April 2020

April 17th 2020, San Francisco


Prior to the meeting, please add items for discussion here:

  1. Review Agenda & Vote [Ben]

  2. Vote on board minutes archive for publication [Ben]

  3. Spring Fundraiser strategy/details [Amanda]

  4. COVID-19 [Amanda]

  5. Grants (non-COVID) [Amanda]

  6. Board member job descriptions

  7. Public access to these board meetings [Ben]

  8. Any other business?


Scribe: Ben Ward


  • Will Craven, Chair

  • Amanda Guest, Executive Director

  • Ben Ward, Secretary, Technical Director

  • Tom Tierney, Vice Chair

18:10 - Agenda

Board unanimously votes YES to proceed.

18:17 - Vote on previous board minutes.

Due to catching up with the backlog and technical constraint on Tom getting access to the drafts, we’ll take an offline vote on this in one week’s time (Apr 24th.)

Amanda will check for the archive of older minutes dating back to before Ben was secretary.

18:30 - Fundraiser

  • We’re going to follow the same format as for the Christmas fundraiser, since that was such a success.

  • We had talked about doing 2 fundraisers per year, and raising our goal based on the success of winter.

  • However, given the state of the world, and there being a lot of active fundraisers right now for many causes, we’re going to split our goal and run the second half in September.

  • This Spring version will have a target of $10,000.

  • We’ll try to raise a matching fund from top donors again.

  • Ready to start reaching out to personal connections to encourage participation.

  • We have a great story to tell about our resilience during this time — DJs still producing new shows, many are going live from home.

  • Tangible targets:

    • Live music event opportunities and partnerships;

    • Supporting building up home broadcast equipment to help more DJs get online — both now under quarantine, but the long-term benefits of enhanced accessibility is a boon for us in the future.

    • Setting up a new local music awards through BFF.fm

  • Amanda has been reaching out to listeners and supporters to gather endorsements and feedback, to both support the campaign directly and inform our messaging.

  • Kick off is targeted for May 5th — which coincides with the “Giving Tuesday Now” event.

  • On-air and off-air fundraising will be simultaneous.

    • Prize and recognition for DJs for driving donations from their networks.

    • We’ll be trying to have a more uniform presentation of the appeal on air — jingles, shared messaging.

“When will the second part of this fundraiser be?”

  • September, around the station's birthday.

“Are there any changes to the fundraiser formula from the winter?”

  • Not really. We’re focusing on the most successful cohorts from the winter — less unknowns.

  • Will probably ask for smaller amounts of money from some donor targets based on the experience.

“It will be interesting, there are a lot of GoFundMes out there right now”

  • Yes. Plan is to be true and up front about our needs.

18:40 - COVID-19

  • We approached our bank regarding a PPP loan (payroll protection program) — but the fund didn’t extend far enough for us to qualify and make it through the application process. This was a nice to have, not a “need to have” for us.

  • CCI loan: We’re putting together a grant application for $2500 for the purpose of helping 5 DJs get online to keep broadcasting.

We’ve looked into other options, but a lot of the support that’s been spun up is focused on organizations in more hard-up situations than us.

18:45 - Grants

  • Haven’t yet run into any impact of grant organisations reducing funding due to the crisis.

  • Have been iterating on the working relationship with our grant writer for support.

    • We’re not at a point of having someone that we can fully pass this work onto and to drive it.

    • But, we are learning a lot about the process. Learning about how to help people communicate with the “voice” of BFF.fm

  • Sparkplug Foundation: Applying for a grant to fund the BFF.fm Podcast Network that’s in development.

  • Phyllis Wattis Foundation: Applied for a general operating grant. They’re prioritizing grants to organizations who can provide valuable service during the COVID-19 situation.

  • Working on letters of intent for sending to the next wave of foundations. We’ll aim to send out 5 more letters for additional funding ($5K – $10K grant range.)

  • We should start to see some responses hopefully in a few weeks — others are in the 1-3 month range. We’re still waiting to see how successful this approach is.

19:04 – Board job descriptions

The draft set of job descriptions for each board position have been drafted and reviewed. This also adjusts Amanda and Will’s positions to Executive Director and Chair of the Board respectively.

Vote to ratify the new roles and job descriptions:

Board unanimously votes YES.

19:11 – Public attendance of board meetings

How do we want to facilitate the public observing our meetings now we’re remote and online?

  • We can start advertising the Zoom URL for the meeting along with our public listing of the meetings.

  • Technologically, no concerns about using Zoom for this — host has ability to mute by default and moderate against abuse.

  • We’ll add a dedicated agenda item for public comment.

  • Longer term, we’d like to set up a dedicated Community Advisory Board representing DJs, listeners, underwriters, etc. That would be a measure of feedback for this board.

    • Right now, the number of people this engaged in the station is relatively small, so we’ll keep observing these to recognise when the timing will be right for this.

19:25 Any Other Business?

  • Four new DJs are starting on air soon, and generally still interested and passionate about getting started even during COVID. Amanda rewrote the join us page too and resulted in getting more applications!

Action Items

  • All

    • Vote to ratify archive of minutes

  • Amanda

    • Carry over: Complete goals for GM/Executive Director

    • Carry over: Have meetings with committee heads for goal setting.

  • Ben

    • Publish board minutes after vote to ratify

    • Publish job descriptions

19:39 — Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting of the BFF.fm board is scheduled for 6pm on May 21st. See https://board.bff.fm for more information.

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