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Thanks for this Delphine, this is really helpful. Just one small question so far, which might be from my own lack of exposure, you list rent and utilities for 8 months (unit), while insurance, and phones are 12? Am I missing something? Theo10011 (talk) 22:30, 9 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

No you're not. My take is that the SG will be working without an office first (and it will be in their attributions to find one), but still have a mobile phone and internet connection that the WCA should take care of, for example. Insurance is also something that we might want to put in place asap, although you're right that that one could go down to the same amount of time as that foreseen for the office. Let's keep this in mind for version 2. notafish }<';> 22:38, 9 July 2012 (UTC)Reply



Could we please have the file converted from image to a wiki page or OpenOffice spreadsheet. You should be able to upload it to Wikimedia Commons. if someone will send it to me, I'll do the conversion to a wiki page. John Vandenberg (talk) 12:00, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

For what it's worth, I am a fiend of wiki tables, especially for budgets. It's just not the right format. As for the ods and xls files, I have sent them to the lists and will be happy to give them to anyone that needs them, as stated in the introduction. Neither meta nor Commons will accept xls or ods files. notafish }<';> 12:45, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
Sorry Notafish; you are right that COmmons doesnt allow ods uploads. My apologies. Thanks for sending the files though. John Vandenberg (talk) 13:53, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
Note that there is an error in the files I sent. The right files are on their way (some drag cell thing that turned out bad). notafish }<';> 14:22, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
I've added a Wikitable format at the bottom of the page. I did the sums in Excel and they add up to the same numbers. Not sure that spending half the budget on a carefully searched and very highly paid Personage really makes much sense... Wnt (talk) 15:59, 25 July 2012 (UTC)Reply



I suppose that this budget will be reviewed by the FDC or by GAC (if the WCA will claim a grant). Do you have a comparison table to demonstrate that the salary are adequate to the average of the salary of Belgium? I think that this point could have a lot of discussion because the HR costs are the 87% of the whole budget.

Anyway I think that the operative and administrative costs are lower in comparison to the HR costs. It's my personal opinion but I see that this budget is designed mainly considering the "setup costs" instead of yearly costs. The budget makes the assumption that one year will be spent to go around the world to represent chapters but a few or little activity will be done to support chapters or to help their development. --Ilario (talk) 13:47, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

I think you're misunderstanding the purpose of the travel. This is not about "representing" chapters, but about "meeting with" chapters. In that I would say that should we be doing a "programmatic" kind of budget, most of the cost of salaries would go towards chapter development and support. Grant you, maybe my naming of the last section could have been better and be called "logistics of chapter support and development" which probably better reflects what it is. notafish }<';> 14:23, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
My understanding is that the WCA will be funded by its member chapters, not by the FDC or GAC. It isn't being set up as a chapter or another WMF-affiliated organisation. The FDC/GAC will review the chapter budgets and may have issue will them contributing too much to the WCA, though. --Tango (talk) 16:09, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
The entire money transfer in the movement is a zero-sum game. At the current fundraising model the money flows to the foundation which distribute it through the FDC. I therefore not see why the budget cannot go through the FDC instead of passing through the chapters and then go the the WCA. Tomer A. -- Talk 14:13, 11 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
It could, but that would involve changing the eligibility requirements of the FDC. According to Sue's proposal that the WMF board are discussing today, you need to be a chapter or other affiliated organisation and have two years of successfully completed grants (see here). I don't know if the WCA is planning to become an officially affiliated organisation (it doesn't really fit any of the categories particularly well), but it definitely doesn't have two year track record. --Tango (talk) 16:05, 11 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

Personnel Budget


I have a hard time supporting the personnel budget. Those are some rather exorbitant quotes for HR, are they based on any data? average salaries, etc. if so, please point me to it. There might be some belgium specific conditions but between the taxes and salaries for just the SG, it comes out to 200,000 USD for a single person. The tax alone on the salary of SG is equal to the salary? I have a hard time accepting this. The Deputy SG is half the SG's pay, that's a rather large drop-off. Second, would it be possible to first discuss the HR and personnel setup before we go into budgeting their salaries and taxes, I don't think I like the proposed HR setup. I want to work on this a bit when I find some time. Theo10011 (talk) 14:56, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

450,000€ seems like an enormous budget for the first year, especially when only 20,000€ or so is going to chapter development.
Overall, it seems to me the most immediately useful parts of the budget are setting up a small office, supporting annual chapter development costs and opportunities, and supporting better ways for people to meet with one another. Please consider alternatives to "investing" in airfare: installing an excellent $5K videoconferencing setup at each of 40 locations, rather than air travel, saves money, time, and fuel, and adds reusable technical infrastructure to local chapter offices. (this is something that the WMF could also help invest in; I know finding ways to reduce global travel has come up before.)
Staffing decisions are hard to change, once made (and set a baseline annual expense that is hard to later reduce). You might consider limiting staff size and spending on HR until it is clearer how the entire association will work. Despite the good discussions that have been started here on Meta, I still have a hard time understanding how the WCA will practically help chapters develop and flourish. I can think of many ways in which it might. It's not clear to me how the staff in particular would drive that process forward, in contrast to the Council, and how much it is being proposed to invest in each group. (For instance: there are also travel costs for council members which don't show up in this budget.) SJ talk  15:09, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
I can't agree with Sj more on this. Out of the 450,000k Euro budget, 400,000 is going to salaries and tax for 4 individuals. This isn't a large established chapter, much of what WCA is still left open. I would hope to cling to the values of relying on volunteers and employing multiple contractors before this approach is taken, things like a dedicated office manager might be unneeded for a tiny office with 3 employees. For an organization starting out, this sort of budgeting is very wrong. I would suggest expanding the chapter dev. and support much more, cutting down on salaries and maybe having a long term plan to connect all the Chapter offices with video conferencing setup, since majority of the chapters don't have an office, until then Skype can bridge the gap. Though, given cheap airfares within Europe, I can also see the wisdom in promoting some budget travel. Theo10011 (talk) 15:22, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
OK. As I said above, it was poor phrasing on my part to call the last part Chapter development and support when really it was more of only the "logistics part" of Chapters development and support. The idea here is that all or most of the time spent by the emplyees (outside maybe the office manager) is of course geared towards chapter development and support. It's not like they're going to be paid sitting around doing nothing, or just flying around for the sake of saying they visited all the skies around the world :). We can split the budget lines of salaries (and associated taxes) to reflect what kind of work the employees are going to do. In short, at the top of my head, we'll have say:
  • 20% work of the SG dedicated to administration, management and such. 30% of the SG work then goes into Council operations and relations (or somesuch), and the remaining 50% go into chapter support and development (that's, for example, what the whole traveling around is about: getting to know chapters, support them "on site" in difficulties they might face, gather info and resources to provide the best advice and support possible as well as facilitate exchange of information.
  • For the DSG, let's assume they have more of an administrative role (CFO type) then maybe 30% of their costs go to administration, 20% to Council operations, and the remaining 50% in chapter support and development.
  • The Chapter development coordinator will see for example something like 95% of their associated cost go to Chapter development eand support.
I'm happy to revisit the budget in this way, to reflect this kind of "weighting" of salaries. The reality of this is, I do not quite understand what "costs" you see associated in Chapter support and development that are not reflected here (apart from the fact that I mislabelled the "categories"). It would be really helpful if you gave concrete examples of what is missing and what you'd envisage in that particular part of the budget. My experience is that Wikimedia invests lots on people, rarely on lots of things. notafish }<';> 23:58, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
I agree with the other commenters here. The WCA does not need €450k in its first year. Those taxes are ridiculous - if it really costs that much to hire staff in Belgium, then we shouldn't be considering Belgium as an option. There is also no need for a separate member of staff to handle chapter development - what will be left for the SG and DSG to do? Chapter development is pretty much what the WCA is being created to do (there are some other things, but the Secretariat won't be particularly involved in them). I also don't see the need for an office administrator - the DSG can do that work. --Tango (talk) 16:04, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
First, thanks to whoever did the budget. I know it always is a lot of work and it's very detailed, so thanks.
Second, I agree the budget seems high, especially for a first year. Couldn't we make a much smaller budget for the 5/4 first month of the WCA (till end 2012) ? And then have the SG give us feedback about what are the WCA needs. I'm all for professionalisation, but not for the sake of having employees. Is there a need for a SG, a deputy SG and a chapter coordinator ? I don't know. I'm not saying that's not what we'll have next year, just saying with as little data as we have now I dare anyone to prove me we will need 3 full time employees as of now. In 4/5 month we will know, and then we (when I say we it would be the SG based on the WCA approved budget) will be able to take enlightened decisions. But not right now.
Side comment, 96K€ is a pretty big salary. Again, I can understand paying that bunch of money someone when his/her work is worth that much. Right now, I'm not sure it is. I mean, do we want to pay 96K€ someone who is managing only 2/3 people and doesn't have that much responsibilities (ie: not fundraising, not exposed to legal threats, no PR, etc.). But the salary will depend on where the office would be. 96K€ in London isn't the same as 96K€ in Belgium (and yeah let's say UK has dropped the £ ^^).
To keep it short. Too high and developed for the first month. Better in my opinion to grow smaller and then scale the number of employees to the amount of work needed to be done. Schiste (talk) 16:43, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
I mainly agree with other people;
If employer payroll taxes are that big in Belgium, let's not incorporate in Belgium. In the UK the employer payroll taxes are about 9%, plus a pension contribution of about 5%. That's 14% not 80%, saving hundreds of thousands of euros at a stroke.
The proposed salaries are very very high. I would suggest that EUR50k is ample for the Secretary General, but I would really like to see some comparators.
Regards, Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 19:14, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
Belgium social services are nearly as good as the french one. So you pay a lot in taxes but you get a full healthcare coverage, unemployent "insurance', etc. This is actually great to attract an employee :) Especially if he has kids. Schiste (talk) 19:47, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
In the UK, that stuff (which is common to pretty much the whole of western Europe) is mostly paid out of the tax the employee pays (and Belgium seems to have similar income tax rates as the UK). --Tango (talk) 19:58, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
Guys, yes, taxes in Belgium are that high. I did quite a bit of reading (and there is quite a bit of "literature" on the subject in French) and yes, Belgium *is* the most expensive country for employers in the EU (and probably ranking up at the top in the world). I am not set on Belgium but having it as a starting point was interesting, because in the end, I guess if we incorporate somewhere else where taxes on employment are not that high, it can only bring the budget down. notafish }<';> 00:08, 11 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
The taxe is one thing. It still does not explain how you came to such an outrageous salary proposition. 01:23, 11 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
In what regard is it outrageous? notafish }<';> 01:49, 11 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
It is. --Hubertl (talk) 21:58, 17 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
I've gone ahead and asked at the Humanities RefDesk - maybe you should have tried this before flying a bunch of people to a meeting? Wnt (talk) 16:19, 25 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
lol no answer, sorry. Wnt (talk) 04:06, 30 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

What will year two look like?


Can we get a draft of the second year budget based on the same assumptions as the first year budget? ie. remove the one-off expenses and have a full 12 months of everything else. We need to consider how the finances of the WCA will work in the long-run. By my rough calculations, the budget will be about €100k more in the second year, putting it at well over half a million euros. If it's really going to cost that much in the long-run, then we need to seriously reconsider the whole idea. How will it possibly be funded when its budget is about 20% of the total budgets of all its members (based on my memory of chapter budgets, and exchange rates, which may be a bit out)? --Tango (talk) 16:16, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

Yes, your assumptions are a bit out ;) but I agree with the general sentiment. This is just the first draft, this needs to be chopped down in my opinion and re-budgeted. This is a very important aspect for me personally, I would not like to see overblown budgets and salaries, only because WMF or "FDC is funding it", this has to make practical sense to the point that chapters are willing to donate from their own revenues to sustain this, if they have to. WCA has to prove itself more than any chapter or organization. Theo10011 (talk) 16:22, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
To take in Sj's idea above of cutting down on airfare and investing in n excellent 5k video conferencing software, travel is for example one of the lines that I can imagine will be reduced in year 2. While I believe that face to face is really important, I deem it extremely important in the first year, and just incrementally important in the second (ie. visiting new "parts of the world", but capitalizing on existing meeting points to consolidate established relationships. notafish }<';> 01:08, 11 July 2012 (UTC)Reply


The 104 is 2 hours per week. If you are dealing with a budget of €450k, then that is probably about right for book-keeping. The travel budget is all for specific things that happen to be on those continents. Is there something happening in Africa that the WCA will need to attend? (I think the SG, etc., should be visiting individual chapters as well as international events, which doesn't appear on the budget yet.) --Tango (talk) 18:47, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
I'm sorry, but I find that "Is there something happening in Africa that the WCA will need to attend?" quite offensive and paternalist. If there is nothing happening in Africa, that is the best reason ever to the WCA to go there. If the chapter is having problems doing their work, they need much more help than any other. Béria Lima msg 22:03, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
As I said, I think the WCA should be visiting chapters, including ones in Africa. The budget that has been set out is for attending international events, of which there aren't any planned in Africa that I'm aware of. There isn't any money included for visiting chapters, regardless of continent, so there is nothing anti-Africa about it. It's an entire budget item that is missing, not one continent. --Tango (talk) 23:19, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
How about: "It was late and I forgot Africa and I'm sorry about it?" Of course Africa should be included. /facepalm. notafish }<';> 23:40, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
Oh and no, this is not about attending only international events, it is about strengthening ties on a regional level, so Abbas is quite right, Africa is missing completely. :( notafish }<';> 01:11, 11 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

Restart from the basics


I'm sorry, but currently it seems the whole process has started from the wrong end. I'll sum the whole situation up as I see it - please correct me if I'm wrong:

  1. As I have understood, the general goal of WCA would be to consolidate, represent and defend the interests of Wikimedia chapters.
  2. For that, WCA should initially facilitate the discussion between chapters so we would reach consensus on these issues.
  3. From that discussion, we would get WCA's longer agenda.
  4. Now, that could include discussions with WMF, regional cooperation, consulting new chapters and helping them with outreach, raising international legal issues etc etc.
  5. Yet the immediate agenda would be the facilitation - and starting from that, we can decide how we could achieve it with the least costs, which would be the starting point for an effective budget. We can use Delphine's budget as a draft to be modified after we answer particular question like:
    1. How many people we would need for that job in the start?
    2. Will they really need an office, furniture, 5 computers?
    3. Do we want them to move to Belgium or would it be better to hire them in a cheaper place?
    4. Etc etc.
  6. When we see the motivated costs, we can decide how we can break them up by income sources, or if we need to review the cost articles again, point by point. --Oop (talk) 19:21, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
As I understand it, this document isn't aimed at being anything more than a draft, a starting point, which can then be iterated upon once the things that you describe (and many other things) have been discussed and agreed upon. I think it does that job very well, particularly given how much discussion it has kicked off here. ;-) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:44, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

Alternative process


I spent a considerable amount of time reading up on Belgium incorporation and tax law. We need to separate this process into different areas. Right now, majority of the personnel compensation and tax payments are based on less than reliable reading of specialized topics. so I propose the following step-

We divide this process based on a few questions addressed to chapters. There is no way to assume what the tax burden would be for employing anyone, the only reliable way is to consult an accountant versed in Belgium tax law. From what I read, out best option would be to consider an "Internationale vereniging zonder winstoogmerk (IVZW)". Again, this is all coming from layman reading of rather dense topics in foreign lanagues, we would need to consult an accountant in order to pick the right type of formation. So, we focus on the facts first within our control,

  • a) How many employees does the WCA need for the first year? Integral to its operation. This budget proposes a certain setup I don't agree with, because this was never discussed on its own before. I believe it should be discussed separately.
  • b) Do we recruit internally or externally? I have seen both being argued around, if we decide that internal recruitment is the way to go, it cuts off substantial recruitment fees and the rather large salary to attract a top candidate from outside who won't know about chapters or Wikimedia. The salaries could be chopped down quite a bit in line with some of the suggestions above. This also cuts the learning curve about the current state of affairs but limits the pool to recruit from.
  • c) We decide on the kind of incorporation we would need and the cost associated with it.

I believe we should leave out taxation and create a draft for employee count and compensation alone, this would be regardless of where the office is located, then provide that to an accountant in Belgium, or elsewhere and get a quote about tax requirements, insurance and any other such requirement. With that said, I still think 96k Euro is too high of a compensation amount, I'd like to see a more modest amount in its place. Theo10011 (talk) 21:03, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

There are a lot of things we need to work out before we can decide what an appropriate salary is. How many staff do we see the WCA having in the future, for example? If it will just be the SG and DSG for the foreseeable future, the SG can have a fairly low salary. If they will be managing 15 people, say, then we will need to pay a lot more (and will have to pay more from the start, even if it will be a few years before all the staff are hired). Where will they be based? What other benefits will they be provided with? Will the SG have a lot of authority (eg. authorising expenditure) or will they be primarily an administrative person with the big decisions being made by the council? All of these questions, and many others, need to be answered before it makes any sense to talk about salaries. --Tango (talk) 23:23, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
For what it's worth, and this is a very personal opinion, I do not think that salary always falls or raises with the number of people you "manage". Frankly, in the case of an SG, they'll probably be "managing" in some kind of way or other around 40 people by the time all chapters have a representative in the Council, and even already 15 or 20 as they start. But beside that point, skills can be rewarded with an appropriate salary, even if there is no "direct" team management. notafish }<';> 00:11, 11 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
Of course there is more to determining an appropriate salary than just the number of people you manage, but it is one of the many factors that needs to be considered. --Tango (talk) 00:25, 11 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

My thought seems to have got list in there a bit, so let me reiterate, let's forget the rest, and decide 2 things. How many people in what position and what their salary would be? the rest should be provided to an accountant to calculate the possible taxes. I don't agree they will be managing anyone, they would essentially be "supporting" and I don't think a rise or fall in salary is so directly associated with the number an individuals manages. My entire earlier point was, we don't know the taxes for sure, there might be loopholes, some rebates or surcharge for non profits that can make a giant difference here, so its better to just focus on what we will know, how much would the SG be paid? and then leave the tax and other fees calculation in the hands of a professional. Regards. Theo10011 (talk) 05:25, 11 July 2012 (UTC)Reply



If we are planning to hire a CFO (Deputy SG), can't we then scrap off the external accounting? I don't think there's going to be a need to outsource Accounting if there's going to be a CFO. Abbasjnr (talk) 06:34, 12 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

HR direction


This is being setup too much like a large chapter. The vision doesn't seem to be there for the HR planning, this requires more business sense with a focus of utility and bottom-line. The council would be the board, and these would be hired executives, the way its being setup looks a lot like WMUK, or any mid-to-large size chapter. WCA doesn't need to be a political organization, the vision was to create a support organization. The support comes after WCA proves its worth. You would be hard pressed to find support from not just me, but the wider community for an organization that starts with earmarking 150,000 euros for one employee without even working on what that employee or organization would do. They will not be managing the chapters.

I suggest abandoning this direction, and instead focusing on a support organization. The way I originally envisioned this was to have support staff, so they create redundancies with existing chapters and WMF. This would make financial sense for everyone involved. That meant-

  • Full time accountant- to create budget, help with reports of all chapters, work on grants. No chapter would individually have to consult or hire an accountant.
  • Part-time lawyer on retainer- A lawyer to help with consultation, help draw contracts, overlook agreements, for all chapters.
  • PR/Media person/translator who will constantly help and lead the team in providing free translation services to all chapters.
  • Event Organizer

That was kind of the original idea, I don't approve of this UN like body of voters and SG. The best you would be able to get out of this, is a small office and all your eggs in the hands of an SG, who if from outside, won't even understand chapters and what they need. In real world scenario, this is trying to be political, but doesn't change any of the ground-realities. No hired executive will ever feel comfortable for the first 2 year, taking on tough topics and situation, just look at the case of existing chapter staff. As it stands, this looks exactly like how a large chapter office would be setup. Theo10011 (talk) 07:10, 13 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

I think you shouldn't worry. I think the idea of spending €150k on a SG without even having a clear job spec has been widely dismissed as a bad idea. I think you should think of Delphine's budget as a first draft to help get the conversation started rather than as any actual idea of what the WCA is going to spend. I think the UN is an excellent analogy for the WCA. I think the WCA is very much a political body and that its support role is just part of it. --Tango (talk) 16:47, 13 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

I'm adding a second iteration I made for the budget, this still needs tinkering but its a decent start. It doesn't replace the first part of Delphine's budget, the administration expenses are in line, just proposes a second iteration of personnel etc.. Regards.Theo10011 (talk) 11:11, 18 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

Proposed Second budget


File:Draft Budget 2.pdf

It's a low quality preview, please click on the file to see the draft. Regards. Theo10011 (talk) 11:16, 18 July 2012 (UTC)Reply


  • Taxes have been left out intentionally. The estimate differ too greatly to approximate at this stage. They should be arrived on after consultation with an accountant or a tax law specialist in Belgium.
  • Salary estimates are based on non-industry specific averages for Belgium. They may need to be tweaked later on, but they assume the averages.
  • Chapter network as suggested is from a suggestion on this page by Sj(Thanks). It earmarks funds for developing a video conferencing network to link all chapters. Since most chapters don't have an office, this would be an ongoing project, starting with skype facility, normal webcam to scaling with professional video conferencing equipment.
  • There are 3 full time positions and 2 part-time positions. The full-time employees are expected to fill 2 roles related to their field.
  • Translation and PR has been listed as a separate full time position. There would also be funds earmarked to aid in professional translation for official and important documents.
  • All proposed travel assume budget travel services and online bookings to minimize the cost of travel.
  • GLAM has been listed separately as an event that can be pooled together through the WCA since a large majority of chapters engage in it. The earmarked amount is just the starting sum and can be increased when pooled with multiple chapters.
  • There are funds left for support to other undecided chapter projects that can be announced during the year.

I might be missing something, so I will check and expand later. Theo10011 (talk) 11:27, 18 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

I've taken the liberty of putting this in Wikitable format also on the content page, for completeness. Wnt (talk) 17:03, 25 July 2012 (UTC)Reply

More comments


I still see these budget proposals as grossly unrealistic. More specifically:

1. A budget without a revenue side is incomplete.
2. Incorporating in Belgium should not necessarily mean that the WCA will have its offices or employees in Belgium. The key purpose of incorporation is to become a legal person that can do business in its own name, including having a bank account.
3. There would be something to be learned by reviewing the history if the WMF in its first two years after incorporation, particularly in the growth of salary expenses during that time.
4. In the first year it might suffice to have an administrative assistant as the only full time person. The role of an eventual Secretary General would have a chance to evolve in that time.
5. The administrative assistant could be hired on a contract basis and be responsible for his or her own taxes. That responsibility would be a factor in calculating the salary level. Unless there is a need for regularly meeting people in the office, it may suffice for the assistant to work from a home office.

Eclecticology (talk) 08:59, 9 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Was this every updated? What is the current state of thinking about this? SJ talk  06:22, 3 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
Overhead costs at NGOs should typically be less than 10-20% per here.[1] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:43, 6 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
Reading some commentary elsewhere it is clear that the substantive position of the WCA was to appoint one full time person, potentially that might be the only significant cost of the WCA. Of course this may change at any time, as it is totally up to the WCA, whose members are the chapters. The same applies to the source of funds as well as the application. Again if those funds are supplied by another organisation, doubtless members of that organisation will have input to the restriction of funds. I have been involved in a similar organisation (an association of regional charities, which has a national charity as a guiding force) and while in that case the budget was precisely zero, the value of the organisation, which I originally questioned, was made very clear over the first years of operation in terms of both effective sharing of learning, experience and expertise, and in making effective and coherent collective representations to the national body, saving resources both for the regional and national charities. Rich Farmbrough 05:31 17 February 2013 (GMT).