Criteria for ArtsPool membership

Ellen Shadburn Updated by Ellen Shadburn

Thank you for your interest in ArtsPool! The purpose of this article is to provide transparency about ArtsPool's criteria and process for selecting for new members. Please feel free to contact us at info@artspool.co with any questions.

Criteria for membership

When evaluating prospective members, we consider the following factors:

  • The organization's alignment with ArtsPool's values.
  • Whether the organization is led by BIPOC or people with disabilities, or primarily serves one of those constituencies, in order to ensure equitable representation within the cooperative.
  • The organization's status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and its geographic location. Our services are currently limited to nonprofits located in New York State. If you are located outside of New York State we would still like to hear from you as there might be ways to partner with funders in your area to expand our service.
  • The organization's budget size, since this determines whether an organization enters the cooperative as a Basic Services or Comprehensive Services member (see below), as well as the impact on the financial health of the cooperative.
  • Whether there would be any particular challenges integrating the organization's operations into ArtsPool's systems.
  • ArtsPool's capacity to onboard new members at the time of inquiry, based on the balance of current members to staff.

Types of membership

ArtsPool now has two types of membership - Basic Services and Comprehensive Services - summarized in the table below. Eligibility for each type of membership is dependent on the organization's budget size. The budget threshold of $500,000 helps ArtsPool meet its goal of being a sustainable enterprise. For each level of service, the member fees are designed to cover the cost of providing services.

While we are supported by some foundation funding during our start up phase, our goal is to be fully sustainable so that we can operate without having to rely on contributed dollars. Furthermore, ArtsPool's bylaws include a "break-even mandate," which means that if ArtsPool ever makes a profit, the members would decide whether to re-invest those funds in the business, or return them to members in the form of fee rebates.

Basic Services

Comprehensive Services

Budget size

Annual budget under $500,000

Annual budget $500,000 or greater.

Membership rights

Full voting rights as a Class A member to elect representatives and run for seats on ArtsPool's governance committees

Same as Basic Services

Services

Financial Operations (Bookkeeping), plus custom package of add-ons in Financial Maintenance (budget management), Workforce, and Compliance as desired

Package of Finance Operations, Financial Maintenance, Workforce, and Compliance services

Included software

  • Xero (bookkeeping software)
  • Checkeeper (check fulfillment)
  • HubDoc (document automation)
  • The ArtsPool app (our online workspace)
  • 1Password (password sharing)
  • DocuSign (digital signature)
  • Tax1099 for W9s and 1099s.

Payroll and scheduling software is not included.

All of the software included in Basic Services, plus:

  • BeyondPay payroll software
  • When I Work scheduling software (depending on workforce size)

Fees

$75/hour. No minimum hour requirement.

4% of expenses

  • Includes both operating and capital campaign expenses, as well as direct costs and cost of goods sold.
  • Excludes bad debt, depreciation, and ArtsPool service fees.
If you're not ready or able to join as a member, we may still be able to help you! We are now offering time-bound Project Services to support organizations with optimizing their financial operations, including organizations that are not nonprofits. Let us know if you would like to be put in touch with our Project Services team.

Prospective member review process

Joining the ArtsPool cooperative is a commitment that requires investment of time and resources on both sides. Before joining the cooperative, we use the following process to ensure that both you and ArtsPool have ample opportunity to get to know one another and ensure it is a good fit. The full process can take up to several months, depending on how long it takes to schedule each step.

  1. Discovery call
    After receiving your inquiry submission, we will schedule an initial 45-minute phone call to discuss your interest in ArtsPool and assess fit.
  2. Site visit
    The site visit is a two-hour meeting between ArtsPool employees and your organization's employees to learn more about your financial operations. This helps us understand what it might be like to work with you, and how we can best onboard your organization into ArtsPool's systems.
  3. Materials review
    We will review your most recent audit and tax returns, budget, books, and payroll reports to help us further identify any areas we will need to focus on when onboarding your organization into ArtsPool's systems.
    ArtsPool is here to help, not to judge. We ask for this detailed information so that we can help you adjust to membership at ArtsPool, and to start off our relationship with mutual transparency and accountability.
  4. Membership Overview Meeting
    The Membership Overview Meeting is a two-hour presentation delivered by ArtsPool's Member Development Team. It's designed to give your organization's employees and board members an opportunity to learn more about ArtsPool's services and the responsibilities of being a member in the cooperative.
  5. Contract review and signature
    You will receive template contracts to review and have approved by your board. We strongly encourage having an attorney review this contract before signing.
    We find that contract review nearly always takes longer than anticipated - be sure to leave plenty of time for your board and any relevant stakeholders to review these documents and ask questions, which we are happy to help with.
  6. Membership Committee approval
    Concurrently with contract review, the Membership Committee will review the prospective member's candidacy and formally approve membership based on the criteria above.
  7. Onboarding and start of services
    Once contracts are signed, we can set an onboarding kickoff date and a services start date. It usually takes us about six weeks to convert your books, budget, and payroll to ArtsPool's systems before we can fully take over management of those systems (bear in mind this timing may vary depending on the complexity of your organization's conversion). During the onboarding period you will need to maintain your legacy providers, and be available to answer questions to support the onboarding process.

Questions?

Please don't hesitate to contact your main contact at ArtsPool, or info@artspool.co.

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