Board meeting minutes from September 8th, 2018

Protokolo de 8 Septembro 2018

Ĉeestas:

  • Filipo DORCAS
  • Ben SPEAKMON
  • Murray MERNER
  • Charlotte BURTON
  • Paige MILES
  • Nikvo WOODS
  • Jordon KALILICH

Ĉeestas (sen voĉdonrajtoj):

  • Vilĉjo HARRIS

Ne ĉeestas:

  • Chris NELSON
  • Timoteo BORONCZYK
  • Hanso BECKLIN

Filipo diras, ke ni havas kvorumon.

Nikvo moves that we approve the minutes of the last meeting, with the addendum that we correct the date. Ben seconds. The board approves unanimously.

Filipo reviews the agenda for the meeting. The next webinar date will be September 13th at 7 PM central time. Per a report from Vilĉjo HARRIS, the books are not selling as fast as hoped, but we will have a storage facility in Maine, and this should not pose a problem. Filipo reports that we have submitted a grant proposal to ESF, on which we are awaiting a response. Ben reports to clarify ESF’s procedure and states that we should not expect approval by the full ESF board before October. Filipo states that the items in the grant request are in order of priority.

Report from the Central Office
Vilĉjo reports on the CO, that the landlord will be taking over part of the space early, so he has been spending much of his time in packing and preparing the move. Everything is moving according to schedule. Moving is expected to happen the week of November 15th, with the expectation of being in Maine by Thanksgiving.

UK Montreal 2020
Filipo discusses the meeting of the Esperanto-USA board with the Montreal LKK (minutes viewable here). Filipo states that we should put forth as much effort toward the success of the Montreal UK in 2020 as if it were occurring in the USA. It should be a focus point for us. Charlotte suggests selecting a contact person in the USA to lead the effort on this, so that information can be moving through a central point. Filipo suggests finding someone who is not on the board. He is also working to find a regional coordinator from California as well as people for our nominating committee and can look for an UK contact person in the US while doing that. Vilĉjo will give him a member list from which to search for these people.

Jarlibro
Charlotte suggests that the board should renew discussions on creating a jarlibro like UEA does - why do we need it, and what should it include. It is agreed to discuss this in more depth outside this meeting.

Membership and Donation Campaigns
Filipo begins discussion on membership and donation campaigns. Vilĉjo says that the annual campaign in January is smaller and less impactful in the past, due to the change to a 12-month membership instead of an annual membership. However, the subscription services which are sold through us are often according to the calendar year. Vilĉjo continues sending out notifications to encourage renewal of memberships online, including to UEA and magazine subscriptions, among others. Vilĉjo sends out a list to the board each month of people who have not renewed their memberships after several contacts from Esperanto-USA. The board has not recently been reaching out to the people on this list. Jordon shares a handwritten thank you card he has received from another non-profit to which he donates and encourages a personal touch in reaching out to members.Murray agrees with the need for a personal touch in communicating with members and with people who have allowed their membership to lapse. Vilĉjo has made an arrangement with Julie SPICKLER to write a thank you note to people who donate; he offers to send the addresses of lapsed members if anyone would like to take the time to do this. Jordon volunteers to take a couple. Nikvo suggests establishing a Membership Retention Committee. Ben consents, and Vilĉjo requests the name of one person who can receive the relevant information on lapsed members. Jordon agrees to head a new Membership Retention Committee and receive the information on lapsed memberships and welcomes others to join him and Nikvo on this committee.

Filipo calls for ideas on membership and/or donation campaigns. Vilĉjo suggests the UK Montreal 2020 as advertising leverage. A discussion is raised on how to use this to focus a donation campaign. Vilĉjo suggests choosing one fund as a priority fund that would cover the things people most often want to support, to prevent people from becoming overwhelmed at the number of funds and electing not to donate at all. Nikvo suggests spotlighting a particular fund when needed, and Jordon suggests perhaps rotating out the spotlight. Nikvo discusses how we define the description of a fund, so that we do not define a fund too narrowly and prevent ourselves from being able to use the donated funds. Vilĉjo says that we can alter the descriptions of the funds if needed. Jordon suggests encouraging donations to the General Fund, which can be submitted with a memo on how to spend it, which would then allow the board to move those donations to the appropriate funds. The board discusses why it has not been a focus on donations in the past and how to overcome these issues to use it as a place to spotlight for donations. Murray and Bill discuss how to choose or rename a fund and arrange its description to reflect how it can meet member needs. Filipo discusses how other non-profits use marketing and terminology to avoid wearing out members with funding requests and campaigns.

Webinars
Filipo will head up a webinar this coming Thursday night (Sept. 13) and present the Jarraporto as a basis to discuss the status of who we are and what we are doing as an organization. This will include mentioning several reports and discussing our budget. Filipo discusses technical issues and the differences between Zoom meetings and webinars. Given the technical difficulties with setting up a webinar, Filipo suggests setting up the first webinar as a Zoom meeting in order to facilitate the technical side of things for our first webinar.

Treasurer Notes
Murray requests the 2018 and 2019 budgets, which Filipo will try to provide. Murray requests to see some documentation, which Vilĉjo will provide. It is determined that Charlotte has been keeping track of the expenditures from the ESF grant and will work with Murray to clarify that. Murray requests that our monthly board meetings include financial information each month, to make sure we are on top of our finances and are responsibly working with the money the members and donors have entrusted to us. Filipo, Vilĉjo, and Murray discuss the exchange of information from the previous treasurer to the current treasurer.