New Board Member
More than twenty years ago, Scott Imes told me that the function of the Board for Mnstf was to do the boring stuff so that it didn't have to interfere with the party. Welcome to the boring stuff! (The truth of this is born out by the structure of our “meetings” which tends to be eight hours of socializing with a five minute break to announce other opportunities for socializing. The other side of that is that while Board meetings are open to anyone, in practice almost no one but the Board ever attends.)
You are now a Board member! Yay, you. Probably, you haven't read the by-laws that govern our club. You should. They are kept at mnstf.org/records Please be aware that the by-laws trump your personal views on how the club should be run. On the other hand, they can be changed. On the gripping hand, you should know what they are before you try to reinvent the wheel.
Board meetings are held as necessary, often about once a month. If things are complicated, more often, if they're not, less often. Scheduling Board meetings is a major headache. Please, please attend. Also, there is an email list for Board business, called BoardChat. While primary business is rarely conducted there, some business is done there. If you are email averse, please address this problem at the initial Board meeting, so that work arounds can be created. Also, various transparency laws require that this channel of information can be made public, so please don't say things there that you wouldn't want to appear in a court of law. No, I am not kidding.
The club has a number of officers, listed at mnstf.org/officers.php. Only a few of these officers have formally defined lists of duties.
- The president and vice president are described in the bylaws.
- The quartermaster has a page, linked from the officers page, that describes it.
- The treasurer does what you probably think a treasurer does.
- The correspondence secretary picks up mail from the PO box and distributes it to the people who need it.
- The recording secretary takes minutes at board meetings.
- The Einblatt editor edits the Einblatt, and also does everything else about the Einblatt.
- Similarly with the Rune editor, but much less regularly.
- The webmaster masters the web, but only the parts that are neither for conventions (mastered by the convention webmasters) nor archival (mastered by the archivist).
- The archvist is in charge of keeping physical and web archives.
There is a checklist of things which must be done annually on this wiki. Please look at this, as it will give you an idea of the kinds of things that the Board is responsible for.
The rest of the Mnstf wiki might also be worth your time. As in, you should spend some time here.
Mnstf has money. Not huge whopping gobs of money, but money. Which you, as a Board member, must exercise reasonable fiduciary responsibility for. There are a bunch of laws, none of which are any of us completely conversant with, but the gist of them is that we need to a) not waste money wildly, b) use the money for the purposes of the club, and c) not embezzle. I figure that last is easy. The first two are more complex, but also open to many interpretations.
We currently hold money in the following ways:
- Several accounts at Ameriprise, hopefully closed by the time you read this.
- A checking account at US Bank managed by the Minn-stf treasurer.
- A checking account at US Bank managed by Minicon 52 and Decongestant. (Note: con accounts are kept by the cons, with profits returned to the main Minn-stf account when the con concludes its business. These accounts are sometimes shared by two or more cons with the agreement of the various chairs and and treasurers. By the time you read this, the specifics of con accounts will probably be different, but the idea will probably be the same.)
- Minneapolis in 2073 bid money held by Matt Strait, tracked in a notebook without a separate bank account. (He has promised that if this goes over $500, he will open a separate bank account.)
At this present time, Mnstf's primary expenses are bi-monthly meeting and conventions. Minicon, the convention most every Easter, is our primary fund-raiser and where we get most of our operating capital. The fallcon, the name of which varies, sometimes breaks even, but often loses money. Minicon averages a profit of $3000-$4000, with large swings from year to year. The fallcon typically loses a few hundred dollars. In each case, the board sets targets.
Mnstf meetings are held in members' homes, usually, and the members are reimbursed $75 for most meetings, see behind this link for more detail. (Hosts usually spend considerably more than that, by the way.)
Minnstf has a storage locker. While it is mostly (but not exclusively) used to store stuff for Minicon, it is considered to be the club's as a whole, not Minicon's specifically, and the club pays the rent on it directly. (Of course, Minicon raises most of the money that allows the rent to be paid.)
We pay ASCAP an annual fee due to the music we play at our conventions. Current ASCAP rules cause it to make sense for the board to pay the bill even if only one convention plays ASCAP-licensed music, so we do that. ASCAP bills us.