Minutes:05 JUL 2023 Financial Planning

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Meeting begins: 2017

Meeting ends: 2138

Meeting attendees: Nate Y., Joe D., James K.

  • Quickbooks progress:
    • Joe says QB is working well, at least as well as FreshBooks
    • James wants to know if we can close out the FreshBooks account
      • Joe exported all the info from FreshBooks and put it on the shared Board Drive. We should therefore be safe to close the FreshBooks account.
    • James: we need to get to a point where we can model the budgets we've set in QB, so they are less conceptual and we can see them monthly in our financial reports. Joe: I can highlight these things on the reports.
    • Joe: What other items are important to highlight on the reports? James: there are probably standard reports we should be doing, but those need more research. Most important info is what is our burn rate for money and how much are we losing (or gaining), and how are we adhering to our self-imposed budget.
    • Joe: We could do a simplified report which is our expected expenses vs. membership income. Since we don't have many surprises during the year, we can know that, e.g. if that number is too much lower than $0, we need to address the underlying income issues. Then we also sort of hand-wave away the grants and fundraising, which is just gravy on top of it.
    • August 2nd@8pm - Meeting to decide which financial reports we should develop.
  • Grants:
    • James: We plan on getting Xander up to speed at the next Members' Meeting so he can help with some of the grants we have
    • James: Let's just pay someone to write these grants. They are relatively "short", and shouldn't take too much work to get the basic part done. Then Directors can review to fill in any gaps. They don't need to search them out, just apply to them once we find them. Can we work on finding someone to do this?
    • Joe and Nate think we should open this up for a while to get fair playing field of applicants.
      • The proposal would be to post a job to write grants for $25/hr. (ideally not to exceed four hours per grant). Would be posted in chat and emailed to the members. Close out posting within a week of annoucement.
  • Budget notes:
    • James: We need to look into moving our server infrastructure to AWS
    • James: Let's also pick over our other expenses to find ways to save (e.g. Nest).
  • Action items:
    • Add donation button for 3d printer filament? - Nate will implement the buttons (Joe did part of this, will finish it up).
    • Add a new budget bucket: $150/quarter for outreach-related stuff (will be added with the categories work) - DONE
    • Ensure there is a conversation going on whenever someone is making a purchase (with the expectation of reimbursement) on behalf of the space. - DONE
    • James to formalize the general signage needs - DONE, although the conversation is on-going.
      • James will reach out to Oxford to make sure they know we are still interested in painting the pillar.
      • Since we already have vinyl and a working Cricut/vinyl cutter, the budget will mostly be paint. August deadline.
    • Future SEO/Adwords discussion: what are requirements for non-profit adwords? Come up with a campaign that can meet those requirements. James will reach out to some of his savvy connections on this subject, but also more general planning needed by the group. James will schedule a targeted meeting sometime in the future.
  • Separate/out of scope from this meeting, but good topics to discuss later:
    • Ideas on how to spend our $25k loan (ongoing)
      • Some ideas from this meeting:
        • (NEW) Hire people to write grants!
        • Hiring Adwords/SEO help (e.g. $500)?
        • Setting a solid budget to get signage stuff done (e.g. $250)?
          • General signage plans still needed
        • Find better vehicles to invest our money (credit unions, etc.)