November 11, 2018 ZA Board Meeting Minutes

November 11, 2018 Zimfest Association Board Meeting Synopsis

Members in Attendance: Daniel Lockley, Jacqueline Fallon, Chris Halaska, Evelyn Mukwedeya, Mandy Walker-LaFollette, Alex Weeks, Janis Weeks
Members Absent: none
Non-voting member in attendance: Claire Jones

Review and Approve October Meeting Minutes


Review/Modify Agenda (All)

Done by email

President Role Interview (All)

Evelyn has reached the end of her two-year term and is stepping down as President. She will remain a board member for another six months to support the new president’s transition. Alex is willing to be considered for the role. Janis is recusing herself from interviewing Alex. There are no others interested in taking on this role. Highlights of the interview are below:

  • Alex has served as a Zimfest board member for 7 years. In addition, he was a core member of the Zimfest 2010 team and was on the Kutsinhira board from 2006-2012. With his transition into the President role, he may have to step back some from the tech. committee.
  • His goals for improving the festival and association: Continue working towards simplifying and standardizing the festival, promote healthy conversations within the community, get back to helping other organizations, focus on fundraising.
  • The vote was to have Alex assume the role of President. Alex will take over the December meeting.

Update on Board Finances (Chris)

  • Chris is still not able to have RegFox give him the data that he wants, it doesn’t seem to be extractable. It can’t be divided up into the categories that he is looking for.
  • Festival and donation income have increased compared to the last festival year. Chris is going to review the income by category again to confirm the final figures. Increases to workshop prices (+16%) and registration fees contributed to the increased revenue.

Zimfest 2019 (All)

Zimfest 2018 Debrief with WOU

There was an increase in housing and dining fees. They charged us for meals purchased onsite. There was 10% discount if you have over 300 register, which we did, but because they count actual purchases onsite WOU didn’t count them to have us reach 300. In the end there was only about a $200 difference. The new facility people that were working with us went through it all in detail and cut away room fees that we were not using. Our discounts actually increased this year. They said we love working with Claire and Zimfest and wanted to be able to help our non-profit clients.

Zimfest 2019 Organizing Committee

Most everyone is onboard, there have been a few people who have been silent recently. Claire had told them they would have their first meeting in Dec.

2019 Festival Theme

Keeping the same theme from this year because it is still relevant today.

Address Recent Anonymous Sexual Assault Allegations

  • Post message to encourage anonymous reporters from festival survey to come forward with more information so that board can better determine next steps for their specific situation.
  • In the meantime board has sought legal advice from non-profit legal clinic on how to address these and future allegations. Recommendations:
    • Develop a code of conduct policy for all Zimfest attendees (Northwest Folklife has one that we could model ours after)
    • Tighten up a few things on the teacher policy (leadership agreement) that we currently have. The agreement covers their specific time at the festival. Add an indemnity clause to the contracts.
    • In addition to the current process of requesting references and an interview if we have someone new, implement background checks.
  • Next steps: Draft a description for the FB page.

Review Zimbabwean Guest Travel Policy (All)

  • Current policy is to reimburse Zimbabwean teachers for travel up to a cap. The reimbursement cap has been kept confidential in the past, leading to some confusion.
  • In its current form, the policy disadvantages Zimbabweans who are traveling from far away without additional financial support from local communities.
  • Feedback from our meeting with the Zimbabweans at Zimfest – Is there a way for those traveling from far away to receive more money for travel? Can Zimfest provide scholarships for a few Zimbabwean teachers?
  • Propose increasing the reimbursement cap to $650 for now. Receipts for travel should still be required. Make it known to the teachers after they have accepted to teach that they will receive travel reimbursement for the lesser of $650 or the total receipted amount.
    • Concern was raised that money required for travel reimbursements will increase as the number of teachers increase.
    • We had 13 Zim. guest teachers for ZF18. Only 8 would have been asking for major transportation money.
  • Those traveling from abroad need greater reimbursement.

Fundraising Drive and Engagement (Jacqueline)

  • Feedback on donor thank you calls: Donors were surprised and appreciative of the call and also said it wasn’t necessary.
  • Decide on ZF 2019 Goals next time
  • Need donor stories to share empathy

Board Member Recruitment (All)

Next time

Next Meeting

December 9th, 6:30 pm PST on Google Hangouts