CoderDojo Ireland 1st of February Minutes

Meeting Details

Date> Monday 1st of February 2016

Time> 20:00 – 21:00 GMT


CoderDojo Foundation Members on the Call:

Giustina Mizzoni – Head of Development

Ross O’Neill – Community & Communication Lead

Rosa Langhammer – Reporting Lead

Meeting Minutes


CoderDojo Community Members on the Call:

Annette O’Donnell Kilkenny Dojo
Francis Reed Dun Laoghaire
Liam Friel Bray Dojo
David Flynn Athy Dojo
Toby Mole Dun Laoghaire


Liam:  Asks for dojos who don’t deal with money or have a bank account at all are they still required to register with the regulator?


Rosa: Absolutely, it is the view of the regulator that as Dojo’s act in a charitable interest they are regarded as a charitable entity regardless of its financial dealings or lack of. If you raise no money or a lot it, registration would still be required as well as an annual report which would be a significant burden to individual dojos. This is why creating a body to deal with this for all dojos is the preferred option.


Francis: Acknowledges that similar structures are already in place in other organisations.


Liam: What would we have to do in regards to dojo bank accounts.


Rosa: Dojos are still able to have their own bank accounts and the process with your bank will not change. What will change is that individual Dojos finances will be reported up to CoderDojo Ireland who will consolidate all the dojo reports, and submit one singular report to the regulator.


Liam: So once a year we will report our dojo accounts.


Rosa: Yes I can imagine seeing the date being 31st of December year end to make things easier for all dojos and CoderDojo Ireland. But this date can be determined by CoderDojo Ireland but once chosen the date would apply to all dojos nationally.


Francis: Acknowledges that the change in legislation main aim is for all charity bodies to have accounts, are reported and there is clear transparency.


Rosa: The creation of a template would be wise for income and expenditure for dojos who spend and have a financial standing. This would make it easier as it would consolidate the information as all the dojos would be meeting the same criteria.


Liam: Presumably CoderDojo Ireland’s accounts would have to be certified – presumably the individual dojo accounts wouldn’t?


Rosa: Individual dojos may be audited at random as part of the whole audit process so it would be recommended they follow best practices in regards to finances i.e keeping receipts.


Francis: Would CoderDojo Ireland need someone to do these accounts as the admin at the end of the year would be quite large if each dojo is submitting their report.


Rosa: Currently 160 dojos in Ireland. we estimate 20% have some form of financial dealing that would be required to be reported. It might be a large job but it could also be a lot smaller than we think. It would be up to CoderDojo Ireland moving forward to assess if someone would be needed at that time of the year. It is emphasised that if the template was done correctly in the first instance it wouldn’t be a large endeavor.


Francis: You the foundation would be needing these accounts also presumably for your own reporting.


Rosa: CoderDojo Ireland and the CoderDojo Foundation would be separate and require separate reporting to the regulator.  


Francis: Would CoderDojo Ireland be a charity in its own right?


Rosa: Absolutely! It would be one of CoderDojo Ireland’s first action to set up as a company limited by guarantee and achieve CHY status.


David Flynn from CoderDojo Athy Joins the Call


Annette: If an individual dojo achieves sponsorship from a company for example would it have to go through CoderDojo Ireland to get tax benefits etc?


Rosa: Generally if a Dojo has its own bank account and the company wishes to put it in that bank account locally that is fine. You might find that larger companies however might require CHY status and operating through CoderDojo Ireland might be the best option. It will be up to CoderDojo Ireland on how this will operate.


Annette: What are the benefits of being a registered charitable entity?


Rosa: The benefit would that it would create more opportunities and on a local level more flexibility to access localised support mechanisms that the CoderDojo Foundation couldn’t avail of as it is a global entity but CoderDojo Ireland would be able to avail of.


Francis: Could CoderDojo Ireland take out general insurance for all dojos?


Rosa: It would be up to the board but it would in the interest of the dojos so it would be something that could be looked into. Possibly an umbrella insurance policy.


Toby: How would CoderDojo Ireland be funded? Would it be by the foundation?


Giustina: Typically we operate separately from a regional body in regards to funding but would liaise with the regional entities so both the CoderDojo Foundation and CoderDojo Ireland are not approaching the same organisations. We have had difficulty accessing Irish based funding as we a global entity and what we would see is CoderDojo Ireland to avail of those mechanisms that we couldn’t in the past due to our global remit. The CoderDojo Foundation wouldn’t see it as a competition but as an additional support mechanism on a national & local level.

Francis: So you are hoping for nominations for the proposed CoderDojo Ireland board?


Giustina: Yes and a draft Terms of Reference document will be published and sent out to all CoderDojo Champions (by end of week, 5th February).


Annette: Would dojos have to pay a registration fee to be under CoderDojo Ireland?


Giustina: No – under the regional license we have published we have clarified that such a requirement would not be allowed. It is noted that no regional body has ever attempted to do this.


Francis: Would CoderDojo Ireland need a membership list?


Giustina: Yes it would be required that a list would be needed of all Dojos under CoderDojo Ireland which will be required when reporting at the end of the year especially when requesting an annual report. It is noted that it isn’t our intention to create a large amount of admin – we wish it to be simple, streamlined.


Liam: There was a financial threshold to become a charity – has this changed?


Rosa:  There are two separate things at work here, one is registering with the Charity Regulator and the other is the CHY charitable status. To our knowledge the CHY status threshold has not changed but there is no threshold for registration with the Regulator. i.e. you do not need to have any income.


Liam: Acknowledges that it would be insane to do that (register) 160 times for each dojo.


David: Would Vetting and Child Protection and other administration tasks be taken over by CoderDojo Ireland?


Giustina: It would entirely up to the board on what their focus would be which might focusing on all dojos being garda vetted.


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