ONA has a very small budget that we set aside to support ONA Local activities each year. As much as possible, we encourage you work with local partners and sponsors that can provide event support, such as meeting space or food and beverage, on an in-kind basis. This is a great way to build connections in the community and show the value of your group. (See Partnerships and Sponsorships for more advice on securing support.)
How should my group cover the cost of events?
If possible, it’s always best to get donations of space and refreshments. Can you find a meeting space that is free of charge? Often, libraries and coworking spaces will offer free meeting space for nonprofit meetup groups. Or a local newsroom may be willing to host your event in one of their meeting spaces as a way of supporting the community, especially if you offer them a chance to greet your attendees.
If you are meeting at a restaurant, bar or coffee shop, you may want to see if they will offer a food or drink special for attendees. If you are meeting at a newsroom, you can ask if they would provide light snacks as part of their host sponsorship for the event.
ONA can also support reasonable food and beverage costs with our budget if needed (see below for the process for requesting budget).
What costs are eligible for using ONA funds?
All expenses that you want ONA to support must be requested and approved in advance by ONA using this form. Our small budget is available on a first-requested, first-served basis, so the earlier you request budget, the more likely we’ll still have funds available.
Expenses that you can request to be covered by ONA Local funds include:
- Food and beverage at events
- Event space rental fees
- Supplies for events (such as name tags and printing)
- Assisting with reasonable, economy class travel or lodging expenses for a trainer
- Marketing and communications (such as social media ads or printing flyers)
Expenses that cannot ever be covered by ONA Local funds include:
- Honorariums / speaker fees for speakers, facilitators or trainers (as a nonprofit, ONA’s policy is not to pay speakers, including at our conferences)
- Upgrades, extra legroom seats, premium seats, etc.; if you have a speaker who is traveling, it is your responsibility to communicate to them that any of these upgrades will not be reimbursed if they choose to book them
How can I get reimbursed for an expense that has been approved?
If you have requested and gotten approval for an expense using the form above and need to be reimbursed, you can use this form to request reimbursement. You must attach itemized receipts for all reimbursements, and all reimbursements must have been previously requested and approved by ONA using the form above.