Board minutes from January 11th, 2020

Mission Statement

Esperanto USA is a non-profit organization that encourages and strengthens the Esperanto community in the United States and its territories by facilitating support and communication for local groups and providing a centralized set of resources for our members.

I. Call to Order 1:00 PM EDT

Board Present:

  • Phil DORCAS, President
  • Murray MERNER, Treasurer
  • Timoteo BORONCZYK, Director
  • Fred MEYER, Director
  • Paige MILES FELDMAN, Director

Quorum satisfied: No

Staff Present:

  • Bill HARRIS, Director of the Central Office

Visitor(s) Present:

  • Hoss FIROOZNIA

Phil reported that Hans BECKLIN informed him that he can no longer attend board meetings because of a schedule conflict. We may consider changing our meeting time.

II. Changes to Agenda

No changes were requested.

III. Approval of Minutes

Vote will be taken next month due to lack of quorum.

IV. Standing Reports

A. Director of Central Office

  • Bill reported that a large number of people signed up for the UK on December 29 and 30.

B. Treasurer

  • Murray reviewed the financial statements for Q4 and end-of-year 2019.
    • The operations budget year end total was projected negative but we ended the year positive. Nice turn around.
    • We have more in our checking account than what’s needed to handle cash flow. Murray and Bill will discuss moving some to a savings account or investments to ensure we make the best return.
    • Accounts receivable is over $3,000. Murray will review to make sure we don’t have any bad debts.
    • Book service inventory is valued at $12,000. We need to 1) determine if this is accurate given our transition to Amazon, and then 2) reduce this and turn into income.

C. Membership Committee

There are currently 522 members. Bill is creating a more comprehensive membership report.

There is confusion whether we have a chair for this committee. Timoteo noted that Nick WOODS and Jordan KALILICH previously took an active role, but the meeting they scheduled for December was canceled. Phil previously added Fred, Murray, and Timoteo to this committee.

D. Publicity Committee

Phil will report next month. Murray noted that Jordan is still doing Google Ad Grants.

E. Landa Kongreso

  • Phil reported that the UK committee will soon have more specific information available for people to make plans (flight scheduling, excursions, etc).
    • Fred noted it is important to have time set aside for working sessions in the Landa Kongreso.
    • Bill suggested we schedule our business session and count ballots on one day and schedule the second session on the next day or later to report results.
    • Phil expressed his desire to have our budget prepared ahead of time so we can concern ourselves only with the required formalities during the business session. This will give us more time to enjoy the event.

F. Youth/USEJ

The youth event will take place in Chicago this weekend.

G. Local Groups

  • Fred reported that he scheduled a meeting for regional coordinators for January 16. Agenda prep is underway.
  • Bill reported that he has temporarily taken on the regional coordinator responsibilities for three regions (Great Lakes, Northwest, and West/Pacific).
    • Several groups do not have contact information on our website. He will send them emails requesting specific contact details. Phil expressed a preference to have a person’s name and email address available for each group, not just a Facebook group or website listed.
    • Timoteo offered to grant Bill access to the local group spreadsheet used to update our website if he doesn’t have access already.
  • Phil reported on an email exchange he had with Thomas ALEXANDER regarding the Marikopa Kunveno. It was noted that Thomas had received $1,000 from the Goldman fund in September.
    • Nine people have signed up for the event. They will be staying in a house, but there are two hotels within walking distance if more people sign up. It is likely this will be an annual event.
    • Thomas said in his email that he did not get a response from regional coordinators when he emailed them about the event. Fred said he will discuss this with the coordinators in their upcoming meeting.
    • Phil expressed concern that we were in the dark until we pushed for more information. Details such as how to register, cost, etc. should have been available to promote the event on our website and newsletter.

V. Old Business

The 2019 Esperanto in the USA fundraising campaign concluded with $10,000 collected (includes ESF match). ESF reluctantly agreed that not all donated funds need to go to projects, but they prefer that they do.

ESF agreed to repeat the campaign in 2020. It was suggested that the campaign have a specific purpose for the money.

VI. New Business

A. Standard form for requesting funds

  • Murray proposed a standard form for when someone requests money for a project, event, etc. They need to know how to apply for funding, and we need to know how the expenditure benefits the Esperanto community.
    • The individual making the request will be required to provide a background summary, list the start and end dates of their project, identify the amount requested, describe specifically what they need the money for, provide a budget, and identify how the project benefits the community
  • Murray also proposed we smooth/refine the process for handling requests.
  • An individual makes their request to the board. The board decides whether the project has merit.
  • If the board denies the request, the individual may appeal to make their case more clearly, make amendments, etc.
  • The board may forward the request to a specific committee. The committee is empowered to interact with the individual and make a recommendation to board. Upon receiving the committee’s recommendations, the board makes its decision. No further appeals may be made at this point if denied.
  • If approved, any stipulations are listed. For example, the individual may need to provide a report for the newsletter, notify us whether attendance goals were met, etc.
  • Phil noted that UK stipends will come from the Goldman fund. When we have a standard form and process, we will coordinate how these are handled with Jordan.

B. Publishing fund proposal

  • Hoss was invited to speak on his publishing fund proposal.
    • Hoss’ desire is to establish a fund with basic capital and spent its interest on publishing projects. He is donating his editor salary and offered to further match donations to the endowment fund made by board members up to $5,000.
    • Hoss also requested authorization to speak on behalf of EsperantoUSA when negotiating with other publishers for out-of-print works.
  • Fred informed Hoss that his proposal was previously discussed and the board is favorable to it, but that it must be submitted as an official motion for us to take action. He will communicate the necessary format to Hoss.
  • Phil wants to contact Tim WESTOVER for his input, and said we need to decide who the chair of each fund is.

VII. Adjournment

Adjourned at 2:00 PM ET
Next meeting is February 8, 2020 at 1PM ET

Respectfully submitted,
Timoteo BORONCZYK, Director

ACTION ITEMS

  • Bill to obtain contact information for local groups
  • Fred to communicate required format of publishing proposal to Hoss