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The SGC International Board of Directors is committed to serving our membership with integrity, transparency, and dedication. In an effort to promote an air of openness and clarity, periodic updates are posted to detail current board activity. We will do our best to respond to our membership’s concerns. We must all work together to guide our organization forward!
Updated Logo And Website
The most visible stride this board has made thus far has been the updating of SGC International’s logo and website. Thank you so much to Jim Bryant for volunteering to design our logo and helping us to develop this bold new mark, as well a beautiful palette of icons that we will use in our website to identify media-specific posts. Thank you also to Kate Bingaman-Burt, Kate McQuillen, and R.L. Tillman who served with SGCI President Charles Beneke on our ad hoc Logo and Website Committee to provide feedback as we developed our new public image. Bryce Meyer of Pomelo Productions has been fantastic to work with as he has built out the website which is fully integrated with our membership database. We are looking forward to continuing to develop the website with content and resources to make it an engaging and useful tool for our membership.
Updated Strategic Plan
The board is currently in the beginning stages of developing an updated strategic plan for SGC International. To make certain that it is a plan not just for, but of our organization, board members have been charged with forming working groups to look at specific aspects of SGCI—diversity & inclusivity, development/new revenue, students, membership/member benefits, international, journal, vendors, inter-organizational collaboration, conferences. Each working group chaired by a board member includes an additional board member, two non-board regular members, and one student member. At our mid-year meeting the board members chairing each of these groups will present a report reflecting both SGCI’s past and current efforts and potential future directions. An ad hoc Strategic Plan Committee will then be formed to work with the board to develop our updated strategic plan. We anticipate presenting this to our membership at our spring conference.
Student Funding & Support
An exciting item on the agenda for our mid-year meeting asks how SGCI can develop a mechanism to gather and distribute donated student memberships. What began with a member contacting the board with interest in donating a student membership and conference registration turned into a rich brainstorming effort with lots of great possibilities. It is our goal to find ways to help many students. We would like to thank past-president Joseph Lupo for leading this ad hoc committee’s discussion.
Historically SGCI has operated financially on an annual year. This has created the accounting challenge of having to track two separate conferences in one financial year. Our research has indicated that this is not good practice; programming should not be split across multiple fiscal years if at all possible. To address this problem SGCI Board has voted to shift to a fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30. This change will place only one conference in our financial year and give us the opportunity to track our finances in a much more accurate and responsible manner.
Our previous board began working with 501 Commons, a non-profit organization in Seattle, Washington (501commons.org) to help us to better understand and establish best practices appropriate for our organization. This organization that serves more than 1000 non-profits provides expertise to nonprofits through 30+ services, including a full range of management consulting; technology consulting (IT planning and database development); outsourced HR; accounting; IT infrastructure; and database management services; professional development and board training; and free information and referral services.
Conference Accounting Practice Change
In the past it has been SGCI’s practice to maintain several checking accounts with “seed money” for each conference that was in the pipeline. The conference coordinator oversaw these checking accounts. When the conference accounts were reconciled post-conference, this seed money was paid back to SGCI. Seed money functioned essentially as a loan. Our previous board’s work with 501 Commons to help us establish best practice showed us that this concept and treatment of seed money was not smart non-profit business practice. Additionally, keeping funding in many separate checking accounts created much accounting confusion. Conference spending will now be a part of our fiscal budget. SGCI’s Finance Committee will work with our conference site committees to establish budgets for each. These conference budgets will allow us to better form annual fiscal budgets. All income and expenses, including conferences, will be tracked through classes and subclasses set up in our accounting system, Quickbooks, and paid by SGCI itself.
Identity & Website
The SGC International Board is working to update our organization’s logo and our website. Why an updated logo and a new website? Why now? Quite simply, our logo does not represent who we are now and our website does not function as it should to communicate to our membership and give our membership the opportunity to work with us. Both of these elements are our main public face and they must represent who we are. To more specifically answer why, here is a more detailed list of reasons:
Continuing to patch our website and try to force it to function as we need is a waste of our resources. The wiser move is to start from scratch and construct a new website with a structure that will both endure and evolve. The SGCI Board voted to approve this action and has contracted with Polmelo Productions to construct a new website from the ground up at a cost of $15,660.00. This cost is in our FY18-19 budget and will be covered by membership fees for that fiscal year. We anticipate that the website will be fully functioning when our 2019 conference registration goes live in October.
Updated Strategic Plan
Our board has begun putting together working groups to help us in the beginning stages of developing an updated strategic plan. Each working group will address a specific aspect of our organization and will have at least one and no more than two board members. These working groups will solicit additional members from our membership and each group will include artist/ faculty/professionals and students. The information gathered and reports submitted by these working groups will be used to establish a strategic plan for our organization. We hope to present this plan to our membership at our 2019 conference. The complete formation and engagement of these working groups will begin in the fall of 2018. Please look out for solicitations for participation in these groups in September of 2018.