JANUARY 25 2014 BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING OF COMMUNITY FREE SOFTWARE GROUP, INC.
The meeting of the Board of Directors was held at 322 East 94th Street, New York, NY 10128 on 25 January 2014 at 1:00 PM. Forest Mars, President of the Board of Directors, called the meeting to order.
The following were present:
being a quorum of the Directors of the Corporation.
The Secretary presented the minutes of the previous Board meeting. The minutes were read, and on a motion duly made, seconded and carried the Directors approved the minutes.
The Treasurer reported on the organization's current finances and status of the accounts. The organization's financial services agency, Signature Bank, suspended these accounts due to inactivity. The Treasurer reversed the suspension, but advised the Board that this action warranted ending the relationship and establishing new accounts. He requested authorization to collect previously promised contributions, settle outstanding debts, and move the organization's financial assets into a more agreeable institution. Forest Mars advised that too much time has passed to expect those donors who pledged support for the 2012 Software Freedom Day event to follow up on their commitments. He recommended migrating the Group's accounts to the Internet Credit Union, and the Treasurer agreed to research the organization.
The Treasurer requested the Board approve his resolution by vote. Upon motion duly made, seconded and carried unanimously, it was
RESOLVED that the Treasurer of the Community Free Software Group, Inc., be authorized to close all accounts currently managed by Signature Bank and transfer the balances to a new financial services organization.
The Secretary informed the Board that he established an online resource for hosting copies of the organization's documentation, using the domain name communityfreesoftware.org. The Secretary then presented the amendment to the Certificate of Incorporation, and stated that the New York State Certificate of Change was prepared. He requested Forest Mars visit the Group's current Post Office Box, and once accomplished the Secretary will submit a Change of Address Form to the U.S. Postal Service. Upon motion duly made, seconded and carried unanimously, it was
RESOLVED that the revised and amended Articles of Incorporation be officially adopted, and the Certificate of Change submitted to the New York Department of State.
Forest Mars initiated a discussion on the topic of fundraising, asking how the Group can increase assets and attract donations. Dave Williams offered that Fundraising is challenging when an organization lacks dedicated Development personnel, and the subject has been discussed at some length over the years. An online donation system could be integrated into the Group's website, which Jeremy Seideman recommended once a new bank account is established. Another method involves researching and applying for grants, identifying Foundations that fund programming similar to that offered by CFSG.
Devin Balkind inquired about the Group's current programming, pointing out that previously there were several programs listed on the Group's website but they no longer appear to be active. Forest Mars confirmed that the approach taken toward fulfilling the Group's mission has changed, evolving into more of an information resource and networking channel. Managing the New York City Software Freedom Day event is the Group's only current initiative, but it offers a good example of the new focus. Devin Balkind said that under the circumstances a constituent relationship management tool such as the CiviCRM plugin (available for both the WordPress and Drupal content management systems) would be ideal. He offered to install and configure an instance of CiviCRM within his personal WordPress-based site on the Group's behalf.
Dave Williams mentioned a few additional approaches to fundraising that had been suggested, such as becoming a membership-based organization or requiring fixed annual donations from the Directors. He described his experiences with a not-for-profit organization that operated an automobile donation program. By establishing a relationship with a salvage company they received a percentage of all sales while offering donors a potential tax deduction, thus providing a steady source of revenue. Dave also described how the Group's earlier programs operated, with CFSG designing programs (in hardware recycling, animation software, etc.), recruiting instructors, and arranging for host organizations such as community centers to provide funding and venues.
Jeremy Seideman recommended creating new programs and Free Software-based offerings, volunteering to establish a diaspora pod and create related workshops. Devin Balkind said that he would like to have a resource for identifying potential projects, programs, and instructors. A user-directed online service, such as a volunteer sign-up system, will be helpful at advancing the Group's mission. He mentioned an acquaintance with a building in Downtown Brooklyn potentially available for hosting Free Software oriented projects, and that keeping track of such resources is an example of “Asset Mapping” which he is prepared to implement.
Mike Nicols asked if the Group still operates a mailing list service for archiving correspondence. Forest Mars replied that the previous lists are no longer active, but agreed that they should be restored. Mike Nicols proposed that everyone commit to meeting again on Sunday, March 16 — in person if possible — to discuss fundraising and programming ideas and begin planning for the 2014 Software Freedom Day. The Board approved this recommendation, and barring any unforeseen conflicts agreed to the date.
There being no further business before the meeting, the President moved to adjourn. The motion was seconded, carried, and the meeting was adjourned.