Oh, the days when we had a donated infrastructure, no expenses and were all volunteer. Everything was so simple. 🙂
Actually, then we’d be stuck in only a couple communities and not now spread across ten communities in three countries. There is something to be said for building a real foundation for effective citizen participation in the information age. It takes resources and while it can be primarily volunteer-based and low cost, you need to invest in your core functions to scale sustainably.
With the 2005 investments in Issues Forums by the UK government we made a big leap forward in both our reach and the demand for new forums (Oxford is next). With the start of my Ashoka Fellowship I’ve now shifted from an unpaid volunteer to a full-time leader (while being paid directly from October 2006 until October 2009 by Ashoka) to help meet some of the growing demand.
Our 990 as submitted to the U.S. IRS for 2006 (we didn’t receive or spend money in the UK or New Zealand directly as an organization last year), will be our last at this level. Our Board has decided now is the time to shift our sometime contractor and full-time volunteer Tim Erickson – our lead with Issues Forum development – toward a full-time contract. In 2006 our revenue was around $16,000 US and our expenses were about $14,500 US. With your help and support with fund raising efforts, grants, and project revenue we expect this to rise significantly in this and future years. In 2007, with paid support for the start-up of the Roseville Issues Forum, Issues Forum support and hosting, and the Americorps CTEP position in the St. Paul (lead by St. Paul E-Democracy) our current bank balance is committed, although we have two grant proposals pending and donor efforts in the works. More later!
Board Chair, E-Democracy.Org