Advice on Collecting, Holding, and Distributing Camp Dues

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sschirem
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Advice on Collecting, Holding, and Distributing Camp Dues

Post by sschirem » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:39 pm

Heyyylo!

We are creating a camp this year of about 20 individuals. Some virgins and some experienced burners. We plan on continuing with this group for many burns to come and becoming an established theme camp. However, this year our main focus is on creating a good base for the camp. We are primarily working on building communal shade structures, setting up a good kitchen, and creating a bar/DJ Booth. More of the "theme" elements and our larger art projects are going to have to wait till next year :P We have agreed to collect and use camp dues for these communal projects as well as for renting a truck to haul all of the stuffz and thingz out to playa. As a group we have been great when it comes to agreeing about the $$ side of things and when the money needs to be in by (so we can get our projects off the spreadsheets and into motion!). However, no one wants to step forward to be the main treasurer to collect, hold, and distribute the camp dues as well as track expenses. I am willing to step forward to help my camp with this, but am really interested in hearing from anyone who has had experience with this. Camp dues are looking like $200-$250 per person. 20 members as of right now. If dues don't get turned in on time, those individuals will not be camping with us.

Any experienced insight on the following questions would be incredibly helpful and GREATLY appreciated!
- What is the best way you have found to hold everyone's money and distribute to the appropriate projects as needed? Do you open a separate account or use a separate medium such as GooglePay or Paypal?
- What is your preferred method of tracking expenses? Do you use GoogleDrive or do you suggest using something like Evernote or another app to track expenses and hold receipts?

Much thanks!

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TT120
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Re: Advice on Collecting, Holding, and Distributing Camp Dues

Post by TT120 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:57 pm

Our camp of 50ish people use PayPal and Google Sheets to collect and track our dues. If someone needs to buy something for the camp, They use their own cash or credit card and then submit the receipt and I PayPal them the money. I also use Google sheets to track and log all transactions. It's been working great for many years.
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Elderberry
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Re: Advice on Collecting, Holding, and Distributing Camp Dues

Post by Elderberry » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:40 pm

We've also use PayPal and make sure they send the money using the "Friends and family" option to avoid the fees.

Once there teams and their budgets are set, the team lead pays for everything out of pocket and sends in the receipts to get reimbursed.

That has proven to be very effective at preventing teams from overspending their budgets.

Our camp fees are considerably more than yours and it seems it is still never enough, what with new ideas, projects, size of the activities getting popular, etc. There are people from all walks of life in our camp. For some, money is no objection and for others it can be challenging. What we have implemented is a camp Angels and Benefactors program where those that can afford to pay more than the base dues are recognized for their extra contributions. This has proven to be very successful in making up for shortfalls and enabling us to improve the camp and the activities.

As the camp has grown, so had the amount of the money we take in every year. This can technically have an effect on the tax situation of the person collecting the money as it could be considered income. Additionally, we were concerned about what might happen if something happened to the person collecting the money. How world it be accessed by the camp?

So, this year we Incorporated as a 501c3 corporation with officers and a board of directors and have opened up a bank checking account with several of the officers listed as signers. (Dues are still collected with PayPal to avoid fees then transferred into the checking account.)

We usually use Excel to record expenses, but if it were up to me I'd have them use accounting software like QuickBooks.
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sschirem
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Re: Advice on Collecting, Holding, and Distributing Camp Dues

Post by sschirem » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:20 pm

Thanks guys! I really appreciate the info!
PayPal was my first thought, but I use PayPal a lot for my own personal transactions and I was really hoping to keep the camp's money completely separate from my own. I may try to set up a different PayPal account to get around this.. but am also looking into squarecash as option. I think sending reimbursement for purchases vs just giving the team lead the allowed budget is definitely a smart move! I would ideally like to save the receipts somewhere as well just to keep track of everything and keep everything as transparent as I possibly can.
I was also a little worried about the whole tax situation -- hopefully I will be alright this time around since our camp dues are relatively low and our camp is not massive, but I'll definitely need to keep that in mind for the future!

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