Creating a non-profit association for EuroBillTracker

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avij
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Creating a non-profit association for EuroBillTracker

Post by avij »

It has been proposed that we'd create a non-profit organization for Eurobilltracker. Here are some of my thoughts about the issue.

This association would make all the important decisions regarding the future of EBT. EBT users would be able to join this association, and those members of the association would make the decisions democratically. The board of directors (who would implement the decisions made by the association) would be chosen by the members of the association. The bookkeeping of the association would be audited and the budget would be decided by the members of the association. Philippe should have a central role in this association to make the unification of the sites a possibility.

The association would be the owner of the eurobilltracker.* domain names. I'd be ready to donate the eurobilltracker.eu domain name to the non-profit association, and I'd expect Philippe to do the same for eurobilltracker.com.

The association would also own the copyrights to the PHP code that runs EBT. I would gladly donate the code I've written to the association, and Nerzhul has promised to do the same.

The association would also have the rights to use the translations provided by the translators. Of course we'd need to contact the translators and ask their permission for this, but as Babel already stores the information on who has contributed to the translations, contacting the translators shouldn't be a problem.

Some of you have expressed concerns that I'd be run over by a bus and my funding to the project would thus stop. The bus drivers in Finland are usually considered a bit more calm than their colleagues in other countries, so this shouldn't be a big concern. However, it would indeed be nice if the association could at least partially cover the costs of running the EBT web server. I absolutely refuse to get paid for my work here at EBT, but it'd be a nice gesture if, for example, the association could pay the monthly hosting (=rackspace+power+bandwidth) charges of 69e/month for my server. The 200e/month figure I mentioned in an earlier message consists of the aforementioned hosting charges and the occassional hardware purchases for EBT's web server and the forum server.

How the association would get money would be decided by the association itself. The association could, for example, run ads on EBT, collect membership payments from members (of the association, not from regular users of EBT), arrange a fundraising ala Wikipedia, sell merchandise with EBT logo on them.. you name it.

If you have thoughts about the issue, feel free to share them with us.
Last edited by avij on Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:55 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Post by wisi »

Well, I think it might be a good idea to do so and I think that a lot of ebt's running costs could be paid e.g. with membership fees to such an association. But, what has to be strictly clear: Such an association implies a lot of bureaucratic overhead - and I know what I am talking of as I am the tresurer of an nonprofit association since 11/2000 (and I still regret that one of my first changes was to convince all members to pay non-cash :( ).
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Post by philgelico »

What EBTers need is to have a single EBT site, and keep on enjoying the membership on EBT .

I want Unified EBT
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Post by Dakkus »

philgelico wrote:What EBTers need is to have a single EBT site, and keep on enjoying the membership on EBT .

I want Unified EBT
Dude, that's precisely what's being built here :)
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Post by -STAR- »

wisi wrote:Well, I think it might be a good idea to do so and I think that a lot of ebt's running costs could be paid e.g. with membership fees to such an association. But, what has to be strictly clear: Such an association implies a lot of bureaucratic overhead - and I know what I am talking
Fully seconded. /me is also treasurer of one and secretary of another non-profit organization.
And the home country of such an association should be chosen wisely, as there's a whole lot
of rules and laws applying that have to be followed and considered.

Nonetheless, I'd love to be part of such an organization.
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Post by Beatminister »

@avij
This sounds very fair and reasonable, from what you are offering, as well as from its intention to put EBT on a more "tremor-proof" foundation.
I can only hope all 3 (!) of you can overcome the present hard feelings, and find a common base to solve the ownership questions.
At the end of the day - a divided or forcefully closed EBT is of no benefit for anybody. Like in every war: no side really wins.
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Re: Creating a non-profit association for EuroBillTracker.eu

Post by diogocanilho »

avij wrote:This is our plan for the future of EuroBillTracker.eu and it looks bright.
I totally agree with your oppinion about this idea of creating a non-profit association for EuroBillTracker (.eu/.com/.org/.pt/.es/it...you name it...).
Curiosilly, in the last portuguese EBT meeting (in Vale de Cambra) we talked a litlle about the "semi-profissionalization" of EBT, because we all agree that was hard to you to pay the 69€/month and all the work that you and Nerzhul (and in the past giro) have with our hobby!
If giro took the idea of where's george in 2002, why not take some ideas now from them (actually I don't know if they're an association), but they still have lot's of merchandising (off course, they're americans :D and they have ads in their pages...
The idea of a non-profit organization is really cool, because it can improve the site's structure and also keep EBT alive no matter what!
I will be very happy to be part of that organization!
Have a nice 2008 (I'll be gone for a while) and hopefully at 2/01 I'll read good news in this Forum!
Viva o EBT!
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Post by ElBarto »

Sorry avij, but you are just talking about *.eu here. Is the possibility of reuniting the sites already gone? If not, do you think it's wise to speak about how to organize EBT.EU in the future before having reached a conclusion in the discussions with Philippe?
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Post by Vildou »

I also fully agree with the idea of a non-profit association; some european model railway clubs have done so, I think it is on the basis of the french 1901 law because it seemed the easiest way to create and run the association, though I'm not sure wether the members are individuals, local/national associations or both. Maybe Avij could have a look at
http://home.planet.nl/~eurot032/eurotrack/Home.html
and make contact with those people who have experienced the thing?

BTW I also think that ElBarto 's question makes sense
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Post by Kleman »

yes, the idea of an association is very good
but only when .com and .eu will be reunited
what about that
(if you want to keep .eu, .com must be an url of EBT too, it's my opinion)
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Post by Dakkus »

ElBarto wrote:Sorry avij, but you are just talking about *.eu here. Is the possibility of reuniting the sites already gone? If not, do you think it's wise to speak about how to organize EBT.EU in the future before having reached a conclusion in the discussions with Philippe?
I would see this as necessary. Of course, once Philippe has joined and the sites have merged, there's no need to make the distinction by mentioning .eu. But, as long as the merger hasn't taken place, this unfortunately has to be mentioned if you want to speak honestly.
The association will grow from what is now eurobilltracker.eu, but since it's open to everybody, its existence does not hinder the possibilities of reunification.

Also, I see the association as the only feasible way towards reunification. And that is the most important thing.

EDIT: And of course, when eurobilltracker.com is free for the association to use, it will be used by us, just like what happened about eurobilltracker.eu when it became available. If we just let the .com address float around unused, someone will buy it and it will look like this address: http://eurobilltraker.com/ (note that I've left one c away from the address!).
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Post by sen-chuan »

A no-profit association is a good idea to keep the site (*.eu or *.com are not insignificant) alive. I personally am glad to contribute a free fee, but it will be evident that all must be accounted and noticed to each member of the active community at least every two months.
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Post by mike.foxtrot »

I *ABSOLUTELY* agree with the idea of a foundation, association, cooperative or whatever it might be useful. Yet, remember to spend some time to clearly define do's and don'ts of Chairman, Treasure, Secretary, Counselours and whoever...

And to fix the founding site in no funky places (I could name a few) with easy-go laws about balances and rules...

As a matter of fact, when money is involved (no matter the figures), people starts getting touchy... :roll:
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Post by capitobi »

mike.foxtrot wrote:As a matter of fact, when money is involved (no matter the figures), people starts getting touchy... :roll:
:lol: There's quite a lot of money involved in this project.
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Post by mike.foxtrot »

capitobi wrote: :lol: There's quite a lot of money involved in this project.
:wink: There isn't much right now... If it will be a foundation with, say, 5 Euros each year for each entry fee, it could start being interesting...

As now, it would be 118.466 users x 5 Euros = 592.330 Euros...

Putting them on a T-Bond would leave EBT free for quite a long time...

Is that interesting enough?!? :wink:

...Not to mention bric-a-brac merchandise sales... 8O
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