Fiscal Sponsorship Working Group

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This group is taking on the task of coming to a fiscal sponsorship agreement with DLF/CLIR for ratification by the Code4Lib community.


  • Carol Bean
  • Galen Charlton (vice-chair)
  • Tim McGeary (chair)
  • Coral Sheldon-Hess (contingent)
  • Chad Nelson
  • Morgan McKeehan

Final Memorandum of Understanding

The Memorandum of Understanding between Code4Lib and CLIR/DLF was approved by a community vote that ran from 1-15 March 2018 by a margin of 154-4. The MOU was signed on 16 March 2018.

Draft Memorandum of Understanding

Draft Memorandum of Understanding

What is a Memorandum of Understanding? How is it different from a contract?

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a written agreement between parties that formally states their intention to cooperate, and outlines the requirements, roles, and responsibilities of each party in order to clarify how the parties will work together. An MOU is different from a contract in that an MOU is not legally binding or enforceable. For this reason, an MOU can be used to clarify roles and responsibilities in situations in which the parties working together may not be legally recognized as official or separate entities. Therefore an MOU can be used to create a specific agreement and outline terms of cooperation for situations in which a binding contract is not possible.
More information on MOUs is available at the link below.
Article on MOUs vs. Contracts, by Change Lab Solutions, a nonprofit organization that focuses on public health advocacy:

Text of the draft Memorandum of Understanding between CLIR/DLF and the Code4Lib community

(This text version is provided as a convenience; the PDF version should be considered authoritative in case of discrepancy.)

Memorandum of Understanding between CLIR/DLF and the Code4Lib Community

The Council on Library and Information Resources, through its Digital Library Federation program (CLIR/DLF), agrees to act as ongoing fiscal sponsor for the Code4Lib (C4L) Community. Below is a list of responsibilities for each party. CLIR/DLF Responsibilities:

  • Continue supporting the C4L listserv at no cost and providing staff time for collegial service on C4L volunteer committees as appropriate.
  • Serve as banker and contract signatory year to year for C4L and its annual conference. Fiscal sponsorship and liability will only pertain to the national C4L event and central C4L Community initiatives and expenditures. (Regional C4L events remain the responsibility of local organizers.)
  • Collect and hold donations or other payments made to C4L, both within and beyond the conference cycle, using a dedicated payment gateway.
  • Hold C4L funds in a sweep account at Eagle Bank with interest earnings allocated on a monthly basis and maintain a separate internal account code for C4L in which all interest earnings and disbursements are tracked.
  • Attach check requests to each transaction processed and only disburse funds with the approval of the primary contact/chair of the annual conference Local Planning Committee (LPC) or a designated C4L community representative.
  • Provide semiannual reporting of the C4L account balance to the primary contact/chair of the current year’s LPC or a designated C4L community representative and, by request, a copy of CLIR/DLF’s annual audit.

C4L Community Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate and execute the annual conference through a volunteer LPC. This includes:
    • Budgeting for and working with professional conference planners or services
    • Negotiating favorable contracts with conference facilities
    • Managing conference submissions, registration transactions, sponsorships, scholarships, advertising, and facilities logistics
    • Responding to requests and questions from attendees and presenters
    • Paying attention to accessibility, diversity, and inclusion and promoting/enforcing a conference Code of Conduct
  • Steward C4L resources by:
    • Establishing annual conference budget committees to create projections, make prudent financial decisions, and maintain clear records
    • Coordinating all expenditure requests to CLIR/DLF using a standard form and through the chairs of LPCs, a representative from the C4L Journal Editorial Board, or other designated C4L community representative
    • Coordinating transfer of all financial and conference planning documentation from one year’s LPC chair to the next
  • Protect CLIR/DLF from financial losses associated with conference liability by:
    • Choosing venues carefully, with attention to factors that might affect attendees’ safety and willingness to travel
    • Budgeting for and obtaining event insurance for future conferences
    • Budgeting for development of modest C4L financial reserves, to include funds sufficient to contract with next year’s conference planners, make needed down payments, and ultimately cover or offset contingencies such as cancellation penalties agreed to in conference contracts
  • Set conference budgets to support an annual administrative fee of $5,000 to CLIR/DLF, meant to offset costs of accounting, auditing, coordination, and processing of transactions.
  • Maintain a yearly balance of a minimum of $25,000 in the C4L account managed by CLIR/DLF. CLIR/DLF would appreciate but not require acknowledgment as fiscal sponsor on C4L conference materials and websites. In the event that no LPC emerges from the C4L Community in a given year, CLIR/DLF will bear no responsibility to organize the annual conference. Either party may terminate this MoU after good-faith settling of accounts and with adequate notice to prevent disruption of current conference planning.

MOU Endorsements

During the vote on whether to approve the MOU, the following Code4Lib community members asked to be listed as publicly endorsing it:

  • Aaron Collie
  • Abigail Goben
  • Adam Constabaris
  • Amy Wickner
  • Andromeda Yelton
  • Andy Steinitz
  • Angela Galvan
  • Ashley M. Clark
  • Becky Yoose
  • Ben Florin
  • Benjamin Armintor
  • Ben Ostrowsky
  • Bess Sadler
  • Bobbi Fox
  • Brian Harrington
  • Bruce Orcutt
  • Carol Bean
  • Cary Gordon
  • Chad Nelson
  • Chris Fitzpatrick
  • Christie Peterson
  • Christina K. Pikas
  • Coral Sheldon-Hess
  • Cynthia "Arty" Ng
  • Daniel Sanford
  • David Lacy
  • Declan Fleming
  • Doreen Herold
  • Doreva Belfiore
  • Eben English
  • Emily Morton-Owens
  • Emma Molls
  • Eric Bivona
  • Eric Hanson
  • Eric Lease Morgan
  • Eric Phetteplace
  • Erin White
  • Esmé Cowles
  • Galen Charlton
  • Greg Murray
  • Hillel Arnold
  • Ian Walls
  • Jack Hill
  • Jacob Ratliff
  • Jason A. Clark
  • Jason Ronallo
  • Jason Thomale
  • Jeff Sabol
  • Jennifer Colt
  • Jeremy Nelson
  • Jim Hahn
  • Jonathan Rochkind (jrochkind)
  • Joshua Gomez
  • Joshua Westgard
  • Julia Bauder
  • Julie C. Swierczek
  • Kaitlin Newson
  • Karen Coyle
  • Karl Holten
  • Kate Dohe
  • Kate Flynn
  • Katherine Deibel, PhD
  • Keith G.
  • Kelly Spring
  • Kevin Clair
  • Kevin Schlottmann
  • Liz Woolcott
  • Mary Jinglewski
  • Matt Sherman
  • Megan Kudzia
  • Michael Della Bitta
  • Mike Hagedon
  • Mike Waugh
  • Mita Williams
  • Morgan McKeehan
  • Paula Gray-Overtoom
  • Peggy Griesinger
  • Peter E Murray
  • Rachel Vacek
  • Ralph LeVan
  • Ranti Junus
  • Robert H. McDonald
  • Ruth Kitchin Tillman
  • Ryan Wick
  • Sarah Branham
  • Sarah Melton
  • Sarah Walden McGowan
  • Sharon Farnel
  • Shaun Ellis
  • Timothy Wentz
  • Tim Shearer (tshearerlib)
  • Tod A. Olson
  • Todd Stoffer
  • Trevor Owens
  • Wayne Graham