Philosophy of Money Policy Statement
Approved by the OP Trustee Council 11/13/2004
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.