What's changed: 2020 ArtsPool Service Agreement Update Summary

Why update?

ArtsPool’s Service Agreement was originally drafted in 2014 before ArtsPool launched. Since that time, we have made a few changes to the contract, notably our billing timeline, fee, and onboarding timeline/procedures. Unfortunately these changes and changes to our service scope made the current agreement a bit unwieldy and difficult to navigate. The agreement also lacked specificity and clarity in certain areas that have become increasingly important as we grow, such as contact roles and dispute resolution. This update is an effort to clarify our services and to make our legal agreement a more useful tool to guide us in our work together as a cooperative. We have also attempted to reduce some of the “legalese” associated with the former contract in order to make it more understandable and avoid the need for members to seek outside counsel for legal review.

What has changed?

Format

Instead of a 12-month agreement that must be renewed annually, the new agreement is structured as a Terms of Service (similar to other online service providers), which remains in force until terminated upon notice. This saves us all time, in that it is no longer necessary to execute redundant legal documents each year. Termination for convenience remains available as an option.

Additionally, the Terms of Service is organized by topic in individual annexes (onboarding, dispute resolution, pricing and billing, etc.), making it easier to find information and easier to update individual terms as directed by the Governance Committees without overhauling the entire body of the Terms of Service.

The Terms of Service and all associated Annexes have also been published to the Help Center to make them easier to find and reference for current members, prospective members, and ArtsPool staff.

Clarity

This version minimizes legal jargon as much as possible, and we also now have a separate summary for the dispute resolution and indemnity annexes in order to better address some of the questions frequently raised by new members. 

We have added a new section that specifically defines who fulfills specific roles at both the member organization and ArtsPool, and this can be modified throughout the term of membership as staff changes occur.

We have also incorporated the Improvement Process for Members not in Good Standing defined by the Membership Committee into the dispute resolution procedures in the Terms of Service.

Scope of services

The services list has been refined over the past year by a working group of ArtsPool staff and members that began at the 2019 annual member meeting. This updated list has been published to the Help Center, and incorporated by reference into the Terms of Service. This searchable, refined, openly-accessible list should improve clarity and consistency of our scope of services. Changes to scope can continue to be addressed by the Operations Committee.

In addition to general clarification of presenting member role and ArtsPool staff role on specific service tasks, the following specific changes were made to the scope:

  • ArtsPool staff no longer request Certificates of Insurance directly from carriers/brokers. This is now a Member staff task. This change is an effort to bring consistency to an area of variation among the membership.
  • ArtsPool staff no longer enter data in funding portals for grant applications. This is now a Member staff task. ArtsPool staff will continue to prepare financial data for entry, but the actual portal entry will be completed by the member. This change is an effort to increase efficiency and reduce data loss and time loss experienced when Member staff and ArtsPool staff attempted to simultaneously enter data in online portals.

Termination

The termination notice period has been extended from 30 days to 60 days. In the prior version, the contract could be terminated for various reasons with 30 days notice by either party, and in this version the timeline is extended to 60 days advance notice.

Pricing and billing

This section currently remains as it was. However, we are considering implementing a requirement (or at least a preferred option) for ACH payment of ArtsPool’s fees in order to better manage ArtsPool’s cash flow. In addition, various updates to our pricing structure are currently under consideration by our Governance Committees, including the Steering Committee (as a more representative group of the full membership). The By-laws will be soon updated to reflect this change.


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