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Libertarian National Committee March 11, 2023 Meeting Liveblog

We will probably run about an hour behind, but you can watch them on the Libertarian Party channel on Youtube.  I have started listening.

Caryn Ann Harlos is trying to raise donations for the LP of New Mexico.

Public Comment: Harlos urges people to donate to the LPNM to cover the banquet they are giving for the LNC. Martin Cowan: Notes many people have weak mental issues.  Wants everyone to leave on Monday while being happy. Nekhaila notes two banks went under yesterday and urges a search for political advantages. Harlos notes that the Land Commissioner pushing a land taking in San Antonio ran on a platform of opposing it.

Attendance is being taken. Banner, Eiler, Gabbard absent.  Region 5 is unrepresented.

Advance to Agenda.  Ballot Access Committee just met for the first time. Audit Committee has not yet met.  Discussion as to when the EPCC should meet.  Chair passed gavel to oppose motion. EPCC wants to report earlier because there may be questions for staff.  There is a New York request for an issue to be discussed in confidence in executive session.  Agenda is approved.

Presidential report:  Thanked everyone who did work.  Need to appoint committee members who can actually show up and do work.  If you cannot show up regularly, please step back and let someone else do the work.  Chair starts talking about the antiwar rally that she helped organize.  Wants to do another bitcoin fundraiser.  Proposes to attack the campaigns of supporters of American foreign aid to Ukraine. Says we will not run our candidates in their primaries. Wants to support the anti war movement.  Goes on at length about saying that ‘we have no room for negativity’.

Pat Ford speaks in favor of the success of the Rage Against the War event.  Chair: First success was becoming leader of the anti war movement.  Second success was agreements to work with other third parties on ballot access.  Secretary urges that the chair should create a chair’s advisory committee to create ideas for the national party and state parties. Concern expressed that we become an issues group rather than a political party that runs candidates.  Harlos notes that the purpose of the party is not solely to run candidates.  She repeats the bylaws section.

Vice Chair report: Thanked LNC for his election.  Today is his birthday. He got a present.

Treasurer’s report.  We had an 85,000 and a 75,000 month..very low revenue.  Staff cut expenses enough that we stayed positive.  We are at three times required financial reserves.  Talks about new budget plan which actually has planned spending month by month, permitting finer control of spending.  Some loss of revenue was due to the migration from Raiser’s Edge.  Monthly budget does not alter the annual budget ratified by the LNC, but provides guidance.

Secretarial report:  Amended convention record…a delegate was omitted.  Corrected.  Minutes of both February meetings were approved.

Staff reports: Several people introduced. Executive Director asks to hold questions for structured moments. ‘We have lots of energy, but we need focus’.   She is telling people what she is going to tell us.  Departments set up by precious executive director were eliminated.  Executive Director reordered the staff into two teams: Growth and Operations, and Political Impact. G&O seeks to increase revenue and membership.  The two groups support each other.  Raising money: One effort is monthly subscriptions (monthly donations).  Trying to bring in $700,000.  Other effort is memberships, to bring in $400 000.

Executive Director “…take organization to the next level … prioritization… how we do better… break down budget into bite size pieces that can be understood.”  We have memberships, and we have revenue and donations, as sources of money.  There are oath-signing members, dues-paying members, and life members.  Web page now offers ‘monthly donations’ as the default, with annual memberships and life memberships as alternatives.  Claims that we are actually close to the fundraising objectives.

[Scribe’s note: Different people have different speaking styles.  The Executive Director puts large numbers of words into each answer. Thus, in discussing people who join for a year, she gave a long paragraph on why she thinks that they paid.   She keeps saying that we are going to understand one thing or another, but we have not yet heard what understandings have been obtained.  LNC member asked if end-of-February donations were credited in March. Answer.  ‘The great advantage of writing things down….’ Goes on for several paragraphs, before she answers the question.  The answer was yes.]

There is a long discussion as to when people are charged for monthly donations.  Harlos notes that income is down and asks what the plans are for recovery.  The Raiser’s Edge transfer to CIVICRM caused some of it, but Harlos says that that explanation is wearing thin.  Executive Director:  In making the transfer, we lost the ability to charge some credit cards.  We are working to recover from this issue.  Harlos emphasizes that the loss was not people calling the national party to cancel their memberships, it was a consequence of the transfer from Raiser’s Edge.  (In fact, see membership report presented with this meeting, the drop in membership the past few months has been modest.)

Raiser’s Edge transfer is still under way; details are being cleaned up.

General Fundraising: Wants to make some merchandise income-yielding items.  Ballot access is at 2% of goal.  Candidate support is doing better.  As we get more concrete, we are more successful in getting donations.  ‘When we invested in the Rage Against the War event…the event raised $111,000′  That money does not show in our budget. Spending and revenue for the event went through that 501c4, not through us.’  Q: Did the Raiser’s Edge migration affect General Fundraising?  The answer seemed to be that civicrm as to be polished in order to answered the question.

Q: Ford asks if the Rage event gets us name lists, donations to us,…  Chair: The event generated 4500 names that we can use. Ford: When will we contact these people?  Chair: Up to staff.

Harlos: Perhaps completely eliminating direct mail entirely may have been inadvisable.  Some big-donors will not respond to email.

Exec Director: Need to raise for concrete projects.  Trying to find what they are.

Treasurer: Last year in Q1 to date spent $50,000 on fundraising.  This year, spent something in the 20s.  Will be trying to raise money by direct mail. At least three campaigns being prepared.  LNC Member: To capture additional donations from the rally, want to raise money from attendees as soon as possible.  Comment: If we do more 501c4 events, our internal budget will be shrinking. Treasurer: We should not let these events affect the budget.  I would oppose doing six more events at the expense to our budget of $300,000. Someone: We have not talked about personal contact to big donors, and I have not heard it mentioned.  Answer: We do have a staffer on the phone full time.

Treasurer: We should have a four-day plan for fundraising, every four days not ‘work until next meeting’.   Lunch break is 90 minutes.  Someone suggested 30.

Discussion: Ask members each year what their top 3 issues are?  Tried an economy proposal to people with that interest.  That proposal failed. Anti-war fundraising did well.  Project management software does well.  Various management schemes, daily reporting, two week sprints,…are in use.

They break for lunch.

6 Comments

  1. Steve M March 12, 2023

    I have seen this before…

    Problem: the project is over budget and behind schedule

    Analysis: more people can’t be added and the schedule can’t be lengthend

    Solution: Daily status reports until the situation improves

  2. George Phillies Post author | March 12, 2023

    You are most welcome. With respect to Operation Everywhere, I suggest you read it before posting it. It has some excellent parts relative to recruiting members, and then there is the place where he says that we should run no candidates because it distracts from membership recruitment.

  3. Caryn Ann Harlos March 12, 2023

    Thank you George.

  4. George Phillies Post author | March 11, 2023

    Thank you for the correction.

    If you have not done so, pick up a copy of Richard Viguerrie’s Go Big on fundraising and organization. He’s a conservative, but arguably the most influential one man in American politics of the period 1965-2000, and talks clearly and concretely about raising money, on which he is the past master, and other activities.

  5. Caryn Harlos March 11, 2023

    I later challenged every LNC member to become a Life Member. One already stepped up. (I think more than half of us already are)

  6. Caryn Harlos March 11, 2023

    George, that is not exactly correct. The NM affiliate is spending 1K to throw a dinner for the LNC tonight. I asked people to honor their generosity by paying their portion as they are new. I want them to break even though it would be great for them to make some money. I was moved by a brand new party being so generous.

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