MARCH 16 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 16 March 2014 at 1:30 PM. Forest Mars, President of the Board of Directors, called the meeting to order.
The following were present:
Jeremy Seideman (via telephone)
being a quorum of the Directors of the Corporation.
The Treasurer reported on the organization's current finances and status of the accounts. After examining the services offered by the Internet Credit Union he concluded that it would be a suitable agent for the Group's finances, and he announced his intention to open accounts and transfer balances from Signature Bank in the near future. If possible, he will arrange for the transfer to take place electronically, but if necessary he will enlist whomever is needed to satisfy Signature Bank's requirements for closing the current accounts. The Treasurer reminded the Directors that two signatories are required on all payments issued, and that all Directors are entitled to have their signatures on file.
The Secretary informed the Board that the organization's legal and annual filings were complete. These include Internal Revenue Service filings, New York State Attorney General's Office forms, Change of Registered Agent documents, and changes of address with the IRS, New York State, and Post Office.
Forest Mars introduced Patrick Chan, who spoke about Bitcoin and virtual currencies. His personal interest centered around microtransactions and their application to online gambling systems. When considering how non-profit organizations might benefit from virtual currencies, he suggested that such processes could be included as part of a potential reward system with fractional donations attached to each transaction.
Devin Balkind asked if the Group is interested in providing fiscal sponsorship to Serapis, a not-for-profit organization he represents. He explained that fiscal sponsorship is a legal agreement between projects that have similar or aligned missions, and which would allow his organization to collect donations and apply for grants through the Community Free Software Group's accounts. He provided a copy of a legal document outlining the terms of his expiring sponsorship with registered 501(c)3 On the Commons, and described how in exchange for managing the sponsored organization's activities the Group would receive anywhere from three to ten percent of each transaction with distributions made periodically by the sponsoring organization. Devin Balkind described how he uses an account with Stripe to receive donations, and that Serapis intends to apply for grants. Dave Williams said that such an arrangement sounds agreeable, but before formally moving to provide fiscal sponsorship Devin Balkind should discuss the details with the Group's Treasurer. Jeremy Seideman agreed with this recommendation. Forest Mars said that he will pursue retaining legal counsel when preparing the written agreement. Dave Williams mentioned that the previous Treasurer, Joe Maffia, advised sending official acknowledgment for all donations in excess of a fifty dollar value. Devin Balkind inquired if this information was still accurate, or if a higher amount was required. Forest Mars asked what form an official acknowledgment could take, and if an electronic version would be acceptable. Dave Williams offered that the legal counsel retained to prepare a fiscal sponsorship agreement might be able to answer those questions accurately.
Devin Balkind expressed an interest in cataloging the various online resources and communications channels used by the Group. He recommended adopting Google Groups and Folders accounts, both public and private, for collaborating on documents, and encouraged reestablishing the Mailman electronic mailing list. Devin also recommended using a shared calendar, and inquired about which social media accounts currently exist for distributing public announcements. Forest Mars offered to provide Devin Balkind with an editorial account on the Group's website, and to begin the application process for a Google Apps service available exclusively to non-profit organizations.
Dave Williams reminded the Board to consider the upcoming Software Freedom Day event. Specifically, he asked that several potential venues be recommended as a way of starting the planning process. He expressed the hope that this year's gathering could be similar to the one held in 2008, in which a wide variety of people representing a broad array of backgrounds and professions participated. Dave Williams suggested that one potential way to accomplish this is to select a venue in Brooklyn. Devin Balkind offered to contact a friend responsible for a potential event space located at 33 Flatbush Avenue, in downtown Brooklyn — the former Metropolitan Exchange Bank building. Although multipurpose in design, it could accommodate at least 150 people. Another possibility he recommended was the Centre for Social Innovation building in Manhattan, which offers a large space and a compatible social mission. Mike Nicols mentioned an event-oriented venue in North Brooklyn, near the Greenpoint Waterfront. He was not certain if it could be available for free or in the form of a donation, but thought it worth investigating. Patrick Chan suggested the Bitcoin Center, also known as “Satoshi Square” and located across from the Wall Street Exchange at 40 Broad Street in Lower Manhattan, might be amenable to hosting the event. The Center's administration is always interested in generating publicity, and the space has an occupancy of up to 200 people along with suitable resources for presentations and catering. Forest Mars agreed that all of these potential venues were promising, and offered to visit the Bitcoin Center the following day. Dave Williams concurred that the process is off to a solid start, and hoped the Group will be ready to establish an official venue by the upcoming Annual Meeting.
There being no further business before the meeting, the President moved to adjourn. The motion was seconded, carried, and the meeting was adjourned.