Board Meeting Minutes: 19 October 2013

ORGANIZATION FOR TRANSFORMATIVE WORKS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
19 October 2013, 19:00 UTC

PRESENT: Andrea Horbinski, Cat Meier, Eylul Dogruel, Franzeska Dickson, Ira Gladkova, Kristen Murphy, Nikisha Sanders

GUESTS: Lady Oscar

ABSENT: none

DECISIONS TAKEN SINCE THE LAST MEETING

1. Approved a new staffer for Systems.

2. Approved three new staffers for Support.

3. Approved two new staffers for Volunteers & Recruiting.

4. Approved a new staffer for Strategic Planning.

OPEN SESSION

1. Update from Development & Membership: We’ve taken in more than $5,700 since the membership drive ended on Oct. 7. We generally receive donations at a higher-than-usual rate for a few weeks after the end of a drive as news of the drive lingers in social networks. The fundraising total for October is currently over $50,000, meaning we’ve raised more money this month than any other month in OTW history except April 2013. All of the premiums from the drive have now been shipped; premiums requested Oct. 8 and later will go out in the normal monthly batch at the beginning of November.

We’ve been working with Web to install and test a patch for CiviCRM. We are working on a promotion with Smart Pop Books, which is the publisher of an upcoming book on fanfic edited by Anne Jamison. OTW supporters who are interested in buying the book will be able to pre-order it through a special referrer link and Smart Pop will donate a percentage of the proceeds to OTW. We have run this past Legal to make sure it fits our gift acceptance policy, and staff members who contributed to the book abstained from the discussion to avoid a conflict of interest.

A suggestion was made that DevMem issue a fundraising challenge for the remainder of October to try to break the April 2013 record. Kristen demurred since there are only a few days left in October and DevMem is too busy with the Smart Pop promotion to take on another project in that time frame.

2. Update from Strategic Planning: Strategic Planning has been discussing various issues to do with reports and surveys. They will be surveying Communications and Abuse next, and probably Development & Membership as well, and they are working with Andrea to get information on Journal for the surveys and report. They are currently working on writing the Grants report and need a more comprehensive history of Grants; Kristen volunteered to contact Strategic Planning to provide this.

3. Update from Systems: Systems has recently welcomed a new staffer and are working on moving some things over to the UK servers.

4. Finance update:

12-Oct 19-Oct Difference
BoA 118,966.52 161,786.45 42,819.93
PayPal 52,706.81 10,418.73 (42,288.08)
CD 10,110.40 10,110.40 0.00
Total 181,783.73 182,315.58 531.85

Expenses this week were on the small end, including premium shipping and server monitoring software. The giant drop in PayPal was a transfer of $43,438.17 over to the bank account.

PayPal updated their site earlier this week, breaking their connection to Quickbooks; sanders has spoken with Quickbooks’ tech support and they expect it to be fixed by Monday.

Overall, the OTW is in very healthy financial shape for the remainder of the year, even with three significant Systems purchases still ahead. The best estimate right now is that we’ll carry over about $90,000 in checking alone for next year. This is a good position to be in, but it also carries some risk of giving donors the impression that further donations aren’t needed, when in actuality having a surplus gives us the peace of mind to be able to address outstanding needs within the organization in ways that will help take some pressure off of staff. We should encourage committees that have been hesitant to request funds for their needs to come forward with proposals.

5. We discussed finishing the editing on the internal FAQ about the in-person Board meeting so that it can be posted as soon as possible. Kristen volunteered to draft a separate, public post to advertise the Meetup Of Our Own.

6. Elections update: The second and final deadline for declaring candidacy has now passed, and no candidates have come forward. There were a few eligible staff who expressed interest, but want to wait and run next year rather than leave their current roles as chairs or staffers. Eylul will draft a public announcement once the Board has decided on next steps. Eylul is also planning an overall review of the elections process to take place in the coming months.

7. Status update on the Board Documentation Project.

CLOSED SESSION

1. Discussion of a confidential personnel issue.

2. In light of the lack of election candidates, we discussed possible candidates for appointment to the Board, as well as the timeline and process for making appointments.

3. Discussion of preparations for the in-person Board meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 21:40 UTC.

Minutes approved by the Board on 21 December 2013.