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Firehouse Follies returns June 1st!

What’s behind the green door?

Find out at 4 PM, June 1, at the Ivy Tech Waldon Whikehart Auditorium when the Firehouse Follies presents “Behind the Green Door.”

Admission is $10 single ticket, $15 for two.

In the meantime, have a listen to some of the most recent productions of the Firehouse Follies here.

Board Minutes: May 19, 2014

Read

Balance Sheet April

Profit & Loss April

Budget vs. Actual FY2014

CALL TO ORDER

7:09 p.m.

ATTENDANCE OF BOARD MEMBERS

Board members present are Joe Estivill, Rich Reardin, Sheryl Mitchell, Louis Malone, Matt Pierce, Rich Fish, Maria McKinley, Cleveland Dietz.  Board members absent are Pam Davidson and Sheryl Mitchell.  Quorum is established.  Note:  Carolyn arrives at 8:20 p.m.

REVIEW/APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Sheryl has made a motion to approve the Minutes via email on May 7th.  Rich R  seconds the motion.  Vote is called and motion to approve the Minutes passes unanimously.  There is a brief discussion about making motions and seconding because often when a vote is called for via email, a Board member may vote yes when the call for a motion is made or even after a motion is made but before a second.  The language should be followed according to Roberts’ Rules of Order.  A vote to approve is not a replacement for a motion or a second.  All are in agreement about this procedure.

GENERAL MANAGER’S REPORT

Cleveland reports that a late response from our pre-fund drive mailer has brought in $3,000 putting the station over the fund drive goal of $46,000 at $47,265.74 for the Spring Fund Drive or 103% of our goal.

MCPL, CATS, WFHB:  We have received a verbal commitment from Michael White on MOU.  Alycin is scheduling a meeting to check out equipment and to understand what the library is willing to provide to us.

Annual Meeting:  Most of the participating memberships’ mailing addresses are confirmed and absentee ballots are already stuffed in envelopes for those addresses confirmed.  We have seven candidates for three Board slots, and the candidates have received the questionnaire and request for a short bio.  The annual meeting will be on June 7th, at the Monroe County History Center.  For the first time in the history of the annual election at WFHB, a candidate forum will be held at 11 a.m. for Participating Members.  This will be in the form of a panel discussion moderated by News Director Alycin Bektesh with an opportunity for the membership to ask questions of the candidates.  The annual meeting will then begin at 12:15 p.m.  The membership will be asked to bring food for the potluck luncheon, the station will provide the paper products and soft drinks and ice.  Maria and Cleveland will meet with Carolyn before the annual meeting to work out the details of counting votes and the procedures for additional balloting if a majority vote for three candidates is not achieved on the first round of voting.

TREASURER’S REPORT

We have cut our spending significantly so that with the decrease in fundraising over the year, we did just break a little over “even.”  It has worked out that in some areas, we have additional unforeseen expenses but in other areas, we do not spend the money budgeted for that area.  For instance, purchases under “Computer Supplies” are overdue because the regular 5-year cycle of purchasing these items only shows up in the line item budget every 5 years.  See attached documents for detailed spreadsheets of the financials.  See “New Business” below for a discussion of the Fiscal Year Budget for 2014.

OLD BUSINESS

The Board of Directors’ Code of Conduct/Board Member Commitment form rough draft was forwarded via email by Cleveland to Board members so a discussion could be brought forth at tonight’s meeting.  Joe leads a discussion through the document line-by-line and input about wording changes is documented by the Secretary.  Attendance has been an issue throughout the past year and members are in agreement that missing 30% of Board Meetings within any given year could result in dismissal.  Motion to accept could not be made due to the changes in the presented document and Maria agrees to make the suggested corrections to the document and send out after the Board elections but prior to the June Board meeting.

Board Operations Manual and NFCB listserv responses: Cleveland has had two responses concerning these topics but the more specific response was from a station where the book “How Effective Non-Profits Work is purchased in bulk and handed out to all new Board members.  Cleveland will attempt to find a copy of this book and Carolyn suggests it might be available at our public library.

Community Advisory Board mission statement:  Maria has put together a mission statement for the Community Advisory Board in accordance with the requirements spelled out by the CPB and which would fulfill our compliance issues.  This statement was passed along via email prior to tonight’s meeting.  Matt asks that the word “Community” be changed to “Corporation” to correctly reflect the name.  A motion is made by Louis to accept the mission statement with the correction, Sheryl seconds and a vote to accept the mission statement for the CAB passes unanimously.

Policy Committee (bylaws):   Rich F agreed to talk with Al Lyons concerning the policy committee’s approach when beginning the task of revamping the station’s by-laws.   Al has not returned a call to Rich prior to this meeting.

NEW BUSINESS

Timetable to amend approved minutes:  Rich F begins a discussion concerning the idea of a timetable to amend the Board’s Minutes to accurately reflect additional information brought forth at a later Board meeting which might bring about a change in any member’s given opinion about a particular issue.  Discussion agrees that the Minutes are to reflect any discussion (except Closed Session) and that no timetable for amending the Minutes is required.

IT Committee Report – Rich F has sent the IT Committee Report around by email.

FY 2014 Budget

Cleveland states the upcoming fiscal year budget attempts to accomplish many things; hire a full- time Development Director, replace the heating/cooling unit by October, pay for a certified financial audit which is necessary for most grant writing.  The budget does not include income from Acoustic Roots Festival or the Firehouse Follies, and it does not take into account our decreasing credit card fees.  Health insurance costs have gone up due to the Affordable Care Act.  Computer expenses are reflected in “June” under computer supplies.  See the IT Report for specifics on upcoming computer purchases.  Money may be there for Youth Radio but it is not listed as income as yet.  Fund Drives brought in $1000 less in the fall but over $1200 this spring.  Joe Estivill and Brian Kearney have been working to get angel donors for the Development Director.  We are pursuing a Monroe County Health Grant through the Community Foundation to get the equipment we need for a call-in medical talk show.  Wages for the Development Director are set to begin in August.  The question is asked about where the physicality of a Development Director would be and Cleveland believes there are several space options at the station for this new hire.  The Brown County Hour contract reflects a rent increase of $100/month beginning in October.  We will need to purchase insurance to cover our equipment as this is not part of the rental agreement.   The BCH folks are writing a grant to present to the Brown County Community Foundation for additional equipment.   Rich R makes a motion to approve the FY 2014 budget, Sheryl seconds the motion and a unanimous vote passes the FY 2014-2015 budget.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Rich F withdraws his name from the upcoming ballot for Board membership.  Rich explains he has taken on a new job which initially did not involve that many hours but it is now going to require more of his time.  He states he is currently giving 40 hours a month to the station and has decided that he will continue to be involved as a Participating Member and attend meetings and agree to additional volunteer hours as his time will permit but not at the Board level.  Maria asks Rich to write a statement concerning his withdrawal from the ballot for the membership which can be attached to the Board minutes.

Joe thanks the outgoing Board members for their term of service and many hours of volunteerism to the Station.

ADJOURNMENT

9:19 p.m

WFHB’s Acoustic Roots Festival is this Saturday!

WFHB  announces the seventh annual Acoustic Roots Festival, to be held on Saturday, May 17th – hosted once again by Upland Brewing Company at 350 West 11th in Bloomington. Festival gates will open at 2:30pm, with music from 3pm-11pm.

WFHB’s Acoustic Roots Festival is a fundraiser for Bloomington Community Radio. The festival focuses on the rich heritage of American roots music and is a showcase for local and regional artists.

Indiana artists featured on the 2014 Acoustic Roots Festival line up are T.V. Mike and The Scarecrowes, Tim Grimm and Jan Lucas, White Lightning Boys, Indiana Boys, Lexi Len & The Strangers, Otto Mobile & The Moaners, The Underhills and Jacob Latham.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE: 3pm-11pm (gate opens @ 2:30pm)

3:00pm: The Underhills

4:00pm: Jacob Latham

5:00pm: Lexi Len & The Strangers

6:00pm: Ottomobile

7:00pm: White Lightning Boys

8:00pm: Tim Grimm and Jan Lucas

9:00pm: Indiana Boys

10:00pm: TV Mike & The Scarecrowes

Admission to WFHB’s Acoustic Roots Festival is $20.00 ($15.00 in advance), with all proceeds after expenses supporting WFHB.

Advance tickets are available at WFHB, Bloomingfoods, Muddy Boots (Nashville, IN), Upland Brewing Company and the WFHB tent at Bloomington Farmer’s Market.

No coolers, please – Upland beer and food will be available on site, along with the Rush Hour Station food truck.

ARF 2014 has a Facebook event page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/219597731567714/

ARF 2014 is featured in the latest WFHB Firehouse News:

http://wfhb.org/posts/firehouse-news-spec-ed-1-wfhbs-7th-annual-acoustic-roots-festival/

More information about WFHB’s Acoustic Roots Festival is available

from Jim Manion, WFHB Music Director at 812-323-1200 or by email: music@wfhb.org.

WFHB’s 2014 Acoustic Roots Festival is sponsored by Bloomingfoods, Muddy Boots Café, Pine Room Tavern, Rush Hour Station, Downtown Bloomington, Inc., Vance Music and Karen Pitkin/REMAX Realty.

Board Minutes: April 28, 2014

Read

Balance Sheet: March 2014

Profit & Loss: March 2014

Budget vs. Actual To-Date Fiscal Year 2013-2014

CALL TO ORDER

7:07 p.m.

ATTENDANCE OF BOARD MEMBERS

Board members present: Joe Estivill, Carolyn VandeWiele, Richard Fish, Richard Reardin, Sheryl Mitchell, Matt Pierce, Maria McKinley, Cleveland Dietz

Absent: Louis Malone, Pam Davidson

Participating Members present: Darin Bagley, Reina Wong

Staff: Alycin Bektesh

REVIEW/APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Motion to approve was made by Rich R (April 9) via email and tonight seconded by Sheryl.

Adjournment time of last month’s meeting is agreed to be 10:00 p.m. Minutes are approved by unanimous vote. Richard F states he has comments and will discuss these at a later time.

GENERAL MANAGER’S REPORT

Spring Fund Drive as of tonight has reached 96% of our goal, ($44265.74) with an additional $4,000 raised in day sponsorships (underwriting). The budget team will meet tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. (Cleveland, Joe, Sarah Borden). Joe invites board members to attend.

Cleveland anticipates a significant increase in health/vision/dental coverage, approximately $2035/month, and there are major purchases in our future: furnace, 2 new computers, a transmitter, digital equipment. MCPL, CATS, and WFHB: Renovations at the library have included space and phone lines for WFHB news volunteers; collaborating with CATS could make us eligible for more money from CPB; logistics still need to be discussed if there is to be a move to the library. Joe recommends we talk with volunteers who are involved with the news department before any decisions are made.

Development Director: Cleveland met with Meri Reinhold, the executive director at MCUM about her ideas for moving forward with our hiring of a development director. Meri tells us we could apply for a SPEA fellowship at a cost of $600 and receive a grad student for 10 hours/week/semester. The GM and DD could attend the IU School of Philanthropy courses although there is a cost for that. Scholarships are available from IU and if IU chips in, the MCCF could help with funds. Meri’s experience tells us we would need to offer $33K salary or share a DD with another organization so a DD could get full time work. Joe suggests we find another angel donor to bring the salary up.

Rich F has talked with Al Lyons outside of Al’s presentation last month and Rich says Al does not see that we need a DD and that it might cost us more in salary for a DD than the money we would be able to raise using a DD. Cleveland says Meri told him that it took a few years after they hired a DD but that it was worth it.

WFHB is a media sponsor for both the John Hartford Memorial Festival (in Bean Blossom) and GnawBrew, a craft beer festival in Gnaw Bone, as part of our on-going efforts to expand our base outside of Bloomington.

The station now has a Square account to take credit card payments at events. We are exploring ways to use it beyond plugging it into an iPhone or iPad, including web sales.

Acoustic Roots Festival has already recouped its production budget in sponsors. All tickets sales will be actual funds raised.

Johrdan Vicstein is moving to Indy and we’ve been talking about getting our updates done before he leaves.

Cleveland has reworded a statement from the employee’s handbook that allows the News Director to supervise the Assistant News Director. Richard F makes a motion to accept the new wording, Matt seconds the motion and it passes unanimously.

TREASURER’S REPORT

We are still waiting for $24K from the CPB grant and the $4K underwriting has not dropped into the account. As a result, the Budget does not reflect the $28K we are waiting for.

For next year, we expect wage expenses will be higher and insurance costs will be at least $24K.

We will close our GoDaddy account. On the Budget vs Actual spreadsheet: income lines are not where they should be because we are waiting on money as previously described above.

OLD BUSINESS

Policy Committee (bylaws need to be rewritten)

A flexible governing document will allow for the unpredictability of the future of technology. Joe suggests we start with 3-4 people who will look at the by-laws for obvious changes. An ad hoc committee is suggested and Rich F suggests we have Al Lyons look at the by-laws to see if there are some red flags of where we need to be more flexible or more structured. That could be a reasonable start before reconfiguring the entire document. Rich F will ask Al for his opinion.

Database for fundraising – tabled until we have a DD who can work with Cleveland and Pam on this project.

Board Operations Manual – committee to review the BOM with the idea of having this finished up by the June elections. Rich F and Cleveland agree to work on this. They will check with Louis and/or Joe to see if they are also available and Joe suggests we make an announcement on the BOD email for other volunteers.

Community Advisory Board

CPB requirements http://www.cpb.org/stations/certification/cert3.html

Composition: Board Secretary+ at least one other board member + up to seven non-board members

MISSION: (FROM STATION BYLAWS: Article Nine: Community Advisory Board)

The Board may select from the community at large an unspecified number of persons to serve on an advisory panel known as the Board of Advisors, for terms of one (1) year. These Advisors may be reappointed for such additional one (1) year terms as the Board may deem proper. The Advisors shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Board of Directors. Members of the Board of Advisors shall not be Staff Members. The Advisory Board Membership should reasonably reflect the diverse needs and interests of the community.

  • Jeb Conrad, Chamber of Commerce
  • John Whikehart, Deputy Mayor
  • Christian Freitag, Sycamore Land Trust
  • Jim Krause has agreed to join.

It is suggested we put together a mission statement that would describe the purpose of the CAB which would assist with recruitment. The CAB should ascertain local communities’ needs with regard to broadcasting and what needs WFHB could meet. In considering members, we need to include Ellettsville and Nashville residents; ask potential members from the Chambers and other civic-minded individuals. Matt suggests we use the language from the CPB requirements. Maria will look into this and send around a mission statement for approval.

NEW BUSINESS

NPAC – Alycin Bektesh discusses her plans for a News Summit for the month of June or July. She feels there needs to be some focused discussion and exploration of the future of news and public affairs programming. With the day to day operating challenges of the News and Public Affairs programs, it leaves no time to address creative, administrative, and technical issues. There could be a possible separation of the news and public affairs departments. It’s time to talk about how to use the MCPL facilities which are being offered and to plan for the future in terms of programming. SEE

Nominating Committee Procedures

Problems are discussed concerning the recent nominating committee’s role and procedures. Cleveland states it would be helpful to have written minutes from meetings of the nominating committee to keep everyone on track with decisions, deadlines, and other details. There appears to be no consistent nominating committee policies and this topic would be one to send on to the policy committee. Cleveland states as GM, he sees his role on the nominating committee as a conflict of interest because the Board is considered to be the GM’s “boss.” Current procedures that the Board agrees on are: petition nominated candidates must submit their petitions with 10 signatures to the nominating committee (Carolyn is chair) by May 8. Cleveland will send out an email on Spot-Online to remind the participating members the deadline for petition nominated candidates is approaching. The nominating committee will put together and mail out the candidates’ packets prior to the annual meeting.

BoD Code of Conduct – In keeping with the suggestions made by Al Lyons, the Board discusses putting together a Board of Director’s code of conduct prior to the installation of the new Board Members in June. Subjects should include a Board member’s behavior during meetings, as a public representative of WFHB, confidentiality, attendance, and ethics, but is not confined to these topics. Maria states she has spent several hours researching online the Code of Conduct (in a generalized setting) for non-profit Boards of Directors (why invent the wheel) but there has been too much of a disconnect between non-profit service orgs and a radio station. Cleveland mentions he has access to websites that are strictly communications/broadcasting sites and he could possibly run across our much-needed document already configured for another similar organization.

Firehouse Follies – Rich F mentions the Follies are considering raising their ticket prices from $5 to $10. He would like to have the Board’s input and there is a general consensus that $10 is a reasonable price for the quality of that unique live entertainment.

ADJOURNMENT

9:19 p.m.

Firehouse News Spec. Ed. 1: WFHB’s 7th Annual Acoustic Roots Festival

by Maryll Jones

It’s finally April and festival season is quickly approaching. One of the first festivals of the season is WFHB’s own Acoustic Roots Festival (ARF).

The ARF first began with the idea of having a signature music event that would also serve as a fundraiser for the station. Originally held on the property of the Story Inn in Story, Indiana, as a 4th of July festival, it was later moved to the Upland Brewing Company in Bloomington to allow for an earlier start in the season as a pre-cursor to the later, well-established bluegrass festivals in the area.

While speaking with WFHB music director Jim Manion, he explains that there is a “…spectacular acoustic music scene in Bloomington and you can’t pin it down to any one genre.” He continues, “Part of our mission is to celebrate an increase in local cultural diversity.” The ARF provides a public face for the station to the community and serves as a way for musicians to connect with each other. As a result, several of the artists have collaborated on other projects.

The last two years, two stages were utilized but this year, WFHB will exclusively use the new big new permanent stage that Upland built with limestone from the construction site next door. The decision to make this change was easy; one stage, one sound system and only one seat needed per person.

This year’s festival emcee, Hondo Thompson suggested that you “Come early and stay late.” The Friday afternoon mix DJ and co-producer of Market LIVE continued, “The adventure begins with the first note from the first band and doesn’t end ‘til the lights go out.”

As the festival grows each year, so does the need for volunteer participants. Without the 20-25 volunteers that pitch in every year, the festival would not exist and a huge fundraising opportunity would be lost. It takes a group effort doing anything from physically helping with the set-up the day before to taking tickets, selling merchandise, providing security, being stagehands, and finally the cleanup and tear down at the end of the day. The service the volunteers provide is invaluable. Look for the call-out for volunteer sign-up in the coming weeks.

In the future, WFHB hopes to increase sponsorship and apply for grants for the festival. The idea is to pay the performing musicians as they presently volunteer their talent for the benefit of the station but at the cost of losing a potential paying gig. Organizers would also like to have the budget for a national or international act such as Eileen Jewell and Jason Wilber, both of whom have close ties to Bloomington and donated their time and talent to past Acoustic Roots festivals.

On Wednesday, May 7, at 9pm, WFHB’s Local Live, a weekly WFHB program that features eclectic music broadcast live from various recording studios in Bloomington, will be doing a sneak preview show with upcoming festival artists Lexi Len & the Strangers and TV Mike & the Scarecrows. This broadcast will be live from Primary Sound Studio (formerly known as Farm Fresh Studios). Stay tuned to WFHB radio.

Who: The Underhills, Jacob Latham, Lexi Len & the Strangers, Ottomobile, White Lightning Boys, Tim Grimm and Jan Lucas, the Indiana Boys, and featuring TV Mike & the Scarecrows What: WFHB’s 7th Annual Acoustic Roots Festival When: Saturday, May 17, 2014 from 3-11pm. Gates open at 2:30.

Where: Upland Brewing Company, 350 W. 11th Street, Bloomington, IN.

Why: A great way to hear a full day of great music, hang with friends and support WFHB Community Radio.

Cost: Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the gate. Upland Brewery food and beverages will be available on site but food and drinks, coolers, etc., are not allowed to be carried in.

Firehouse News Spec. Ed. 1: Board of Directors Candidates Needed!

by Helen Harrell

A couple of months ago lots of voices were heard from in reaction to the hiring process for a new WFHB General Station Manager.  This demonstration of concern seemed like a positive sign that many folks love the station and care very much about its continuation as a democratically run media force in the Bloomington community and surrounding area.  Many of those heard from had great suggestions as well as pragmatic and philosophical goals for station expansion and now is the perfect time for those positive thinkers and supporters to transfer their ideas and thoughts into action by serving on the WFHB Board of Directors.

There are 3 board positions expiring in June and new board members will be elected at the upcoming annual meeting to be held 7 June at 12:15 pm location TBAThe nominating committee is submitting 4 nominations but anyone who has put in 30 hours of volunteer time during this past year (at least 4 hours in 3 different months) can petition to be a board member.  Simply collect 10 signatures of support for yourself or for someone you wish to nominate and submit them to manager@wfhb.org by 6 May 2014.  Board candidate bios will be posted on the WFHB website.

This is a great opportunity to be a part of WFHB not only as a volunteer but as someone who can contribute to the future planning and growth of a station that is just simply getting better every day. Hope to see YOU among the list of potential candidates!

Firehouse News Spec. Ed. 1: Ahhhhhhh… Spring… Fund Drive at WFHB That Is!

by Helen Harrell

If you haven’t been involved with a WFHB fund drive you just don’t know what you are missing!  Not good at asking folks for money?  You aren’t alone in that area but once you become involved in the activities at the station during a fund drive your enthusiasm will pique and it will become easier to ask listeners and supporters for financial contributions to keep the greatest community station ever…certainly in Southern Indiana and beyond (because don’t forget we live stream on line and podcast too) on air…….up and running. 

Many regular listeners and probably those infrequent listeners as well simply don’t understand how community radio works and that the democratic principle of a strictly volunteer run organization means that everyone must contribute to keep the lights on, the music flowing, the news reporting and the equipment from self-destructing!  Those of us who have been involved for many years actually look forward to fund drive time when energy is high, excitement is in the air and so many volunteers gather in the studio to pass their enthusiasm on to the broader listener community.  What could be better than gathering around the microphone with others who share your passion about WFHB and talking with folks about how great it is to have non commercialized news and public affairs reporting and music shows not bought and paid for by the mega-music industry?

In place of corporate control and/or sponsorship programming is determined by the very listeners who are asked to donate a few bucks each year to help keep it all going. The very fact that WFHB is volunteer driven is significant in that the station offers low barrier journalism.  What does that mean you ask?  It refers to the fact that WFHB offers a voice for any and all who want to participate and welcomes all opinions, attitudes and beliefs (we do anticipate that folks will be polite regardless of views).  And unlike corporate media your $$$ contributions go directly to station expenses and not into financing some CEO’s 3rd vacation home.  The dollars from fund drives make up over a third of WFHB’s annual budget and are imperative for daily operation of the station.  Paid staff is small and consists of dedicated  individuals who work very hard for their rather small wages, and the station is essentially run by its more than 200 volunteers who receive no financial recompense but receive great satisfaction in knowing they are contributing to the greater good – an amazing community station that focuses on public interest, issues, entertainment and events – all at the community level but relevant to the world.

WFHB holds the distinction of being the first (since 1993) volunteer-powered and listener supported community radio station and its focus is on providing an open community forum for the discussion and exchange of issues and ideas to celebrate local cultural diversity.    It has been my pleasure to volunteer on air, serve on the Board of Directors as well as on several committees and financially contribute to WFHB for well over a decade.  I also find it to be great fun to share my enthusiasm for the station during fund drive and tell others what a special opportunity it is to have a station like WFHB in the local community and surrounding areas.  Bloomington IN is better for having an independent, democratically run station and we ask for your financial help in ensuring that we can continue to bringing you the best from Btown!!

Firehouse News Spec. Ed. 1: It Takes a Community

by Michael Glab

WFHB’s semi-annual fund drives require more than just a pitcher and a catcher. Sure, they’re fitting terms as our spring call-out for donations begins the same week that baseball opens its 2014 season. In the community radio game, the pitcher is the on-air voice who issues the call for financial gifts from our listeners; the catcher is the volunteer who answers the phone when folks phone in to give.

The Spring Fund Drive this year runs from Friday, April 4 through Sunday, April 13. Throughout that busy, exciting ten days, nearly all of our more than 200 volunteers will pitch in to make the drive a success.

This will be Cleveland Dietz’ second fund drive as General Manager of WFHB. He also was involved in two others as an intern serving as assistant to the GM. Each of his four drives brought in a significant percentage of the station’s yearly operating budget.

We’ve had the same goal for four drives now, $46,000,” Dietz says. “Each year, between both fund drives, we’ve made roughly $92,000. Annually, we make another $68-70,000 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. That’s $160,000 of our $250,000 annual budget. The rest comes from corporate underwriting, random contributions throughout the year, two web drives, some grant money, some event money, and our CATS Week partnership with the Monroe County Public Library.”

The year’s two fund drives, in other words, will pay some 37 percent of the station’s bills.

WFHB follows many of the industry guidelines in raising money from its listeners. Station management also has come up with a few innovations of its own in an effort to get listener support.

Every on-air personality receives a pitch packet containing tips, prompts, and even a regulation or two. They also are encouraged to attend “pitcher training” sessions.

We talk about good practices,” Dietz explains. “For example, it is not good practice to say things like WFHB can’t operate without this money. You don’t want to present the picture that WFHB is flailing about and will sink if this doesn’t work out. People don’t want to support a sinking ship.

You want to stay positive. One way is to talk about what WFHB means to you personally. I feel it’s very, very powerful to talk about what brought you to the station, what keeps you here, why do you feel like it’s an important part of your life. It’s one of the very few times of the year when listeners can get a sense of the person behind the microphone. We also talk about not trashing other radio stations. Really, we’re all serving different niches.

We go over ‘Tell-Ten.’ That’s when we ask our volunteers to ask ten of their friends or family members to support them during their show. We find that people don’t typically donate to organizations so much as they donate to their friends or family. So folks who do employ the Tell-Ten are consistently among the most successful fund-raisers in terms of dollars brought in during their shows.

We go over using social media, but not to the degree that it becomes repelling. Then our pitch packets offer a wide variety of prompts that people can use to talk about some aspect of the station that they’re not exactly familiar with but are good selling points generally.”

WFHB DJs and program hosts don’t read off a script when making pitches. Dietz explains: “We’re against the idea of scripting pitches. It can be very easy to sound like you’re reciting something. It comes off as inauthentic and not genuine and frankly, you sound bored. That’s not the way to inspire people to open up their wallets for WFHB.

Of course, on-air volunteers aren’t alone during fund drives. Veterans of the fund drive game like Music Director Jim Manion and News Director Alycin Bektesh are always around to help. Manion has been involved with WFHB’s fund drives since the station went on the air 21 years ago.

And, as always, members of the Bloomington Independent Restaurant Association will provide food all day for volunteers throughout the fund drive.

Listener-supported radio experts have determined that the typical donor has heard seven pitches before picking up the phone and making a pledge.

Every one of our shows has a dollar goal,” Dietz says. “But even if you’re on the air and you’re pitching like crazy and you’re just speaking beautifully about community radio and what WFHB means to South Central Indiana but no one’s picking up the phone, you’re still putting in good work toward that seventh pitch.”

Let’s hope that seventh pitch is a strike.

2014 Fund Drive Special Events

Friday, April 4, 8pm: Busman’s Holiday CD release party/fundraiser for WFHB, at the Waldron Arts Center auditorium, tickets: $8

Tuesday, April 8, all day: Brown County local acts & entertainment, at Muddy Boots Cafe and the Pine Room Tavern, tickets: free (donations will be solicited)

Thursday, April 10, 7pm, Alternative Radio founder David Barsamian, at the Bloomington-Monroe County Convention Center, tickets: for the talk only, $5; for the talk plus meet-and-greet, $35

Friday, April 11, Firehouse Lounge, WFHB DJs at the Back Door, tickets: free

News and Public Affairs Committee: March 20, 2014

Call to Order
Present: Alycin Bektesh, Sarah Ryterband, Kelly Miller, Maria McKinley, Helen Harrell
Absent: Carolyn VandeWiele, Alex Lichtenstein, Cynthia Roberts-Hall

News Director’s Report

Democracy Now!
Democracy Now! now comes in through an audio port. While broadcasting Democracy Now! is improved by this, it potentially creates an issue in transitioning from in-house segments to the program as both are played off the computer and the audio port plays a high-pitched tone until the show goes live. Offered the idea of moving them to 9 a.m. to take the place of the second-run Hightower. Ultimately decided that its best not to rearrange program schedule but to, instead, switch medium that segments are played out of. Teach traffic and 6 – 8 a.m. programmers how to do this.

Need Newsies Guidelines
Would help for volunteers to understand their place within the department. Need job descriptions for all positions, including show producers, helps hold people accountable and easier then to take action when people aren’t living up to their roles. Would be nice to have a welcome letter from NPAC, maybe instructional video so new news volunteers get to know some of the other people they may see in the station, understand NPAC liaison system and requirements such as Quarterly and Annual Meetings.

NPAC Minutes Violation
Already solved during committee comment. Minutes responsibility moved away from Carolyn VandeWiele and on to monthly attendee. Carolyn must still get us up to date on past meetings.

I’m Homeless Series
“I’m Homeless” series running with good feedback form the community and the homeless.

Program Review: Brown County Hour

  • Needs spontaneity/naturalness in interviews and other segments.
  • Speak to those outside the “in crowd” of Brown County
  • Issue of advocacy – better to remain journalistic and use advocacy in other ways – call out for volunteers for environmental organizations or have a regular Brown County update on EcoReport.
  • If we want to be more ergular, maybe could add in news items or segments to the Daily Local News.
  • Underwriting sounds too much like an advertisement.
  • Try to involve youth in the programming

Committee Vote: Green Light, on annual review track for March 2015

Program Review: Activate!

  • Has strayed from mission of encouraging others to volunteer in the community by including employees and those without passion as guests
  • Can’t be an infomercial for an organization
  • Needs to be about the volunteer, why they want to volunteer, why they chose that organization, what difference it has made to those they’ve helped and to themselves
  • NPAC acknowledges that often times it is the staff trying to make sure the volunteers represent them perfectly, so try to control the interview. Perhaps better to approach volunteers, not organizations, through contact lists like the “Be More” nominations.

Committee Vote: Yellow Light, comments to producer from Helen, three month follow-up with Jennifer attending June 2014

Approval of Minutes
All vote yea

Adjournment
8:53 PM

Next meeting is scheduled for April 17.

Carolyn VandeWiele is liaison. Shows to be reviewed: Volunteer Connection, An Organic Conversation

Information Technology Committee (Formerly Technology Committee): March 5, 2014

Call to Order
Present: Markus Lowe, Johrdan Vicstein, Cleveland Dietz, Ronald Neely, Richard Fish
6:00 PM

Improving Our Streaming Signal

WFHB will switch its streaming service providers. Markus recommended we go ahead and sign up for ShoutCheap and keep our service with GoDaddy until the new stream was in place and operating. This was agreed. We will pay for two services for one month. ShoutCheap will save the station at least $5.00 per month, and provide more reliable service. It will also give us more capacity. The present stream begins to have problems when 20 or more listeners are on at the same time. The new stream will be good for 50 listeners, and is scalable in steps as our audience increases. ShoutCheap also gives much better statistics and analytics. The high-quality stream will still be 128K, and the low-quality stream will be at least 32K (as it is now), but could be greater.

Cleveland will sign up for the service, and Markus and Johrdan get the new stream up and running.

Improving Internet Connectivity

WFHB will switch its Internet service from Comcast to Smithville, which will upgrade us from coaxial cable to fiber optic. Smithville’s connectivity will be more reliable, could be faster, and will be cheaper. Cleveland has consulted Smithville, and their service is available to us. They already connect the Waldron and Fountain Square. The next step is for their techs to come out and do a site survey, to see exactly what will be required to extend the fiber connection to the station. Having done that, they can quote us an installation cost. This will happen soon. Cleveland did not have a definite date. Actual installation will be scheduledd with Johrdan, so he can be present when it happens.

March 10, 2014: Cleveland reports: “No go on Smithville for ‘probably a couple of months’ as they don’t have the fibder down to provide voice service. We’re going to have to wait a bit. Tony said he’d have more information in a couple of weeks.”

Website

Markus reported that Alycin asked for links to the archive to be placed on all program pages. He will do this.

Online Ticket Sales

Cleveland asked if it would be possible for us to sell tickets for WFHB events on our website. The Buskirk-Chumley Theater will do this for us, but not for free. Markus thought it might be somewhat complex to create our own software. After consideration, it was reckoned that we might have 12-15 events each year for which we charge admission, so there is a limit to the amount of hours and effort it’s worthwhile to put in.

Mobile Credit Card Sales

Cleveland asked what it would take to be able to take credit cards in the field, for sales or donations. Markus and Johrdran recommended we get an account with square.com for this purpose, and also purchase a “My-Fi” adapter to get Internet connectivity anywhere through cell phone service, which would cost about $100.00. This would work with a smart phone or laptop. Cleveland noted that the station has a Chromebook which is not used much and would fill the bill.

Remote Internet Feeds

Cleveland noted we have a dongle with Verizon, a service which allows remote Internet feeds, costing $60.00 per month. It is not used much at present, only for Local Live shows from recording studios. Johrdan suggested that we eliminate that service and sign up for a different service that would only cost money when it is used.

The Newsletter On the Website

Markus reported he is working on this, and must integrate the MailChimp program that distributes the newsletter. People need to be able to find the newsletter on the website (and the archive of back issues) and also subscribe or unsubscribe.

Computer Use at the Station

Richard brought up some problems he’d had producing his Bloomington Beware module on Sunday nights. He asked that when system changes be made, more efforts should be made after that to inform all the users of the system. Cleveland and Markus pointed out that the production computer in the small studio is practically an antique, but keeps working for the present.

Everyone also reported finding computers left in the middle of something, files not saved, browsers or emails or Spinitron not logged out, etc. This is a human problem and a training issue. Cleveland may put out the word on Spot-Online about this and ask Alycin Bektesh to tell the News Department. Richard will start mentioning this when he trains people. Johrdan recommended strongly that people always browse the Internet in “private” or “incognito” mode (Control-Shift-P in Firefox) to avoid loading the system with everybody’s browsing history, but did not know how to make this the default.

New Committee Member

Markus asked Ronald about his experience and interest in the committee. Ronald has some audio and IT experience and will see about checking out the Facilities Committee before he decides how he best fits in.

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