August 10, 2014

GPUS Steering Committee Meeting Minutes – 8/10/14


a) Facilitator – Kate Culver
b) Roll Call – Starlene Rankin, Budd Dickinson, Charles Ostdiek, Jeff Turner, Audrey Clement, Tamar Yager, Jesse Townley, Karen Young, Darryl! Moch; Brian Bittner and David Sacks, staff;
Observer – Jody Grage

II. Staff Reports

Brian Bittner – Operations Manager
Monthly report to SC is sent the first week of every month and was sent earlier this evening, It includes time sheets and how much time has been spent in the various categories of work including Internal Correspondence; External Correspondence including eblasts; Financial Transactions, etc. Merchandise Program – receiving, to online store, processing and shipping orders, inventory; ANM – registration and other things that go through the office; Candidate Support – updating database, etc.; General Administrative and Miscellaneous.

The SC seems more effective and focused than it has been previously. The SC is urged to review report and discuss and come to consensus on where the priorities should be. Committees can ask staff to do tasks but there may be conflict within a committee. Clear, written communication and direction is necessary. Listserv conversations can be a source of problems that need to be resolved directly and quickly, perhaps with a point person to coalesce toward a solution.

New computer working well. Brian commutes by train with a stop by the post office and usually in the office from 8 am to 4 or 4:15 to catch the train home. The current office lease ends next May, though we can move without penalty if we find a new tenant before May. Brian will put an ad on Facebook. People at the office we want to move into are also looking for a replacement tenant for us.

The suggestion was made that committee work requests go through the staff supervisor. The desirability of in-person meetings between the staff and the SC was underlined. The monthly staff report is only the number of hours; a narrative would be helpful. Question asked about eblasts sent each month; how candidate records are being compiled; and maintenance of merchandise contact info. A request was made for specific starting and completion dates for each project.

David Sacks – Fundraising Manager (joined the call)
GPUS has remained financially stable during his tenure. The Future Focus Society is up to half a dozen now.

David got an intern program going now with five at the start of the summer, though it’s down to three now. David works from home in Chicago so it is nice to have people to work with. There will be more interns during fall quarter.

The Be Green Globally project was informative and fun, with GPUS raising more money than the other groups despite their generally raising more money. Data sharing continues to increase, though the lists GPUS is getting in return are negligible. The transition to NationBuilder is proceeding well. The cost and capabilities are standard and no contract is needed.

Challenges include lack of engagement of all of the SC in thank you phone calls; need for cohesive focus on growth of the organization including retention; and desire for more of a relationship with the SC including responses to fundraising reports.


a) Moving the office update.
See Brian’s report above.

b) Forum Transition – Starlene

We have our Forum support people in place:
Forum Managers are Holly Hart and Frank Young.
Admins are Holly Hart, Frank Young and David Doonan.
Floor Managers are Starlene Rankin, Jesse Townley and Charles Ostdiek.

This information needs to be posted on the list. The 60 day transition period begins 8/15.

Forum training at ANM by Jesse Townley and David Doonan went well. The review to 20 or 25 people included how to log in, etc. with questions answered. No one came to the announced hours for personal tutoring. Training will continue to be offered.

Netiquette has been posted on the listserv. SC members will be facilitating different threads.

Consensus: On 9/15 forum use begins and we officially stop using current lists. On 10/15, the listserves will no longer be able to be used and we will have forum use only. Announce list continues.

c) Rebranding Rollout – Karen
Starlene will get an announcement on the website soon with splash page and explanation and list of items to be rolled out. Social media will follow this coming week. The fundraising letter will drop in September. Merchandise will come after that – beyond the bag that is available now. Then will come letterhead, business cards, and envelopes and then email template. State party and caucus logos will be next with orders starting this month with David Doonanas point person for states. The website will follow by end of year, with signage and banners and lit in 2015. Consensus to allow up to $500 for extra expenses through the end of the year to be distributed with discretion by Karen.

IV. Standing Business

a) Treasurer’s Report JT
Approx. $10,700 in general fund and $15k in reserve funds. End of July report not yet completed. Macalester College bill not yet received; travel receipts needed from SC members.

b) Fundraising Report ANM income report is being revised to reflect the correct categories for income for registration, food, lodging after accounts payable have come in.

c) Received for the Voting Queue: Universal & Automatic Taxpayer Voter Registration&ID.(from DC Statehood Green Party) This proposal needs some clarification and reformatting. There is consensus to discuss this online. Budd will work with Darryl! on revisions. Darryl! had left the call.

d) Liaison Reports Discussion – on next call agenda.

IV. New Business
a) ETC Report
Frank Young says that the report will be available by 8/15.


The Steering Committee named a Transition Committee to work with Nationbuilder on creating an agreement/contract for services, and on managing the transition from Salsa and our current website for GPUS. Not all members will necessarily be involved in all discussions or decisions.

The following members were approved for the Transition Committee, with their areas of expertise:
-Jeff Turner (Finance)
-Dave Sacks (Database Lead)
-Dave Doonan (Website Development)
-Jane Hunter (Website Lead)
-Karen Young (Website and Database)
Mike Feinstein (Website)
Brian Bittner, staff
Others may be consulted as needed.

The committee will develop a recommended contract with Nationbuilder and bring it to the Steering Committee for approval.This contract should be sent to the SC by Wed, Aug. 20, so any changes can be made and approval secured at the SC meeting on Sunday, Aug. 24.

Once a contract with Nationbuilder is agreed on, a timeline for the transition will be developed and a website developer will be hired.Jane Hunter will make a recommendation to the SC. The web developer will report to Jane Hunter and work with the Web Content Committee and IT Committee.

We hope to complete the project by the end of year.

c) Review of Brainstorming from meeting at ANM – on next agenda.

Budd Dickinson