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Summary of November 12, 2012 board meeting


Present: Tim McSorley (editor rep.), Dru Oja Jay (editor rep.), Palmira Boutillier (Halifax rep.), Stephanie Clermon (Montreal rep.), Maryann Abbs (Vancouver rep.), Sharmeen Khan (reader rep.), Crystel Hajjar (contributor rep.)
Absent: Justin Saunders (newly appointed interim Toronto rep.)
Empty seat: editor rep. (pending selection process)
Finances and fundraising
We discussed the financial situation of the co-op. There's a fundraising plan that's being put into action, but we discussed a few updates to the situation and changes to that plan, including:
- We have enough income to last us until May at the current rate of spending, which is better and less of a crisis than the previous assessment, which was that we'd run out in January
- Because it's cash- and labour-intensive, the board decided to put off a plan to develop a database of new member prospects, and have fundraising staff focus on existing leads and followup with lapsed members instead
- The board agreed to hire 5 hour/week, commission-based fundraising/sales positions in Halifax and Toronto (where there are qualified candidates), and phase in the positions in other cities later on.
- Some questions were raised about the advertising policy and its ability to address concerns about specific groups coming from the locals. We agreed to revisit it at the next meeting, and affirmed that locals would have control over which ads run on their web sites.
- The board agreed to a trial use of a mass-emailing service to manage our subscriber list, track open rates and the like.
- National Coordinator Tim McSorley is empowered to make hiring decisions on behalf of the board (in lieu of striking a hiring committee, because they're short-term positions)
- A discussion of revised financial statements was tabled until the next meeting in order to give everyone time to look at them.
Staff reviews
Sharmeen has developed a questionnaire for staff to fill out. The board decided that peer review is time- and effort-intensive, and given that time is a pressing concern with one-year contracts coming to an end, this round of staff reviews will be conducted by Sharmeen and Dru. Staff reviews are starting this week.
Fundraising discussions have led to a realization that very few of the Media Co-op's current staff or board members were part of the last round of collective visioning about the values and goals of the organization. While the ideal is to gather people from throughout the network in one place to discuss for a few days, an expanding network is going to make that difficult or prohibitively expensive to do properly. As such, Dru proposed to come up with an online visioning process, which would then be proposed to the locals and staff. The board agreed to consider such a proposal.
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dru (Dru Oja Jay)
Member since January 2008


Writer, organizer, Media Co-op co-founder. Co-author of Paved with Good Intentions and Offsetting Resistance.

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