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Re: [iaoa-education] Summer school budget issues

To: IAOA Education Committee <iaoa-education@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Laure Vieu <vieu@xxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 05 Nov 2010 10:37:12 +0100
Message-id: <4CD3D048.8020706@xxxxxxx>
Dear Werner,    (01)

Thank you very much for explaining all this, and for proposing a deal 
that could hardly be any better. I must confess that I'm relieved! :-)    (02)

The EC discussed some time ago and concluded that an open policy is to 
be preferred when we can afford it, so if Vespucci handles all, it would 
be better to allow non-IAOA members to attend the summer school. (At 
FOIS 2010 we opted for a members-only conference because this decision 
was taken before knowing whether IAOA would handle the budget or not.)
What we should discuss next, though, is what preferential fees we give 
to IAOA members, since one of our advertised benefits are reductions at 
IAOA organized events (of course, when not restricted to members).
I will investigate if it's possible and it makes sense to have IAOA 
members registering through IAOA, although this might be unrelated.    (03)

Regarding the fees, I find the proposed scheme quite expensive.
Have you examined how it compares with other summer chools? I'm familiar 
with ESSLLI, which costs less (early rates: 300-450 in 2010 in 
Copenhagen, 225-350 in 2009 in Bordeaux), and for 2 weeks. Of course 
ESSLLI is huge. But lower fees attract more participants. So I was 
wondering whether we could safely expect an attendance larger than 21, 
especially if there are student grants available.
How many student grants can be expected? Where would these grants come 
from?  I propose to discuss at the EC if IAOA could offer a few (1 or 2) 
such grants, but since the IAOA budget is very limited, this is not at 
all obvious. Do the grants you have considered cover the registration 
only or the accommodation and travel expenses as well? (With the latter 
option, we certainly cannot afford a grant.)    (04)

On another topic, leaving my treasurer role, let me add that I agree 
with Nicola in pushing to increase the introductory part, as we cannot 
take for granted that basics of formal ontology are known to most.
of course, you surely have discussed this issue. maybe you could 
summarize the pros and cons for the 2+4 option, and for alternative 
options, e.g., 3+3?    (05)

My apologies to all not to have been able to participate to the telecon 
if you were expecting this from me, I was travelling that day.    (06)

all the best,
Laure    (07)

Le 4/11/10 21:54, Werner Kuhn a écrit :
> Dear Laure,
> thanks a lot for clarifying these points - they are pretty much what I
> expected. My main reason to consider registrations through IAOA was
> the credit card payment option. But, as you point out, it is not very
> attractive anyway.
> The non-profit non-taxed status is, as I found out myself in
> considering alternatives for Vespucci, not an option for summer
> schools. Vespucci has the complementary form of organization: a
> commercial company (as I explained to some before). We run the summer
> schools as non-profit, but the tax controllers do not mind if we earn
> more than we spend (to spend it on a future summer school, for
> example). It is us who want to avoid that, so that we pay not too much
> in taxes, but there is no legal problem at all.
> Having said this, we do have costs, of course, that are not showing up
> in the summer school budget that we discussed. We pay several thousand
> Euro per year on accounting alone (a function of the number of
> transactions, among others), plus income tax, plus the VAT difference.
> I propose that, overall, we run the registrations and payments for
> 2011 through our Vespucci web site, requesting bank transfers with
> fees paid by the issuer. On a smaller scale, we can still optimize by
> having some registrations of members and some payments go through
> IAOA, if we want.
> Of course, I will make the complete transactions transparent to Laure
> and anybody else who cares. Also, we would not need cash advances or
> anything, as the big amount up front (the site) is paid by JRC and we
> have some reserves for the rest.
> For the case that the summer school generates money that we do not
> spend in 2011, we need to agree on sharing. My proposal would be to
> deduct the incurred costs of our company for running the school and
> then split the rest 50:50. Where that possible income for IAOA is
> "banked" can then still be discussed so that your non-profit status is
> not endangered.
> Does this help, Laure?
> best,
> Werner
> On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 3:15 PM, Laure Vieu <vieu@xxxxxxx> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I realize now that this message should have been better posted through
>> the mailing list.
>> so, here it is
>> Best,
>> Laure
>> -------- Message original --------
>> Sujet : Summer school budget issues
>> Date : Thu, 04 Nov 2010 13:16:14 +0100
>> De : Laure Vieu <vieu@xxxxxxx>
>> Pour : Obrst, Leo J. <lobrst@xxxxxxxxx>,  Werner Kuhn <kuhn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> Copie à : Nicola Guarino <guarino@xxxxxxxxxx>
>> Dear Leo and Werner,
>> I would like to understand better how you plan to handle the budget of
>> the summer school.
>> The main question is: would IAOA run the whole budget, i.e., handle all
>> incomes and all payments, or is there another possibility that you are
>> considering, namely that some other organization (university or other)
>> handles that, possibly with a cash advance from IAOA, and with an
>> agreement regarding how to handle possible losses and benefits and other
>> connected issues?
>> If IAOA will directly handle the summer school budget, then, please keep
>> in mind these important constraints:
>> - all the summer school attendees need to be IAOA members.
>> if not, the whole summer school is classified as a commercial operation,
>> and, not only we'll pay taxes on it, but (because the summer school
>> budget will far exceed the rest) we will surely loose the non-profit
>> label, something we absolutely need to avoid.
>> I have recently learned that there are complications with selling a
>> package membership+registration to those that are not yet members, as we
>> did at FOIS 2010, because the Italian tax controllers consider that this
>> is just a way to get around the law, and do look for such things.
>> To avoid problems, we would need to open the summer school only to
>> people who are already members, which means that registering to the
>> summer school will be a two-step procedure for those who are not yet
>> members. The new member approval procedure, which normally takes up to 1
>> week, might be a great burden, and we'll try to figure out how to get
>> around it.
>> - any other income than registration fees or public bodies subventions
>> are very likely to be labeled as commercial transaction, and so taxed
>> (taxes are not very high, though). This is the case, for instance, of
>> company sponsorships, which are considered as publicity space sales as
>> soon as the sponsors have their logos appearing somewhere.
>> The problems with this is two-fold.
>> First of all, the overall commercial incomes cannot be higher than the
>> regular (non-commercial) incomes of the IAOA, so, we cannot get more
>> sponsoring than membership fees (from 2009-2010 experience, this could
>> be evaluated at about 5000 euros) otherwise IAOA would become a
>> commercial entity, loosing its non-profit statute (same as above).
>> Second, having just one commercial operation forces us to change our
>> fiscal regime for a minimum of 5 years, with a much more complex
>> accounting, and the need to use the services of an official accountant
>> (up to 1000 euros per year). So the benefits from such sponsoring need
>> to be carefully evaluated, as they can turn out to be a loss rather than
>> an income.
>> - and obviously enough, this would cause a large increase of work for
>> myself :-)
>> All in all, if you have an alternative possibility to handle the budget,
>> please do consider it seriously, and evaluate the difficulties and the
>> costs associated to it.
>> I add here again that the bank charges on credit card payments (only
>> visa and mastercard) are of 1.2%. Paypal payments cost more than 3.4%.
>> Bank transfers are free of charge provided the charges are paid by the
>> issuer (standard procedure within EU).
>> All the best,
>> Laure
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>     (08)

Msg Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/iaoa-education/   
Committee File-share: http://iaoa.cim3.net/file/work/Committee/Education/ 
Committee Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?IaoaEducation
Activities Blog: http://iaoa-activities.blogspot.com/ ...(coming!)
To join: please email committee chair or to: info @ iaoa.org 
IAOA website: http://iaoa.org    (09)
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