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Re: [Computerbank] funds, fundraising and getting support in the cities

Hello everyone,

Please excuse me for leaving this posting very long but I think a few might
need to hear Kylie's thinking again. :)

I'm not at all sure those now wearing 'national' hats aren't still thinking
mostly VIC though. This is natural enough I suppose and until the Victorian
Branch with its separate office bearers, and separate room, is established
it is likely to continue.

I've edited and put inside brackets what Penni had said before Kylie
responded to her. In response to some of what Kylie said, see my comments
at **


At 23:38 28/10/01 +1100, Kylie Davies wrote:

[Computerbank Australia Inc. employs 3 people: 1 Executive Officer and 2
work-for-the-dole coordinators and leases its premises. We have to budget
for and find a minimum of $3,000 per month. Most of this is funded by the
WFTD project.]

** I'm unclear whether this is all now under "national" control or if some
of it is Victoria's.

>The people are employed on a part time basis - yet they sometimes 
>'work' full time (and overtime)...and I am one of these employees.

** In any volunteer organisation this sort of thing often happens, it
shouldn't. Where the work exceeds the willing workers available, the extra
work to be done needs to be made clear to everyone else. Those inside the
show sometimes think the ones outside it aren't interested and wouldn't
help. Enough times, that isn't so. Many don't offer because they don't
think their skills match what is required, but perhaps they do? 

** Kylie needs help to dredge up the ones with the skills needed to fill
the gaps in the whole operation, that's something certain people are
particularly capable of doing, we might easily have one or more extra
volunteers able to do that.

[State reps don't automatically become members of CAI, you have to be a
financial member before you can be a State Rep as they are full National
Committee members and according to our constitution you have to be a full
financial member to be on the Committee]

>I have signed Romana Challans and Craig Warner up as financial members.
>Tony Joblin was appointed <clip>

[There are only 31 members and the money for membership goes to the states
but has to be reported and receipted to the National Committee as they are
responsible for the financial reporting (to the Auditor General) of the
whole organisation]

>To streamline this we can develop some sort of reporting template. :) 
>We will be sending out "state kits" - these will comprise: 
>Receipt books for membership and other financial transactions.
>Exercise books - for recording Memberships.
>A swag of numbers (ABN, REG org #, ARBN, Ins and Pub Liability Policy
>numbers and details).
>A copy of the Constitution.
>Reporting Template (draft 1)
>Relevant Policy Documents (will be available online soon enough).

[There is going to be some seed funding available for other state branches]

>Dependent on the shape and form of individual state branches (ie:
>likelihood of being able to accommodate a program such as wftd and
>sustain operations over 3-4 days (min) per week) will determine how
>money will be allocated to branches. 
>Remember we only have 'seed funding', not ongoing funding, to allocate
>to start up branches. The suggested use of this money will be to:
>establish bond/1st month's rent/start costs for operations that are
>likely to run programs that can be funded from government or other means
>(eg: wftd - a success for Victoria). 
>There is no sense in taking out a one or two year lease on a commercial
>property if you cannot reasonably guarantee making the payments. There
>is also no sense in taking out a commercial lease if you can get
>suitable coshare or subsidised rental arrangements (temp or perm). 
>Branches interested in investigating wftd are encouraged to check out
>http://www.esn.gov.au/ (appears to be down atm) and take a look at the
>section for Sponsors. 
>One of the conditions for obtaining "sponsor organisation" wftd funds is
>that an organisation needs to have a premises from which to run the
>Another condition that needs to be met is the need to have public
>liability insurance (This we meet by virtue of being a national
>In Victoria, we did not sign a lease until we were absolutely certain
>that we would get wftd funds. It was only then, that we signed it.
>Point to note: The real estate agent would not allow the organisation to
>sign the lease, individual members of the Victorian branch are
>responsible if the organisation defaults. 
>The Dept of Work Relations and Small Business (DEWRSB) has signed a
>contract to continue running WFTD until the year 2005. While a change of
>government might mean a name change (needed) and changes to aspects of
>the program itself (more training related outcomes), the program will
>continue. :)
>Start talking to your Community Work Co-ordinators now. You can check
>for them on the site. 
>State branches should also look to State based programs for funding, and
>other Commonwealth grant schemes (Community Jobs Programs). Check out the
>Dept Ed Work Relations and Small Business at http://www.dewrsb.gov.au)
>for other employment programs. 
>More on wftd soon, I'm sure there will be a swag of questions.
>Another option for fundraising is to have a 'fundraiser' or have someone
>have one for you... Maybe some of the Linux User Groups could help out
>Other ideas for support (that which will minimise costs, like providing
>printing services) and fundraising include sponsorship, donations of
>non-technical items and services. 
** The following is a valuable list to review but branches, and especially
regional nodes, also have their own local ways that have been proven to
work for other comparable organisations.

>CBV held a "geek trivia night" in association with the Alternative
>Computer Expo (we raised $980) and Kingswood College held an out of
>uniform day and donated the proceeds to CBV ($110). :)
>It is also possible to sell some of the equipment that you will not use
>within your program. (The National Committee will set a framework for
>Above all, Jenni's post highlights a dire need for more support at the
>state level (particularly SA, NSW and QLD) - if anyone on this list can
>help facilitate linkages that will result in positive outcomes
>(immediate: storage, temporary or permanent premises)- PLEASE contact
>the appropriate people for those states. 
>Talk to politicians, talk to trade unions, talk to educational
>institutions, talk to Welfare group - get their support, get them
>*doing* things, not just *promising* things. 
>State contacts are:
>Tony Joblin (QLD) tonyjoblin@yahoo.com.au - Romana Challans and Shaun
>Branden (SA) cbsa@linunix.com - Craig Warner (NSW) craigw@blue.net.au 
>While this may seem very city-centric - if we do not have city branches
>that are healthy and in a position to support regionals - we don't have
>much hope of spreading Computerbank into the regions. 
>I feel very pressured (and so do other Vics) when there is mention of
>another regional branch wanting to form (Bruce/Kerry) when we haven't
>even got well supported branches in the cities of NSW, SA and QLD. (A
>lot of the equipment that will go out to the regionals will be shipments
>from the cities).

** As I said in my recent email, I think all regional branches (nodes) can
be stand-alone to a great degree, not requiring shipments from any head
office. To some extent, there is no reason to await a particular capital
city getting its act together and no one need feel too pressured. To me,
wherever pressure does happen, that just defines another volunteer role for
someone who might see it as the niche into which they can fit to help the
overall development of Computerbank. So, every time you feel under
pressure, ask for help -- define the role you want someone to fill that
would ease your load.

** Some organisations have problems with the delegation to volunteers of
all the roles needed to cover all the facets of their operation, but all
good ones learn how to do it.

> I don't know how Michael White is doing atm ? and I know we have let Don
>Cameron and Mudgee down. (and probably other people too)
>Note: Don - I have contacted Craig Warner of NSW - and it seems they may
>be able to come to Mudgee and build the network for the Youth Cafe (and
>apparently they have better machines than VIC). I will email you both in
>a separate post. 

** Don has made clear he has the Linux expertise necessary to support the
Mudgee Youth Cafe. The computers for the youth there, in their own cafe,
will be very welcome when they finally arrive.

>In VIC, while we have distributed many systems out to Bendigo (through
>BRITAFE) - we still do not have a branch there. Many people from Bendigo
>have made the trek down to Melbourne for all day training. 

** I know we had someone lined up to kick off Bendigo, but his personal
circumstances changed, that happens. He didn't pick up the computer
forwarded because he felt he could not now do the work and therefore did
not deserve it. 

** How many others from Bendigo are interested? Is there someone among them
with organising experience? Do they now have the local Linux experts
necessary? Why can't they begin?

** Are they all on here?

>There is so much involved with our comprehensive operations and I don't
>think many people really know the complexity of it all. 

** Don't you think that is natural, Kylie? People need to be told and told
and told, many times, and this list has just really started. But this
following is a good list for people, some of whom don't have
computer-related skills, to sift through for something they might be able
to do to help. 

** Who do they contact in Melbourne (for instance), this is not something
you or any of the "usual suspects" should do, you are all too busy doing
everything else. 

** You need someone who will interact well with the people who want to
help, a middleman (person) who helps them to do what they want to do and
keeps them happy -- another job for someone who thinks they have this
particular skill. 

** If someone already does any of what I'm suggesting please forgive me,
I'm really only saying "where there is no one doing (whatever)".

>There's telephone calls, mail outs, assessing applicatios, support
>calls, drop in support, support by appointment, then there's
>reconfiguring systems to work with new items such as printers, cdroms,
>modems and scheduling training (over and over again in some cases
>b/c of cancellations and no shows), getting information so that a
>'personalised' system can be built (usernames, hostnames, additional
>applications), stripping hardware, building machines, upgrading
>machines, installing software, providing customised desktops and
>configurations (big fonts / big cursor), delivering training to people
>from a range of backgrounds, arranging transport (for donation pickups
>and for dropping computers to recipients), co-ordinating and meeting
>contractual obligations for wftd, volunteer training and mentoring (we
>sometimes have work experience students too), keeping track of finances,
>paying bills ontime, meeting oc health and safety reqs, writing
>information sheets, writing training manuals, writing comprehensive
>instructions for software installation and hardware procedures,
>addressing national development issues and constitutional changes
>(done), developing policy, assessing applications, moving and
>reorganising the store room every week because we need to make more
>space (eventually we lose the ability to do this) - just to name a few
>of the things we do.  :)
>I think that'll probably do for now. :) I'll write more soon. 

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