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Last updated: April 24, 2008

Terms of Hosting with E-Democracy.Org

Costs:

E-Democracy.Org seeks to provide the best support possible as well as encourage the growth and development of local Issues Forums around the world by keeping the costs of those services at a minimum to local communities. However, there are costs involved and as the demand for new forums, larger forums, and technology enhancements grows we must equitably distribute the costs for shared services benefiting all communities.

Currently, it is FREE to set-up and maintain your forum on our site - this assumes you have the local volunteer capacity to open a forum successfully. However, as a member of the E-Democracy.Org network, we maintain the right to solicit voluntary donations from the individual members of all forums (in our network) as a means of supporting the entire network.

Currently, most of our financial support comes from three basic streams of income:

  1. Funded Start-Ups - we sometimes contract directly with local governments or community organizations to take an on-the-ground leadership role in the launch of a local Issues Forum. In such cases, we provide special on-site training, recruitment assistance, and staff time.
  2. Grants - from foundations or government agencies - usually tied to specific projects or programs
  3. Participant and Supporter Donations - we expect that about 1/3 of our budget will be donated by individuals who are members of the various forums in our network or small donor supporters. Our approved budget framework sends 20% of each individual donation back to the local steering committee for locally determined outreach/etc. priorities, with the remainder covering technical costs, participant support (tech support), site management, and volunteer support provided by E-Democracy.Org staff.

Other Terms of Hosting

E-Democracy.Org maintains the right to terminate, with due warning, our hosting relationship with any local group that fails to meet the following conditions or criteria.

  1. That the management of the forum remain non-partisan and that participation in forums be open to anyone, regardless of race, religion, or partisan affiliations - provided that those individual participants adhere to the forum rules once they join.
  2. That each local project maintain an active steering committee with at least 5 members and meet (either in person or via conference call) on a quarterly basis. (We support each steering committee with a private online group).
  3. That each local project support and participate in two pledge drives per year (no more than 10 days each). This includes active encouragement of participants to pledge individual contributions and access to the forum, by E-Democracy.Org organizers to provide daily pledge drive updates. (In the future, E-Democracy.Org reserves the right to set "fundraising targets" for local groups as a condition for ongoing presence on our site. We hope to avoid this, if possible, but it is essential that costs be shared equitably fully understanding the economic capacity of different communities.) Local forums/communities may with up front funding negotiate an opt-out of intensive pledge drive messaging within their local forum with E-Democracy.Org. However, all people registered on our site will be given an opportunity to donate via our website, general communication including our network-wide e-mail newsletter.
  4. That each individual project adhere to and support the mission and goals of E-Democracy.Org.
  5. That each local project is responsible for identifying and supporting a Forum Manager to manage their local Issues Forum.
  6. That your local project understand that it operates as a committee of E-Democracy.Org (a 501c.3 non-profit in the U.S.) and that any formal partnership agreements be developed with the E-Democracy.Org Board. E-Democracy.Org pledges to establish legal entities, fiscal agent relationships, or partnerships in countries outside the United States when 10 or more local communities join our network from that country. Special donations to local projects are to be deposited in E-Democracy.Org official accounts and fully set aside and tracked for local spending (we are required to do this by law). A local fiscal agents for special funded project may be used with the consent of the E-Democracy.Org Board. Individuals may directly cover the costs of local project activities if they so choose (printing flyers, buying food for local events, etc.) without notifying E-Democracy.Org as long as no ongoing funds are maintained in the personal accounts of volunteers.
  7. That local projects make good faith efforts to identify volunteers willing and able to participate in E-Democracy.Org task forces or committees, as needed or called for the by the E-Democracy.Org Board of Directors.
 

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