Board minutes from November 9th, 2019


  • Charlotte Burton
  • Murray Merner
  • Timothy Boronczyk
  • Paige Miles
  • Ben Speakmon
  • Nikvo Woods
  • Hanso Becklin
  • Filipo Dorcas
  • Fred Meyer

Ĉeestas sen voĉdonrajto:

  • Vilĉjo Harris

Filipo declares we have a quorum and reads the mission statement.

Standing Reports

The treasurer previously sent the financial report via email. He confirms that we’re spending as little as we can to run the organization, but we’re not getting enough revenue from various sources.

The CO reports that it’s time to send out paper renewal forms and paper and digital reminders and that IRS paperwork has been sent in.

Phil will leave after an hour, and Ben will preside to last half hour. An attempt is made to send an email regarding operational workshop times. Action Item: Phil will send an email about operational workshop times.

Membership report is called for, but we need a chair for the membership committee. Murray is trying to get a spreadsheet of numbers of different membership types, so we know how to proceed. Bill has sent out membership numbers monthly. Bill says a membership committee would be needed to make progress on this front. Nikvo reports that the membership retention committee needs to meet again and determine how to most effectively proceed. Phil recommends himself, Tim, Nikvo, Fred, and Jordon as a membership committee. All agree.

Jordon sent a report from the publicity committee. Murray recognises Jordon’s efforts there.

LK 2021 may tentatively be in Chicago, if we have enough support there, but nothing is certain.

Charlotte is planning the USEJ youth event in Chicago over MLK Day weekend. Charlotte needs to make an FAQ, a video, and draft an email for Bill to send out to the members, so we can get people to sign up for this.

Fred reports from regional coordinators about redesigning the regions. We need to know about the event in Phoenix. More discussion will occur through email about Survey Monkey. Coordinators felt there was value in receiving the annual membership list utilizing “opt-in.” Coordinators will compile changes in regions to submit to the board, including Hoss’s proposal.

Esperanto for the USA fundraising: The only payments received the last couple months have been the regular monthly donations adding up to a few hundred dollars. Phil can do a letter to the membership and possibly a video. Phil and Ben will talk offline.

No new news about UK2020, except a proposal that E-USA provide the books for the libroservo. No response yet regarding that. There is discussion of how E-USA will get the books to make that happen.

Old Business

Robert’s Rules of Order: Fred had sent out a report and a motion about Robert’s Rules of Order. He suggests we postpone this until we’ve had more discussion. Hans supports adopting these rules but doesn’t see an urgency.

Thomas Alexander’s request regarding an event in the SW Region: Fred agrees to take this on and see what must be done.

Operational meetings for membership, finances, and publicity will be discussed via emails.

New chairs of the Schultz Fund and the Educational Video Fund: Phil will make calls regarding the positions. The board discusses the proposed new chairs and supports these decisions.

Hoss had proposed to change the status of the publishing fund to restricted or interest only: to be sure we can keep the money for publishing. Hans speaks in support of a proposal to use an interest only publishing fund to republish the Esperanto classics. The options available are discussed. Restricted means some chair not on the board decides entirely what to do with it. Interest only means no one can use the principal except in an emergency. We are currently still in a desperate financial situation, and no proposals have been made. Nikvo asks, if we did make this restricted, would we have three people who could and would make use of this fund? Phil asks, do we need to do this right now? Nikvo suggests that publishing more books could make this profitable. Further discussion occurs as to what the rules would be for this if it was moved to restricted. Phil has to leave, and Ben takes over presiding the meeting. Hans moves that we establish ⅔ of the principle of the publishing fund as a restricted fund, with a committee of 3 directors to be named at the next board meeting, with the remaining ⅓ to be left in case of emergency or in case of larger projects. Charlotte seconds. The board discusses why ⅔. Tim, Nikvo, Charlotte, and Hans, and Paige in favour. Fred and Murray opposed. Motion carries.

Regarding Hoss’s proposal to make the newsletter free for non-members: Hans suggests that Esperanto-USA gets members less as a service and more as a charity. Nikvo suggests that we could better benefit our community and the content makers by removing the paywall. The question is raised whether this would impact membership retention. The question is raised how much cost we have for the newsletter. For the electronic version, the only cost is Hoss’s honorarium. It’s budgeted at $5300 yearly. Murray and Paige suggest that some people will be upset to lose out on one of the services they are paying for. Hanso moves that we remove the paywall effective January 1, 2020. Tim seconds. Charlotte, Tim, Nikvo, Hans, Fred in favour. Murray and Paige vote against. Ben abstained. Motion carries 5 to 2.

Bill suggests we defer the CO discussion item for another month.

Murray and Bill proposed that we change the allocation of the quarterly investment income for the Unrestricted Section: of the Publishing Fund and the Goldman Fund to go directly to the General Fund. There is precedent for this elsewhere. We will continue to put half the money earned from publishing books into one of the publishing funds. Previous treasurer reports had been assuming this in error. By voting in favour of this, we would significantly decrease our deficit. Murray moves that we place the investment earnings from all currently Unrestricted Funds into the General Fund, retroactive to Jan 1, 2019. Nikvo seconds. Unanimously in favour. Bill and Murray will run the numbers then resend the spreadsheet.

End of year campaigns. Ben is also doing the ESF campaign and wants to make a video for Giving Tuesday. This could be sent to members and to regional coordinators who could distribute this to local groups, but this may take time. Hans suggests hitting people up at a different time, perhaps twice, to avoid saturating the market.

The final item, replacing a treasurer, will be discussed by the President and vice president offline before the next meeting.

Charlotte Burton