I think that is a great question and I’d ask any and all board members past and present to answer. The “getting into” changes over over time.
Right now I’d say the 4 most pressing matters in my mind are:
1. Getting our accounting all up to speed for management purposes and compliance reasons, these have legal ramifications.
We have transitioned in just a few short years from less than $200K/year in revenue to over $900K in 2017 and very likely over $1 million for 2018. The complexity of our transactions has grown, not only in amount but methods: CC’s, bank debits, kiosks, through various payment sources (at one time Bit Coin), Event Bright, Brain Tree, PayPal, cash. Payment for class materials and fees have to be categorized for sales tax purposes, dues, shirts, mugs, Laser-MiG-time & 3D Fab materials, fees for outings, picnics, personal storage bins, etc. All have payment methods and how they are processed in our accounting. We even used to sell food prior to Parks for those here less than about 18 months.
Getting the back-end of these systems as automated as possible into our accounting system is critical to reduce work load. The number of transactions has probably gone up an order of magnitude in the last three years. Monthly dues collection have gone from ~250 a month when we moved here here to over 1300, that’s 5X. The amount of reimbursements when non-PO members buy things that keep us going. Honorariums have exploded in number, not a bad thing as we have more classes, but it involves making sure instructors are properly meeting all requirements, W9’s, issuing/mailing checks, credits to committees, 1099’s. Tax filing federal, state, and county.
Getting everything credited to the proper committee. We now have an accounting firm that specializes in Non-profits, we also have an onsite bookkeeper, Kathy McKee, three days a week, and things are improving daily.
2. Looking for a new larger spaces This is something that has gone across a lot of BoD’s. Monetary is our 3rd location working and we are actively working on our 4th. Assessing our needs becomes ever more complex:
- Input from committees on projected needs or as well current needs and equipment
- What future expansion of equipment, capabilities, committees can be expected
- Input from realtors - what’s available and at what cost.
- Deciding on the “where” - how far a radius from where we are now to support current membership. Whichever direction you go it makes it shorter or longer distance.
- How big and what type of building. Electrical capacity, AC, build-out costs, parking spots, security - do members feel safe when outside (very different from Ladybird at night)
- Zoning issues - few cities have a “Maker” classification, fire code compliance, building inspection, health code - commercial kitchen considerations, building code for electrical-ducting-fire suppression system, ADA compliance. The all the professional engineering and architectural services for build out. Rich Meyer informed me last night that moving certain equipment may require a UL inspection before install.
3. Financial, Non-Accounting
- Getting a bank that will issue DMS CC without a personal guarantee has been a challenge - as Robert Davidson has graciously co-signed for our CC’s for years Thank You!
- We need multiple banks and financial institutions as we exceed the $250K FDIC limits
- Getting more return on money held in accounts (this looks to be accomplished this Friday). * Deciding what to fund at BoD meetings or timing that funding. The basic “What should we spend/invest money on.”
4. Infrastructure improvements
- We just added 12 x 8TB of drive space plus more video cameras.
- Software improvements to better our management systems. This is critical. At nearly 1700 members this becomes increasingly important: our Calendar system, Billing system, Honorarium system, Voting Rights, tracking training and voting rights. Financial systems have to integrate as much as possible.
DMS has a lot of moving parts. These are the ones I see as most pressing and urgent. But then there are lots of single issue items that pop up each month. There are lots of things that need attention, we aren’t some small club, we’d be classified as a medium sized business if you think of how many people have to manage.
What are DMS’s goals: That is a different for every person that’s a member. Not a cop out, it is true. The goals come out more refined/consolidated at committee meetings and flow up. Collectively once a year we pick five people out of that that step forward that we best think will achieve our individual for our vision goals. Board members are charged and entrusted with keeping DMS running. Each of us have values we place are certain aspects they we think are best for DMS.
One thing that I’ve been very happy to see, while board members individually may at times disagree on something, usually it is on the details and how to implement. Occasionally, it is a philosophical issue over some matter that comes down to a split vote - that’s okay. Without reservation I can say ALL board members I’ve worked with sincerely have a deep love for DMS and want it to succeed and flourish.
Lots of words, but a complex question.