February 14th, 2017 IRC Meeting

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Our yearly conference is coming up in 10 weeks. Now would be a time to contact supporters directly and invite them to come, volunteer and donate.

Aaron James, who has fundraising experience, offered to make the calls, but would like to be remunerated. Likely a fixed percentage of the total raised or $15/hr, whichever is higher.


Campaign Workshops

Starting Local Chapters

Fundraising & Conference

Message board application

Local Surveillance Ordinances


MAAPL Fight Foreclosure Campaign

Projects On Hold For the Moment

Both of these could be topics for future hackathons.

CCTV Camera Map

Together Boston Meshnet

Upcoming Events

  1. 2/18, 2-4pm, Democracy/IT meeting, Arlington
  2. 2/22, 6-9pm, Somerville Cryptoparty

See: 2017 calendar


  • jokeefe (James O’Keefe, Somerville)
  • srevilak (Steve Revilak, Arlington, MA)
  • ovenbirdmash (Chris Foran; Roxbury)
  • Aaron (Aaron James, Somerville)
  • puer (puer, Somerville)


  • davidd
  • igel
  • sankey
  • Techrev


Calls for conference, fundraising. Aaron has fundraising experience and is willing to make calls, but would like renumeration for doing so. We discuss our typical burn rate, expenses, and the cost of running campaigns.

We agreed to hire Aaron, but have to work out a couple of the particulars.


21:04 < jokeefe> I updated the 2017 piratecon forms
21:04 < srevilak> hi Aaron
21:05 < jokeefe> speakers, registration and sign up for running for
21:05 < jokeefe> will send out links so people can review them
21:05 < srevilak> sounds good
21:05 < jokeefe> ahoy Aaron
21:05 < Aaron> hello everyone!
21:07 < jokeefe> The only issue I have is with
21:07 < jokeefe> submissions are closed
21:08 < jokeefe> looking for the option to turn it out
21:08 < jokeefe> all are cloned off of the 2016 versions
21:08 < srevilak> That should be a webform configuration property
21:10 < jokeefe> thanks
21:10 < jokeefe> site seems slow
21:10 < jokeefe> Agenda:
21:11 < srevilak> jokeefe: yes.  Oddly, load on our vm is unusually low
        right now
21:11 < jokeefe> ok
21:11 < jokeefe> ahoy ovenbirdmash
21:11 < ovenbirdmash> yo
21:14 < jokeefe> ids
21:14 < jokeefe> James O’Keefe, Somerville
21:15 < srevilak> Steve Revilak, Arlington, MA
21:15 < puer> puer, Somerville
21:16 < Aaron> Aaron James, Somerville
21:16 < ovenbirdmash> Chris Foran; Roxbury
21:16 < jokeefe> ahoy puer
21:16 < srevilak> jokeefe: find webform > form settings > Status of
        this form
21:16 < jokeefe> Agenda:
21:17 < jokeefe> thanks, srevilak
21:17 < jokeefe> anything to add?
21:17 < puer> Aaron when are you planning on making the calls?
21:17 < puer> I was wondering if i could sit in on some of them
21:18 < puer> (no fundraising experience, would like to learn / help
        out if possible)
21:18 < Aaron> Im ready to start whenever
21:18 < Aaron> figured we would talk about that tonight
21:19 < Aaron> def ok with you sitting in though
21:20 < jokeefe> ok. Anything to review?
21:21 < puer> (anything review re: fundraising, or across all topics
        in general?)
21:22 < jokeefe> reviewing past events
21:23 < jokeefe> Moving on to Decisions/Endorsements
21:23 < jokeefe> Our yearly conference is coming up in 10 weeks. Now
        would be a time to contact supporters directly and invite them to come,
        volunteer and donate.
21:23 < jokeefe> Aaron James, who has fundraising experience, offered
        to make the calls, but would like to be remunerated. Likely a fixed
        percentage of the total raised or $15/hr, whichever is higher.
21:25 < puer> have any percentages been proposed yet?
21:26 < jokeefe> Haven’t decided.
21:26 < Aaron> I am thinking 10% to start out.
21:26 < Aaron> It is diffuclt to say, hard to tell how the calls will go
21:27 < puer> what are our fundraising targets?
21:27 < puer> (how much do we need?)
21:28 < Aaron> I want the party to benefit, I am a pirate and this is
        about growing the party to be able have as much as we can in the coffers
        come 2018.
21:28 < srevilak> typically, we have 300/year in hosting, domain reg,
        and related costs
21:28 < srevilak> and generally another 600/year in event fees
21:28 < srevilak> Typical burn rate over the course of a year is ~ 1.3k
21:29 < puer> i see, so this isn't just to recoup the costs of the
        conference. it's to obtain an influx of funding which will support the
        next year of activity
21:29 < srevilak> correct
21:29 < srevilak> If you'd like to look at nuts and bolts
21:29 < srevilak> http://www.ocpf.us/Filers?q=80863&cat=C
21:29 < srevilak> these are our state financial disclosures
21:29 < srevilak> Perhaps the one place where massachusetts has a lot
        of transparency: political spending
21:30 < puer> this is super cool! wow
21:30 < jokeefe> Having a budget of $5000 would help
21:31 < puer> that's ~5x more than the typical annual burn rate - any
        particular reason why?
21:31 < Aaron> 2018!
21:32 < jokeefe> so we have more options
21:32 < srevilak> Yes, would be nice to donate to our candidate
        committees, or to do mailings
21:32 < srevilak> For contrast, take a look at Marty Walsh's finances
21:33 < srevilak>
21:33 < Aaron> We are where we are, the more money the party has the more
        campaigns we can support. 18 state rep campaigns in 2018 maybe a stretch,
        but can we hit 20 by 2020?
21:33 < Aaron> Advertising, paper ads, rallies, events, the more cash
        on the hand the more we can do as a party.
21:35 < puer> how many state rep campaigns occurred in 2016? i was only
        aware of your bid for Rep in General Court, Aaron
21:35 < jokeefe> ~$1500 to $2000
21:36 < jokeefe> per campaign
21:36 < Aaron> I was it, two in 2014
21:36 < jokeefe> one in 2016
21:36 < puer> haha. i see. so we really want to ramp it up then!
21:36 < puer> exciting
21:36 < srevilak> puer: yes, that's the goal
21:37 < puer> can you share some examples of potential donors?
21:37 < puer> or is that something off the record
21:37 < jokeefe> Supporters
21:38 < jokeefe> You can check our reports for people who gave more
        than $200
21:38 < jokeefe> I mean $50
21:38 < puer> gotcha. so it's individuals who have given in the past,
        and not institutions
21:38 < jokeefe> yes
21:38 < jokeefe> we haven’t taken money from state registered PACs
21:39 < jokeefe> srevilak, do you think we can make this investment?
21:39 < srevilak> I think so
21:39 < jokeefe> also, what paper work is involved?
21:40 < jokeefe> 1099?
21:41 < srevilak> I suspect we can treat Aaron as a consultant, as long
        as this is fixed-term work
21:41 < srevilak> (e.g. like someone who might do a website UI, or
        graphic design)
21:41 < jokeefe> ok
21:42 < srevilak> If that's amenable to everyone
21:42 < jokeefe> Aaron, would you be comfortable with that?
21:43 < Aaron> what, doing it as a 1099? Yes
21:45 < srevilak> To be safe, I can contact IRS, and see what the
        options are
21:45 < jokeefe> good idea
21:46 < srevilak> My line of thinking -- if we had to (say) hire a lawyer
        to review a contract, we'd pay the lawyer, but we wouldn't have to file
        a 1099
21:46 < jokeefe> right, but they would be incorporated
21:47 < Aaron> Ill be at the statehouse tomorrow, thinking if there is an
        office there that could answer some questions? The elections office maybe?
21:47 < srevilak> Aaron: OCPF (office of campaign and political finance)
        would likely be the best bet
21:47 < srevilak> I'll still get in touch with IRS
21:48 < jokeefe> both is better
21:48 < srevilak> either way, we should be able to find a way to make
        it work
21:48 < Aaron> Guess we are still unsure how long term this will be,
        right?	The goal is to keep it going, create a steady and fluid cash
        flow for the party.  But, who knows how it will go?
21:48 < Aaron> Ok and  i will stop by the office.
21:48 < srevilak> thanks, Aaron
21:50 < jokeefe> one of the things we need, srevilak, is a page we can
        send people to to add their phone numbers
21:50 < srevilak> shouldn't be hard to do
21:51 < puer> people meaning sponsors?
21:51 < srevilak> puer: yes
21:52 < puer> i thought we used CiviCRM?
21:53 < puer> to keep track of this stuff
21:53 < srevilak> puer: yes, we do
21:53 < puer> oh you mean a page which integrates with CiviCRM
21:53 < puer> ok durr my bad
21:53 < srevilak> basically.  To cover the case where we have an email
        address, but not a phone number
21:54 < jokeefe> could we add it to the list on Saturday?
21:55 < srevilak> sure.  Should just be a matter of creating an
        appropriate civi profile (if we don't have one already), and wiring it
        in to `existing contact'
21:57 < jokeefe> So Aaron, to be clear, what terms are you asking?
21:57 < srevilak> There are a couple of nuts and bolts details we could
        work out on Sat
21:57 < jokeefe> agreed
21:57 < Aaron> Is there a meeting planned for sat?
21:58 < jokeefe> a tech meeting
21:59 < jokeefe> so srevilak, as treasurer, would you prefer to work
        out the details and decide at next week’s meeting?
22:00 < srevilak> I think we can decide he basic premise tonight, and
        work out the contingencies (e.g. to 1099 or not 1099) during the week
22:01 < Aaron> ok, as for terms, I hope we can be a little flexible, for
        both the party and my sake. I dont want it to cost the party anything,
        thinking we start at $11/hr or 10 percent the first couple of weeks,
        see how it goes
22:02 < srevilak> The big question is whether we're okay with hiring
        Aaron to do fundraising.  The contingency is, if we go forward, what
        are the mechanics of paying him
22:02 < jokeefe> I would prefer $15/hr or 10% whichever is� greater
22:02 < jokeefe> It should pay for itself, and we have a conference
        coming up that we want to turn people out to
22:03 < srevilak> I agree with jokeefe on the rates
22:03 < srevilak> we're at time
22:03 < jokeefe> I am willing to try it for a month and reevaluate
22:03 < Aaron> that works for me
22:03 < jokeefe> opinions?
22:04 < jokeefe> thanks, srevilak, want to see if we can come to
        a decision
22:04 < puer> im ok with it
22:04 < puer> actually quick question
22:04 < jokeefe> sure
22:05 < puer> let's say nobody bites, and we dont raise any money. will
        we be able to afford the compensation with what we have in reserve?
22:05 < puer> this is just worst case scenario
22:05 < jokeefe> good point
22:05 < jokeefe> srevilak?
22:06 < Aaron> good question.
22:06 < srevilak> puer: we have $1500 in the bank
22:06 < srevilak> We could (say) agree to a check-in every N hours
22:07 < srevilak> just to gauge how things are going
22:07 < puer> yeah that's good
22:07 < srevilak> Aaron: would that be okay with you?
22:07 < puer> and also it might be good to get an estimate, Aaron of
        how many hours you think you might spend next month
22:08 < Aaron>	Idea- The 15% should only be promised to me once I hit
        $1000 for the week, under a thousand and I get 10%.
22:09 < Aaron> I am ok with check ins, if I am working for the party,
        I would think I would text or let someone know when I am starting,
        at which point i am working for the party and should be expected to
        respond to party officers.
22:09 < Aaron> I plan to put in a full 40 the first week and see how
        it goes.
22:09 < jokeefe> I think these ideas are good and should go into any
        final agreement
22:11 < Aaron> is the tech meeting online sat? is it something i join,
        call in to, or whatever?
22:11 < srevilak> Aaron: It's at my house
22:11 < jokeefe> it is during the MAAPL clinic we talked about
22:11 < jokeefe> any objections to hiring Aaron to make fundraising calls?
22:11 < Aaron> Oh, ok.
22:12 < srevilak> no objections here
22:13 < puer> fyi if aaron puts in 40 hrs a week every week, assuming
10 weeks leading up to the conference
22:13 < jokeefe> hopefully it won’t take 400 hours to call everyone
22:14 < puer> then the switch would be $6000
22:14 < puer> for hourly vs percentage
22:15 < puer> anyway just throwing that out there
22:15 < puer> wait nevermind i did the math wrong
22:15 < jokeefe> agreed, would think we would exhaust our list well
        before then
22:16 < jokeefe> or have raised way more money than we expected :-)
22:16 < puer> in any case i am in favor of Aaron the fundraiser
22:16 < Aaron> been thinking about that, we need to expand our lists,
        not easy, I know.
22:16 < jokeefe> not hearing any objections, lets move forward with it
22:16 < jokeefe> there are things we can do Aaron.
22:17 < jokeefe> lets have at least a weekly check in and make the final
        terms known
22:17 < jokeefe> as srevilak stated.  we are at time
22:17 < Aaron> There are, for sure... sounds good.
22:17 < Aaron> Thank you.
22:17 < jokeefe> any objections to adjourning?
22:18 < puer> none - i'll discuss reddit stuff at the tech meeting
22:18 < puer> srevilak i'll actually send you an email before that
22:18 < srevilak> puer: ok
22:19 < srevilak> no objection to adjourning
22:19 < puer> no objection
22:19 < puer> (2nd that)
22:19 < jokeefe> thanks, puer
22:19 < Aaron> none, thanks again.
22:19 < jokeefe> thanks all
22:19 < jokeefe> have a wonderful evening
22:19 < puer> thanks all
22:20 < jokeefe> srevilak, do you have the notes?
22:20 < srevilak> will post notes