WRFI-Meeting Minutes-May 2023

WRFI Board of Directors Meeting

Tuesday MAY 16TH, 2023 

In Attendance:

-Peter Bakija

-Amie Herman

-Fred Balfour

-Joseph Haefeli

-Talaya Centeno

-Theresa Lyons

-Chantal Thomas

-Corinne Shanahan

-Carlos Gutierrez

-Joe Romano

-Felix Teitelbaum

-John Young

-Robin Elliot

-Bryan Roberts

Not in attendance:

-Megan Merriam


Agenda Items:

-Call to Order at 6:05 pm.


-Consent Agenda: 

Move to accept Minutes for April Meeting, second, passes unanimously.


-Party for Felix: 10 year Anniversary party for Felix is Wednesday, 5/24, at Stewart Park. Please RSVP


-Fundraising Phone Calls: Development Committee is planning on people doing stewardship calls. Amie reports that the calls that will be presented to the board will be recent donors/1st time donors. Board gets to call and thank them. Development team will be working on harder calls. There are about 20 names of first time donors in the past year. Amie will break up the list, share out names, and some information. The calls are “thank you for joining our community”, and no asks. Development Committee will send along scripts/conversation notes. Information can be shared back. Corrine indicates making personal connections by using names is helpful; making it feel congenial is helpful. Joe suggests that knowing the people that you are calling it very helpful, so perhaps align callers with members. Fred suggests saying thank you, and assuring folks that we aren’t asking them for more money at this point is helpful. Giving them something concrete that we have done, as a station, is a good starting point. Amie suggests new antenna and new contour, as well as new programming. Fred mentions Celia Clarke, new News Director, is a great positive mention point. Corrine adds that catching first time donors might not have as much institutional knowledge, and make sure to make them feel welcome. Felix indicates that you should make sure to listen to them—what do they value about the station, what made them donate the first time, etc. Have 1 or 2 questions about the donor—what made them donate, how did they hear about us, figure out information about them. If you get a voice mail, make sure to leave your name, position, that you are from WRFI, and your number (if comfortable) for them to call back, and thank them.


-Parliamentary Procedure Proposal: Fred has put together a proposal for Parliamentary procedure, see link. Motion to accept said motion, seconded. Fred discusses Robert’s Rules of Order, and how it is optimal to distill Robert’s Rules of Order down to a simplified version, which is presented. Optimal for keeping tense situations at a reasonable level of discussion, and acts as a protective document. We will look over document, make suggestions to the GovCo. Vote called to adopt for preliminary review, passes with majority.

Revised ICR Parliamentary Procedures 


-Committee Reports

Development Committee: Met in April; 6 members on committee. Talked about the soft Spring fund drive; it was very soft, and not particularly successful as an experiment. Very few donors, some money came in, but not much—less than the previous Spring drive. Discussion of “adopting” a DJ, using Patreon model. Possibly using the website to give “shoutouts” (financially) to a particular DJ. Talked about donor lists—what is a “major donor”, what is a “supporter”. Talked about Gen Z and donations—based on article, they like to feel connected, often give through peer to peer fundraising. Discussion on building stewardship and relationships. Discussion of building outreach plans to meet with major donors, asking about what they are looking for. Discussion of Postcards to donors—make a cool Postcard to follow up with first time donors, and as to reach out to long time donors, providing information about the station with QR codes. Discussion about moving Client Support system from our current vendor to Salesforce, which has advantages, including mass mailings and integration with financial software. Question about number of donors in a given year, Felix suggests between 300-400 in a particular year. Amie suggests looking over donor lists, looking for major donors, and work on developing relationships. Question about inviting major donors to the upcoming Felix based celebration; people will reach out. A brief brainstorm of major donors to invite. 

Governance Committee: GovCo presented the Parliamentary Procedure system. See above.

Personnel Committee: No updates.

Finance Committee: John presents on financial reporting. Felix is developing a template for clear financial reporting; it is useful to help answering questions about finances. Felix reports that we will categorize income streams individually—membership, family/foundation, corporate, underwriting, unrestricted grants, restricted grants, events that we plan on expanding into, other income (selling equipment, etc.). Costs include payroll, operations, including tower expenses, other operational expenses, professional fees. A cash on hand list (operating cash and capital cash). An itemization of receivables. Support for template is voiced. It will help us understand where we are getting money from, and where we could possibly grow revenue. Includes Year To Date and Prior Year To Date for comparison. Discussion of adding a list of static costs, by month, to help provide information to the budget, so as to know what to expect in a given quarter, etc. A suggestion for maximum expenses listed on a quarter or annual basis. Suggestion for a graph view, showing income and expenses, month to month. John suggests aiming for making our budgeting a little more formalized, including targets. Amie indicates that having financial targets is incredibly helpful for knowing how and where to fundraise. Felix discusses developing a budget in the 3rd quarter to bring to the Finance Committee.

ICR DRAFT Template for Monthly Financial Reporting 

Corinne reminds folks to join a committee if not already working with one.


-ED Report 

Programming: Planning a new season, due to launch on June 5th. Have some new recruits to do programming. New season will move newscast launch at 6:00 pm on the day it is produced. Looking at reserving the 6:00 pm hour, M-F, as a landing place for local content. News, features, interviews, etc. Will work on a rotating basis, depends on competition for spaces. Felix reports on a new volunteer who has the opportunity to work several days a week, who will be an amazing addition to our on air staff. We will be running interviews with all candidates for Ithaca Common Council; one broadcast per ward, working with the Ithaca Voice. Also a possible mayoral interview. Celia and Felix will meet with Ithaca Storehouse, looking for a collaboration. Question about the 6:00 pm news slot, and if it will be a spot for Celia’s news work; indications are that it will be used for that, and then having regular spots for local events on a day by day basis. Discussion of the old version of Mission: Radio—a spot for new folks, and news and events that we can regularly host. There is potential. 

Staffing: Things are going well with the current team; the agency that pays our weekly intern was mistaken on previous report of funding ending, but there are still plenty of hours for him at 4 hours per week. JT Stone (Youth Radio graduate) is now working as an intern with Celia every day on news programming for the summer. A possible candidate from the Park Foundation for a summer internship made contact, but still up in the air. Celia is pulling in other volunteers from the station to work on the news team. 

Outreach: Will be at Ithaca Festival with Angry Mom Records, as in past year. Will be working at a literacy event at Odessa Public Library. September sees Streets Alive. Discussion of June Pride events. Working on applying for a sales tax authority, paying quarterly sales tax. Robin suggests Square for sales tax is advantageous. Looking at booking shows as WRFI Presents (tickets are subject to aforementioned sales tax). Will be contacting the Cherry Arts Space as a location for WRFI based shows; will have a show, tentatively on September 11th. Ben is helping look at show bookings. 

Soundliner: Currently at an impasse, Felix is looking for a new location to house it.

Internet: Felix and Joseph are looking into upgrading internet capacity.

Studios: Studio A is currently operational and used regularly by Celia for newscasting. Studio needs a bit more work, and getting that done soon is optimal. 

Question about serving alcohol at WRFI based events. Felix is investigating one-off catering licenses as a possibility; also suggests outsourcing for alcohol catering. Joe suggests investigating numbers via shopping around for Event Licenses. 


-Strategic Planning

Corinne reports—Please make sure to complete your Circle of Engagement exercise. Thanks to everyone who was involved on the April 22nd session. Was a worthwhile step towards Strategic Planning. Looking at meeting with Sally Kane again in May. Working on a When To Meet; holding May 31st and June 1st to hold a day. June 1st seems to be the meeting time based on availability. Will be looking forward to meeting over the summer for Strategic Planning. 


-Meeting Adjourns at 7:30 pm.