Discover Life in America
December 21, 2000
The Winter Board Meeting of Discover Life in America was called to
order by Chairman Frank Harris at 8:30am in the Highlander Room of the
Glenstone Lodge, Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Present were: Charles Maynard,
Mary Johnson Williams, Meryl G. Rose, Phil Francis, Becky Nichols,
Elizabeth Skillen, Chuck Parker, John Morse, George Ivey, Luciana Musett,
Norman Johnson, Peter White, Keith Langdon, Karen Ballentine, Frank
Harris, Larry Hartmann, Michael Sharkey, John Pickering, and Jeanie
Hilten. (9 Board Members present. Not a quorum.)
Jeanie will re-send the May, 2000 minutes to Board Members.
Charles will send the final annual Treasurer's report after the first
of the year.
A note or form for ways to support the ATBI (including donations to
DLIA) will be included in the winter issue of the ATBI quarterly and an
insert will be printed for optional use with the brochure.
The hiring of a professional fundraiser to work in coordination with
Friends of the Smokies in raising more monies for ATBI/DLIA efforts has
Fundraising committee to work with George Ivey and Jeanie: Mary
Johnson Williams and Peter White. Also, John Pickering and John Morse
will help Charles Maynard with the job description and recruiting of the
Jeanie will pursue obtaining a state tax exemption, once the federal
IRS tax exempt letter is received.
Place the DLIA mission statement prominently on the home page,
newsletter, brochure, stationery, etc.
Charles Maynard, Jeanie Hilten and others will meet January 11, 2001
at 10am to put together the 2001 budget specifics.
All Board Members will contribute names to Mike Sharkey to be placed in
nomination (both new and re-nominations) and these names will be presented
by the nominating committee and voted on at the May Board meeting.
The Spring Board Meeting is set for Friday, May 18, 2001 at 12:00pm at
Jeanie will check with Glenstone Lodge about possible dates for the
ATBI 2001 Annual Conference.
Charles Maynard, Treasurer reported that $169,936 was received by DLIA
through the Friends of the Smokies. This includes funds from Friends, the
Natural History Association, and the National Park Service. Over $84,000
came from NHA. Friends is matching the funds contributed by the National
Park Service for the Vertebrate Study.
Jeanie Hilten reported that the IRS non-profit tax exempt status is in
the works and DLIA will have the records and tax exempt number in a couple
of months. Charles mentioned that this is needed for fundraising and we
should also get state tax exemption. Jeanie will pursue.
Discussion was generated on the subject of a "membership" appeal, an
annual appeal, and fundraising in general. Should there be a fundraising
letter perhaps in the spring, with a cover letter sent out with the
updated brochure? It was agreed that a note can be included with the
winter ATBI quarterly. George Ivey, Jeanie Hilten, and Ruthanne Mitchell
George Ivey answered questions about fundraising methods, including
direct mail, grantsmanship, and other ideas. Peter White and Phil Francis
emphasized the need for a larger, overall strategy of fundraising. Frank
Harris noted the need for capacity building grants.
It was agreed to develop an insert or insertable envelope to use with the
brochure or other mailings. John Pickering expressed concern that the
brochure not automatically be seen as an appeal for money. In addition,
other ways to support DLIA will be mentioned in the insert, including
volunteering. Thank you's for major gifts and contributions will be put
into the newsletter and other printed matter.
Mary Johnson Williams will work to procure grants from Fuji film, King
pharmaceutical, and perhaps Tennessee Eastman.
Peter White raised the question of how to establish the process and
procedures for finding financial support and "courting" the givers. John
Morse and Keith Langdon expressed the need for professional fundraising
help. Phil Francis said that the Park would like to see DLIA invest in
raising more money. There are many pressing needs in the Smokies and more
matching efforts from DLIA is important.
John Morse moved that DLIA hire a full time fundraiser. John Pickering
seconded. Peter White urged full discussion:
Charles noted that with the Friends, their only job is to raise money,
but with DLIA, the organization has a wider effort-to run a project, ATBI.
So there should not be confusion between the duties of a fund raiser and
the running of DLIA.
Phil Francis mentioned that at a recent Partners meeting the matter of
fundraising using the Friends as the primary tool would make for good
coordination of efforts. Should the fundraiser be Friends staff or DLIA
staff? Pros and Cons of each were discussed.
Pick stated that a DLIA staff fundraiser helps with credibility at the
national and wider levels. Pick suggested a better definition of DLIA's
mission, role of the Board, and the need for the Board to be fundraisers
This led to discussion on the duties and make-up of the Board.
Mary Johnson Williams reminded that besides fundraising, another element
of DLIA is to get science into the hands of the world through education
and publicity programs.
Frank Harris stated the idea of a "triad" Board with three prongs of ATBI
and Science, Education and Outreach, and Fundraising.
John Morse said it was important to have a varied Board-involvement of
science, education, and fundraising working together.
Phil mentioned the model of the new Tremont Board, developed after an
assessment of the mission, filling in gaps where needed to accomplish the
Keith Langdon drew upon the fact that DLIA has an unusual project as it's
focus and needs an integrated, varied Board. But there is a definite need
for more fundraising.
John Morse at this point re-stated his motion: To hire a fundraiser to
work in coordination with Friends of the Smokies. Charles added that it
would need the approval of the Friends Board, too. The motion was
seconded and passed.
Jeanie mentioned from the point of view of a DLIA staff person, that
another important role of the Board is to give direction to staff so that
priorities are kept in order and work can be done.
Another fundraising element, planned giving through wills, was brought up
by John Morse. George Ivey said this is in the works for the Friends and
can be applied to DLIA as well. It is done through memberships and might
be included in the list of ways to support in the newsletter:"Please send
information of planned giving". Jeanie Hilten, George Ivey, Mary Johnson
Williams, and Peter White will work on fundraising planning.
John Pickering, John Morse, and Charles Maynard will develop a job
description and recruitment for the fundraiser position.
Budget issues and mini-grant funding were discussed:
Pick said that it would be nice to have more than the $35,000 allocated
for the 2001 mini-grants. Perhaps raise this to $40,000 and allocate
$70,000 for the fundraiser. Phil Francis wanted more discussion on the
budget process with better information.
John Morse needs to know ASAP what is to be allocated in order to proceed
in a timely way with the mini-grant program.
Pick suggested the Board come to meetings better prepared on funding and
Frank proposed that there be a provisional budget for now to work from.
Peter White suggested a budget committee of Charles and Jeanie. They
will meet Jan 11, at 10am to prepare the 2001 budget.
Discussion proceeded on the composition of the Board and on
re-nominations and new nominations. Mike Sharkey reported that these
people are rotating off the Board: Tom Kiernan, Boyd Evison, Charles
Maynard, Susan Reichert, Elizabeth Skillen, and Mary Johnson Williams.
This is a time to ask how the Board is composed and to request
nominations to expand its capabilities.
Peter White expressed the need for varied talents and the importance of
taking advantage of different skills, filling in gaps where needed and
still placing high on the list.
Mike Sharkey suggested members come to the meeting in May with the names
of 2 individuals who could do the job better than they do themselves!
Peter said that there can be 30 members total, so there could be at least
10 new members to vote in at the May meeting.
Discussion proceeded on whether "big name" Board members would be able to
really participate in DLIA matters and stay engaged in what is happening.
It was noted that DLIA is an example to other organizations of how to do
an ATBI. Methods chosen and steps taken to accomplish the work are being
observed and will be followed by others.
Mike Sharkey moved that all Board members send names to him (nominating
committee) for inclusion in the Board. These will be approved by the
nominating committee and presented at the May meeting. Seconded by Frank
Harris. Elizabeth Skillen suggested a good look at the issue of diversity
and the importance of a well balanced Board.
Chuck Parker said that the 3 year terms of new and re-nominated members
should be staggered.
The motion was amended to deal with positions rotating off the Board to
deal with new and re-nominations. Seconded. More discussion about terms.
Jeanie passed the by-laws to Mary and Charles and it was found that
members can be elected for 6 month terms. It was moved, seconded, and
passes that Tom, Charles, Susan, Elizabeth, and Mary continue on the Board
through the upcoming period until the May meeting. There is a need to
translate some of the gobbledygook from the by-laws concerning the Board
selection process. Frank will contact non-participating members of the
Board, tell them thank you, and let them know they have rotated off.
Board member names and terms will be on the web page.
The next Board Meeting is set for Friday, May 18 at 12:00pn at Park
The December 21, 2000 Board meeting adjourned at 12:30pm.
Discover Life in America