I am not trying to stir the pot, or open a can of worms, just wanted some clarity to the subject from another post on the forums.
The following is from the minutes of the April board meeting. I as your president wanted some goals that I thought would be obtainable by the association, NOT just the board. I wanted a board member assigned to each so they could be the 'owner' of the goal for accountability. This isn't new, it has been around for a few years.
The board is elected to be an overseer or governance of the association, not a dictatorship down to the association. We are membership ran NOT board dictatorship ran....
President's Report: by Kent Uhrich
Goal 1 - Membership -- Increase registered voters by 20% by 5/31/13.
Owner: Kent Uhrich
Status 04/11/14 As of 01/14/14 there were 282 registered voters. We have 285 registered voters need 53 more registered voters to meet this goal.
UPDATED - 06/07/2014 we had 300 registered voters. Our goal was to add 28 voting members. We only added 18.
Goal 2 - Fund Raising Implement 2 fund raising initiatives to raise $350.00 by 5/31/14
Owner: Judy Vaughn
UPDATED - 06/07/14 we raised the funds and spent the funds on various items, more shirts that the membership liked and BBQ at the event instead of cold cuts.
Goal 3 Events Hold 1 general membership meeting by 6/15/14.
Owner Sandy Fryar
Status 01/15/14 Event is planned June 7, 2014 at Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center in Ft. Smith Arkansas event
UPDATED - We had the event this past weekend.
Goal 4 Events Hold 2 CITO events by 6/15/14. Owner Kent Uhrich
Status 01/15/14 1 CITO event planned on June 8, 2014 at State meeting
UPDATED - 06/08/14 - Event CITO was postponed due to lighting and rain. We will reschedule.
We did have a CITO in Clarksville in Feb (thanks to Jon who planned this for us)
Goal 5 Events Hold 2 Eat & Greets by 6/15/14 in the following regions of the state:
NW Planned on this date this location Owners Morgan and Kent
NE Planned on this date this location Owners Linda and Chris
Central Planned on this date this location Owners Mark and Judy
SE Planned on this date and this location Owners Ron and Jim
SW Planned on this date and this location Sandy and Ron
1 event held in Central in Nov
1 event held in SE in Nov
1 event held in SW in Feb
UPDATED - 06/07/14 - I take full responsibility for not having two event in NW Ark. Promotion at work tripled my staff and work load. I haven't had a free weekend or time off. I will make this up one way or another this year. I can not answer what the incoming president will want as goals for M&G's, but we'll work harder to meet the goal.
Goal 6 Teaching Opportunities. Teach Geocaching at 4 locations around the state by 5/31/14.
Owner: Community Relations Committee - Kent Uhrich
Status 10/11/13 July 18 ArkGeo taught at East Lab.
Status - 01/12/14 Nov ArkGeo attended the GIS event in Little Rock.
Status - 04/11/14 Feb ArkGeo helped Lake Ouachita State Park in teaching a Geocaching Workshop.
UPDATED - We had two opportunities that by the time it was voted upon, one already had their class, the other one sent an email and wanted something the next day. There was one class taught in April but I was called on a Saturday morning and was asked to teach it for a Girl Scout troop in Cabot, I did so.
To the casual observer it appears that the 'board' didn't get much done. To those that understand how we are ran (by membership) will say the membership didn't get much done.
...so in another post it was stated how could we bring GeoWoodstock to Arkansas when we flopped on meeting our current goals. I totally agree!
Your board members CAN NOT run this association and make it successful. One person on a committee CAN NOT run the committee and make it successful. The membership committee should be getting swamped with emails about having membership drives to get more registered voters, or events committee should be getting overwhelmed with members asking for CITOs to get the special CITO icon, or to have an ArkGeo event in their area.
In turn these committees would vote on those ideas and if passed in committee, send the recommendation on to the board liaison to bring it up to the board to vote on... Then we as an association can start meeting our goals and then we can build an active volunteer base to have GeoWoodstock in Arkansas.
Just my thoughts.
In my opinion, goals are just that goals. Without them you might just be happy staying in one spot, but with them you look to work toward a higher mark that you previously had not reached. There are times that things come up that are out of your control and causes you not to reach your goal.
With that said, I hope as a member I am more dedicated to to my part over the next year. Everyone can geocache without ArkGeo, but ArkGeo can't make it without geocachers!
Kent, thanks for the update on the goal status. And I agree that these need to be goals for the entire organization, not just the Board. You are absolutely correct in that a Board member needs to be assigned to each goal to "own" that goal and have accountability for it. And the entire Board needs to hold each Board member accountable for reaching his or her goal. Yes, things come up that may prevent a goal from being achieved. But that is only an excuse since the Board has an entire year to achieve the goal. So if one Board member is falling short due to changes in his or her life or unforeseen circumstances, the Board needs to recognize this and assign the goal to someone else. Likewise, the Board member who is falling short needs to ask for help and not be too proud to do so. The Board, and the entire organization, should work together as a team to achieve these goals. And a team helps out a struggling member when they recognize that it is happening.
That said, I have some comments about the status of the goals.
Goal 1 has to do with increasing voter membership, which I assume to serve as a measure of ArkGeo's growth and health. This goal has bugged me for a long time, because I am not sure if it is a good measure of what it is we are trying to accomplish. You say that we now have 300 voting members. How many of these members are inactive now? I mean, suppose we add 20% new voting members over a year, but 25% of our membership becomes inactive over the same time. Then we are actually losing ground even though we met the goal. I don't know how the goal should actually be worded, but I think it may be a false indicator of the organization's growth and health. We need to rethink this one and maybe someone can suggest a better way to word the goal.
Goal 4 has to do with holding 2 CITO events. It looks like we are now counting the CITO hosted by IronHorse4 (or perm74) toward the goal. I didn't think it was going to be counted, but if there has been a change in the thinking of the Board on this, I say "Bravo!" Regarding the other CITO that was postponed due to lightning and rain, it looks like some folks actually did a CITO that day, as they logged that they attended and posted pictures of them at the CITO. So if a cleanup actually happened, even if the gathering was small, it should count toward the goal. It would be GREAT if ArkGeo scheduled another CITO later in the year, as that is something I think ArkGeo needs to do more of, as a way of giving back to our state. But I think the goal has already been met with these 2 CITO events.
Goal 5 has to do with holding regional "Eat & Greet" events. Sadly, no one met that goal, as no region had more than 1 event. This is one of the goals that the Board has not held each other accountable for. I really don't know why this one is so hard to do. There are numerous local events happening around the state on a regular basis, some even occurring monthly. Why not reach out to those local groups and see if they will let ArkGeo schedule an event in that area in place of their regular events?
Goal 6 has to do with teaching opportunities around the state. I never hear about the requests for teaching opportunities, and I might be able to help out on these if I knew about them. And other members might be able to help out as well. That said, I taught the Geocaching Merit Badge class at Quapaw Council's Merit Badge University on May 10. I had inquired with one of the Board members by email about getting ArkGeo involved, never heard back from them, so I went ahead and taught the class with the help of a young man from the Extension Office in Little Rock. Nevertheless, since I am an ArkGeo member, I think this should be counted toward the ArkGeo goal, which would mean that the goal WAS met!
In closing, I appreciate the hard work the Board and Committee members have put in. I know it is not easy. I have been there. And I totally agree that the goals need to be public and belong to the organization, under the oversight of the Board and the Committees. But the Board and the Committees need to be more nimble and provide quick turnaround to requests or suggestions on ways to meet the goals from the general membership. Nothing will turn off enthusiasm of a member more than slow - or worse, no - response to a suggestion. And by slow, I mean a response that takes weeks or even months. With email, PMs, texting, the Board-only/Committee-only Forums, and even the telephone, there is no reason that a response cannot be provided in days.
I totally agree with ORR. I will add that I agree that the membership has to help. However when we (or maybe I should say I) tried to help it was a total fiasco. It was put up for adoption roughly two weeks prior to event and wasn't adopted until about six hours prior to the event. There has to be better communication and goals need to be membership goals with board/committee members overseeing what we do to ensure we stay within the bylaws.
My feelings on this is that if we are membership run and a MEMBER hosts an event, whether that be a CITO, regular ole meet and eat or teaches a boy scout class, that activity should count towards goals. If it's only board members activities who count or events that are owned by ArkGeo than one cannot blame the membership for not doing things.
I have posted several things on the forums, stating they could, and I think, should be counted toward goals.
I think if a person is a member of ArkGeo and goes out with the goal to get something done that benefits our state in geocaching, then it should count!
Is the goal to get people to know about ArkGeo and have these events actually happen or is it for ArkGeo to have their name on the geocaching owner line? Does it really matter who "owns" it as long as it gets done?!
One of my ideas I hope to propose in the upcoming year is that we try to have a CITO in every place that has a Keep Arkansas Beautiful affiliate. I personally think that Arkgeo should not own these. Let an ArkGeo member host the event, work with KArB, feel ownership of something, and report back to ArkGeo and then let ArkGeo count that towards their goals. 1. That would complete the goal above and beyond and 2. Our state and cities and parks would be cleaner. Is the goal of ArkGeo hosting CITOS just to complete the goal or is it actually to make our state a better place? If it's the latter, which it should be, then why put limits on this goal. Let your members DO THIS. I think they would. They do. There are CITOS hosted at various times all over the state.
Members want to feel like they can do something and putting these events and goals into their hands is the only way to make that happen. Not just committee members and not just board members, but ALL members.
Guwisti, I think I am right along with your thinking!
We need to outline what it means for ARKGEO to sponsor or help with an event. I personally think ANY Voting Member can use our name for positive good with the approval of our little committee. Now with that, we need either the event host or another arkgeo member to be on hand to hand out brochures and talk about arkgeo. Have a signup form (I will have more info on off-line membership later...just too much), and perhaps some merch to push. Again, Perhaps give the Host and their Volunteer that helps outline benefits of ARKGEO some points towards merch in our store.
On a quick note, I have reached out to groundspeak to get some numbers about CITO in ARkansas. I am looking for the Most Logged/Attended CITO ever and what those numbers may be in the USA and the World. I also asked for those same numbers for our surrounding states as some friendly competition could be fun.
another goal that could be an event is Adopt a Highway. It gets our organizations name on a sign and lets us make a re-occurring event.
I think the google forms and google docs can help here, an easy way for people to ask what they are looking for when they run an event. could just be some warm bodies to help with logistics and the event, could be to set up a merch table to try and raise funds, etc.
Orr spoke of health of the organization and membership. I think it's time we introduced a "offline" version of our membership. I bet there are people around the state that would like to support the organization but don't want to log on to vote, be a voting member, or deal with any drama or red tape. They just want to support our organization and be counted as a member. This could be offered at like $1.00 or $5.00 to cover mailing and paper costs. We could also offer the same thing to businesses as well. Offer a vendor or sponsor section on our website here in return for a monitory contribution to our coffers every year. This could even be done with google forms or Kevin make something that gets them to renew each year. At about the same time we should report on how many NEW members we see, how many members resigned, and how many members did not renew . This could then be used as a health metric.