SouthEast PortlandTool Library
Like the public library... but for tools

Board Meeting Oct 10, 2013

A regular meeting of the SEPTL was held 10/10/2013 in St.Davids Church Grace Room, Portland, Oregon. The meeting convened at 7:05 PM, Chairman Sean Barnett presiding

Members in attendance: * is Board Member
Sean Barnett ( Chair) *
Robert Weber (Secretary) *
Casey Cotton (Treasurer) *
Kelly Faddis (Asst Treasurer)
E Michael Brandt (IT)
Ginny Benware (late tool calls)

Members not in attendance:
Steve Couche (At Large)*
Jeff Horne (At Large) *
Blaine Delancey (Volunteer Coordinator)*
Aaron Andrade (At Large) *
Hindi Iserhott (At Large)*
Barbara McLean (Newsletter editor)

Minutes of previous meeting: approved


Kelly Faddis presented chart of assets, income and expenses through Sept 30, 2013:

SE Uplift account: $1168
Rivermark Credit union: $7375
Paypal $282
TOTAL FUNDS 9/30/13: $8825

Late fees/donations $4037
Tool sales $150
Tool sharpening $721

Rent $636
Tools $687
Other Admin $778

HOW CAN WE increase the volunteer pool and volunteer frequency?

Ideas discussed included fostering a better sense of community with SEPTL members, adding a membership fee, and setting a minimum volunteer requirement for borrowing.

Casey discussed a co-op hybrid scenario – waive membership fee if member signs up for a minimum number of slots or volunteer hours.

Perhaps SEPTL could improve branding and increase community outreach.

We could start new membership fee/volunteer requirements on January 1, 2014 – need to publicize this before Nov/Dec

Sean said co-op model would be logistically hard to do — we have too many (several thousand) members to handle that many volunteer hours — a fee of $20 to $50 per year wouldn’t be too hard to afford.

Sean proposed a flat $20/year fee or doing a single 3 hour slot per year.

Board discussed how we would handle work flow when new member wants to join and borrow a tool?? Members can’t plan months in advance availability to do shifts.

Michael said we don’t want second class members who can’t afford any membership fee. We have a lousy track record of our volunteers returning after a shift –Volunteer retention is key — we need recognition of our good volunteers.

Volunteer Coordinator is most vital Board position – maybe it should be split to lighten the load.

1) logistics, tracking/recruiting volunteers and sending out passwords and keybox codes
2) Outreach/thanks/recognition – post photos of frequent volunteers

Shannon (last name?) is interested in Volunteer Coordinator role.

Ginny asked how many people get Blaine’s emails asking for volunteers. Blaine didn’t want too many emails going to members.

Much discussion of having $20 fee vs. volunteering once per year.

Bob calculated we needed a total of 1100 volunteer hours or 460 shifts staffed per year to keep SEPTL open Saturdays and Tuesdays.

We might get $10,000 from 500 members paying $20 or 1500 volunteer hours or some lesser combination of both — what would we do with the money
We can’t force memebers to volunteer before or after borrowing tools

Discussion of making SEPTL more festive for volunteer shifts – perhaps party lights

Michael suggesting contacting Eagles social organization to get more volunteers.

SEPTL SPACE IS DISMAL and not friendly for volunteers – better space will cost money

Possible church space at Se 81st and Pine is small – no larger than our St Davids space and has steps to enter. As a 501(c) organization we could offer a big tax writeoff for a larger donated space to owners of empty space.

Doing everything we can to increase volunteers is a better option.

Ginny Benware will call our volunteers and ask why they haven’t signed up again for regular shifts.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED for writing grants, making late tool calls, and maintaining/repairing/organizing tools.

What would we do with grant money ??

Many other tool libraries have a paid staff position for 1 shift weekly

We have too many last second sign ups for shifts the day before we would have closed — Susan of St Davids recommended having a limited time frame of 2 to 3 months to sign up for slots

Board agreed to table this discussion until the November Board meeting and then vote on a course of action.

WORKSHOPS – we will do weatherization workshop soon, and  hope to do a workshop quarterly – try to schedule a seismic retrofit workshop in January, 2014

Kelly will send a blurb to the CNRG web site

At all our workshops we will ask for contributions and volunteers

SEPTL can’t use Mailchimp any more as we have outgrown their free tier – Michael bought Sendy for email communications to members

BOARD discussed newsletter layout – should be short blurbs with links to longer articles that stay online. Michael is trying to get a free  account in lieu Sendy as it might be easier to navigate– we need a new writer of artlces about SEPTL for newsletter

SEAN will ask St Davids for higher amperage circuits for SEPTL space to add light and heat and an emergency light with batteries when power goes out in neighborhood

Discussion of need for 2nd form of ID with address beyond Drivers License – volunteers and web site will be modified so just valid OR drivers license is required or out of state license AND current mailed bill. or other proof of address to sign up.

LATE TOOL FINES DISCUSSED – EVERY TOOL IS DUE BACK IN A WEEK – if not returned on time another week fine is added each week TL is open to a max fine of $25 — Michael will edit our database to calculate this and display when tool is returned.

Our database automatically writes a letter to mail if tool is over 1 month overdue – michael said only 2 letters a week have been going out, so this is not huge problem

Board approved a group loan of shovels to Portland Parks and Recreation for Parke Diem

Meeting adjourned 9 PM.