Board of Directors
A question that is often asked by our community is about the need for a board of directors, and what purpose they serve for the community. Here you may learn about the need for a board, what functions they serve for Minnesota Furs, and meet the current Board of Directors.
The Need For A Board
For many years Minnesota Furs functioned just fine without a board. Picnics were held, meets happened, and everyone was happy. So why would we change from that?
The simple answer, is that Minnesota Furs grew simply too big to continue on like it had in the past. This became apparent during the running of our first major hotel event in 2010, known as Snowpocalypse. While the event was a success, it brought to light several concerns about the future of such large scale events. How would the money and donations be managed, which had burgeoned to significant levels? Who would be the ‘responsible party’ managing it? What if we went through with plans to run a full convention, how could that be managed as we were? The answer was determined to all the above questions to form a not-for-profit organization.
Becoming a not-for-profit organization means that the money donated and earned by the group, instead of going to investors, profit shared to employees, or being divided out amongst individuals is instead invested back into the group. This money can be put into its own bank account, and not stuffed under someone’s mattress. It means that a group of people must manage the not-for-profit in some form, known as the Board of Directors for the organization. This is dictated both by federal law and state law. Federal law requires at least one person on the board, with three duties that must be fulfilled. These are President, Treasurer, and Secretary. In Minnesota the law is expanded, requiring three people, with each one serving as one of those unique roles.
Throughout 2010 and 2011 several well-known individuals in the group worked hard to prepare for several of these things at once. Through their efforts, in October of 2012 Minnesota Furs incorporated as a not-for-profit, which grew with the intent to become a full 501(c)3 charitable not-for-profit organization.
Minnesota Furs: The Non-Profit Organization
After three years of hard work and waiting, Minnesota Furs finally obtained the status it had been aiming for. Minnesota Furs became a full 501(c)3 non-profit organization in April of 2015. This has allowed Minnesota Furs to grow in new and exciting ways, from the launch of a scholarship program, to new partnerships with like-minded organizations, and expanded possibilities for volunteering, meets, and community building.
The board of directors and staff of Minnesota Furs is dedicated to providing a safe, enjoyable community for furs with opportunities for volunteering, education, and growing not just as a group, but each of its members individually, and to reach out to the broader world and show just what kind of awesome people furs can be.
What The Board Does
The board exists for a few reasons and performs some key tasks for Minnesota Furs. One of the most important duties from the standpoint of the community is that the board works to keep the social aspect of the group on track. They take care of talking to facilities such as Perkins or other venues; maintain the various social media and the website used by the group; help schedule events; and so forth. Additionally, they transparently manage the assets of the group, both the fiscal assets (donations, paying for space rentals, etc) and physical (the banners, fliers, etc). More information about how this transparency and the management of resources is done can be found under the Operational Documents page.
Basically, what the board does is take care of all the boring, time consuming, and headache inducing tasks of managing a group so that you in the community can focus on having fun. Whether that’s fursuiting at Como Zoo, attending a bi-weekly meetup, going to a holiday party, or having a blast at Furry Migration, the board is there to enable you to do that.
Most importantly, the board is there to serve you in the community. The board members can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The board wants to hear from you, whether its ideas, comments, or criticisms. The only way the board knows it’s doing the right job is through feedback from you!
Duties of the Board/Roles of Directors
There are many duties that board members are required to fill. Additionally, certain positions have extra requirements. For the majority of board members, and board members whom are not fulfilling a specific role jointly as an officer, these duties are simple: Assist in the planning and execution of major MNFurs events, act as liaisons between MNFurs volunteers and the community, help raise funds for MNFurs events, act as points of contact for outside organizations and representatives with like-minded groups, and essentially take the role of the ‘responsible adult’ at MNFurs events, keeping the group accountable. There are also three specific positions that have special requirements. This is by law of the state of Minnesota. These positions are the President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Under MNFur’s bylaws, the President must be from among the elected board members; however the Treasurer and Secretary may be appointed to individuals at the discretion of the board. Specific duties for these positions are outlined below.
- President: Acts as liaison with larger communities, primarily focused with membership contact and support, leads the board of directors.
- Treasurer: Acts as the accountant of the organization, managing intake and expenditures for the group, tax submissions, and keeping the organization fiscally sound.
- Secretary: Acts as the legal representative of the organization. Their signature is required on all authorizing documents and agreements, they maintain the filings with the federal, state, and local governments, and handle legal matters along with more traditional secretarial duties.
Meet The Board
The board currently consists of six individuals, with five elected directors and one appointed officer.
- Kurst – Convention Chair