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To: gentoo-nfp <gentoo-nfp@g.o>
From: "William L. Thomson Jr." <wltjr@g.o>
Subject: Gentoo Foundation bank account
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2008 22:49:46 -0400
Over the past several weeks, and possible months. The Gentoo Foundation
board of trustees has been discussing a bit on IRC and in direct private
emails, the available banking options for Gentoo. Starting with the more
major institutions like Chase, Citi, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. 

The first issue we ran into was that no one lives in New Mexico. Some
banks require a branch be within 50 miles from registered address.
Others any address in the same state. Neither of which was a major road
block. Until both required that we physically go into a branch to sign
papers and open an account. Being that no Officer lives in New Mexico.
That is not a practical option. Which ruled out both Chase and Citi.
Chase required 50 miles, Citi within the state.

Now Bank of America seemed to be a viable options with their online
application. But a call to Bank of America reveals a few things. First
that the application process could not be fully completed online. Second
that all officers would have to go into a branch to sign final paper
work. Third, Bank of America California is on a different system than
Bank of America in all other states. So if we needed to do anything in
California, where the foundation treasurer currently resides. We could
not. Bank of America really is not an option at all.

So far Wells Fargo is the only bank that will allow us to open an
account remotely. With no one going to New Mexico. Plus they have
branches in other states. We could visit and use for any business,
including changing signers or officers on the account. Not to mention
Wells Fargo seems to be best positioned for accounts where one or more
of the officers are not US Citizens. However Wells Fargo does require
any international officers have a US Federal ITIN (International Tax ID
Number ) and provide a photo ID, license or passport.

Unfortunately our current president lacks a photo ID atm, ETA is like
6-8 weeks for that, 4-6 weeks for ITIN. Applications can overlap time
wise. Or another direction, we can remove him as an officer, remaining
as just a board member. Which board oversees officers. So just a paper
change.

We were proceeding with Wells Fargo. I had called them, provided
Foundation and personal info to get the account application underway.
Which it still is but will expire on the 8th. We have not committed to
proceeding with Wells Fargo, and frankly seem to still be shopping
around.

Which is where we are at. We are opening this up to the community.
Firstly for transparency. But secondly to get input and suggestions fro
the community. Other banks we haven't tried etc.

We did bring up and consider an international bank account outside US
borders. But not sure how practical that will be.

Also there are some issues with any bank account, and officer turn over.
We would not only have to update filings with the state. But with the
bank as well. Which might require two people to physically go into a
location/branch. To prove they are the existing signer, and to pass on
authority to another.

So turn over wrt to the bank account is likely going to be a PITA. Thus
something needs to be discuss, done, etc wrt to Officer terms. I think
some of that might be in the new bylaws. If not, will likely have to add
a revision soon.

While several on the board felt this was a far off scenario. It looks
like we have a current board member ( maybe two 2nd being me )
resigning. So this scenario of officer turn over, is not so unlikely or
far off.

Anyway that is were we are at. Really no where, other than ruling out
options. We can proceed with Wells Fargo but there is work to be done.
Much less time to obtain Photo ID and ITIN which we can't expedite.

I am at like 10+ hours into this, and really almost at my max time wise.
Before we must start showing some progress. Otherwise I consider the
time a total waste. If the final goal is not accomplished. We have spun
the tires, flung the mud, etc. Hopefully we will get it resolved sooner
than later.

We are pretty open at this time. What ever it takes, and with any bank.
So long as we can get a bank account for Gentoo ASAP. No point in
gathering or planning to spend $. If we have no where to store or
distribute it. Can't even do much atm with PayPal till we get a bank
account on file with them again.

Really stuck, and if the community can help bail us out. That's what
it's all about :) If not, guess we will have to bite the bullet with
Wells Fargo and might have an account with them in a few months.

-- 
William L. Thomson Jr.
amd64/Java/Trustees
Gentoo Foundation

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Updated Jun 17, 2009

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