Special Budget Meeting

GPUS Steering Committee
Special Budget Meeting

Sunday, December 6, 2015 – 8:00 p.m. ET

a) Facilitator: Charles Ostdiek
b) Recording reference # 148
c) Present on the call: Audrey Clement, Jan Martell, Andrea Merida, Charles Ostdiek, Jeff Turner, Tamar Yager, Karen Young. Observers: Starlene Rankin, Frank Young
d) Agenda revisions: none


a) Fundraising and revenue discussion – Karen. Discussion centered around falling revenues and upcoming efforts to increase sustainership and reach out once more to recent donors. Jeff was unhappy with inadequate record keeping, and wanted to be included in the coding of mailings, which wasn’t done with the most recent one to save money Karen said. They have been working on tagging donors in Nationbuilder.

b) Budget review – Jeff said a budget is not a mandate, it’s a guide, goal setting. Donor revenue was proposed in last budget version at $162K, Karen said $150K max. Discussion centered around which line items could be reduced (Ballot Access, Political Organizer salary, Office Assistant salary, 2nd office room rent, accountant). Audrey suggested splitting the difference between $162K and $150K to make donor income $155K, and taking the $7K difference from Ballot Access ($5K) and the new office person salary ($2K), which was shown to be workable and avoided zeroing out any budget lines. Vote on donor income set to $155K – Voting yes: Audrey, Jan, Jeff. Voting no: Andrea, Karen. Abstain: Charles, Tamar. Approved. Vote on decreasing Ballot Access from $10K to $5K and Office Assistant from $18K to $16K – Voting yes: Audrey, Jan, Charles, Jeff, Tamar. Voting No: Andrea. Approved. Karen had left the call before this vote. Tamar proposed in addition to cut the accountant line to zero – Voting yes: Tamar. Voting no: Audrey, Jan, Andrea, Charles, Jeff. Defeated. Jeff said the new figures result in surplus of $1391. Jan proposed expediting the schedule for reintroducing the budget to the voting queue so that approval would be possible by Jan. 1. Vote to post same night for 2 weeks discussion and 1 week voting – Voting yes: Audrey, Jan, Charles. Voting no: Andrea. Abstain: Jeff, Tamar. Approved. Charles will be floor manager.


a) Request from the Finance Committee concerning Fundcom – Charles. Fincom would like a closer working relationship with Fundcom, and requests regular meetings, minutes, reports and announcements according to Fundcom’s rules for transparency and accountability. Fundcom stopped holding regular meetings in April and only recently resumed, but announcements of meetings have not been made, no record of decision making has been available to the email list, and no co-chair election held. Audrey as liaison and Jeff have been cut out of the loop. Cochairs Karen and Tamar said that the committee is only 3 members, the cochairs and fundraising staff (which were new hires in April) have been doing all the work, but that things are getting back to a more regular schedule now – hard to have elections with only 3 members. Andrea volunteered to be liaison. Karen and Tamar welcomed growing the committee, but haven’t been successful attracting new members in the past. A vote was proposed to approve Fincom’s request, but Andrea left the call, so it lacked quorum and had to be deferred to the next meeting. Tamar and Karen had left the call earlier.

b) Second Finance Committee item (clarification of donations from mailing with earmarks, percentage going to general fund derived from gross or net) – Jeff needs specific wording of fundraising letter to address this question, which can be obtained from Brian or Red Sun; deferred until then.

TOTAL TIME: 124 minutes

Jan Martell