Transparent Fish is pleased to see more efforts now in China to develop better techniques for financial transparency. We translated an article about the Green Seed Plan to share with you.
Green Seed Plan is pleased to open the System 1.0 of Financial Transparency of Green Seed Plan (hereinafter referred to as Financial Transparency System). Portal 1: Google Form; Portal 2: Zoho Form Backup and A Transparent Wallet introduce respectively on how to build financial transparency system on the base of Google table. The issue of Financial Transparency System means that the financial transparency being promised by Green Seed has been fulfilled, which also manifested our determination to achieve financial transparency as one of members of public welfare organization.
As a public welfare group, our funds come from all social levels. To spend every penny wisely is our obligation and responsibility.
It’s never too much to emphasis financial transparency again and again. On one hand, a transparent finance is easy to be watched by the public. It’s a way to build mutual trust. With the public trust, we can achieve our goal in long-term fundraising. For us, a transparent financial system is the vital interests of our group.
On the other hand, it’s an expectation of our staff. The job is honest and trustful, their love for what they are doing will be added. Their confidence for the group will have positive influence for the team cohesiveness which is valued by us as intangible assets.
Any industry has its own dignity. If each public welfare group is building an open and transparent image, the final benefited party will be the group itself. The group will become respectable and attract more people to join in.
So we are building a transparent finance as our industry model.
The key of financial transparency lies on building an effective system which will provide a channel for the public monitoring. We should not rely on commitment for the donors, nor expect trust from the public or donors.
Taking Stockholm Environment Institute/SEI where I work as an example. There’s a chapter in SEI’s annual report that open the financial situation of the year (refer to Annual Report of SEI). Since 1988, the organization has introduced independent audit and opened the audit report to the public. During the audit period, each staff has to cooperate with audit office.
SEI is not the only one to open its finance among international organizations. Many international organizations have built transparent finance system. They have detailed regulations for work trip.
In some UN organs, all projects need to have quotation from 3 suppliers and reviewed by the financial office. These rules are made to ensure trust from the public and cohesiveness among the staff.
These measures are not for small groups or organizations. They are too busy for operating projects to build financial management system. They do not have enough money to fire independent audit. So if there’s no simple or effective measure, how can they achieve financial transparency?
This is the answer in Financial Management System V1.0, a Transparent Wallet Based on Google Table.
The pamphlet introduces on how to build a system that can achieve financial transparency. Here I would love to emphasis 3 points. Firstly, it’s a free and open system. Secondly, it’s based on costume-friendly Google. The system is simple and easy to learn. Any small group or organization can achieve instant financial transparency. Thirdly, the system can achieve single expense and provide its corresponding receipts. The only weakness is the visit to Google is not stable in China. We have to put the system on Google forms at the moment when there’s no other alternative.
One thing needs to be mentioned is we developed a set of financial management system which explained authority of the members and rules of reimbursement, including the differences and use of limited or unlimited funds.
We are not the first, nor the last group to build financial transparency system with Google Form. During the developing process, we studied similar approaches overseas. Of which, Watsi gave us great inspiration. At the Kick Starter, the sponsor and the sponsored party are connected by the internet. 100% of donation goes to medical support.
Watsi opened its finance with Google Form. Since its establishment in 2012, it has been running smoothly and built a positive image before the public in financial transparency. The group raised about 3,000,000 dollars in less than 2 years. The project supported 1,600 patients to receive surgeries.
It’s the power of financial transparency. We can do the same to open our finance. The system is new and there’s space to improve. We sincerely invite our peers, donors and the public to give us advices, supervising the use of fund in Green Seed Plan.
As a young and small group, Green Seed Plan has less than 10 members. We also have to face the challenges in time, resources and financial difficulties as other small groups, but we’d love to made efforts and contribute to the open and transparency of the sector.
We’d love to share with other groups.
Editor’s note: Liu Wenman, the writer is the person-in-charge of Green Seed Plan. She is the Associate Research Fellow of Stockholm Environment Institute/SEI, a PhD student of Georgia Institute of Technology. She is engaged in evaluation of research work on alternative energy, bio-fuel and eco-system. She has served on Resource Center in the Asia-Pacific Region of UNEP. She is the creator and the first president of Green Road Environmental Protection Association.
Wu Huiguo, the writer of A Transparent Wallet and the person-in-charge of Green Seed Plan. He is Product Director of Sweden Colin Clean Energy Technology Co., LTD. He has rich experience in carbon trading management and risk management.
Written by Liu Wenman, edited by Li Yin, translated by Maggie Li.
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