Friends of Daley Ranch Board Minutes
September 24, 2019
Present: Colleen Mackinnon, Jerry Harmon, Fred Woods, Liz Ridder, Rick Mercurio and Denise Harter.
Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Colleen opened the meeting at 7 pm at Denise’s home.
Colleen summarized the draft minutes from the August 29 special Board meeting. A couple items were revised. Colleen moved approval. Liz seconded and the motion passed with 4 yes votes and Jerry abstaining.
Colleen said that she has added Jerry onto the Mission Federal accounts as the Board had authorized in August. She also added the two new email accounts for $5 per month per the same August meeting. Fred delivered a renewal donation of $100 from the Bensons. Otherwise, there was no treasurer’s report.
School Visits: Fred has been busy coordinating new learning stations and new logistics for this coming year’s trips. He and Rick M will attend a joint meeting on Sept. 26 at the EUSD office with Simon Breen of TECC, Krystle Miller, and representatives from the other organizations that are involved with outdoor education for Escondido’s youth. Fred and Rick will also attend a meeting on October 16 with Krystle and other players to iron out details and bus arrangements.
Finances: Denise has been doing a great deal of analysis on FODR’s current accounting practices. She has examined existing files and packets of information. She proposes new bookkeeping practices and systems and budget categories. To that end, Colleen moved to utilize and maintain Quickbooks Premier software. This involves a $50 administrative fee to Tech Soup, the organization that will facilitate the donation of the software from Intuit. It also requires a $35 per month fee for a “hosting” service, called Right Networks, which will store the accounting software on a remote server so it can be accessed from any computer. Monthly payment would be set up at Mission Federal Credit Union to enable automatic withdrawals for this service. Rick seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
Merchandise: Denise shared a merchandizing system she developed for the Daley Ranch Tracking Team. It allows online purchases, and could be linked to our Facebook page. The program would be completely handled by a company that would deal with payment and delivery and creation of the products. The Board was enthusiastic about doing this for FODR. Liz stated that as an environmental organization, we want to ensure that any products with the FODR brand must be certified as environmentally friendly and socially just. Denise will look into this further.
Membership: Denise analyzed FODR’s membership records and presented a summary sheet, which included average contributions, trends, membership numbers, and extremes in terms of donation years and “retention” rates. She also enumerated proposals and goals to create a membership engagement plan, including suggestions to connect with members and honor them. The Board agreed that this is an area that has been neglected and is in dire need of new energy. We agreed to add membership as a major goal in our strategic planning.
Strategic Planning: Colleen and Denise led a discussion about long-term goals and possible organizational changes for FODR: who we are and where we are going. They presented two Venn diagrams showing our existing resource allocation and a proposed revision, which would add “Development” and “Protection” as other major emphases along with “Education.” The Board agreed that the school visit program is and shall remain a top priority for FODR; it unifies Escondido’s youth, helps build community, and helps grow the other aspects of FODR. Membership enhancement and grant writing, facilitated by funding for a paid staff position, would be desired goals. Colleen and Denise also put forth a potential new organizational chart for FODR involving an Executive Committee and other committees, all of which would report to a Board of Directors. Jerry noted that we need more people on our Board, and more active, donating members. The Board agreed. Colleen asked each Board member whether they want to pursue this new direction and seek a higher level of sophistication for FODR. Each member present agreed.
Honoring Donors: As a first step toward growth and engagement, the Board decided to organize a site visit for FODR donors to Save1000Acres on November 16. This would be coordinated with TECC, and involve a vehicle tour and some walking at the Mountain Meadow Preserve and/or the Sardina Preserve. We would provide a lunch. Colleen agreed to begin organizing this with TECC.
March Picnic: Fred suggested honoring long time FODR donors Guy and Mary Jo Harman at this event, and possibly presenting them a framed photo of Daley Ranch from the Sandy Zelasko collection. Fred also suggests asking about a shuttle bus through EUSD. The Board agreed.
Connect North County: Jerry explained that Connect North County has been formed to allow like-minded environmental organizations to meet and socialize on a regular basis, and learn about current issues. Rick has also been attending, and proposed that FODR consider officially endorsing two ballot measures for the March election that Connect North County has been advocating. Colleen agreed to put this on our agenda. The next meeting for CNC is October 26 from 2-5 p.m. at the Audubon Buena Vista Lagoon facility, and all members are welcome.
Next Meeting; Change of Date: The next regular FODR meeting is set for Tuesday, October 15 at 6 p.m. at the Train Depot in Grape Day Park.
Rick Mercurio, Secretary