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Atlanta OutWorlders Business Meeting

March 17, 2002

Members Present: Mike Allgood, Scott Johnston, Alan Siler, Ed deGruy, Jeff Smith, Kris Harter, Maylon Walker, Ken Gunter.

Meeting started at 2:15pm.

Coordinator Reports:

Treasury—Jeff Smith

  • $665 dollars in Treasury.

Events—Mike Allgood

  • There will be a Spring BBQ/Picnic at Stone Mountain Park on April 28th. Mike will call to find out prices of pavilions.
  • There will be a Britcom night in April, tentative date is the 20th.
  • Two events coming up at Eyedrum. Buffyverse on March 29th, and Local Artist Horror Films on April 3rd.

RPG—Ed deGruy

  • Ed is working on setting up a D&D group. Scott Tatum will most likely me the GM.
  • The LARP will have it’s pre-Fantasm party on the 22nd. Props will be auctioned afterwards to benefit the Outworlders and the Spruill Gallery.
  • Another Solar group has expressed interest in playing with us, when we get our group going.
  • The 2nd issue of the Gaming Times should be out soon.

Pride—Mark Gravitt

  • Alan will talk with Stephen Pagel about the possibility of selling books at the booth again.
  • There will be a raffle.
  • It was suggested that we have our own merchandise to sell.
  • Mike said that he can get t-shirts fairly cheap, we would just need a cheap screen-printer.
  • Ed Tharpe is working on a redesign of the brochure for Pride.

Website—Mike Allgood

  • Software is still frelled.
  • Will be a major update in the near future.

Dragon*Con—Kris Harter

  • Mike Allgood will be the party coordinator for Dragon*Con.
  • Kris will still be in charge of the fan table.
  • Alan and Kris will attempt to contact the folks at SFS, to discuss running a track there.

New Business

  • There were two proposals from last month that were ignored, and therefore died due to lack of recognition.
  • Three new proposals have been proposed for vote at the next meeting.

    Proposal to set dues—Mike Allgoodn

    Per Section 4 of the OutWorlders Bylaws:

    A Proposition

    It is proposed that we (The OutWorlders) adopt a set dues for the remainder of the calendar year of 2002 to satisfy the requirements set forth in section 3 of our Bylaws (Ratified 6/19/2001).

    As part of this proposal, Dues will be set at $12 per person for the calendar year of January 1 2002 - December 31 2002.

    After dues are enacted for the calendar year of 2002, members will have till the following business meeting to pay dues to the treasurer and be listed as a member in good standing to vote.

    Dues for the calendar year of 2003 must be set in the November 2002 business meeting to keep the organization from being in violation of its Bylaws.

    March 17 is the next business meeting where this proposal shall be introduced.

    Proposal to dispose of Bylaws—Ed Degruy

    Proposal that the By-laws for the Outworlders Group be abolished.

    Rationale: The Outworlders were started as a social organization. And while I feel growth in this group is good, I feel it does not need to be structured as a formal legal entity. I feel that personal awareness of responsibility for events and fundraisers per event should be sufficient for any activities that we may wish to have. And that while our intentions are to promote GBLT in Sci-fi/Fantasy locally in Atlanta, I feel we do excellently with the events and methods we already employ. I do not feel that the majority of the current membership wish to expand to any larger role.

    If the By-laws are abolished, I believe that those truly interested in making events happen will and the “group,” the Outworlders, will continue to prosper.

    Proposal to edit Bylaws—Mark Shewmaker (via email)

    I would like to propose the following changes to the bylaws:
    -Mark Shewmaker ([Redacted])

    Replacing section 2:

    | 2. Membership - Membership is divided into two classes, 
    | general membership, and voting membership. Unless otherwise specified 
    | in this document, “member” and “membership” refer to a “general member” 
    | and “general membership”. 
    | General membership: A general member is defined as any person for whom 
    | any of the following has been true during the last 12 months: 
    |     a. The person has been subscribed to any of the 
    |        Outworlder-sponsored mailing lists. 
    |     b. The person hosted any Outworlder event. 
    |     c. The person attended any Outworlder event is if he were a member. 
    |     d. The person attended any Outworlder business meeting as if he were 
    |        a member, whether in person, by absentee ballot, or by proxy. 
    |     e. The person is paid up on dues. 
    | Voting membership: Voting membership is a subset of general membership. 
    | A voting member is defined as a general member for whom any of the 
    | following is true: 
    |     a. The member has been fully paid up on current dues at all times 
    |        during the past 6 months. Grace periods of up to 1 month each 
    |        are allowed within this 6 month period when bounded at the 
    |        beginning by a member having been paid up by the current level 
    |        of dues and either an increase in dues has occurred, or the 
    |        specific member’s dues are up for renewal, and bounded at the 
    |        end by the members being paid up. 
    |     b. The person has been subscribed to any of the 
    |        Outworlder-sponsored mailing lists continually for the past year. 
    |        (grace periods due to technical problems allowed.) 
    |     c. The person has hosted any two Outworlder events during the period 
    |        between 3 and 15 months previous. 
    |     d. The person attended any 3 Outworlder events is if he were a member 
    |        during the period between 3 and 15 months previous. 
    |     e. The person attended any 3 Outworlder business meetings as if he were 
    |        a member, whether in person, by absentee ballot, or by proxy, during 
    |        the past year.

    Adding a section 3(d) after section 3(c), and renaming current 3(d) and following downward appropriately:

    |     d. During any meeting at which votes are cast, a motion may be made,
    |        seconded, and voted upon by the voting membership to restrict
    |        voting for any or all ballot items at that meeting to the voting
    |        membership as opposed to the voting being restricted to merely
    |        the general membership.  The requirements of sections 3(a) and
    |        3(b) do not apply for the motion-to-restrict, and its second and
    |        its vote.
    |        A successful vote-to-restrict will result in all references to
    |        membership in the bylaw voting requirements to to refer to voting
    |        membership instead of general membership, for the purpose of the
    |        voting procedure for the covered votes.
    |        Because the restrictions of sections 3(a) and 3(b) are not valid
    |        for votes-to-restrict, voting members may cast absentee or proxy
    |        ballots for votes-to-restrict wich may or may not occur at any
    |        meeting.  Such votes will be moot when no such votes-to-restrict
    |        occur
    • All of these proposals will be voted on at the next meeting.

    Options for organizing—Blake Sorenson (via email)

    The easiest way to set up a 501(c)(3) non-profit is to have an educational purpose. This is the only organization that can accept tax-deductible donations.

    From the IRS: The exempt purposes set forth in § 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.

    I think our best bet in this case would be to go for an educational/literary type of purpose.

    There is a 501(c)(7) status for hobby clubs. These clubs cannot receive tax-deductible donations, but are exempt from paying federal income tax.

    I don’t know what the filing fee is for section 7, but section 3 (tax-deductible) organizations require a $500 fee, plus the annual business renewal, which is $15 in Georgia, I believe. I imagine the filing fee for a section 7 would be similar, since all of the 501 tax-exempt organizations use the same determinational forms for the filing fee, but I can’t be sure without running it by an accountant.

    OTOH, we can file, for about $50, as a not-for-profit business, which means a lot fewer forms to file, the same annual fee, and we would basically be responsible for sales tax.

    This is how I understand the options - if the group is serious about forming a corporation to run a trade show, it’s worth paying an accountant $150 to come in and present the options from a real legal perspective.

    Suggestion from Kirk—(via email)

    • Kirk wanted the following paragraph, adapted from the Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts group, to be considered for use with the Outworlders.

    The ALE group is loosely organized, with a few people acting as contact points and no charter to bog things down. Anyone is welcome to come to the meetings; there is no membership, fees or any other formalities. To become a member, just show up. Our primary interest is in getting information about Linux to members of the Atlanta community.

    And again, modified to fit our group:

    The Atlanta Outworlder group is loosely organized, with a few people acting as contact points and no charter to bog things down. Anyone is welcome to come to the meetings; there is no membership, fees or any other formalities. To become a member, just show up. Our primary interest is in sharing information about sci fi / fantasy / horror genres with members of the Atlanta g/l/b/t community.

    • Kirk also wanted other options, besides dues, for how to define a member.
    • No options were presented other than dues.

    Suggestion from Alan

    • Alan suggested hosting a one day convention.
    • This would include panels, guests, and possibly a band.
    • Local dealers could be obtained to staff a dealers room.
    • Mike pointed out that a one day con takes as much prep work as a full sized con.
    • We would need to assess what exactly we would need to do this.
    • It was pointed out that it would be easier to do if we were set up to accept tax deductible donations.

    Charities—Scott Johnston

    • It was suggested at the last meeting to begin choosing a charity to donate some of our earnings to.
    • Scott looked up a few possibilities and will post a poll to see what the membership feels would be a good charity to donate to.
    • The four that were suggested were Project Open Hand, AID Atlanta, PFLAG Atlanta, and CHRIS Rainbow Home.

    Meeting adjourned at 3:30pm. Next meeting will be on April 21st, 2002.