Directors Meeting - 2015-11-09

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Directors meeting minutes for Sunday, November 9th, 2015 at 6:30pm
Previous: Directors Meeting - 2015-10-06 | Next: Directors Meeting - 2016-01-10


Contents

Introduction

Attendance

  • Rex B
  • Nigel C
  • Michael D
  • Caelin M

Facilitator

  • Nigel C

Scribe

  • Michael D

Agenda

  1. Reports
  2. Director Meeting, Society Meetings
  3. In Camera Discussion
  4. Marketing Proposals
  5. FG Expansion Discussion

Discussion

Reports

  • Michael: Hallowe'en party had a low turnout, but it was a success for those who did. Standout success was the "Give a computer a scary costume" activity; lots of interest and participation. Take-home point for next year: advertise earlier and in more places to bring in more people.
  • Nigel: In terms of finances, we're projecting to break even by year's end. Average price per computer has increased from $130 to $135 (go Michele!). Record month for laptop production: 77 (go Mike!).

Director Meeting, Society Meetings

  • Michael:
    • Propose putting off December meeting unless something important comes up. Next meeting, prospectively, in mid-January.
    • Society email access has been corrected. Mike F and I plan on introducing a two-meeting system: one month there is an open meeting where everyone can attend and discuss anything FG-related. On the month after, Secretary calls for whether Society would like to meet to discuss and/or vote on proposals. This puts less pressure on the Society meetings for discussion (although discussion can still occur if needed), and instead focus on voting on proposals. The open meetings will maintain transparency and provide a space for everyone to speak, and the Society can use input from them if they so choose.
    • Plan is to hold the first open meeting in January, first Society meeting in February. Will announce the meetings later this month on the mailing lists.

Actions

Who What When
Board Consensus: Put off December meeting unless something important comes up. Now

In Camera Discussion

(in camera)

Marketing Proposals

  • Caelin: I want to start a marketing project, but would like input and approval first. Two priorities: Overall awareness and increasing the number of high quality donations.
    • Several options:
      • Posters in popular East Van locations (low to not cost)
      • Newspaper ads (~$50 per issue in student newspapers, $100s for [popular alt. west coast periodical])
      • Ads in transit shelters (14 locations minimum, ~$600 for printing, but installation is free)
      • Contacting companies for donations
      • Organising employee donation days at companies
    • Bus shelter ads are really compelling, but could be costly.
  • Nigel: The exposure would be ideal.
  • Caelin: It would be worth it just to apply anyway. The process is fairly long, and we're not committed to it if we get approval.
  • Rex: Cory can help with poster designs for cheap.
  • Michael: I really like this idea. I think it would be worth hiring a designer for it.
  • Nigel: I'm in contact with a frugal designer.
  • Caelin: I could not get a quote from the big local newspapers. Even so, the ad space is very small (a few inches).
  • Rex: Print in general would be prohibitively expensive.
  • Michael: Even if we don't want to spend the money on student newspapers, there's plenty of free ad space on campuses. They are high-traffic, typically. We could also talk to department heads and ask if we could put posters up near their posting boards.
  • Nigel: I like the idea of the bus shelter ads, but I'm interested in a long-term strategy. I don't think we should have a single ad with lots of information. I think a good strategy would be a 3-stage ad campaign, the first stage being to simply get their attention and pique their interest with a vague/mysterious ad with the FG logo. Second and third stages would release more info/detail. The priority would be to get FG's name and logo in people's heads. If we did it this way, we'd need more time and input from the designer.
  • Caelin: I met with Rebecca, our social media manager. Working with her to increase consistency in the Facebook posts.

Plans for the Future

  • Nigel:
    • I've been struggling with ideas on how to successfully grow FG for a while now. We're in a unique situation because our total output is dictated by an outside source, the donors. We can't simply ramp up production to boost our income enough to grow.
    • There are two big problems that we face, both which increase and impede growth (it's a Catch-22): data security assurance and warehouse space.
    • In order to increase our revenue, we need a consistent stream of high-value computers. Most people donate computers after 5 years, at which point they're not high-value. Corporations typically donate computers that are 2-3 years old and are willing to donate in bulk. At the moment we can't guarantee data security to a level satisfactory to most large corporations. It's especially troubling to them to know that volunteers are handling the data.
    • Currently working on idea: Set up a separate building space for donations where the focus is on secure receiving and data destruction. Building would be run/operated by skeleton staff. Data destruction would be done only by staff.
    • If we did this, we could try to gain data destruction certificate, which would be a tremendous boost to our credibility to corporations.
  • Michael/Rex: Getting destruction certification can be very irritating and somewhat arcane and backward. Worth it in the long run, though.
  • Michael: What's the first step? Do we have a space in mind?
  • Nigel: I would like to first work with Caelin to go speak to some large corporations for whom we've hosted employee volunteer days, and see if we can get an arrangement working for consistent donations. Then, see where it goes from there.
  • Rex: Getting consistent corporate donations will give us a marked advantage over competitors and protect us if PC use further declines.

Closing Remarks

Proposed Date for Next Meeting

  • Mid-January
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