Board Meeting Minutes: 29 September 2021

Organization for Transformative Works – Board of Directors

Minutes of the meeting: 29 September 2021, 21:00 UTC

Present

  • Natalia Gruber
  • Lex de Leon
  • Rebecca Sentance
  • Alex Tischer
  • Jess White
  • Kirsten Wright

Guests

  • TheLaure
  • Min
  • Kaysa
  • martina
  • cmdonovann
  • Nrandom
  • Antonius Melisse
  • Claire P. Baker
  • Eskici
  • priscilla
  • whetherwoman
  • SaintRiley
  • Anne-Li
  • ZG
  • Dasha
  • JamieVamp
  • lydia-theda
  • Julia Sugarbaker
  • james_
  • Paula
  • Kari Dayton

Open Session

Decisions taken since last meeting

  • approved minutes for the meeting of the 11/07/21
  • approved payment requests for Systems for mail server maintenance
  • approved payment request for online style manual access
  • approved payment request for audit
  • approved payment request for state filing
  • approved payment request for accounting software
  • approved payment request for server certificates
  • approved Budget updates
  • approved new staffers for Open Doors and Policy and Abuse
  • approved new editors for Transformative Works and Cultures
  • approved new chairs for Elections and Development and Membership
  • voted to appoint third placed candidate in election in place of Kati Eggert, who had to retire
  • mediated in a personnel issue
  • ongoing communications and requests

Finance update

Financials for up to July 2021:

  • We’re holding about $2M in cash as of July due to the past few years of highly successful drives. We’ve since slowed down our fundraising in order to start using up some of the current reserves.
  • There are some nebulous plans to implement large changes that are still under discussion and will require further consideration, but will quickly eat up that extra money once the changes do get implemented. Finance is also continuing to encourage committees to seek out paid tools and services that will aid in their work.
  • This amount of money is able to cover roughly 3 years of operating expenses, under the assumption that the current level of org activity continues and nothing else happens. A healthy organization should have cash that can cover 2 years worth of operating expenses, so we’re more than safe in this regard. We are still exploring ways that the org can expand scope and improve sustainability with this money.
  • Operating expenses as of July are $196k, with about 77% spent on OTW programs (AO3, TWC, Fanlore, etc). The remaining 23% was spent on Fundraising & Development related activities (16%) and management and administrative support for the OTW as a whole (7%).
  • More details in the PDF: Financials_for_OTW_Board_Meeting_2021-09-29

Appointing director to vacated seat

Kati Eggert unfortunately had to step down before her term was completed. We would like to appoint Antonius Melisse, who was the third place candidate in the recent Board of Directors election, to finish out her term. – unanimously approved

Board turnover

We bid welcome to the new directors Kari Dayton, E. Anna Szegedi and Antonius Melisse and farewell to Natalia Gruber, Lex de Leon and Kati Eggert.

Electing new officers

  • For Treasurer, Finance chair Yuechiang Luo to continue in her role. – unanimously approved
  • For Secretary, Alex Tischer – unanimously approved
  • For President, Antonius Melisse – unanimously approved

AOB

Some questions from guests:

This might be a little off-topic but I have to satisfy my curiosity. Is the board aware of the continuing public “pressure” being exerted by outside groups who want the OTW to implement changes to Ao3 that could result in unfavorable changes for creators? […] Sure, there’s been a troubling amount of talk (and maybe it’s just all talk) on outside social media sites (It’s Twitter, it’s always Twitter) of groups that want to pressure the OTW to implement censorship guidelines for Ao3. Is that even on your radar?

This is a perennial pressure for the Organization for Transformative Works, but the AO3 was founded to protect inclusivity of content and we remain committed to that mission.

Multiple questions asking for timelines for a number of different things (paid staff, new officer roles, blocking feature).

We can’t give timelines but we will do our best to share more information as things progress.

Closed Session

  • No Items

 

The meeting was adjourned at 22:13 UTC
Minutes approved by the Board 04/10/21

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