04/2017 Board Meeting Minutes

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(Redirected from Board April 3, 2017)


Add your topics here. Please provided links to any materials or documents needed so that participants can prepare:

Topic description-Is vote needed?- Presenter - Time in minutes - links

  1. Above the line/below the line where are you? discussion - no vote need- Chris - 5 min - http://conscious.is/video/locating-yourself-a-key-to-conscious-leadership
  2. Communication Round Table - -no vote need-Crafty/Group -10 min.
  3. Membership Rates raise to 50/90 - See Slack for debate and conversation @sullimech started in Governance Use reply to keep it threaded - Vote need- Chris - 15 min
  4. Membership feedback How do we get it, when do we get it? -no vote need- Chris - 15 min
  5. Membership agreement.  Vote needed - Mark - 5min.
    1. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qXT3YxUYD_cBZLC-smPGaAtbLUiXFHb4-Co_7g-1g30/edit?usp=sharing
  6. Financials- Kat - 20 min



1. Above the line/below the line where are you?

discussion - no vote need - Chris - 5 min http://conscious.is/video/locating-yourself-a-key-to-conscious-leadership

>> ACTION ITEM for RENEE: training is on Wednesday 5/5; get details from Pierre

2. Communication Round Table

no vote needed - Crafty/Group - 10 min

Crafty: How do you communicate?

Shiny: At meetings

Crafty: That's worrisome. What were your expectations of time commitment?

Chris: 4-5 hrs/wk

Pierre: 1-2 hrs/wk

Jacob: also 1-2hrs/wk

Shiny: I check Slack but don't necessarily do anything and it varies a lot by week. The last two weeks I did 30 minutes, but the week before that, I put in many hours

Crafty: Consistency is important! 48-hour eyeball commitment: when an FYI item is shared, respond with at least an acknowledgement that it was seen

Chris: Serves as a receipt that everyone is aware

Crafty: This is also good for trust

3. Membership Rates raise to 50/90

See Slack for debate and conversation @sullimech started in Governance - use “reply” to keep it threaded - vote needed - Chris - 15 min

Chris: We talked late last year about raising rates and Shiny tested the waters and we got some movement in membership, so in the interest of increasing our monthly income, I have a proposal to raise rates at the expense at possibly alienating some of our membership

Chris: I’d like to look at increasing our cash reserves considering that our rent may increase or that we may need to make a large equipment purchase that would come out of our reserves. Less money = less fun

Chris: I set up this financial model to play with the numbers. If we increase Starving Hacker rate $10 to $50, we increase cash reserves from $3k to $11k. If we give everyone a $10 increase, we get $20k in cash reserves. This is without any emergencies, of which we has 3 this year.

Crafty: I think increasing $10 for each lever is problematic because there are a lost of high-contributing members at the $80 rate and we would lose their help at a higher rate. I think it is more sustainable to raise the $40 folks to $45 or $50.

Shiny: Something we have to take into account is what we are willing and able to do, which for myself, is often more than I think, so I would be ok with a raise.

Kat: Crafty and I have looked at comparable spaces and where they are and what their membership structure is, and while I think it’s good for the org to subsidize starving hacker memberships, we can only do what we can do

Chris: We also want to offer more classes

Crafty: I hear that our offerings are great, when they happen.

Chris: We’re not a steady rate of growth, but we’re maintaining. We’re also increasing in full memberships, possibly because we’re higher profile than we were 2 years ago

Kat: Rachel and I came up with a step process. I think Rachel’s point about high-contributing members is very valid; their memberships should stay at the same rate in exchange for contribution

Shiny: Are you talking about raising rates for new members only?

Kat: I want to turn the Starving Hacker rate into a scholarship program, maybe 10 members, at $45, and then a $65 low rate.

Pierre: What would be the requirement for the $65 rate? (Kat and Rachel look for notes)

Crafty: What I recall is that the $65 rate would replace the current Starving Hacker program, and the lower-tier scholarship program would be limited.

Crafty: Price hike is a barrier and application process is a barrier; how much of a barrier do we want?

Kat: Membership is 50% Starving Hacker and 50% full rate, which I don’t think is good for the org. Even though we want everyone to have access, this means half the membership is subsidizing the other half. A bell curve would be better: 10% of total membership at Starving Hacker rate, then they move up to the more expensive (Chris: we should call it “Hungry Hacker”!) tier

Shiny: How about we keep Starving Hacker as the middle rate, which we are raising to $XX, and then introduce the scholarship program

Chris: We could say: “Before you disappear quietly, please talk to us about the scholarship program”

Crafty: Those who looked at the “What dues pay for” infographic can see that the first $40 of the membership don’t cover the cost of running the place.

Kat: The $120 “you love us” rate hasn’t been working. If we were going to charge an actual coworking space, it would be much higher. We can’t provide the extra service added that would be expected from that rate.

Shiny: If we introduce the $60 rate, will we lose people from the $80 tier?

Crafty: People have cancelled their $80 membership because they couldn’t afford it, so they were offered the $40 rate, but could have paid $60.

Chris: If we get a starving hacker who wants to pay $60 instead of $40, and we have a regular person who wants to pay $60 instead of $80.

Crafty: I think we should raise $40 rate to $50.

Kat: I still think we should have a 3-tiered membership + scholarship program

Renee: Who is going to administratively support the scholarship/vetting process?

Crafty: Not it!

Shiny/Chris: Yeah, we can even click on buttons to say “yes, we’ve read this”

Crafty: Motion proposed: I want to make a $60 Hungry Hacker rate and share “what your membership pays for” graphic and then we can ask really needy people to fill out a demographic form that will give them a coupon code for a lower rate

Chris: Propose add-on: We can make this a 3-month coupon that people have to reapply for, otherwise they revert to the increased $60 Hungry Hacker rate.

Pierre: How do we increase from $40 to $60?

Chris: We keep legacy members, but only let this affect onboarding

Kat: I think we should increase the $80 rate too

Crafty: Restating: STEP 1 - Add $60 Hungry Hacker rate, STEP 2 - increase $40 rate to $45 (2 months warning), STEP 3 - new Starving Hackers must fill out form to get $45 rate.

Chris: What that means fiscally is that in 2 months, we get a $5200 bump (from raising $40 to $45)

Kat: Counter proposal: All $40 people go up to $60 in 6 months and $80 people go up to $90, but keep high-contributing members separate

Shiny: How do we define “high-contributing”?

MJ: We can use volunteer hours

Crafty/Chris: We don’t have the manpower to manage more volunteers

Shiny: Counter proposal: Change STEP 3 to New Starving Hackers (and legacy Starving Hackers after 3 months) must both request and apply a coupon for $15 off per month for 3 months

Crafty: The way it has to work is the coupon is applied on signup for new members and existing members have to go in and apply a coupon on time

Chris: After informal voting, motion revised to STEP 1 - Add $60 Hungry Hacker rate, STEP 2 - increase $40 rate to $45 (2 months warning), STEP 3 - new Starving Hackers (and legacy Starving Hackers after 3 months) must both request and apply a coupon for $15 off per month for 3 months Vote passes unanimously

Crafty: right now: switching rate, provide coupon and people have 2 months to apply it to their membership

Chris: so in 2 months, we will functionally have raised the $40 to $45, and this week, $60 tier will become available

4. Membership feedback

How do we get it, when do we get it? - no vote needed - Chris - 15 min

Crafty: Our current system of getting membership feedback isn’t working

Pierre: We could have a dedicated Slack channel for feedback

Crafty: That isn’t sufficient, and requires a human or scripting

Pierre: I volunteer to do that part! (verifying that the people on a private Slack channel are active members

Kat: When it comes to legal documents, it is completely inappropriate to ask for member feedback on document drafts.

Chris: In support of Kat’s point, we still do not have Executive and Officer insurance, so we are on the line for the liability issues that we decide on, and we can’t get that insurance without making decisions upset people

Kat: For example, the membership agreement is a legal document

Shiny: I think it’s vital for the membership to be involved in crafting a membership agreement

Crafty: I’ll put documents in front of a lawyer!

Shiny: Motion: For all future documents, have concepts and feedback, then draft, then run all documents by a lawyer before publishing. Passes unanimously.

Pierre: That still doesn’t solve our member feedback problem

Crafty: Feedback cycle needs to be intentional and needs to represent the membership.

>> Action item for Crafty Rachel: share feedback-gathering resources on #governance

5. Membership agreement

Vote needed - Mark - 5min.


MJ: We can’t ratify the membership agreement without running this by a lawyer TABLED after short discussion

6. Financials

Kat - 20 min

Kat: As of 3/31, total revenue ~$70k and total expenses ~$78k, so $8000 in the red, so that means we didn’t meet our goals?

Crafty: It’s more that we spent our money early

Kat: We’re going to run down the Compass bank account (~$300) and then close it ~$19k in operating budget ~$20k in savings $273 in petty cash ~$3k in Paypal

Crafty: Should be a $2k dip into savings by the end of the fiscal year *without* the increased revenue from the membership tier structure adopted in this meeting.