Budget and Finance Standing Rules

(adopted April 23, 2019 by the KCDCC Executive Board)

Objective: Budget which allows operational flexibility and responsiveness while also providing guardrails to ensure fiscal responsibility.

  1. Operational Reserve
    1. In order to ensure sufficient visibility into potential shortfalls, the Treasurer shall create an Operational Reserve that covers the upcoming 3 months of payments for all contractually obligated payments (monthly, semi-annual, annual, etc.) and then move amortized monthly allocations into the Operational Reserve for future expenses.
    2. The Treasurer shall maintain documentation of the required Operational Reserve and it shall be reported on separately from the primary account balances.
    3. The Operational Reserve shall not be considered when determining the availability of funds for proposed/requested expenditures without approval from the Executive Board.
  2. Tiered Budget
    1. In order to allow for responsible and responsive scaling of spending alongside fundraising success, the Finance Committee shall work with the County Chair and Fundraising Chair to set tiered fundraising targets that allow for increased spending.
    2. Once the tiered budget is passed, the organization may begin operating within the first budget tier.
    3. Prior to making expenditures beyond the current budget tier, the County Chair, the Finance Chair, the Fundraising Chair and the Treasurer shall review the current fundraising levels, future fundraising plans and Operational Reserve prior to approving movement to the next budget tier.
    4. The date-driven fundraising targets must be met in order to proceed to a new budget tier.
    5. Failure to hit a quarterly fundraising target shall require that the County Chair, the Finance Chair, the Fundraising Chair and the Treasurer shall review the current fundraising levels, future fundraising plans and Operational Reserve in order to determine movement to a lower tier.
    6. When movement between budget tiers is approved, the Finance Chair shall send an email advising the Executive Board and announce it at the following meeting.
  3. Debt Payments
    1. Due to the penalties associated with non-payment, the Operational Reserve shall contain funds for the next obligated payment.
      • Ex. Following a January debt payment, the Operational Reserve must hold the full payment for the next (July) payment.
  4. Hiring of Staff
    1. Due to the additional responsibility of hiring staff, the Operational Reserve shall contain 6 months of fully burdened costs (salary, tax, benefits) prior to hiring staff and 3 months throughout the course of their employment.
    2. Additionally, the HR Committee must be formed and confirm that the organization is operationally ready to adequately and responsibly support paid staff.
  5. Intentional Spending
    1. Expenditures shall be made at minority or women owned businesses and/or union shops unless there is a compelling reason why they cannot be, which will be provided in writing with the expenditure request / documentation.
  6. Committee Chair Expenditures
    1. Committee Chairs should make best efforts to secure free meeting space and encourage in-kind contributions of snacks and printing.
    2. In-kind contributions of any goods or services must be reported to the Treasurer within 30 days.
    3. Committee Chairs may spend up to $50/month on meeting event space, printing or snacks without prior approval. Receipts must be submitted to the Treasurer for reimbursement within 30 days.
    4. For expenditures over $50/month, Committee Chairs must request approval from the County Chair and Finance Committee prior to expenditure.
  7. Travel Expenses
    1. For State Committee meetings, the two State Committeemembers and Chair may submit expenses for reimbursement up to the relevant budget allocation.
    2. the County Chair may draw up to a $100/month travel stipend to contribute towards their party-related mileage, parking and meals expenses.
    3. Additional reimbursements directly to the County Chair must be approved by the Finance Committee prior to reimbursement.
  8. Large Expenditures
    1. For expenditures in excess of $1,000, the requestor should gather information on three competitive options and present a recommended option with rationale, along with the other options reviewed, to the Finance Committee for review and approval, followed by submission to the County Chair for approval.
  9. Candidate Contributions
    1. the County Chair shall gather feedback from LPO Chairs and electoral partners to propose a resolution that identifies key priority races and defines KCD intention about relative contribution levels.
    2. Candidate Contribution proposals shall follow the guidelines laid out in the resolution passed by the Executive Board.
  10. Special Projects
    1. Electoral partners may propose special projects that they want to fund in partnership with King County Democrats that go beyond the approved budget.
      • Ex. organizing activity in a specific region or toward a particular goal
      • Ex. support, incl. candidate contributions, for a specific region or type or level of race
    2. Project proposals must be budget neutral.
    3. Assuming that the proposed projects are budget neutral, they need to be submitted to the Finance Committee for review and approval and must identify: purpose, guidelines, funding sources and planned expenditure categories and amounts.
    4. The project may proceed once approved by the Finance Committee and the County Chair.
    5. Any approved Special Projects will be reviewed with the Executive Board at the following regular meeting.
    6. Internal reporting for these projects will be separated from budgeted expenditures for the purposes of monthly Finance Reports.
    7. With any questions about Special Projects, the Finance Committee shall reach out to the State Party Compliance Director (Heather Hess, heather@wa-democrats.org) for clarity.
  11. In-Kind Contributions
    1. Donations of both goods and services by members and supporters are welcomed and encouraged.
  12. Reporting
    1. Full monthly financial reports, including transactional details, shall be made available to the Executive Board by the 15th of every month, covering the preceding month.
    2. The Finance Committee shall identify secondary levels of reporting detail that will be used solely for the purpose of internal reporting to the Executive Board. This shall allow reporting at the individual event level for significant events, breakouts for sub-categories of spending for infrastructure, and tracking of each committee’s expenditures. Example.
    3. YTD reports shall be made available monthly detailing cumulative spending relative to the budget.
  13. Meetings, Membership, and Voting
    1. Finance Committee meetings are open to any KCDCC member. Please coordinate with the Finance Committee Chair.
    2. To be eligible to vote on approval items, Committee members must advise the Committee Chair of their intent to formally join the Committee and have attended 2 of the prior 3 meetings (except immediately following re-organization).
    3. Approval by the Finance Committee requires assent from at least 3 people or a majority available to vote, whichever is greater.
    4. Voting may be conducted via email, subject to procedures to be developed by the Rules and Bylaws committee. Voting request via email may be initiated by County Chair or Finance Chair. Emailed votes from Committeemembers are required within 48 hours, non-responses within the 48 hour period will be considered unavailable to vote.