Finances and Operations

Overview of Finances and Operations – 1 December 2015

We are a relatively small 501c3 nonprofit organization, with seven volunteer board members. We have no paid staff. We hold our meetings in our homes, so we do not have any office costs. We are a “giving” Board, with the expectation that board members will contribute monetarily as well as with their time. Our overall budget falls into the smallest IRS category of less than $50,000 (average) per year.

The Fountain is on City of Berkeley property and belongs to the City. All of our work is carried out in collaboration with the City. The City contributes some funds and operational support to the Fountain, but lacks the resources to carry out most of the work.

Our activities fall into three main categories: communications and fund raising, capital projects, and operational support.

Our communications and fund raising activities include a web page, Facebook page, letters to the community, and fountain themed merchandise for sale. Our expenses include web page hosting (~$100 per year), postage (~$2,000 for a mailing to our ~4,000 household mailing list), paper, ink and envelopes for communications, and some materials for our merchandise. Response rate to our donation requests is around 6%, with the average donation about $80 (thanks to some large donors), so our fund raising costs are around 10% of our budget. Each donation acknowledgment costs ~$0.49 in postage. PayPal donations cost $0.30 plus 2.2% each (the charitable rate with PayPal). Our computer resources are donated. An annual volunteer party is donated.

Our capital projects include (in 2013 through 2015), repairs to the balusters and other masonry work around the fountain and down the Walk (~$70,000), resurfacing of the bottom of the main pool (~$2,000), scanning of the artwork for future replacement due to damage or wear (~$5,000), and replacement of the pumps (the City is buying the pumps for ~$3,000).

Our operational activities include a daily review of fountain operation and cleaning of filters as needed (about twice a week), a monthly work party of volunteers to do landscape maintenance around the fountain and Walk (first Saturday of each month), and an annual decoration of the Fountain for December with donated decorations. The brooms, shovels and other tools for the monthly work party are donated with a few exceptions. The City provides pickup for 4 large trash bins each month.