Finance is one of the most essential things to get right when setting up a group. This articles highlights some basic finance strategies and argues that the best method to use a system based on a membership subscription.
Financing a group
Subscription membership is where all members are required to contribute a percentage of their (gross) income on a weekly or monthly basis. A percentage system is fairer then a flat rate as an unemployed member (on ₤100 a week) pays ₤5 where as someone working and earning ₤500 a week pays at least ₤25.
In richer countries this should provide enough money to run an organisation without the need for additional fund raising for routine use. However in serious organisations outside of the richer world it is not unusual for members of a small group to have to donate much larger percentages of their income in order to keep their group functioning! For this reason if your are in the richer world you might like to set aside a percentage of the groups income as an international solidarity fund.
Each local section of the group will need a treasurer to keep track of the payment of subs and to keep track and account for any expenditure by the local section. These accounts should be available for any member to inspect although in terms of income you might want to decide that while individual subs should be listed no name should be attached to each item. This is essential as suspicion over the misuse of funds can easily destroy a group.
On a regional/national basis National conference should decide that a certain percentage of each branch's income (perhaps 50%) should go to a national account and supervised by a national treasurer. This national account can be used to pay for national expenditure (printing of papers, books etc), perhaps helping small branches with low income/unemployed members to carry out regular activity, and helping individual branches faced with local opportunities to make the most of them. Again these accounts should be open to inspection by all members and a summary listing major items should be regularly circulated to all members.
Adapted from the Struggle Site.