Board 2007 01

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  • Date: 6:30pm, 10 Jan 2007
  • Facilitator: wren
  • Scribe: laurel
  • Minutes Checker: seamus
  • Place: free geek meeting room


wren, laurel, Seamus, Marie, Elizabeth, Shawn, Richard (staff rep), Oso, Tim Collier, Aaron, Jon, Dave (left), matteo (late)

Old Commitments

  • Marie - find/send links to Board legal responsibilities, procure DVDs for directors. - DONE
  • Seamus - sign credit card paperwork - DONE
  • RFS will seek the board responsibilities book (Chapter 13) DONE (Marie brought in several copies)


Budget Report

  • Richard presents
  • The format/structure of budget has changed somewhat: expenses are now categorized by committee, so that it's clearer what funds are available for what. We'll probably see less underspending because of that. One-time expenses have ben separated from recurring expenses for better trend tracking.
  • Overall, Q4 2006 was good. Despite (or perhaps because of) increasing staff costs, we came out well in the black. Best income came from sales: retail and wholesale sales were both greater than we expected. The robbery resulted in media attention, and we saw a greater than usual increase in donations at the end of the year.
    Expenses may go up because we are going to be changing monitor vendor for one that has higher rates and more integrity. Payroll was over what we expected, balanced by spending less than budgeted on substitutes.
    • Q. Why did online and external sales drop so much? A. It's volunteer-run and hasn't been consistent. Staff will propose an exploratory intern to help with this problem, so we can increase our online sales income.
    • Q. What's up with the projected online donation amounts? A. There's a bit of a tail on the spike that we got after the burglary.
    • Q. What's all this about write-offs? A. It was from changing the invoicing system over, clearing out the books. There was an account that no one knew anything about, so we wrote it off.
    • Q. So how do we make sure there aren't deals like that in the future? A. We have better tracking of sales now. Now whenever a bulk sale happens, it basically goes through Dave, and there's reporting involved. Everything is paid for in the store.
    • Q. Who makes the decision to write something off? A. It's done at budget time, so rfs explains it to Seamus, then it's reviewed by the board. Note: rfs cannot write checks.
  • Projections for Q1 2007. Additional budgeting of $1500/Q for physical improvements and maintenance should help with doing some of the many, many one-time projects that the action committee would like to do. Almost all of our growth in expenses lately have been in staffing. The projections include increases in staff expenses throughout the year, but don't include increases in income from those additions, so that's why the projections all have us going into the red each quarter. Note: total of the potential losses and non-recurring expenses for the next year is less than what we have in the bank.
  • We should be thinking a quarter ahead, instead of trying to just catch up in time.
    • Q: Are there legal issues about staff who volunteer as well as work for pay? A: Probably not, especially because everyone is salaried, rather than paid hourly.
    • Marie: we need to make a goal of increasing fundraising to compensate for additional spending on staffing, rather than planning to take it out of the bank.
    • Q: Do we really intend to lose $52000 in the next 5 quarters? A: No, income from new positions has not been included, and we aren't locked into the spending increases that we've budgeted for. We will definitely not lose the $52,000 that appears in the budget. Figure that!
    • Q: Are we specifying how the increase budgeted for staff will be spent? A: No, i think we'll leave it up to the staff.
  • PROPOSAL: We accept the expense budget as presented for Q1. Increases in staff spending are budgeted for and left to the discretion of the staff and council. APPROVED
  • Moving on to nonrecurring expenses. There are a number of projects that should probably happen soon. Some may be grantable.
  • PROPOSAL: We accept the nonrecurring expenses budget as presented for Q1. APPROVED
  • PROPOSAL: We should we move $50,000 our default checking account into our reserve. APPROVED

Credit Card Progress

We take credit cards. We're doing fine. Used less at the front desk than the store.

Board's role and actions in fundraising

Marie will make a commitment sheet to help the board in setting fundraising goals. Keep it up, guys! Get that money!

The SQL clinic account

  • Oso presents
  • Oso and David Pool were to create an organization and some funds were promised. The organization did not happen. We have $1,315 still earmarked.
  • PROPOSAL: We keep half the money and donate the other half to Homestreet. APPROVED

Board profiles reminder

Laurel's trying to update the board profile page. If you update your profile on the wiki page, we can copy that over. Check it out at

E-Waste legislation endorsement request from Recycling Advocates

  • Oso presents
  • Recycling Advocates wants us to sign on as an endorser of proposed legislation. Oso says it's good legislation, avoiding prison labor and protecting small players. See for information about the legislation. Also see for information about nonprofits and political advocacy. It will be the role of the council to determine whether Free Geek will endorse it. We should be able to read a draft of the bill before the council meeting.

Introducing Tim

He's Oregon native, CPA, has lots of skills and interests. And he's interested in Free Geek! PROPOSAL: The board resolves to expand to 8 positions. APPROVED Wren will introduce and nominate Tim at the Council meeting. Tim will meet w/ rfs, Seamus, the budget intern.

New Commitments

  • Seamus and RFS will go to First Tech and look into putting our reserve money into more lucrative instruments.
  • RFS will make the budget available on the wiki
  • Marie will make a commitment sheet to help the board in setting fundraising goals.
  • everyone will update their profile on the wiki
  • laurel will update the board profiles on the web page
  • wren will introduce and nominate Tim at the council meeting
  • Seamus, rfs, and Tim will meeet about the budget

Next Meeting

  • Facilitator: laurel
  • Scribe: Jon
  • Date and time: 11 April 2007, 6:30pm.
  • Place: Meeting room.