[IAEP] Umbrella Fund for Small Deployments

Sandra Thaxter sandra at smallsolutionsbigideas.org
Wed May 23 12:33:47 EDT 2012


 I know that I have not been an attendee at the SF Summits. But I am very
much part of those looking for ways to support small deployments.  The
gathering of the leaders of OLPC sites in Kenya was just such an effort.

Yesteday we (Small Solutions) met with the Vice President for Grants and
Services of the* Essex County Community Foundation* http://eccf.org . It
may sound like a group just serving local philanthropies, but in fact they
also do support national and international projects.  They setup funds for
non-profits, indiviudals or interest groups. They pool these funds into a
bigger investment fund which accrues with interest rate (better than money
market rates).   You do not have to be a 501c3 to create a fund with them.
They act as the umbrella financially and you pay a small (comparatively
modest) fee for their administration.

They have a couple of hundred Massachusetts based groups they support, a
smaller group of national and international.  There are different types of
funds, but the kind you would want is one that accrues, and you can
withdraw at any time.  You do need to setup some fund trustees, and follow
some reguations about its management.  For all of us who think we need to
create our own 501c3 to get donations for our causes, this is a great low
cost solution.

Even if the fund is in the US,  there is no reason that the funds cannot
benefit organizations outside the US.  Purchases are made from a US source
as well.   It is probably possible to setup a fund for just a single
project. But I think that an umbrella fund with a management team is
something SLOBS?  (not sure who the SLOBS are myself)  should consider.

If you would like to contact or setup a call with Julie Bishop,  she can be
reached at j.bishop at eccf.org

Sandra Thaxter
Small Solutions Big Ideas
Newburyport  Massachusetts

On Tue, May 22, 2012 at 5:52 PM, Caryl Bigenho <cbigenho at hotmail.com> wrote:

> > Date: Tue, 22 May 2012 19:51:48 +0000
> > From: alsroot at sugarlabs.org
> > To: cbigenho at hotmail.com
> > CC: olpc-sur at lists.laptop.org; bkuhn at sfconservancy.org;
> tony at sfconservancy.org; iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org;
> slobs at lists.sugarlabs.org
> > Subject: Re: [SLOBS] [Sur] "New Co" / Nueva Empresa
> >
> > On Tue, May 22, 2012 at 11:54:34AM -0700, Caryl Bigenho wrote:
> > >
> > > Hi...
> > >
> > > At the olpcSF meeting last October some of us met informally and
> discussed
> > > the need for exactly what you are suggesting: an organization that
> would
> > > act as an "umbrella" for groups that wanted to fund small deployments
> and
> > > make other contributions to the OLPC, Sugar, and open source software
> in
> > > education (OSSIE).
> > >
> > > As far as I know, nothing has been done to implement this idea yet.
> Some
> > > of the suggestions we had were:
> > >
> > > * It should be a completely separate entity from OLPC and Sugar Labs to
> > > insure independence.
> >
> > In fact, Sugar Labs was for me exactly such "umbrella" (pure community
> > based organization to coordinate not only Sugar development but also any
> > Sugar learning platform related work "in the field") from the beginning.
> > So, being independent from Sugar Labs sounds for me like being
> > independent from the community :).
> Exactly... independent of all of the politics! It would also allow for the
> inclusion of other OSSIE projects folks might want to undertake.
> >
> > Anyway, if I got Bradley Kuhn right, right now, it is rather impossible
> > to proceed operations like funding local mini/micro deployments from
> > Sugar Labs level. So, it should be new organization in any case.
> >
> > > * It should file as a registered 501c3 NGO that could
> > > act as an umbrella organization for the local groups that are meeting
> and
> > > raising funds for their deployments and other OLPC/Sugar Related
> activities.
> > > In addition to the NGO status, they could carry liability insurance so
> local
> > > groups under the "umbrella" would be able to qualify for free meeting
> space
> > > as a non-profit.
> >
> > I'm not confident in such cases, but will it be possible to operate on
> > behalf of 501c3 NGO out of USA? Actually, the one of purposes to raise
> > this question in SLOBs was the fact that a group of people (including
> > me) is trying to process exactly such mini/micro (at least from the
> beginning)
> > deployment in Peru.
> Each country has its own rules. An NGO in the USA could raise fund in the
> USA and for projects headquartered here, but the actual project could be
> deployed anywhere. Some of the mini-deployments I have mentored have done
> exactly this.
> >
> > > * The name that we used for the group was "Bumblebees." One reason for
> choosing
> > > that was it in no way indicates relation to OLPC or Sugar Labs.
> > >
> > > We didn't keep a list of who was there, but I do remember SJ, Craig
> Perue,
> > > and I think Mark Battley being there. They can probably fill you in
> with other info.
> > > It would be really helpful to local groups if this could happen. For
> olpc-SoCal,
> > > here in Southern California, it would allow us and other groups like
> ours to get
> > > free meeting space (insurance and NGO status required), to hold events
> like a
> > > Scratch Day and similar, and to raise funds for small deployments.
> > >
> > > Caryl
> >
> > Did you consider joining existing crowdfunding efforts (I assume there
> > should be kickstarter like sites that are related to edu) instead of
>  > creating new GNO? If it is not trivial to handle donations worldwide, it
> > might be useful to reuse already done work.
> All of the crowd funding sites I have checked out take quite a cut for
> their services (I guess they *do* have to eat). I was hoping that could
> be reduced or avoided all together or at least minimized.
> >> In any case, I personally really like idea of crowdfunding site (reuse
> > existing one or creating new one). The process seems to be very
> > community driven when there is no need in organization that handles
> > everything, just an organization that process technical work and
> > declares basic rules, the rest is community driven and self organized.
> > For example, anyone can create new project and ask for funding.
> >
> > --
> > Aleksey
> _______________________________________________
> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep

Sandra Thaxter
sandra at smallsolutionsbigideas.org
sandra at thaxter.net
(617) 320-1098
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