Implement Paid / Compensated Roles / People

This is a topic to track the implementation of Make Organizing Financially Accessible, Sustainable, and Joyful

Phase 1: Research

Check current hours
Understand consulting requirements
Ask existing organizers about their financial experience: knowledge and skills, current sources of resources, decision-making process, philosophies
Get insights from other organizations (see notes at Make Organizing Financially Accessible, Sustainable, and Joyful)

Phase 2: Plan

Propose compensation plan to Mission Circle and General Circle
Hire a consultant for implementation support
Apply to New York Foundation Capacity Building Grants

Phase 3: Implementation

Hire an accountant
Complete NY Registration and Tax info
Setup payroll
Secure insurance

Time Tracking

We’re tracking time spent by general circle members at Time Tracker - Compensation.


Ask Community Resource Exchange, Sustainable Economy Laws Center, and MVVN for potential leads.

Project Goals

  • We’re able to pay staff members equitably!
  • We have the resources and system needed to do this sustainably


  • Implementation, not just research and design
  • Alignment with our principles

Work Products
Whether directly created or sourced from other organizations/resources.

  • Time tracking, payroll, and accounting system
  • Legal agreements
  • Insurance
  • Training

Leads for Consultants
Future Incubator
Peer Defense Project
Sustainable Economies Law Center
Community Resource Exchange
Vega Mala Consulting

Peer Defense Project
The Peer Defense Project Proposal. They’ve also shared that they outsource HR (Gusto), Accounting (Jitasa), and Legal Compliance (Lawyer’s Alliance).

The MEVVN Proposal.

Future Coalition
They’ve offered support but we haven’t connected yet. I’ll recommend that MEVVN follows up!

Survey of Financial Experience

Search “Survey of Financial Experience” in our Shared Google Drive (Keep Private)

Questions we’re currently asking:

What’s your age? What are things about your specific situation that are relevant to an understanding of your financial situation?

What is your current financial situation?
current income, current net worth, access to resources

How sustainable is your current financial situation? What’s your definition of sustainable? Would you say you have excess, you’re thriving, you’re just making it, or you’re struggling?

What are your philosophies around money?

What do you know about money? What do you need to learn?

How does money influence where you decide to invest your time?

We’re implementing paid staff members at Youth Power Coalition: what ideas do you have about how we do this?

What else do you want to share that you haven’t had an opportunity to share yet?

What, if anything, should we change about these questions?


Apply for Capacity Building Grant

New York Foundation has $7500 available for consulting support.

Grant Application Link

Grant Application Questions

Grant Amount Requested: $7500

Share briefly how you intend to use this small grant:*
(A simple bullet list will suffice.)
Our question is “How might we make organizing for youth-led collective impact financially accessible?” We’re requesting this grant to put the first part of our support for financial accessibility into place! We will use the grant to hire consultants to guide us through implementing an equitable compensation policy. The project includes: interviewing other youth-led organizations to glean lessons from how they’ve implemented consultation, finalizing compensation policy, purchasing HR software, creating HR employment documents, training organizers on budgeting, redistribution, finances, racialized capitalism, and documentation of the process so we can share it with the wider community and have a base for improving on it in future.

If working with a consultant, please share their contact information:
We will be working with MEVVN consulting and Peer Defense Project

Peer Defense Project
Website: Using the Legal System to Build School Integration — IntegrateNYC


We received the grant!!!

Hire an Accountant

Leads for Accountants
A Bookkeeping Cooperative
Liberare Bookkeeping
Ask Open Collective Fiscal Sponsors for leads


  • What is our budget?
  • What services are included?
  • How aligned are they to our values?
  • How flexible are they with our Beyond Budgeting and Participatory Budgeting process?
  • How much ownership will they take for improving our systems?

Context to Give
New York-based

We have an organizational budget of about $100,000/year but preparing to grow

Currently, we use the following systems:

  • Beyond Budgeting as our budgeting framework: Beyond Budgeting
  • Open Collective as a public ledger of all transactions: Youth Power Coalition - Open Collective. Our “collectives” are how we show our different pots of money. I want to move to a system where instead of manual recording, members in our org can be trained as treasurers who then have their own debit cards to make purchases as well as do their own fundraising
  • Quickbooks as our private ledger/reporting system for needed non-profit compliance like grants and Form 990. We add a link to each Quickbooks transaction that points to that transaction’s public record in Open Collective
  • Automatic posting of Open Collective reimbursement and expense requests to Slack where the community can vote to approve it via Metagov
  • Flipcause to accept donations and track our membership/donors but thinking of moving off of it
  • Gusto for payroll (not yet implemented but our most likely choice

Pain points

  • Desire to make improvements but need capacity and expertise
  • Tech platforms are getting hard to manage. Our tech platforms don’t really sync and automation requires maintenance. Metagov has broken multiple times, for example, and we’re using it for only one transaction right now.
  • Needing to, once systems have improved, train organizers on how to use it.

Liberare Bookkeeping

A Bookkeeping Cooperative
Doesn’t do payroll so not a fit.

We went with Liberare Bookkeeping!

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  • Allows time tracking and cost reporting by circle
  • Allows time tracking and cost reporting by project
  • Allows both part-time salaried and hourly employees
  • Allows paying people under 18
  • HR compliance like sexual harassment training, employee handbook
  • Syncs with Quickbooks
    • Matching circle time tracking to classes
    • Matching project tracking to projects
    • Officer and Key Employee pay vs. general payroll costs
  • Maybe can do international pay?

User Experience

  • Easy to use
  • Good customer support


Next Steps

Research additional potential providers, especially local ones

Potential Providers

Accountants World


  • Not a fan of non-transparent pricing + “paper-based” interactions
  • First conversation didn’t yield detailed information. Needed to wait on a conversation with another person who is supposed to more knowledgeable about time tracking.


Cirus Payroll


  • Thinks of itself as a people platform: all-inclusive compliance, taxes, payroll, etc.
  • Plus plan has a time tracking and project tracking feature
  • Make circles different projects and can map projects to classes
  • Can add different pay rates for one different employee
  • ? about how to handle clients
  • !! Time tracking only available for hourly workers not salaried workers
  • $80/month + $12/month per employee





We’re going with Gusto + time-keeping in a Google Sheet. See details at Gusto Setup Planning Document.

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NY Registration and Tax Info

Gusto: NY Registration and Tax info
Unemployment Insurance Employer Guide
NYS-50 Employer’s Guide to Unemployment Insurance, Wage Reporting, and Withholding Tax

Fill out NYS-100N

Secure Insurance

Worker’s compensation
Paid Family Leave