Convened at 7:34 PM
Present: Amanda Guest, Forrest Guest, Ben Russo, Eddie Codel, Mai Le, Noel von Joo, Tom Tierney
Amanda would like to have more regular board meetings in 2017 and discuss strategic goals. Board can set goals and pursue them and then share with BFF DJs.
Would like to set a board meeting for about a month from now.
FInancials - took in 47k, spent 47k - Mai: it’s a non-profit.
Mai: 75k would be a reasonable low end salary for SF, but it would be very difficult. It may make more sense to try to gather 25.x
Amanda: We have already done quite a bit of fundraising in 2017, she would like to raise 30k from non-DJ sources. This would be used to reduce the burden on the DJs. The equipment spend caused the funds to be rather short.
Eddie: So you would like to raise more money from listeners?
Amanda: DJ contributions aren’t tax deductible, but since they get airtime and access to the station, it’s not truly tax deductible. If we could pay expenses from listener contributions, DJs could claim their contributions and wouldn’t have to pay dues
Tom: you mentioned 30k, is that per month?
Amanda: per year. Our baseline expenses (rent) are roughly 30k per year. 2017 was unusual due to equipment (capital expenses).
Tech Update: Outfitted two studios. Bought a new PC. This was an expensive year. Outlined studio buy and automation computer purchase. We have special cable needs
Mai: Financial report does not have estimated budget (quarterly best). This will assist us in fundraising for next year.
Tech Update: Ready to do audio distribution, but need to buy speakers and wiring.
Noel: There are speakers in the alley, we just need wiring.
Tech Update: Another kickstarter discussed item was to do better live sound for the alley or remote broadcasts. Next step up is 12 inch JBL powered monitors
Have been looking into getting BFF only internet coverage.
Tom: have you looked into blended lines? Multiple providers over a single connection. If a provider goes down, they would support it.
Eddie: Check out wiline (sp?) - point to point internet.
Amanda: Reliability is the key issue. Bandwidth is also a problem.
Noel: Could be user issue, speed tests show OK.
Forrest: May be Wifi issue.
Amanda: we should be able to budget for some of these items.
Forrest: One point I’d like to discuss is the
Ben: Check out tech soup. Kind of a non-profit, helps non-profits get tech donations. Microsoft donation program, others. Techsoup connects non profits with learning, products and other resources.
Mai: Mostly software. Photoshop, for a discount.
Amanda: Pro-tools would be a good thing to look for.
Eddie: Worth looking into.
Amanda: Programming - we have about 20 hours of programming per day, about 130 hours per week. We have filled every time slot where we are able to physically be in the Alley. There is an opening at 10PM-Midnight Saturday.
Noel: This slot is supposed to be open.
Amanda: We currently have it open, it was pre-recorded. This show is no longer happening, but we have been trying to fill this slot, live is necessary.
One of the goals with Studio B was to fill in the overnight timeslots and early morning timeslots. Many shows are being pre-recorded in the space. This has allowed us to have shows from 6 AM to 8 AM most days, as well as Midnight to 2 AM 5 days a week.
Eddie: I’m curious what’s going on with the BFF twitter account? Do DJs have access?
Amanda: I’m the only one. All DJs have access to Instagram, some have access to the Facebook account, and only Amanda has access to the twitter account. It’s mostly automated through Sprout Social. This is by design, to keep the tone and voice of the station twitter account consistent.
This concludes the review.
On to new board members. Tom would like to join the board. Amanda is excited but would like to have a discussion.
Mai: Would like to propose a nomination and seconding.
Tom: Has been listening to the meeting, and see quite a bit of opportunity here for his skillset. Has worked in IT, radio, now for a bar (Pop’s). Has had his own IT consulting firm for 20 years, college radio for 3, community TV experience. Has done some fundraising and has spoken with people who have done fundraising. 30k a year is roughly 5k a month, doesn’t seem like an impossible goal. He is still excited to be part of BFF.
Forrest Nominates, Mai seconds, motion passes unanimously.
Mai: Welcome to the board.
Eddie: Back to financials - how many paying DJs?
Amanda: 78 shows, 70 are paying shows. Some shows are prerecorded, and do not pay because they don’t get access to the station. Some DJs can’t afford to pay dues. There is also one show with two hosts, and one pays 50, the other pays 100 a month. This subsidizes some of the costs for people who are unable to pay.
Tom: What are the dues?
Amanda: $50 per show.
Noel: over $3500 per month?
Amanda: We average about $2700 per month. We can prepare a summary. This puts us about $500 over rent each month.
Tom: As a nonprofit, we can’t do advertising, but we can do underwriting, correct?
Amanda: Underwriting is available, we haven’t had any DJs interested.
Forrest: Part of the reason we were interested in having Tom on the board was for small business insights and connections.
Tom: I’m not part of a small business association, but I can talk to people and I don’t mind selling.
Mai: I have sponsorship experience, and it may make sense for Amanda and I to pitch sponsorship programs, Amanda for questions on the station and Mai for sponsorship questions. We need to put together a program, perhaps this meeting isn’t appropriate. We should be able to put together a package this year.
Tom: it doesn’t seem unreasonable to try to get $500 a week, which would be $2k a month
Eddie: SF Indiefest is happening and they have sponsorships, it may be interesting to talk to them.
Amanda: SF Indiefest owns Radio Valencia now, due to issues surrounding the LPFM application process.
There is a bunch of opportunity for fundraising but we just need to set a plan and execute on it. A common approach would be to sell spots/PSAs, but this may cause a burden on the DJs, so we have not executed. However, the radio platform now has the capability to run a pre-roll; a sound clip can play before the stream loads when you click the play button.
Noel: Maybe DJs can raise money and not have to pay dues?
Amanda: That has been discussed. However, DJs have asked to take some of the money they raise, which causes issues with ethics and accounting issues. It’s more important that everyone in the station shares the funds. Some people have tried sponsorship agreements but they don’t seem to work out well.
We have a friends of BFF page, but don’t have much interest.
Tom: What do you think an underwriting would cost?
Amanda: $500 per month for one show (2 hours). We have only offered this for the kickstarter.
Forrest: I’m more interested in the listeners. We can’t offer a good analytics suite on listeners or traffic to the website.
Amanda: Mission Local can do business advertising, so I think it’s a good model.
Mai: It would be good to put together advertising profiles, I may be able to help.
Amanda: We can provide analytics for listener profiles, because we have social media analytics, and can assume that our followers are our listeners.
Mai: It’s easier to maintain relationships with several large donors (companies) instead of a large number of small donors.
Amanda: We actually had a donor whose credit card expired, but it was a lot of work to maintain that donor. They actually increased their donations, but it was a bit of work.
Mai: If DJ commitment to fundraising is an issue, maybe we can do a DJ agreement to ensure that they can participate in the process.
Noel: Pre-roll sounds pretty solid, it can be automated.
AManda: Now that Tom is part of the board, can we think about others that we’d like to add to the board who can provide connections and insight into the following areas:
- A venue/studio owner
- Traditional radio experience
No one has to pick another member, but it would be good to expand our expertise.
Eddie: Would like to invite Rusty from Soma.fm to attend. Do we have to pay rights holders?
Amanda: Yes, we pay the small webcaster fee to sound exchange.
Eddie: Rusty helped negotiate this legislation with them. He can provide insight into this arena.
Amanda: Ben and I attended SF Music Tech panel a few years ago, and he had an interesting discussion around providing bandwidth with Verizon.
Eddie: Maybe we should have an event to invite board members.
Amanda: It may be good to have an open house to invite people to look into being part of the station.
Ben: I would suggest Seth from Polyvinyl. He just had a kid, so time is limited but he’s a cool guy.
Amanda: Next item: I’d like to hold officer elections, if anyone would like to take on another role. Even chair of the board is open, as I’d rather just run the station and wouldn’t be interested in being the chair long term. Especially Secretary and Treasurer; only one person could be the chair and someone else had to be everything else.
Eddie: Are these the positions that are open?
Forrest: These are the minimum positions we must fill, but we can set up other positions if we need to, like Fundraising head and so on.
Mai: It may make more sense to set up subcommittees.
Ben: We have music directors and promotions teams, but they aren’t part of the board. This is how most DJs participate in the organization, other than doing their shows.
Amanda: Described music directors, as implemented today, for Tom. Described the Promo team, as implemented today, for Tom.
Tom: Since we are already able to get a financial commitment from the DJs, maybe they can participate in the board functions.
Amanda: Most of the DJ functions are provided for free, on top of membership dues. Described Tech Night, as implemented, and our relationship with Creek and Travis.
Final Agenda item: Schedule next meeting. On Thursdays, Tom is available after 8 PM.
Mondays are generally good for Amanda, Mai
Tom: Thursday after 8, every other wednesday, tuesdays
Eddie: not wednesday night
Noel: would prefer not weekends.
Mai: can do Thursdays.
Amanda: would like to have a monthly meeting, that is shorter, so that we can plan on it. May need to send an email on strategic planning, we could need up to four hours at least. Perhaps a sunday afternoon?
Amanda: Offsite at Pop’s bar?
Tom: can do sundays.
Amanda: This would be a one time thing.
Action item: Amanda to send out a schedule for monthly meetings. Same Thursday every month. Third Thursday of every month? It’s between BFF nights.
For strategic goal setting session Feb 26th, March 9, Mai cannot do 12th or 19.
Amanda will send out a schedule for the recurring meeting, as well as the strategic goal setting session.
Amanda will send an agenda
Forrest will re-summarize the financials.
Eddie to contact Rusty and Brian Zisk.
Tom to schedule some time for discussions of station processes.
Ben: It may make sense to create another group to do events or sponsorship opportunities?
Amanda: We had a few events, but Amanda ended up doing most of the work for the people who had tried to form such a team. She would be interested, but only if they can provide most of the effort/funding.
Another good lead would be to reach out to the city to set up the pop-up beer gardens that are sponsored by BFF and are issued a temporary liquor license. Luke Spray has negotiated most of the permits, but still has some roadblocks. Target date is for May.
Mai: A model that has worked for bicycle fundraising is to have a volunteer throw a houseparty and ask people to donate. The costs fall on the volunteer, and the proceeds would go to the station.
The board meeting is closed at 9:10 PM.