[Global_chapter_committee] OWASP Funds and International Chapters

Andrew van der Stock vanderaj at owasp.org
Wed Apr 13 11:04:56 EDT 2011


This has been a problem for a long time. 

In OWASP AU 2009, we missed out on a lot of government and corporate attendees (this was the #1 feedback - "sorry I can't come because I can't claim it back or I can't get it processed in our system") because we could not issue them with a GST tax invoice in Australian dollars, allowing them to claim the conference expense as a tax deduction or corporate expense claim. This is a different issue to the credit card processing and paypal issues happening at the same time. 

The Australian Tax Office doesn't worry about organizations earning less than about $5000 per year. For example, I was rejected for a ABN for my forum as it earns ~ $1200 per year. As soon as it exceeds that $5k threshold, they expect you to incorporate in some fashion, either as a non-profit, partnership, or similar.  Even a small OWASP Day + several chapters OOTM could exceed that sort of funds. 

I think many countries are the same. How to do it in a scalable fashion that allows

* Transparency for the global board and local chapters
* Accountability so that money is not misused or forgotten about
* Allows chapter leaders (commonly techies) who may not really understand accountancy at all to manage the books in a satisfactory way
* Allows chapters some form of autonomy wrt monies they collect or handle whilst also allowing transfers to and from the global non-profit 
* Minimizes accountancy and bank fees 
* Is scalable, especially considering how stretched HQ has been in the past (and probably even more so today) 

Is a huge challenge. 

thanks,
Andrew

On 13/04/2011, at 10:52 PM, Tom Brennan wrote:

> If someone wants to present a global plan that is what your committee is all about.
> 
> Sent from a mobile device
> 
> On Apr 13, 2011, at 8:28 AM, "L. Gustavo C. Barbato" <lgbarbato at owasp.org> wrote:
> 
>> Tom,
>>  
>>   So far as I know, ISSA has a non-profit organization here in Brazil and I'm in touch with some guys that have been working to create ISACA here in Porto Alegre.
>> 
>>    Other organization with the same model is PMI that I have already talked to the guy responsible for financial.
>> 
>>   Another important information is that we have been paying about US$3500 to contract companies to manage our financial for AppSec conferences. However, if we have a such non-profit organization we could save such money because we could handle by ourselves.
>> 
>>   Here in Brazil, we already have 8 chapters and many others I've been working to create at least one in each others states aiming spreading out OWASP wordings more efficiently. (by the way, we have 26 states)
>> 
>>   So IMHO it's time to think about others legal structures outside US.
>> 
>> L. Gustavo C. Barbato, Ph.D.
>> Chapter Leader, OWASP Porto Alegre / Brazil 
>> Member, Global Chapter Committee
>> 
>> On 04/13/2011 02:02 AM, Tom Brennan wrote:
>>> 
>>> Consider looking at ISSA and ISACA for suggestions here.
>>> 
>>> Sent from a mobile device
>>> 
>>> On Apr 12, 2011, at 11:33 PM, Tin Zaw <tin.zaw at owasp.org> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> Hi guys, 
>>>> 
>>>> Gustavo brought up a good point during Tuesday call regarding money transfers between the US and some countries, especially those in Latin America and Asia.
>>>> 
>>>> To quote the minutes:
>>>> 
>>>> "GB noted that there is a significant problem in Brazil (as well as other countries in SA/LA) regarding international funds transfers. He wondered if OWASP could look into setting up a Non-profit foundation in Brazil to handle expenses/fund transfers related to the local chapters as well as conferences. SB to discuss this with KH and other OWASP personnel and get back to GB on the issue."
>>>> 
>>>> I have been thinking along the same lines too, especially how a chapter, or a conference, in China would run with their funds managed by the Foundation in the US -- actually, they can't, and they don't. 
>>>> 
>>>> I think we should realize this fact, and start to discuss how funds are handled internationally. This could lead to organization structure changes, etc. 
>>>> 
>>>> Please give some thoughts to it. Please reach out to chapter leaders in different parts of the world that you have relationships with and ask for their challenges and opinions.  While not urgent, we should discuss this at one of the monthly meetings.
>>>> 
>>>> Thanks. 
>>>> 
>>>> -- 
>>>> Tin Zaw, CISSP, CSSLP
>>>> Chapter Leader and President, OWASP Los Angeles Chapter
>>>> Chair, OWASP Global Chapter Committee 
>>>> Google Voice: (213) 973-9295
>>>> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/tinzaw
>>>> 
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