December 13, 2017

GPUS SC Special Budget call minutes – 13 December 2017

The call recording is available at 712-451-0309, 936334#, reference 13.




a. Facilitator – Holly Hart

b. Roll Call – Andrea Merida, Jody Grage, Gloria Mattera, Mike Dennis, George Martin, Darlene Elias, Chris Blankenhorn, Hillary Kane

Absent – Darryl! Moch

Observers – LuAnne Kozma MI, Tamar Yager VA

Link to current budget proposal draft


Lines 7-13 – Income – 2017 projected – $223.5, new fundraising projects should get us up to $250k in 2018

Lines 14-19 – YTD projected for merch combined in the 10k where split up in previous columns

Lines 15-17 – Merchandise – Chris – merchandise ordered in bulk and shipped from office by Cynthia now; doing research on fulfillment houses – biggest problem seems to be not set up for working with smaller union shops

Line 18 – what specific printed lit included? – Outreach committee could design materials and locals and states would pay for printing costs

total income – $275k

Lines 21-26 – Fundraising Costs – all salaries combined on Line 133-135

Line 25 – eliminate contractor for writing
Line 28-34 – similar to 2017 with some slightly decreased, new programs and new avenues of revenue coming on line
Line 33 – Prospecting for New Donors decreased from $10k to $6k, money to print stickers as rewards for getting new email addresses, money could also be use for a small batch of postcards to people from voter roles who are not yet in out database, committee felt needed to reduce some expenses though could certainly use more money
2017 shows only $1k spent but doesn’t include all costs or new projects FunCom was authorized to spend 2-4 weeks ago; expenses needed to expand income; end of year is good fundraising time

Line 29 – $25k on RedSun snail mail letters some of which may be moved to line 33

George – too late to make requests for 2017
Chris – we need a new payment processor for merchandise; looks like we’ve made $14,734 in sales for 2017 to date including shipping though shipping charges may be on other lines, Hillary has about $8k income from merch

Line 36-38 –

Line 36 – charge backs every month – should be deducted from revenue except we don’t know which lines should be credited so it is here
Line 37 – ANM projected to make $25k but no money included for fundraising event

George – need inventory of printed material, Chris – in progress

Lines 40-46 – merch costs – several cuts – suggestions to include shipping in price, continue research on using fulfillment house

Line 50 – money left after Fundraising expenses – $232,120

Line 54-61 – electoral politics – all salaries combined on Line 133-135
both BAC and CCC campaign schools massively underfunded – need for increased funding for electoral work!; BAC – currently emphasized states MT, NE, KS, WY, AK, NC, IN; BAC Funding Request form used as basis for awarding funds; need to prioritize states to get to 5%!; BAC $120k request did not include IL or TX; reserve funds for BAC at $12k, BAC
does regular fundraising

CCC – need analysis about where prospects are highest for legislative seats – attempting to work based on issues – which may not be working, generally goes wherever there is energy to organize, Alabama as focus?

software – FunCom willing to pay out of prospecting for donor line

$2k into campaign senatorial committee – can this be moved to CCC?, leftover money from Jill’s campaign returned to donors

Line 64-69 – all salaries combined on Line 133-135, all line items zeroed out except stipend professional GP layout, no shipping paid, less merch also cuts staff time involved, discussion of printing by states – inefficient, costs less than buying from GPUS

Line 70-75 – mostly zeroed out – many not utilized in 2017, must utilize volunteers, put materials on website for local/state printing

Darlene – maintaining status quo – salaries and operational costs, budget inhibits growth, Outreach and Diversity and some caucuses not active until mid year, need to know where staff costs were in 2017, need staff performance reviews – need to justify staff, need fundraising

Mike – all caucuses have fundraising accounts and are doing/can do fundraising, shift to culture of volunteerism

Darlene – fundraising and media should shift to volunteerism, too

George – no money for printing, Outreach needs $3600 for materials

Gloria – use volunteers better, must have staff, need one person who supervises staff,
caucuses can function without funding for now, need attention for the GP

Darlene – lack of transparency and accountability, troubled by blanket approval for $132
for staff

(Jody had to leave call, Hillary taking minutes now)
Hillary point about committees vs staff
George – agree that we need staff but we also need literature, publications, outreach which is basic. Proposal is on the floor to produce literature.
Mike – direct response to Darlene about accusations of “back door” negotiations with no prior involvement from Darlene in any part of the budget process. Caucus allocations reduced because they have the ability to raise their own money
Darlene – lack of transparency is because individual salaries are not listed in the budget and/or there is not clear work product.
Mike – yes we need better documentation of staffing and work product.
George – proposal on the table for printed material
Chris – there are performance reviews for everyone to review.
George – restated proposal: Outreach Committee would like $3600 to work with.
Hillary – question about where the $3600 should come from or if this is just adding $3600 would add to deficit
Andrea – blocking concern about where the money would be pulled from
Darlene – agree with George’s assessment. Who gets to decide that ballot access is more important than outreach.
Hillary – happy to give money to outreach but it has to come from somewhere; happy to provide salary figures to each
George – the extra money is only 1.3% of the total budget
Darlene – why not $500 for each caucus
Gloria – not supporting the proposal as is. No additional money for the budget. Call the question.
Andrea – blocking concern. Overall projected revenue is coming out of calculations. Youth caucus charges dues. Maybe Fundraising can help Latinx Caucus.
Vote: No (Hillary, Gloria, Mike, Chris, Andrea); Yes (George, Darlene) – Proposal to add $3600 for outreach fails.

Hillary – putting salary in line item by line item ties our hands.
George – comments but better for executive session

Review of lines
George – noting that we have agreed to a bottom line budget, we have not.
Andrea – noting the money in the fundraising budget.
George – when did we approve the bottom line?
Hillary – not sure we did. But FinCom has asked that we pass a balanced budget. This revenue is actually slightly ambitious. This is painful process and it has been really hard for all of us working on the budget for two months to do this.
George – understand what you’re saying but disagree
Mike – sympathize for desire to have $$ for social media advertising. Was hardest for me to cut. But $1000 in Facebook ads isn’t that worth it right now, because we don’t have good enough SM that’s worth boosting. Also, once you start boosting things on a regular basis, the posts you’re not boosting suffer.
Darlene – this budget doesn’t take into account marketing. Image, outreach, social media.
Mike – there is money in here for merchandise and for advertising merchandise.

Hillary – clarity on Annual Meeting.

Discussion of $$ for Global Greens
Andrea – proposal: let’s eliminate the $350 for GG dues.
George – support keeping a small amount for IC
Mike – blocking concern. The $350 is small enough and we’re cutting everything else for the IC ($6000 of travel).
Andrea – withdrew proposal to eliminate $350 for GG dues after assurances from George that IC would pursue an informal coalition of Leftist Green parties within Global Greens in he coming year.

Discussion of rent:
Mike was proposing to accept the $350/month rent
Hillary noted that the $$ listed doesn’t cover that.
Proposal to move $2000 from media committee to rent to allow for DC office.
No objections.

Discussion of IT line:
Andrea: asked the status of the Elections Database.
Hillary: Phase II will be complete by end of December; not clear that we can afford Phase III next year;

Discussion of liability insurance — do we really need this, what is it for?
Hillary – seems to be general business liability insurance

Andrea — we need to have a legal fund for future consideration.

George – discussion of board & staff liability. We have to have board and staff liability to protect us.
Tamar – clarified that we cannot have board insurance as a political party

Darlene – question about the figure related to staff costs. Is 62% accurate.
Hillary – yes

Mike asked for consensus on the proposed budget, Hillary seconded

Darlene blocking concern — too staff heavy and no transparency with staff salaries.
George – no money for print materials and promotion

Budget as presented with one change: $2000 from media committee to rent
Andrea – Yes
Gloria – Yes
Mike – Yes
George – No
Darlene – No
Chris – yes
Hillary – yes

Executive Session cancelled

Jody Grage
GPUS Secretary