Thanks to all efforts and goodwill of so many people including those in Nepal’s Ministry of Education, NRNA, CFFN, Athabasca University, and other friends of and from Nepal, the Initiative for Open University of Nepal (OUN) has gained a strong ground in recent months. The signing of the “Resolution on Initiative for Open University of Nepal 2010” on October 7, 2010 in Kathmandu by President of NRNA Mr. Dev Man Hirachan and Ministry of Education Representative on Initiative for OUN, Mr. Janardan Nepal, in witness of Minister of Education Hon. Sarvendra Nath Shukla, and President of International Council for Open and Distance Education Dr. Frits Pannekoek was a landmark event for OUN. The formation and endorsement of Steering Committee led by the Ministry of Education and also the formation of Nepali National Advisory Committee to guide the Steering Committee was also a major step forward.
Subsequently, a number of offers of real estate facilities in Nepal for the proposed OUN were made to us with a condition that we ensure proper maintenance and arrange operational expenditures for the facilities. We took this as a positive challenge intended to reward our efforts generously and took it to our heart instantly. Today, we are in this wonderful mission to raise in excess of $130,000 by the end of the year 2010 from within the Diaspora. This fund will be our core fund and will be leveraged to obtain significant external funding.
President Hirachan has asked Ambika Adhikari, Regional Coordinator- Americas and Chair of the OUN Resource Mobilization Committee to lead the fund raising effort. The fund raising effort has already begun and in one week we have generated pledges of about $60,000 as of today.
Now that our request has gone out beyond the circle of friends and families and into the broader Diaspora community, operational directives on how the money is collected, accounted for, and spent are necessary. Also important is the matter of recognizing donors and providing applicable receipts as charitable donation for income tax purposes.
The Steering Committee will have to endorse all the rules and regulations governing the OUN Initiative. However, we are in need of a procedure even before the Steering Committee sits for its meeting. As the Member Secretary of the Steering Committee, together with the Chair of the Resource Mobilization Committee of the OUN, we would like to provide the following interim protocol for fund collection and deposit to streamline the global fundraising mechanism. We will be grateful for all NCC and ICC leaders for strictly supporting these protocols.
OUN Accounts and Administration:
1. NRNA Secretariat shall create a special account for Open University of Nepal initiative where all funds collected from around the world will be directed to. However, NRNA will not spend this fund on any other purpose and will not charge any administrative fees to collect this fund. Not a single dollar from this account shall be spent by NRNA or NRNA Secretariat unless directed by the Steering Committee.
2. In Canada, fundraising for OUN Initiative will be organized in collaboration with NRN-Canada, CFFN and Athabasca University. All the money contributed by Canadian donors will be deposited to a special fund of a charitable foundation to be announced in a few days; we are in the process of legal consultation for final arrangements; at the moment, we are accepting your pledges only. Charitable tax receipts will be issued to donors by the authorized institution as per arrangements being made. The funds will be transferred to Initiative for Open University of Nepal account as per the decision of the Steering Committee made from time to time.
3. In the USA, the NRN-NCC of USA, being a registered charitable organization, can collect all contributions directly from the donors in the USA and issue them tax receipts as applicable by the US laws.
4. In Australia, the NRN-Australia will organize fundraising campaign in association with an appropriate charitable organization and members of Steering Committee in the region. All contributions from the donors will be deposited at a special account arranged with designated charitable organization, which will issue charitable tax receipt to the donors.
5. In all other countries where NRN NCCs are established, the NCCs are authorized to collect donations for OUN Initiative. Wherever the tax laws of the respective countries allow, the NCCs shall make local arrangement to issue charitable tax receipts for tax deduction purposes.
6. In countries where there are no NRN NCCs established, interested individuals and organizations may contact the Chair of the Resource Mobilization Committee (RCM), OUN Steering Committee Member-Secretary, or the officially designated representative of the Steering Committee for making arrangements for fundraising.
7. All organizations authorized to raise funds for the OUN Initiative will submit the complete list of donors and their donation amount to the Chair of the Resource Mobilization Committee, with a copy to the Member-Secretary on a weekly basis. The amount of all contributions so collected must be transferred generally on monthly basis to OUN Bank Account maintained by NRNA Secretariat in Nepal.
8. All donations shall be verified by the office of Member-Secretary and the Executive Director of NRNA Secretariat tallying pledges made, collection of weekly records, and reconciling them with the amount deposited in the bank accounts. The donation will be deemed complete when the amount is finally deposited in the bank accounts approved by the Steering Committee, including the OUN Initiative Bank Account maintained by the NRNA Secretariat. Finally, an acknowledgement of receipts of the donation will be issued to the donor by the NRNA Secretariat for verification purpose only (not to be used as tax receipt).
Recognition of Contributors:
- All contributors of cash, movable and immovable hard assets, and in-kind-contributions will be placed on a database of “Contributions to the OUN”.
- All donor’s and contribution for any amount will be gratefully accepted and acknowledged. All donors who give more than $100 will automatically be members of OUN Supporters Guild and receive monthly progress updates on the activities of OUN Initiative electronically. Those who do not wish to receive email would be able to obtain the updates through OUN website.
- The registry of donors will be kept at NRNA Secretariat until an OUN’s own independent record-keeping system is established.
- Names of all donors giving $1,000 or more will be carved on Shila-Patra (granite/marble) that will be installed at the premises of the OUN Headquarters (HQ), when built.
- Names of donors donating more than $20,000 and up to $100,000 will be placed on a special list of Gold Donors, and their names will be written in individual tiled stones at the OUN HQ.
- Names of donors donating more than $100,000 will be placed on a special list of donors and their names will be written in self standing and individual stones at the OUN HQ.
- Donors who could provide even larger endowment for the establishment and operation of faculties of special discipline, schools, or research-laboratories may be honored by letting them associate a prefixed name of their choice (which may be name of their own or their loved ones) in the name of those entities.
Recognition of Fundraisers:
- All individual volunteers who organize to raise funds in excess of $10,000, or group of volunteers, organizations, conferences, or assembly of people that raise funds in excess of $20,000 will be recognized through issuance of a special plaque of recognition.
Management and Disbursement of Funds:
- A Treasurer for OUN Initiative will be appointed by the Steering Committee from among the members of the Steering Committee. The Treasurer will be responsible for the management of revenue and expenditure of the OUN Initiative on a day to day basis in a transparent manner, and will be reporting to the Member-Secretary.
- Unless donated for specific purpose, all general donations received by the OUN will be put in a special fund, which will be used for bringing tangible outcomes such as establishment of office, development and offering of academic programs, building of hard infrastructure assets and intellectual property, and paying for consumables like goods, supplies and services essential for the OUN Initiative as per the budget allocation approved by the Steering Committee. These funds will also be used to leverage larger amounts of money that we will be seeking from International Funding Agencies, and from other funding sources.
- OUN strives to utilize wealth of human resources among the Nepali people including the members of Nepalese Diaspora who wish to offer their services. Depending on their qualifications and interest, they will be appointed in honorary and adjunct positions of faculty as well as staff members of the OUN at symbolic remuneration on a mutually agreed upon terms of reference.
- Core staffing of the secretariat and faculties will be maintained at the OUN headquarters.
- The sacrifices of individuals who contribute a significant amount of their time for OUN during establishment phase will be compensated by non-monetary recognitions and will not be incurring any pending salaries. No one will be paid in the future for unpaid time of the past services.
- All funds will be mobilized for achieving the goals of the programs and initiatives developed and implemented by the functional committees: Resource Mobilization Committee, Academic Development Committee, and Institutional Structuring Committee that shall be approved by the Steering Committee from time to time.
- That we need national and international expertise in developing the comprehensive business plan, pursuing international agencies, travel of teams, acquisition of technical know-how, and so on, which may require genuine expenditure to pay for invoices against individual expenses or contracts. The regulations for administering such expenditure shall be adopted by the Steering Committee.
We are asking for a lot of services and efforts by the NCC presidents and leaders, as well as all others in ICC and NCC who will help us in the fund raising efforts for OUN. As we will be trustee for the money that individuals and organizations will contribute to support OUN, it is imperative that we keep an exhaustive account of the money collected.
We request the NCC Presidents, ICC Office bearers, ICC Members and NCC Officers to support us on this endeavor. Please feel free to contact either of us for any questions, advice or suggestions.
Thank you and with regards.
Member Secretary, OUN Steering Committee
Chair, OUN Resource Mobilization Committee
Chair, OUN Academic Development Committee
Chair, OUN Institutional Development Committee