Accountable: money management for community-led groups

We’re providing a free service to help community led groups responding to Covid-19, easily receive donations and pay expenses.

Many groups won’t have a bank account or legal entity set up to manage funds, and individuals or organisations can be uncomfortable donating to private accounts.  Plus, the admin burden of sorting finances often ends up on one person’s shoulders.

Through Accountable, groups can use our business bank account to manage their incoming and outgoing funds.  We’ll also handle the accounting tasks, like bank transfers.

The platform itself is simple to use.  It can be accessed by the whole group, and it makes every transaction visible, and therefore accountable.

After years working with grassroots groups and as an incubator for fledgling social movements we know this service can really help groups get going and stay going.

“I cannot praise the Accountable service enough. In a few quick, easy steps, we got the ability to fundraise and pay expenses – it has made all the difference in this crisis. No one has had any problems using the platform. I don’t know how we would have kept on going without it.” Felix, Oxford Mutual Aid

Setting up your account

Simply click ‘apply’ on our host page to get started, and follow the simple steps to register your group’s account.

Once registered, you’ll receive an email with a link to schedule a 30 min call with us.  This is to answer all your questions and help you get your group live.

Useful resources:

  • FAQs will give you a good overview of what’s involved
  • You’ll need three people to become ‘administrators’. More info on that here.
  • You’ll need to agree an ‘expenses policy’ with your group. This is what you will and won’t spend money on.  Read some guidance here.
  • Making collective decisions in newly formed groups can be a challenge, read some top tips here

Why should community groups use Accountable?

Most community or mutual aid groups won’t have a bank account, but will need to handle money. Whether accepting donations, reimbursing people or supporting those struggling in their community. Managing this can quickly become an admin headache.

Using private bank accounts, whether attached to a platform like Kickstarter, or to transfer payments directly, isn’t transparent or sustainable for a group.

Creating a dedicated bank account is tricky too, you need to register as a charity or business.  This is a lengthy process, and doesn’t really describe the function of a community-led group.

Using our service gives the safety and transparency of a formal bank account, without the legal headache of setting one up. The responsibility for signing off the money can also be shared among group members, and the whole group can clearly see money is coming in and going out.

Our work on this project is generously supported by the Lankelly Chase Foundation and the Changing Ideas Foundation.

“It has enabled us to minimise the handling of cash. Our volunteers pay for groceries, we reimburse them via online banking, and the resident reimburses us. This really helps to limit the threat of passing the virus to the vulnerable people we’re helping. It took a matter of days and one phone call for us to be up and running.” Jodie, Kensington Mutual Aid Area 3

“Using the platform streamlined all the information and meant that we didn’t have to set up our own bank account. It’s also great having all the transactions public.” Seth, Goose Green Solidarity Fund