July 2020

July 16th 2020, San Francisco

Agenda

Opening Items

  • Review Agenda & Vote [Ben]

  • Vote to approve previous minutes [Ben]

Discussion Topics

  1. Committee Reports

    1. Share Fundraising Committee Underwriting Subcommittee 2020 Goals [Tom, nominated by Ben]

    2. Share Technical Committee 2020 Goals [Ben]

    3. What does the Creative Director do? [Caryn, nominated by Ben]

    4. Will Erika take on leadership of the Events Sub-Committee?

  2. Year-to-date Budget review (Pre-read)

  3. How do we ensure that BFF.fm is an anti-racist organization? (Pre-Read) [Amanda]

  4. Review draft of Amanda’s Annual Goals for 2020 (Pre-Read)

  5. Outside DJing opportunity at SF landmark

Closing Items

  • Open for public comment

  • Any other business?

Minutes

Scribe: Ben Ward

Present:

  • Amanda Guest, Chair, Executive Director

  • Ben Ward, Secretary, Technical Director

  • Tom Tierney, Vice Chair

  • Caryn Kesler, Creative Director

  • Erika Delgado

18:10 – Convene, Vote on Agenda & Previous Minutes

Board unanimously votes YES to proceed.

Board unanimously votes YES to approve June minutes.

18:12 – Fundraising Committee

Tom: Has started on a project to start on fundraising errors; should have an update in a week and half.

  • We have a budget item which is a goal to get $5000 in underwriting in 2020.

  • Focus on getting local businesses and local agencies to drive fundraising.

Given the pandemic, it’s hard to grow underwriting since a lot of businesses are struggling and it’s difficult to tell who’s in a position to come on board.

18:15 – Tech Committee

Ben: The Technical Committee goals for 2020 are aligned to the overall BFF.fm initiatives as follows:

1. Support the “Collaborative Model” initiative, by:

  1. Growing participation in the Tech Committee, measured by:

    1. Holding regular Committee meetings & increasing attendance thereof

    2. Increasing the number of people who made code/technical contributions to the BFF.fm GitHub

  2. Improve BFF.fm overall participation by shipping a new “Get Involved” hub on the website, measured by:

    1. Number of new BFF.fm community members who join us through the “Get Involved” page

2. Support the “Audience Connection” initiative, by:

  1. Shipping the “BFF.fm Podcast Network” project

  2. Making improvements to BFF.fm analytics, improving stats for listenership of our live radio

3. Foundational Technical Infrastructure goals

  • “Own Our Stream”, move away from an external audio CDN in favour of completing build-out of our own infrastructure that we’re already running. Measured by % of listeners served from our own server.

  • Schedule Management, improving our CMS to allow bi-weekly and one-off show scheduling.

  • (Analytics)

In terms of individual priorities, the projects are ranked as follows:

  1. Podcast Network — the business side of this is already in progress, tech is needed to launch on time before September.

  2. The “Getting Involved” Page — biggest impact on initiative

  3. Analytics — most significant technical debt we have, big impact in operations once we have this improved

  4. Self-Service Re-Runs — good process improvements for all DJs if they can re-run their own shows.

  5. Creek Scheduling — good process improvement for Amanda/admins not to maintain bi-weekly shows by hand.

  6. Rolling Our Own Stream — Significant cost savings by not using external CDN, allows is to offer improved stream quality.

18:23 - Creative Director

Caryn:

  • In an organization like this, it’s a bit TBD as to what the CD role should do.

  • Elements of bring the “brand caretaker”; we have our mission, we have our values. From that we need to spin out a creative strategy and creative goal.

  • We need to do a little bit more to formalize and talk about what we want this role to accomplish.

  • Also, the CD is the person on staff who has graphic design skills.

Amanda:

  • One thing we’d talked about was creating a style guide for the station; a document to provide reference for the BFF brand. Better set up working with external parties, fundraisers, event graphics.

  • General idea is to build this up over the remainder of the year and be able to deploy it in projects in 2021.

18:31 - Events Sub-Committee

Confirmed that Erika is formally taking the role of Events Director.

Erika: We were trying to plan the next Besties Bash and were taking video submissions. Some delays have come up following the Burger Records mess.

We’ve reached out to the next wave of musicians (from a list of 15+), looking to take (and pay for) video submissions on a rolling basis. It remains to be seen exactly how we release them — if we get the right set of submissions we might compile another Bestie Bash, but otherwise we’ll hold them for an event around our 7th birthday.

We were able to get our 100 followers on YouTube and claim our name, so we’re getting somewhere with our platform. The plan is to be able to pay bands for their videos to put on our channel. Ash (who also works at YouTube) is interested in helping grow the channel and get a content pipeline going there.

18:45 - Mid-year budget review

Amanda: We’ve just passed mid-year, so we’re reviewing the budget that we passed at the end of 2019. Obviously we’re in a much-different environment.

One note: We’re missing insight into the transaction fees on our donor reports and need to rectify that.

Highlights

  • Donations are running a little behind, but we have a reasonable expectation that the end of the year will bring disproportionate contributions. Corporate matching is coming in above budget too.

  • Grants: We had planned to receive grants from foundations, corporations and government. However, we do not expect any to come through. All foundations we had engaged with have pivoted under COVID toward supporting people in dire need. One consequence is that we had planned to reduce income from DJ dues based on receiving a corresponding grant. Without the grant, dues will remain the same, so reducing the loss on that particular grant.

  • Focus now in toward fundraising at our birthday (September) and then again at the end of year, which might help us beat the budget on donations.

  • We are obligated to spend our pre-year budgeted money on the blog, and we’re currently recruiting volunteers to build that up now.

  • We had budgeted $2500 for Facebook ads. Spent $60 so far, no plans to continue due to ethical objection to Facebook’s business.

  • We are spending ~$5000 a month of the Google Ads credit allowance. Still a work in progress to develop how we use that, but we’re making better use of it than last year.

Working on a revised budget to reflect the COVID-induced changed state of the world. We need to recalibrate expectations a bit, but fundraising is good and we have savings.

19:15 - How do we ensure that BFF.fm is an anti-racist organization?

Amanda: Coming out of recent events, we want to give consideration to our organization’s place and contribution.

  • Most non-profits in the US are run by white people, of which Amanda is one.

  • Boards are also disproportionately white.

Organizational make-up like this contributes to the resonance of passive white-supremacist defaults.

“I don’t want to be another statistic where people, especially people of color, don’t feel they can be a part of this community, or this board, because they aren’t reflected here.”

This agenda item doesn’t have specifics at this time, we want to open the discussion. Possible outcomes could be:

  • Creation of a community advisory panel that could provide additional perspectives.

  • There’s some writing on more radical rethinking about how to even structure boards in organizations.

Erika: How can we open the door to our organization even wider?

Tom: We have people in our community, and we have resources that we can take action on this.

Ben/Caryn: Note that the board today is still in its genesis, the way we operate is still being ironed out and developed, so we have opportunities to start our new processes in a way that’s more mindful of this work.

Amanda: I’ve noted the varied make-up of our DJ community.

Ben: Without worrying about the specifics of people being “on the board” or not, it is the case that these meetings are supposed to be public, members of our community are welcome to attend. That doesn’t happen today, and while we advertise the meeting times on board.bff.fm, we don’t actively invite people to attend. We could do that.

Caryn: We could also have all-hands or follow-up meetings with the DJ community at large after these board meetings.

Amanda: We had previously talked about the importance of growing the committees, having them meeting monthly and the board itself reduced to quarterly meetings, so more opportunities to participate would come through more committee activity.

Erika: We can also do more with the DJ community: Zooms and the like. Since we can’t meet in person in these strange times.

Ben: One cautionary thing to remember is that not all DJs are available to participate more. Many don’t have time or inclination to do more than their show. So, it’s not going to be enough for us just to open opportunities.

Amanda: Observing that as the organization has grown, there’s a reinforcing, step-by-step process where the growing diversity of our roster builds on itself. When BFF.fm first started, all our DJs were white. In recent months we’ve had multiple new black DJs come on board with more applying, as our community becomes more supportive.

Amanda: Some consideration of our station’s purpose and “metrics”: Giving more consideration to things not needing to be perfect, giving more weight to the mere existence of BFF.fm, to support people being part of our community, is the most important thing, and that comes before focusing on growth and listenership.

Erika: We can grow our appreciation and celebration of people in the community and the culture of different backgrounds through the channels that we have. e.g. giving over our Instagram to artists.

~~

Erika: Noting that a lot of artists still don’t know how to submit their music to us; creates extra active work to let people from diverse backgrounds get their art into our space.

~~

Amanda: Want to show the faces of DJs and contributors more. Make our diversity visible. Our organization is well equipped to just show who we are to make some contribution.

~~

Amanda: Example with the relief fund; we have to actively reach out to people to encourage people to take advantage of the opportunities we offer.

Caryn: It’s interesting to think about how the barrier to entry is such a part of this. That’s an interesting and actionable item for me to think about.

Amanda: We’ve lowered the barrier to being a DJ, we’ve lowered the barrier to being a band that works with this. The next step, the challenge for us is, how do we lower that barrier to other ways of contributing to the station.

~~

Ben: Note from the article that was shared that the “Develop a Culture of Appreciation” response resonates really well and is an incentive for us to highlight the content people make at the station, artists we play, etc; too much of what we do just gets archived into the ether.

~~

Erika: This would be a great topic of discussion at a town-hall with the broader DJ community.

20:10 - Burger Records Response

Amanda: Noting that last year when Ryan Adam’s abuse was revealed, we created an internal list of problematic artists that DJs can be aware of when making their playlists. We could do more with it.

  • General note that we don’t have to get ahead of ourselves; we could do better at maintaining their list, actively sharing around our community.

20:34 - Amanda’s Goals

Amanda shares a draft of her 2020 goals for the remainder of the year.

Ben notes that he’d like to see us document goals in a way that clearly ties them to Station Initiatives, and expresses the desired impact.

Caryn: Are these from the start of the year or are they revised in relation to the current situation? (Amanda: They are written now, so they are considerate of the pandemic.)

20:37 - Outside DJing opportunity at SF landmark

Opportunity to DJ at a new social-distanced outdoor eating venue at the Ferry Building. We’re trying to set up our most talented and in need DJs to work the gigs.

The Ferry Building was also going to provide us use of a booth in the Ferry Building itself; however, use of that is currently restricted by the new COVID restrictions, and the restaurants in the Ferry Building are mostly closed. These new restrictions are slowing the opportunity down.

20:44 — Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting of the BFF.fm board is scheduled for 6pm on August 20th. See https://board.bff.fm for more information.

Action Items

  • All

  • Amanda

    • Complete goals + put in context of initiatives

  • Ben

  • Caryn

    • Follow up with Amanda about the CD plan for the rest of the year.

    • Write a bio for the board website

  • Erika

  • Tom