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Railfuture finance

Railfuture's activities effectively fall under three headings:
  • Operations - responsible for all public-facing activities such as Railwatch magazine, conferences, web-sites, social media, publicity and all campaigning materials. Runs all campaigning activities (with local campaigns delegated to the branches, who report to the directorate)
  • Policy - determines Railfuture's policies and sets campaigning priorities; provides expert knowledge through its three groups (Passenger, Freight and Infrastructure & Networks)
  • Internal - finance, legal, IT, Corporate Governance etc.
Railfuture assigns portfolios to most of the directors, who are responsible for those activities across Railfuture:
  • Campaigns - Roger Blake
  • Communications - Chris Hyomes
  • Corporate Governance - Stewart Palmer
  • Finance and IT - Jerry Alderson
  • Policy - Ian Brown
In addition, Wendy Thorne provides assistance on Corporate Governance. Vice-chair Allison Cosgrove has particular responsibility for branches.
Chair Chris Page leads Railfuture.

Budgeting

Railfuture operates a zero-based budgeting philosophy, which applies across the organisation. The assuption is that if no funding request is bid for prior to the start of the financial year (1st January to 31st December) then none will be required. No unused funds are carried over into the next year (except branches who have their own bank accounts or virtual accounts within a national bank account).

A set of budgets are approved by the Board of directors at the last Board meeting of the calendar year. These are based on bids from the branches and the groups within the direcorates. Draft budget bids need to be submitted by 1st October each year, but can be revised up to the Board meeting in November.

Branches

Branch budgets are based upon the activities which the branch plans for the year, including meetings, newsletters and campaigning. Funding is provided to cover this budget and the branch committees (which inculudes a treasurer) are then responsible for managing their finances, and are expected to live within their means (although it can make a request for more money during the year for campaigning, not operational, purposes).

The operational budget is paid around February and the campaigning elements paid when they are delivered or the expense is about to be incurred.

It will never make sense for Railfuture to not do something really important and useful because there is no budget remaining so if it can be properly justified then branches can request for additional funds.

National Groups

Each of the national groups (for example the Passenger Group, Freight Group and Infrastructure & Networks under the Policy Directorate) is awarded a budget for the financial year and it elects a budget holder to ensure that it stays within its annual budget.

Reimbursement of Expenses

Expenditure from these budgets, such as travel expenses, postage and telephone calls, is claimed using the Expenses Claim Form. This is approved by the budget holder or secretary and forwarded to the national Finance Officer to make payment. Because of the prevalence of email, postage and telephone calls should only be claimed in exceptional cases.

Volunteers incurring expenses for group activities should inform the budget holder of their intention to claim as soon as possible and certainly within four weeks. It is vital that the budget holder as an up-to-date balance, particularly towards the end of the year.

To avoid complicating the annual accounts, expenses must be claimed before the end of the year.

Expense Claim Form (PDF format 150kB)

Please note: wherever possible payment will be made directly into the bank account of the person who incurred the expense. Anyone who requires payment by cheque (which will normally only be produced once a month) should state the reason for this.

People working for Railfuture branches do not normally claim travel expenses since the travel will normally be local (within the region). However, since Railfuture is a national organisation, clearly travel from one end of the country to the other may be necessary. Volunteers are entitled to claim for this travel, subject to following the guidelines to ensure that value for money is obtained.

The board of directors have produced guidelines that must be read prior to incurring any travel which is to be expensed.

Expenses Guidelines (PDF format 150kB)

Anyone who is a Railfuture director is required, as a condition of office, to maintain a list of all their 'on business' activities during the year and submit an expenses declaration of what was claimed and waived for that year.

These are listed at expenses

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