Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-26 Thread Gordon Joly
At 15:52 + 23/3/09, Thomas Dalton wrote:
2009/3/23 Gordon Joly gordon.j...@pobox.com:
  It is important for a local authority or a registered charity to 
be prudent

The regulators said there was nothing wrong with the Icelandic banks -
I think going with what the regulators say is sufficient to satisfy
the duty of care. Anyway, this is massively off-topic!

Yes, massively off topic

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7963986.stm

Seven English councils have been accused of negligence for putting 
money into Icelandic banks days before they went bust last October.

Gordo

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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-26 Thread Thomas Dalton
2009/3/26 Gordon Joly gordon.j...@pobox.com:
 At 15:52 + 23/3/09, Thomas Dalton wrote:
2009/3/23 Gordon Joly gordon.j...@pobox.com:
  It is important for a local authority or a registered charity to
be prudent

The regulators said there was nothing wrong with the Icelandic banks -
I think going with what the regulators say is sufficient to satisfy
the duty of care. Anyway, this is massively off-topic!

 Yes, massively off topic

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7963986.stm

 Seven English councils have been accused of negligence for putting
 money into Icelandic banks days before they went bust last October.

Indeed - putting money in after the credit ratings were reduced was
rather foolish, I hadn't realised they had done that!

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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-23 Thread Gordon Joly
At 22:31 + 22/3/09, Thomas Dalton wrote:
2009/3/22 Gordon Joly gordon.j...@pobox.com:
  Also recall how local authorities got their fingers burned in Iceland...

That wasn't due to risky investments, that was due to putting your
money in a bank that then went bust. Hardly their fault.

_


Only in that they chased a better return offshore?

Gordo

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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-23 Thread Thomas Dalton
2009/3/23 Gordon Joly gordon.j...@pobox.com:
 At 22:31 + 22/3/09, Thomas Dalton wrote:
2009/3/22 Gordon Joly gordon.j...@pobox.com:
  Also recall how local authorities got their fingers burned in Iceland...

That wasn't due to risky investments, that was due to putting your
money in a bank that then went bust. Hardly their fault.

_


 Only in that they chased a better return offshore?

Of course it was their responsibility. They made the decision to put
their money in those banks. That doesn't mean it was their fault the
money disappeared.

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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-23 Thread Gordon Joly
At 13:18 + 23/3/09, Thomas Dalton wrote:
2009/3/23 Gordon Joly gordon.j...@pobox.com:
  At 22:31 + 22/3/09, Thomas Dalton wrote:
2009/3/22 Gordon Joly gordon.j...@pobox.com:
   Also recall how local authorities got their fingers burned in Iceland...

That wasn't due to risky investments, that was due to putting your
money in a bank that then went bust. Hardly their fault.

_


  Only in that they chased a better return offshore?

Of course it was their responsibility. They made the decision to put
their money in those banks. That doesn't mean it was their fault the
money disappeared.

Sure. They could have gone with Madoff.

It is important for a local authority or a registered charity to be prudent

Gordo

-- 
Think Feynman/
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gordon.j...@pobox.com///

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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-23 Thread Thomas Dalton
2009/3/23 Gordon Joly gordon.j...@pobox.com:
 It is important for a local authority or a registered charity to be 
 prudent

The regulators said there was nothing wrong with the Icelandic banks -
I think going with what the regulators say is sufficient to satisfy
the duty of care. Anyway, this is massively off-topic!

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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-23 Thread James Hardy
regarding Registered Charity Status

2009/3/22 Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.com

   It's not, but getting it soon is. You need an annual income of over
 £5000 to register, we're not likely to get that kind of money (or
 pledges for it) for several months at least without including
 Wikimania sponsorship.


Exactly how strict are the Charities Commission criteria's on this, Do they
actually need to see evidence of cash in the bank? Are pledges to that value
enough? What about evidence to support a reasonable expectation of achieving
greater than that amount?
I am wondering if the foundation was to write a letter stating that:
A) the WMF received donations totalling over £50,000 in sterling last year
[1]
and
B) in future UK residents and taxpayers will be given the option to donate
to WMUK (they may even be able to give an idea of what sort of percentage
have done this when other chapters have gone live)
and therefore
C) WMUK can expect approximately £X (where X is greater than 5000) due to
WMF fund-raising
then might this be enough for them?

Unrelated to this, I assume that if I donate now and make a declaration that
I am a UK Taxpayer, that declaration can be held on to and then the tax can
be claimed back once WMUK is registered. Am I right?

[1] Source: Delphine at
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediauk-l/2008-August/002049.htmlwhen
charity status was discussed last year. I am aware that the sterling
zone is not exactly the same as the population of UK taxpayers, but I
suspect that the colonies and crown dependencies that use Sterling are not a
huge factor, neither would foreign taxpayers with sterling accounts/uk
taxpayers with non-sterling accounts, so I think this works as a rough
approximation.


James Hardy
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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-23 Thread Thomas Dalton
2009/3/23 James Hardy wikimedi...@weeb.biz:
 regarding Registered Charity Status

 2009/3/22 Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.com

   It's not, but getting it soon is. You need an annual income of over
 £5000 to register, we're not likely to get that kind of money (or
 pledges for it) for several months at least without including
 Wikimania sponsorship.

 Exactly how strict are the Charities Commission criteria's on this, Do they
 actually need to see evidence of cash in the bank? Are pledges to that value
 enough? What about evidence to support a reasonable expectation of achieving
 greater than that amount?

I think they want firm pledges, but they don't need to see the actual
cash in the bank.

 I am wondering if the foundation was to write a letter stating that:
 A) the WMF received donations totalling over £50,000 in sterling last year
 [1]
 and
 B) in future UK residents and taxpayers will be given the option to donate
 to WMUK (they may even be able to give an idea of what sort of percentage
 have done this when other chapters have gone live)
 and therefore
 C) WMUK can expect approximately £X (where X is greater than 5000) due to
 WMF fund-raising
 then might this be enough for them?

That might not be, but WMF could pledge to top up whatever we make
during the fund-raiser to guarantee that it is more than £5000 (there
would be negligible risk to the foundation in doing this, we all know
the fund-raiser will make more than £5000). That would probably be
enough to satisfy the CC.

 Unrelated to this, I assume that if I donate now and make a declaration that
 I am a UK Taxpayer, that declaration can be held on to and then the tax can
 be claimed back once WMUK is registered. Am I right?

You are correct. (I think we can claim anything from 2 or 3 years
before getting registered, so hopefully there won't be a problem
there!)

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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-22 Thread Gordon Joly


Why is registered charity status predicated on a successful Wikimania bid?

Gordo

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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-22 Thread Gordon Joly

  I know for a fact that Swiss law does not have a charity may not 
take significant business risks provisions, therefore I maintain 
that this is not a usual practice here.
But this is really not so important, after all we want to look at 
how things are done in the UK.

Michael 




--
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mailto:mbimm...@gmail.commbimm...@gmail.com


Take a look at housing associations, many of whom are registered 
charities (or Industrial and Provident Societies) and who have been 
involved in swapping toxic assets.

http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/story.aspx?storycode=6503040


Also recall how local authorities got their fingers burned in Iceland...

Gordo

-- 
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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-22 Thread Thomas Dalton
2009/3/22 Gordon Joly gordon.j...@pobox.com:
 Also recall how local authorities got their fingers burned in Iceland...

That wasn't due to risky investments, that was due to putting your
money in a bank that then went bust. Hardly their fault.

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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-22 Thread Thomas Dalton
2009/3/22 Gordon Joly gordon.j...@pobox.com:


 Why is registered charity status predicated on a successful Wikimania bid?

It's not, but getting it soon is. You need an annual income of over
£5000 to register, we're not likely to get that kind of money (or
pledges for it) for several months at least without including
Wikimania sponsorship.

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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-20 Thread AndrewRT
On Mar 18, 11:39 pm, Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.com wrote:
 ... CC [Charity Commission] will almost certainly want written
 confirmation (unconditionally, that is - what we have at the moment is
 all conditional on us winning the bid)

The CC application form (http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Library/
publications/pdfs/cc5atext.pdf) asks, for charities which do not yet
have statutory accounts, for the estimated gross income in the first
year of operation. The accompanying guidance notes (http://
www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Library/publications/pdfs/cc5btext.pdf)
go on to say state that If you do not provide evidence that the gross
annual income will exceed £5,000, such as ... a pledge of funding ...
we will return your application as incomplete

Hopefully we'll have these by the time the bid is decided.

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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-19 Thread Michael Bimmler
On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 2:53 PM, Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.comwrote:


 If we win the bid, there are all kinds of legal stuff we'll have to
 sort out - if everything will be done through us (rather than WMF),
 which I think is likely, we will need to open a trading subsidiary.


Do we know how other Wikimania organising teams did this (Delphine...?)

I can't remember having heard of any local trading company having been
opened anywhere for this. Was it not usually the WMF that would have signed
contracts if necessary?
See also eg. http://wikimania2009.wikimedia.org/wiki/Contact
*Wikimania* is a yearly international conference organised by the Wikimedia
Foundation http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/.


Michael
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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-19 Thread Thomas Dalton
2009/3/19 Michael Bimmler mbimm...@gmail.com:


 On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 2:53 PM, Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.com
 wrote:

 If we win the bid, there are all kinds of legal stuff we'll have to
 sort out - if everything will be done through us (rather than WMF),
 which I think is likely, we will need to open a trading subsidiary.

 Do we know how other Wikimania organising teams did this (Delphine...?)

 I can't remember having heard of any local trading company having been
 opened anywhere for this. Was it not usually the WMF that would have signed
 contracts if necessary?
 See also eg. http://wikimania2009.wikimedia.org/wiki/Contact
 Wikimania is a yearly international conference organised by the Wikimedia
 Foundation.

Yes, I think WMF has handled it all in the past, but I think it might
be easier if we do it. The WMF won't get the same charitable benefits
that we do. Opening a trading subsidiary may become necessary at some
point even if we don't need it for Wikimania - for example, if we sell
more than £5000 worth (that's income, not profit) of chapter
merchandise in a year (that's a lot of merchandise, I know, I think
big!) we would be taxed if it didn't go through a subsidiary. We also
have plans for annual UK conferences (combined with our AGMs) - if
those get big enough to involve significant business risk, they would
need to go through a subsidiary as well.

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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-19 Thread Michael Bimmler
On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 2:38 PM, Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.comwrote:



 Yes, I think WMF has handled it all in the past, but I think it might
 be easier if we do it. The WMF won't get the same charitable benefits
 that we do.



Understood and I defer to the judgment of others on whether it would be
easier for WmUK (through a subsidiary) or WMF to handle it. I would just
advise to actually take this up with the WMF (Cary Bass and Mike Godwin)
before relying on this for strategic planning - it might be that the WMF
objects to *not* being the formal organiser. I'm not saying they will, I
just think that this should be confirmed with them before you act according
to a We will be Wikimania 2010 organisers scenario (all of course
contingent upon whether Oxford actually succeeds in the bid, but this should
be known rather soon and I actually do not have many doubts ;-)


 Opening a trading subsidiary may become necessary at some
 point even if we don't need it for Wikimania - for example, if we sell
 more than £5000 worth (that's income, not profit) of chapter
 merchandise in a year (that's a lot of merchandise, I know, I think
 big!) we would be taxed if it didn't go through a subsidiary.


Hm. Well, think big, yes, but I doubt whether Wikimedia France and Wikimedia
Germany have ever exceeded this sum in a year, and they're both more
established chapters with a larger country to serve. But then, I'm all for
optimism...just do make sure to check whether the expenses (time and money)
for setting up and registering a new subsidiary will not actually exceed the
profit (or even the income) made in the end. It would be a pity if we paid
twice as many registration fees than we get from selling merchandise!



 We also
 have plans for annual UK conferences (combined with our AGMs) - if
 those get big enough to involve significant business risk, they would
 need to go through a subsidiary as well.


But is this really common practice? I can again only speak for Switzerland
here, but I'm familiar with the practices of a few largish NGOs (Amnesty
International, WWF etc.) and they never open a subsidiary for their annual
conferences or indeed any other large event. They just take the risk qua
charity.

Do you know how this is usually handled in the UK? Do other big UK NGOs
often create subsidiaries for such and other purposes?

Regards,
Michael



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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-19 Thread Michael Bimmler
On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 3:16 PM, Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.comwrote:


 In the UK, charities aren't legally allowed to take significant
 business risks.


See, that's one of the points which I didn't know and I'd be interested in
reading more about it. Is there guidance available on what constitutes
significant business risk?


 How familiar are you with the internal workings of
 these NGOs?


I've interned for two Swiss NGOs and in the second of them, I have been
closely involved (well, as closely as you can be in an office with just 15
employees) in the preparation of the Annual Meeting 2009 of one of them,
which will involve several hundreds of participants, including (European)
heads of states and senior ministers / UN agencies heads. The budget for it
runs into atmospheric heights (what with renting a well-known hotel and
organising a lot of social events), but it has not been outsourced to a
trading subsidiary.
 I know for a fact that Swiss law does not have a charity may not take
significant business risks provisions, therefore I maintain that this is
not a usual practice here.
But this is really not so important, after all we want to look at how things
are done in the UK.

Michael



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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-19 Thread Thomas Dalton
2009/3/19 Michael Bimmler mbimm...@gmail.com:


 On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 3:16 PM, Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.com
 wrote:

 In the UK, charities aren't legally allowed to take significant
 business risks.

 See, that's one of the points which I didn't know and I'd be interested in
 reading more about it. Is there guidance available on what constitutes
 significant business risk?

If you really want to know all the ugly details (and don't say I
didn't warn you!), see:
http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/publications/cc35.asp

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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-19 Thread Thomas Dalton
2009/3/19 Thomas Dalton thomas.dal...@gmail.com:
 If you really want to know all the ugly details (and don't say I
 didn't warn you!), see:
 http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/publications/cc35.asp

I've just been reading through that guidance again myself, and
actually we might be ok. The conference would probably fall under
primary purpose trading, which you are allowed to take risks doing.
I knew primary purpose trading was tax exempt without the need for a
subsidiary, but I thought the risk requirement still applied, but it
looks like I may have misremembered that. This is why we need to seek
professional advice on these things!

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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-18 Thread Thomas Dalton
2009/3/18 joseph seddon life_is_bitter_sw...@hotmail.co.uk:
 I think that making preparations for both drafting a complaint to HMRC and 
 preparing an application to CC should start now. Even if the preparations are 
 only minor. Delaying either by any real length of time could affect Wikimania 
 significantly.

 Our estimates for the venue are based on having charity status and bookings 
 need to happen in quick sucession to winning the bid. If we can start making 
 preparations now it may also alleviate any concerns that the jury/public may 
 have with this.

We are a charity now, just an exempt one that doesn't have tax-free
status. I agree it is something we need to work on ASAP, though -
perhaps something for after the AGM, however, since I think the
current board are rather busy!

If we win the bid, there are all kinds of legal stuff we'll have to
sort out - if everything will be done through us (rather than WMF),
which I think is likely, we will need to open a trading subsidiary. I
think the business risk of hosting Wikimania is too great for a
charity to do it directly. (We'll worry about that after we win,
though!)

PS I am thinking of adding another £10k to the budget for admin,
though - there will be lots of legal fees and accounting fees, at
least some of which should be allocated to Wikimania (some can be
considered general expenses and paid for out of the main WM UK
accounts). Hopefully we can get it done pro-bono, but it should
probably be on the budget.

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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-18 Thread AndrewRT
On Mar 18, 12:54 pm, joseph seddon 
life_is_bitter_sw...@hotmail.co.uk wrote:
 I think that making preparations for both drafting a complaint to HMRC and 
 preparing an application to CC should start now. Even if the preparations are 
 only minor. Delaying either by any real length of time could affect Wikimania 
 significantly.

I agree entirely. Complaint letter has already been drafted and will
hopefully go out tomorrow. I think the CC application should be ready
to be put in the post the day after we win Wikimania? Even better,
anyone know a benefactor willing to give us £4,700? Or a few to give
us £1,000 each? They can even earmark it to whatever they want, just
so we get the income to qualify!

Andrew

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Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Gift Aid update

2009-03-17 Thread Thomas Dalton
2009/3/17 Andrew Turvey ratur...@yahoo.co.uk:
 We are looking at options to complain about this situation and also options 
 for accelerating the timescale for applying direct to the Charity Commission 
 - which needs £5,000 of pledged income first.

Give it a few weeks - if we win the Wikimania bid we'll be talking
about around £150k income, plenty to convince the CC! (Assuming it all
goes through us, not the WMF - there are some details to work out
there, but they can wait until after they announce our victory!)

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