In the interests of transparency, @FinalSayForAll has published its full accounts for 2018, its first year of operation. Here’s FSFA’s statement on them with link to the spreadsheets.
I’ve been involved with FSFA since it started, and spoke at its first event (when it wasn’t even formally established) in Brussels in December 2017. I’m part of the core group along with the board of it, and am in their weekly meetings.
FSFA was set up because those that were potentially most deeply impacted by Brexit had been denied a vote and a voice in the 2016 referendum. All EU27 Citizens in the UK and most UK Citizens in the EU27 were ignored, but had their lives thrown into uncertainty.
and @AhDeFoof also saw that personal stories of how Brexit impacts individuals were missing from the campaign, so they set out to try to highlight the impact of Brexit on individuals and campaign for a ref on the deal that this time included all affected by it.
Under the tag #BrexitIsPersonal, this quickly expanded to give voice to the personal stories of everyone, not just EU27 citz in the UK and UK citz in the EU, of how Brexit impacts them and their lives.
The point is and has always been that people find it easy to dismiss objections or the bad effects of Brexit at an abstract level, but most people have no desire to actually harm other individuals’ lives.
This is just one small strand of the much wider campaign against Brexit, and though FSFA is strictly independent, it has worked and coordinated with other groups such as @the3million and @BritishInEurope, and the Remain campaign groups as much as possible.
FSFA was established as a foundation in the Netherlands to give it collective legal status. It was done in the Netherlands because that is the country of residence of the founder and Chair @nickynoo007.
The main activities have been setting up and running Beehive events. These are events where people can come and meet others impacted by Brexit, and, if they want to, record their own personal stories on video.
There were 15 beehive events all over the UK (and 2 in Brussels) in 2018, and over a hundred videos of personal stories have been recorded and released through Twitter and Youtube.
FSFA have lobbied UK and EU27 MEPs in person on the need for a Final Say Referendum that doesn’t exclude anyone, and got great support, including some coming to speak at events.
FSFA also met with the Commission’s Article 50 task force to explain the need for time to be allowed for this and to lobby for citizens’ rights to be guaranteed. 12/
There have also been other activities, including sending each local newspaper in the UK packs of personal testimonies, meeting remain MPs to lobby for the franchise to be widened in any future ref, and, of course, general anti-Brexit campaigning.
As you’ll see from the accounts, this has been done on a thin shoestring. In 2018, people very kindly donated €7,256, of which €5,703 has been used, and board members, none of whom are wealthy, have spent €4,337 of their money on FSFA activities.
No Funds donated have been used for any purpose other than activities directly related to the work of the foundation.
FSFA has no employees and is run solely by volunteers in their spare time. Volunteers receive no compensation for their time. All reimbursements have been strictly for expenses incurred in activities agreed by the Board and directly related to the work of the foundation.
FSFA shares the concerns many have about accountability and openness in campaign crowdfunding. Money is scarce for everyone, including for our kind contributors, so great effort is made to use the most cost effective options.
Travel is by the cheapest practical method (usually Nicky’s knackered car). For accommodation offers of sofas are accepted, and if not Hotel rooms are limited and always shared if more than one place is needed.
FSFA released initial summaries of donations & spending in a series of charts in January, which is well beyond what NL & UK Law requires and was based on standard small non-profit practice, but we also believe that the best practice should be to be as transparent as possible. 19/
Note that NL law does require that all proof of donations and spending is retained by the foundation and available to be checked by the NL authorities, and FSFA complies with this and all other legal requirements in full.
I and others in FSFA have publicly questioned the uses of crowdfunded money in the past. None of FSFA’s contributors have raised any concerns, but we share and understand a wider concern in what is still a relatively new and unregulated area.
I’m therefore very pleased that FSFA has released full accounts. The work on collating them has been done by volunteers as the level of funding we receive cannot justify hiring an accountant (we’ve been quoted €1,000 in the Netherlands, which is where they would have to be).
I hope that you’ll agree that FSFA have done a lot with your donations, and have treated every £ donated carefully. If you have any questions on these accounts, please reply here or email [email protected] and we’ll be happy to try to help.
PS, here’s the link to the next Beehive event. Do get there if you can!
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