Officers Guide

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This is a general guide to being an officer at Bloominglabs, these are tasks that are expected of our officers. The three required officers of a non-profit are the President, Treasurer, and Secretary. At the time of this writing (2017), our officers also serve as our board of directors for the same positions. Also at this time, we have two optional at-large officer/board positions. Generally, we look to our At-large officers to learn the ropes and help out as needed when the primary officers unavailable or need assistance. Of course, this does not preclude anyone from stepping up and taking on more responsibility on their own. Our officers should work as a team and support each other.

You should check out the Business Operations page if you have not already done so.


On a regular basis

Our bylaws describe the official duties of our officers: Bylaws#Article V: The Officers. Beyond this, we have a culture of expectations for what the officers take care of in our organization. This is a description of our culture.

  • Financial duties: (the signers on the Bloominglabs bank accounts will do these)
    • Ensuring dues are being deposited in the bank a timely manor (electronic and cash)
    • Paying bills
    • Handling annual business and tax filing requirements at the county, state, and federal levels

  • Other duties shared as needed:
  • Dues processing & tracking
    • Handle dues processing for electronically paid dues
    • Handle dues processing for dues paid by cash/check
    • It's up to the current officers to decide how to divide up these duties
  • Handling new member applications Adding Members
    • Even if you are delegating this, you are the one making sure new membership apps don’t get dropped. Delegating and never checking back that this got done is not ok.
    • Our process involves a week-long period where 1) they have met their attendance requirement and 2) after a week of “voting” THEN we process their application. We do NOT process the application until money is in our hands (this saves you a lot of time in the long run). So, this week-long process of nothing happening occaisonally leads us to dropping the ball if the new member doesn’t show back up to finish out the process (the 4th visit). You need to periodically check on the membership application papers to make sure balls haven’t been dropped. The buck stops with you, and this is how new members are introduced to blabs, so it’s important to not screw this up (at least not too badly).
  • Handle members ending their memberships - after 3 months of no dues and the final “your membership has ended” emails go out, process them out.
    • They should be automatically removed from the members mailing list - they can stay on the others
    • RFID access disabled - delegate to the current RFID wrangler finish out their outstanding dues invoices
    • Stop any invoice recurrence’s running for them
    • Remove them from the google spreadsheet for the current year (move to bottom of list)
    • Update the hardcopy paperwork a few times per year, your call on this (removing them from active members manila envelope)
  • Make sure regular stuff is getting done - trash being taken out, junk accumulation is not out of control, workshop cleanups, etc. Not necessarily your job to do these things, delegate as needed. But make sure it’s getting done one way or another.

Periodically through the year

  • Keeping the membership applications in order
    • Periodically sort them and update the paperwork for members who left (put exit dates on applications)
    • Your inbox will become an archive for data needed to do this...
    • Make sure signed waivers are on file for every member
    • Make sure emergency contact info is up to date, purge old member info from this
  • Keep a watch for any paperwork we may need to file with the IRS, state, city, and county
    • Treasurer does most of this, but the more eyes on this the better
    • Look for ways you can help the Treasurer or make their job easier
  • Organizing the yearly meeting
  • The Annual Report (presented at the yearly meeting)

Irregular issues

Periodically irregular issues come up out of the blue that must be dealt with. When this happens, handle them. The buck stops with you if no one else is getting involved. Get help and delegate as necessary, but don’t ignore. Also it’s your job to determine if something is a real issue or not. The other side of this coin is that not everything is your job, and you are not here to make everyone happy. Members occaisonally want you to do things for them, you have to decide if it’s really your job or not. Also remember, when someone suggests something extra for you to do, you are free to remind them that they are free to do it themselves (we are a do-ocracy - assuming it’s not something that only you or the board can do like handling money or banking type things).

Processes to Know

Members will need your assistance throughout the year. It's your job to know how to help folks with their questions. Ultimately someone else on the board will probably have the answer if you don't, but the more you can do yourself the easier the load is for all of the officers :-).

  • How to setup new members with a RFID tag
  • How to replace a lost RFID tag
  • Who is the general care taker of various tools in the space (laser cutter, arts & crafts, welding area, wood shop, ham radio desk, etc)
  • Where the first aid kit is; where fire extinguishers are located
  • Sales tax exempt purchases
    • Be familiar with this process (the green binder)
    • Setup a new business for Bloominglabs just to get the hang of it - there are plenty of places we’re not registered with yet
    • People will ask you questions about this, be prepared to handle the process
  • Donation receipts
    • The clip board next to the door - follow the directions on the clip board
    • Write a test-receipt if you are unfamiliar with the process
    • People will ask you questions about this, be prepared to handle the process
  • Coordinate a push for asset tag updates, at least once a year, ideally 2-3 times per year
    • Delegate and/or get assistance, this is a fair bit of work
    • If we should have a major theft, fire, or other problem we will be glad we had this

Meeting Conduct

We have always strived to keep our meetings as short and to the point as possible. Whether they are member meetings or the annual "yearly meeting", we try hard to not waste anyone's time. The point of our organization is Making things after all, so time spent not working on activities is time wasted :-).

Helpful Notes

  • Post an adgenda and meeting times as far ahead of time as is reasonable
  • Starting late is ok, running long is strongly frowned upon.
  • Member meetings are most attended when they start 30-60 minutes before our public hours
  • Someone (usually the President) must keep conversation on-topic. Watch the clock, if you are running out of time pick up the pace of the meeting.
  • Free doughnuts help attract attendees
  • Be kind but stern

Member Meetings

We call member meetings only as often as is needed, but it is generally good to have a minimum of one per quarter(ish). Members and officers alike can call a members meeting, but generally if has been left up to the officers to call all member meetings in the past. Meetings are called to communicate buiness level changes, financial issues, or get input affecting all of the members (including how to spend funds in the savings account). Whenever we do have a members meeting, it is usually good to present a treasurers report in addition to any other business to discuss. Since our member meetings are infrequent, providing a financial report at every opporotunity is good. Any issues that require voting should occur during a members meeting of course. Our Bylaws cover our rules for calling meetings, establishing quorum, and voting.

Board Meetings

It is completely up to the board to decide where and when to meet. Anyone is welcome to attend.

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