Chapters and Projects with over 5k
October of 2015, OWASP passed a rule requiring that each year, all Chapters and Projects with over $5,000 in their account on October 1 are required to create a budget and provide it to the OWASP Foundation prior to November 1 (November 13 for 2017). This rule is meant to encourage Chapters and Projects to spend their funds on the goods, services, and events that will support their growth. An ancillary benefit is that this spending also helps OWASP to show our funds are spent in service to our mission, which is required of us as a nonprofit. If non-profits hold too many funds in reserve they are penalized in a variety of ways including through our charity ratings. As of October 2017 OWASP Chapters and projects hold ~$900,000 USD.
To ensure that OWASP funds are being used for mission driven activities and that all chapters have access to funds, the OWASP Board of Directors voted in 2015 to provide each chapter with up to $500 USD in seed money and require chapters which end the year with more than $5,000 USD to submit budgets showing how the money will be spent. In the Fall of 2017 further details were clarified and a transparent and sustainable system built to handle this process.
The budget process for Chapters and Projects moves from a combination of Google Docs and email to the OWASP Service Desk (OSD) hosted by Jira Service Desk where the reimbursement process is currently held.
OWASP Service Desk
From a very high level, the process is as follows:
- Chapters and Projects with more than $5,000 will be notified that they have a month to submit a budget for how they will spend their money over the next 1-4 years.
- They will submit the budget through the OWASP Service Desk (detailed instructions below).
- The budgets will be reviewed to ensure that they are realistic and accepted. During the entire process, the submitter and those involved are notified via email of changes to the request and can log into OWASP Service Desk at any time to see the budget and its status.
- Projects and Chapters who do not submit a budget by December 1st will surrender all funds over $5,000 to the OWASP Foundation where they will be rolled into the Foundation's Operational and Grant making budgets.
- At the end of the next year, the budgets will be reviewed to make sure that at least 75% of the projected expenses were spent--although no effort will be made to make sure that they were spent exactly as planned. I.e. if a Project or Chapter spend 5% of the planned budget, 70% to hit a total of 75% of planned expenditure will be donated to the OWASP Foundation's operational and grant making budget.
What should the budget look like?
There is no one size fits all budget. Each Chapter or Project should author their own budget to meet their own needs. Budgets can include:
- 1-5 years of projected expenditures.
- Donations either to other Chapters, Projects, Committees, and events, or to the OWASP Foundation's operational and grant making budget.
- Expected expenditures of activities such as talking tours, events, merchandise or training.
- Goods or Services such as audio/video equipment, technical writers, or graphic designers.
- The cost of routine activities such as chapter meetings.
- The first year should be detailed and reflect a realistic understanding of your plans for 2018, further years may be more general. For example in year one you should say that you expect to spend $x on a training event and $q on a speaker tour but in year 2 suggesting an expenditure of $w or r% on an outreach would be acceptable.
How to Submit your Budget
When your Chapter or Project is ready to Submit your budget, you will do it through the OWASP Service Desk choosing either Project or Chapter Budget.
The form for each is self-explanatory and the format for your budget is up to each Chapter or Project--but please remember that you have access to the entire Google Drive Suite.