X.Org Conference/Event/Activity Reimbursement Policy

[PLEASE NOTE: This policy is in beta and subject to change.]

Policy

The X.Org Foundation provides funding for a variety of activities including conferences, workshops and other events, to cover individual expenses for travel and lodging, as well as group expenses relating to venue costs, equipment rental, flyers, legal help, etc.

X.org is a member of Software in the Public Interest (SPI), and as such we process reimbursements in accordance with their policies. This page serves as a summary of the reimbursement policies, but please defer to SPI for any question on specifics.

https://www.x.org/wiki/SponsorshipPage/

Initial Approval

Prior to incurring your event expenses, it is required that you submit a funding request to board@foundation.x.org.

For individual travel, please:

  • Indicate your travel dates

  • Do a search for available coach or economy airfares, and save a screenshot of the search. If your proposed itinerary will be more than, say $100, above the lowest fare in your search, or will total more than $750 domestically or $1500 internationally, please provide an explanation to help justify the larger expense. Rail transportation is also reasonable if it is commensurate with or cheaper than by air.

  • Provide rough estimates for travel, lodging, and any other anticipated expenses. Note that excessive expenses such as luxury accommodations, upgrades, entertainment, etc. are typically not going to be eligible.

  • Public ground transportation (taxi, shuttle, bus, or other municipal transit) is considered a reasonable expense, as is use of a personal vehicle. If you anticipate needing car rental, this will need indication in your funding request with a rental cost estimate for pre-approval; first check with the event coordinator in case carpooling arrangements can be made.

For group expenses, the event organizer should include in their funding request:

  • The target date

  • A description of the event that emphasizes how it will be of benefit to the X.org community.

  • Expected number of attendees

  • A reasonably accurate budget. If it is expected that attendees will be requesting expense reimbursement, include these estimates in the budget.

Collect and submit the above to the X.org Foundation Board of Directors (board@foundation.x.org). The board meets every two weeks, so ideally try to file your request at least several weeks prior to the event so there is ample time for the review and to avoid incurring extra costs.

Traveling

Once approved, you should proceed with registering for the event and booking travel yourself.

  • Flights should be booked 4 weeks in advance.

  • If car rental is pre-approved, select a compact size vehicle where possible. Rental insurance, if desired, must be purchased by the traveler or event coordinator and will not be reimbursed by the X.org Foundation. (If you're a US driver, your existing policy may already cover rental vehicles.)

  • Generally, it is expected that individuals will pay their expenses up front and be reimbursed by SPI, but advance payment or pre-purchase might be able to be arranged with sufficient advance warning; please contact the X.org treasurer for assistance.

  • Extended stays to get a particular airfare that reduces the overall cost of the trip are acceptable. Travel itineraries including extra days for personal reasons are acceptable so long as the traveler covers the lodging costs for the additional days, and the cost of the flights meet the other requirements of this policy.

  • It is the responsibility of the attendee to ensure the correct visa is available. Please make sure to check requirements well in advance.

    If you need an invitation for your visa application, you'll need to make arrangements with a sponsoring company; the X.org Foundation can't sponsor visas, but you can check with the conference organizer for advice.

  • Collect receipts and invoices for reference in filing for reimbursement.

  • Our preferred payment method is electronic such as direct bank deposit or international wire transfer. So, make sure you have a bank account in your own name, with IBAN or SWIFT identification.

    SPI is also able to issue checks as well, but if you need that done or have other special needs for reimbursement you must make arrangements for it ahead of time.

Event coordinators need to also:

  • Announce the meeting to the most relevant public list / forum

  • Include a tentative agenda of the event in the announcement

  • For XDCs where public transportation is not sufficient, please set up a method for attendees to arrange carpooling with other attendees.

  • Prepare an overall meeting report, and/or provide periodic updates on how the meeting is going

  • Be prepared to provide visa invite letters. In the past we've typically relied on one of the sponsoring companies to help here.

Expenses

The following expenses are in-policy:

  • Plane and rail tickets for coach or economy fares

  • Baggage fees for up to 1 bag

  • Hotels, including internet service charges

  • Public ground transportation

  • Car rental for if pre-approved by the board, including gas purchased at a gas station, but not including car rental insurance.

  • Personal vehicle expenses including tolls, parking fees, and mileage. Use the current USA IRS rates for mileage.

  • Meals and incidentals, up to reasonable levels

The following expenses may be accepted but require justification and approval (pre-approval where feasible) by the X.org board:

  • Excess baggage fees

  • Cancellation fees

  • Group meals including third parties such as prospective donors, contributors, community members, etc.

Expenses considered out-of-policy for reimbursements include but are not limited to:

  • Business, first class, or premium economy travel. Upgrades for air/rail travel. Car rental upgrades. Hotel room upgrades.

  • Partner, spouse, and/or companion travel

  • Room charges for food or other services.

  • Personal phone charges

  • Personal entertainment or recreational expenses

  • Purchase of clothing, luggage, toiletries or other miscellaneous personal items

  • Currency conversion charges for cash withdrawals

  • Supplemental travel or car rental insurance

  • Fines, penalties, or legal fees

Reimbursement Requests

There are two separate steps for receiving reimbursement.

First, email an expense report to the X.org Treasurer with the following information:

  • Name of traveler or event coordinator

  • Itinerary with number of days traveled

  • (Optional) Brief description of the trip and what was accomplished

  • Summary of expenses converted to US dollars, with the total requested amount.

  • Electronic copies of receipts, invoices, or other record detailing each expense. (You should retain the originals in case of need for further verification.)

The X.org Treasurer will review the request and notify SPI of your request. Expense reports should be submitted within two weeks of travel. Reports filed more than 90 days after the expenses were incurred will require board approval to avoid being rejected.

Second, email a reimbursement request to the SPI Treasurer, treasurer@rt.spi-inc.org, with:

  • The SPI reimbursement form, filled out with your contact information and bank account or wire transfer details:

    http://www.spi-inc.org/treasurer/SPI_reimbursement_request.pdf

    SPI is also able to mail regular bank checks. Please indicate if that is your preference.

  • The electronic copies of receipts, as above.

Please expect two weeks or more for payment to be made following the submission to the SPI treasurer.

Policy Changes

The X.org board reserves the right to change any terms of this Policy from time to time. In particular, it may require amending in light of changes to SPI reimbursement policies, whose terms will always take precedence over this document.