND to find a cheaper way of running the bank account, I would LOVE
for you to step forward! In the meantime, a Happy New Year to you all!)
Hayford Peirce, Treasurer
https://lists.purdue.edu/mailman/options/citizendium-l to manage your