One way that Code for America supports the Brigade Network is by handling financial administration for Brigades. This support allows Brigades to fundraise and spend money for their Brigades, without having to worry about financial administration.
Here are some commonly requested resources related to Code for America financial administration.
Need to check your Brigade's cash balance? This spreadsheet is updated once a month.
Find answers to advanced topics and frequently asked questions here.
Need a reimbursement? Follow this step-by-step guide to getting your money back through Expensify.
Although having Code for America provide full financial administration is the easiest way for Brigade leaders, it is also possible to have a separate Fiscal Sponsor or separate 501(c)3 status.
Brigades with full Code for America financial administration can receive tax-deductible donations through Code for America, and are provided with a Relationship Letter establishing this.
Fundraising for your Brigade
Brigades can fundraise online or by receiving checks. Donations are tax-deductible and cannot have business benefits for the donor (giving) company. Code for America will send a formal thank you letter to the donor and issue them a tax-deductible receipt. However, Code for America does not issue tax-deductible receipts for sponsorships, event tickets, or merchandise sales.
For donations under $1,000, the full amount will be available for you to spend immediately. If you plan to receive a donation over $1,000, please first reach out to the Network Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) to confirm how this will be spent and receive approval in advance. Funds will be added to your Brigade account to spend against.
You can access funds by submitting expenses against the funds in Expensify using this process.
Donations from a foundation or a government will need accompanying documentation from the Brigade. Foundations and governments don’t write checks without some degree of paperwork – even if it’s a series of emails. The reason we ask for accompanying documentation is that when we go through an audit, auditors will ask for this accompanying documentation.
If your Brigade has a Fiscal Sponsor, check with them for information on how to fundraise. Read about what Fiscal Sponsorship means for your Brigade.
Each Brigade has their own unique donation page (e.g. Code for Atlanta) that is linked to on your Brigade’s page on this site. Leaders can share that donation page link for fundraising purposes, and donations will automatically go to your Brigade account.
Please note: The credit card processing fee for online donations is 2.2% + $0.30 of each donation.
Checks should be made payable to “Code for America Labs” Please include “for X Brigade” in the memo.
The mailing address for Code for America is: 972 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 (Attn: Vishal Sood)
If you are looking to fundraise for your Brigade, please ensure you read the 2018 Financial Guidance for Brigades Document .
Brigades with local fiscal sponsors
As a Brigade, having a Fiscal Sponsor means that an outside organization, usually a local one, handles the administration of the Brigade’s finances. All of the Brigades finances will go through the fiscal sponsor, and will not be associated with Code for America. If a Brigade receives a donation through the Code for America donation page, it will be refunded and the donor will have to donate to the fiscal sponsor.
This also means that all reimbursements for Brigade members will go through the fiscal sponsor. Fiscal sponsors can seek reimbursement for their Brigade members for travel reimbursements to Summit and Brigade Congress through Code for America, but Brigade members will not be reimbursed via the Expensify process, and will need to go through their fiscal sponsor for any finance related issues.
If you are looking to have a fiscal sponsor for your Brigade, please contact the Network team as certain guidelines must be met to make this switch, such as a verification of the proposed fiscal sponsor’s financial stability.
Brigades as their own 501(c)3 Organizations
A small number of Brigades have chosen to seek their own non-profit status for their Brigades. This means that they must follow all the rules and regulations of a non-profit, and as a result they have no financial association with Code for America.
Although there is no financial association, in order to be official, these Brigades still sign an MOU that designates them as Partner Brigades. This document recognizes that there is still alignment between their organization and Code for America.
As a consequence of being separate organizations, Partner Brigades, have limited access to the free software provided to Brigades.
If Code for America receives a donation for a Partner Brigade, it will be refunded.