Minutes of the 2011 GA
Annual Report 2010-2011The Annual report 2010-2011 was not completed and not approved by the General Assembly. And following topics were then discussed at the GA:
Servas collaborationA meeting was held between Servas members and BW members in VitrÃ©, but almost no programmers of BW were there. After this the communication only went about technical details, the great vision was not a topic any more. One problem was that BW could not provide enough developer resources and Servas was considering to hire external developers instead.Prerogative for future talks with Servas is a working dev team on the BW side
Sudden increase of new membersSince August 2011 a big increase of subscriptions occured in BeWelcome after CouchSurfing changed its Status. It is confirmed during the annual GA that, by essence BeVolunteer was created to prevent BeWelcome from becoming a for-profit project. Members of BeVolunteer cannot earn money with BeWelcome activities.
Report of BV member statusIt was asked how many new members have joined BV, how many members left and how many changed their statutes from active to supportive or vice versa.
BeWelcome team activitiesThere was no report except from the software development team.
Objectives for 2012The following objectives for 2012 were discussed:
Get more members for BeVolunteer
- Currently BeVolunteer has 43 members (21 active + 22 supportive). Of those 21 active members, 19 joined the GA-Group. Even though this is a healthy number, it was suggested to see if we can find new members.
- One way to do that is by contacting active volunteers and ask them to join BV.
- It is also important to explain why joining is important, and that volunteering can take on different forms: for example being active on the forum or helping out as a local volunteers.
- There are some very active groups (for example in France) who could be encouraged to join BV . One suggestion was to find a contact person to deal with active local groups.
be internationalDuring the GA (and also on the forum) it was said that BW & BV were too much "European" and that we should spread out to other continents.
ServasIt was also decided that we should try to re-establish our contacts with Servas and see if there is still a possiblity to work together
Decision makingAnother objective was to find out how the BoD could help out in BW decision-making. On the forum there was already a suggestion how to improve and speed up the decision-making. This needs to be fine-tuned but is considered a good basis. A valid question was whether the BoD has to have a say in this. The consensus was that the BoD should stick to its tasks and not interfere. If however the BoD sees that no progress is being made, it can make suggestions to move things along.
Team structureMany people present found that abolishing all team structures had not resulted in more activity. For some tasks a team structure works well and we should try to (re-)create some kind of working team structure
BeVolunteer websiteIn the past the BV wiki and the BV forum were abolished to make it easier for members to find all information in the same place. However it was decided that an offcial (more or less static) webpage for BeVolunteer should be created. There we can put official documents, mission goals, impressum etc. We remind everyone that BV is an official non-profit organisation and therefore it is only logical that we have at least one page where the public can easily find all info.
CoordinationIn 2011 - 2012 we want to keep a good contact with our coordinators, especially those involved in the drupal migration (our main development project). It would be good to have a roadmap/time-schedule)
MeetingsIn the past we have had different kinds of "real-life" meetings, like ABC's (Antwerp & Amsterdam BeWelcome Collectives), hack-a-tons, SHEs (Sustainable Hospitality Exchange), etc. It would be good if we can encourage these kinds of meetings again this year. Why not something similar to the CS collectives?
SupportWe also brainstormed a bit about how to support developpers who cannot afford travel costs. Since BV is not allowed to employ people (pay employees) the suggestion was made to encourage people to donate towards a special project. Kickstarter.com was given as an example of where you can donate to support a concrete meeting.
Rules and RegulationsThe new rules and regulations were approved by 100% of the GA.
- notification time for extraordinary GA one week or two weeks
- requirements for BV membership: active volunteer or not
- BoD meetings required on a monthly basis or not
Financial Report 2010/2011The financial report 2010/2011 was approved by 94.7% of the GA.
The only income for BeVolunteer were donations which were usually between 5 and 100 Euro with one exception of a bigger sum. It was proposed to have only one yearly campaign to receive donations that should cover the budget for the next period. Additionally monthly donations should be made possible, but currently might be only possible for people with a french bank account. It was agreed that an alternative to PayPal should be found, but on the other hand it should be made easy for people to donate money. There were no objections to accept "bitcoin" donations
- Donations were usually individual donations under 100Euro
- for people without a French bank account a regular donation is not possible
- the current treasurer prefers people to donate at the end of terms according to what is needed
- We should find a way to allow non-French members to donate 'automatically' for recurring donations
- Should find an alternative to Paypal
- Fundraisers can be organized by members.
Budget for 2011-2012The Budget for 2011-2012 was approved by94.7% of the GA.
Election of the new Board of DirectorsAll candiates were elected to the new BoD
Other points discussed
- alternative ways of getting funds (private and public sponsoring, etc.)
- the support from the community through donations should have priority
- definitely dubious big corporates should be avoided
- so each proposal should be reviewed
- should accumulate some savings for emergency (legal costs can cause bankruptcy easily)
- No objections to work on a proposal for accepting bitcoins as donations. If we cannot buy directly with it, we can convert it to Euro.
Suggestions for future GA
How to accommodate non-European members for the GAWhenever we organised a "Real-Life" GA in the past , it was always located in Europe (Belgium, France, Germany). With approximately 90% of BV members living in Europe, this is logical. However we should try to get other continents involved. One solution would be to have a longer preparation of a GA (for example on the forum or equivalent). That way polls could be set up that stay open for a longer time. Physical meetings could then take place in several locations simultaneously. A GA could then run for (for example) one week, and the different points of debate published in a wiki.
- Long preparation on the forum (or equvalent).
- Polls prepared according to that.
- The GA starts only then
- Physical meetings could take place in more than one place simultaneously, if there are enough members to attend.
BeVolunteer and BeWelcome
- About BV being as remote as possible from interfering in BW:
That's pretty much the current situation. Most of the talk at the GA is money and legal management.
- Consensus on not forbidding BV involvement in BW on the request of BW.
- Matthias mentions the possibility of a BW coordination mailing list for the people that have BW tools access. It might bridge the communication gap between the teams.
- We reviewed the proposed edits on the statutes and found little of concern. However, some points will need to be reformulated before a special GA can be summoned to ratify it.