Oneness Project

Philosophy of Money Policy Statement

Approved by the OP Trustee Council 11/13/2004


General

This policy is intended to provide guidance to Oneness Project’s (OP’s) volunteers, staff, grantees and vendors regarding stewardship and accountability of our financial resources and how we want to use money to promote the Dances of Universal Peace. OP’s approach can be expressed in a few basic principles:

Money as potential energy. We are conscious of our responsibility to activate this potential towards the enhancement of Life.

Generosity and stewardship. Oneness Project will be generous and at the same time conscientious with the financial resources in our charge. We are careful with money because we understand the importance of stewarding OP resources for both immediate and a long-range needs.

Accountability without unnecessary bureaucracy. We make completely public our financial policies, meeting minutes and financial statements in order that all Oneness Project personnel, volunteers, grantees and vendors may be informed and understand them. We hold to a high standard of personal and professional ethics and accountability without overly burdensome paperwork or procedures.

Sustainability. Oneness Project strives to use resources wisely, fairly and in a manner that encourages a sustainable human community within the earth’s life systems.

Volunteerism

Volunteerism is the lifeblood of Oneness Project. We encourage individuals to offer time and services freely to assist dance communities to “eat, dance and pray together.” This includes the karma yoga work of program participants that helps hold down registration fees and involve all in the creation and celebration of community through cooperative, mutually beneficial work. OP’s staff and program volunteers are charged with coordinating and assisting volunteers and the Trustee Council (TC) in their contribution of work and services so that those contributions may be made efficiently and enjoyably.

All work done for Oneness Project is considered a volunteer donation unless a prior arrangement is made with the TC and/or staff to pay for services. The “accent” within Oneness Project is on volunteer contributions in the spirit of service to the Dances of Universal Peace and to the human family.

Oneness Project reimburses volunteers in full for any expenses incurred in the course of carrying out service to OP. Receipts are submitted for reimbursement and kept on file to ensure that an audit trail exists on all such transactions. Travel in a personal vehicle is reimbursed at the current federal rate.

Pay for Services

OP recognizes that certain roles are essential to the continuity, efficiency and quality of OP program offerings. In the case of professional services purchased such as food service, accounting or legal services OP pays “fair market value” for such services. If a vendor wishes to donate back a portion of the services rendered to OP, that donation will be made explicit in contract or letter of agreement in advance of the performance of services. OP will provide a letter of acknowledgement to any donor to OP noting the fair market value of any services or goods donated.

OP may choose to offer honoraria and/or offer registration fee credits at OP camps and retreats in order to help ensure that certain work is performed to a high standard. These gifts are intended primarily as recognition and thanks more so than a “fair market value” payment for services rendered. Quantifying the dollar value of dance leading is difficult because of the many factors involved.

However, OP recognizes that certain individuals have made service to the DUP their life’s work and that a living wage is essential for that work to continue. OP supports these individuals primarily through project grants.

In the case of the Lava Hot Springs retreat, Oneness Project pays for the services of the cook, registrar, and childcare provider(s). OP also may pay the lodging and travel expenses of a specially invited guest leader(s). All of the above also receive a fee credit for their participation in the program. All other program participants, including dance leaders pay the registration fee for the weekend and offer their services as volunteers.

In the case of the Marsh House retreats, Oneness Project pays for the services of the cook and also may provide honoraria to invited guest leader(s). A partial or full fee credit may be extended to the registrar, kitchen help, and other key individuals managing and providing services for the retreat.

In the case of Wilderness Dance Camp, Oneness Project offers a partial or full fee credit to key program and support personnel and may also pays honoraria as appropriate. OP also offers work exchange fee credit to key staff who focalized karma yoga volunteerism because of the extraordinary work which they perform. In general, the amount of stipends and honoraria will be paid based in part on payments made at previous years camps. The Camp Manager and Spiritual Director are responsible for determining the amount of these payments in consultation with the Executive Director considering the overall budget for camp. All contracts will include the amount of such payments and be negotiated and signed in advance of the event. The Spiritual Director of Wilderness Camp is given a total budget for program staff positions and may allocate that budget to program positions according to the camp’s theme and vision.

Scholarships

Oneness Project recognizes the range of discretionary income among our constituents in the dance community. We offer work-exchange and scholarship fee credits for Wilderness Dance Camp. All persons wanting to receive scholarship support apply in advance as part of a impartial review process. Scholarships are awarded in the form of fee credits up to an amount approved by the TC. Lava retreats offer a sliding scale fee to assist those participants who cannot afford the full cost of the retreat.

Grants Policies

OP offers granting programs to spread the “green energy” from OP’s endowment revenues as widely as possible to worthy DUP projects around the world. We explicitly define worthiness in the specific written policies found in the OP grant guidelines and policy manual. The goal of OP’s grants programs is to distribute money to further the DUP in a fair and impartial manner that encourages long-range goals beneficial to the Dances. Other goals relate to encouraging regional DUP development, cooperation among dance leaders, and bringing the dances to new constituencies. We are committed to building a competent constituency of grantees who use critical thinking (as well as heart and vision) in planning, executing and evaluating DUP projects. The grants committee is charged with reviewing the OP guidelines to ensure they are fair, comprehensive and yet not too onerous in their requirements of applicants. Finally, the grants committee provides a “peer review” of applications to minimize the likelihood of favoritism or “political” considerations in the awarding of grants. The committee evaluates proposals based on stated criteria and makes recommendations to the TC for awards.

Budgets and Investments

Oneness Project seeks to be a good steward of resources. Committee heads submit budget requests to the finance committee which is charged with reviewing all budget requests to make sure that expenditures are likely to further OP’s goals and objectives and that money is being used wisely. The TC approves the new fiscal year budget at least one month prior to the start of the new fiscal year. The current OP Statement of Goals and Activities together with the budget comprise the OP program for the coming year. All money is accounted for using generally accepted accounting principles. A paper receipt is to be on file for all disbursed funds. OP’s current financial statements are to be made public on the OP web site.

OP’s assets are invested in Dancing $ LLC, the long-term goals of which are safety and preservation of capital, while maximizing current return. Dancing $ LLC is not classified as a “green” investment, nor can it easily be classified as an investment that does not meet socially responsible investment standards. Assets are currently invested in real estate and hedging/arbitrage activities. The hedging/arbitrage activity facilitates the equity markets in their operation by bringing together buyers and sellers of stock without taking a permanent position.

The prevailing philosophy of the TC to date is that the investment return and stability of asset value available in Dancing $ LLC is extremely important in this time of fluctuating markets.

Sustainability

Oneness Project recognizes that spending money for sustainable products and services helps to build a better world for our children. OP chooses to support organic agriculture, local farmers and organic suppliers in providing meals for OP events. We use recycled and recyclable paper, materials and supplies whenever possible. We do use not paper and plastic dining products at our events.