New year, new board members (part 1)

To kick off 2018, Stumptown Syndicate is looking for at least two new directors to join the board. Read on for details and apply by 11:59pm Pacific on February 16, 2018!

About Stumptown Syndicate

Stumptown Syndicate’s mission is to cultivate a resilient and sustainable ecosystem of diverse and inclusive technology communities.

We:

  • facilitate the sharing of resources and knowledge
  • build and support experience-based education through talks, workshops, and other events in the Pacific Northwest
  • empower communities to actively engage new learners, experienced members, and everyone else who wants to participate

Our decision-making is also informed by some guiding principles.

Current program activities include events (Open Source Bridge, Ignite Portland and WhereCampPDX), resource development (Safety First PDX and the Citizen Code of Conduct), and fiscal sponsorship (Donut.js).

Future planned activities include developing more community partnerships, expanding our fiscal sponsorship program, expanding training materials and offerings, and more!

Board qualifications

We welcome applicants from a wide range of backgrounds. People of color and marginalized folks are encouraged to apply.

Prior non-profit experience is helpful, but not required for being a Syndicate director, as we can provide training to get you up to speed. Please apply if you’re interested in furthering our mission even if you don’t think you know enough about running a non-profit.

Serving on a non-profit board in Oregon comes with certain legal obligations, a good overview of which can be found at Oregon’s Attorney General website page about non-profit board service.

Board member responsibilities

  • Participates actively in running the organization, including frequent and timely communication with other board members, staff, and volunteers.
  • Acts as a spokesperson for the organization with knowledge of its mission, history, policies, and programs.
  • Does their best to attend each board meeting, with the understanding that three consecutive unexcused absences will be considered resignation from the board. The board meets 12 times per year, plus one annual retreat. Board meetings may be attended remotely by special arrangement.
  • Accepts fiduciary responsibility for the organization and oversee its financial health and integrity.
  • Provides oversight to ensure that the organization is meeting its mission and running programs effectively.
  • Accepts ethical responsibility and holds fellow board members and the full staff to professional standards.
  • Engages in fundraising to ensure that the organization has the resources it needs to meet its mission.
  • Makes final decisions with the rest of the board on policies related mission, programs, finances, personnel, and public relations.

What to expect

  • A full board orientation, including background information on work accomplished to date
  • Board meetings once a month that are focused on discussion and decision-making, with agendas distributed in advance
  • Timely, accurate, and complete financial statements to be distributed at least quarterly
  • Ability to choose from a range of fundraising activities
  • Training as needed to fulfill board obligations
  • A yearly retreat
  • Monthly board dinners focused on getting to know and support each other (rather than board work)

What is the time commitment?

Directors can expect to spend an average of 3-5 hours a week on Syndicate business, including time spent via Slack and email.

The term length for directors has been 3 years in the past, but is currently under review. We do expect that new board members be able to commit for at least a year.

What is the compensation?

Board members are volunteers and are not compensated. Reasonable expenses will be reimbursed (e.g., childcare, transportation, meals, approved training).

Are there any perks to being a Syndicate Director?

Fame and vast opportunities for wealth! Just kidding. There is a certain visibility to being a Director, but the biggest reason for serving is that you get to help make the Portland tech community (and beyond) better and more vibrant.

Why would I want to join Stumptown Syndicate’s board?

Some specific reasons to apply:

  • You’ve attended one of our events and want to help these type of events continue.
  • You’d like to make the community even more welcoming and supportive by improving safety, diversity, and inclusion.
  • You’d like to see Calagator or our other tools improve and thrive. Or maybe you have an idea for developing a new resource?
  • You’d like to help us figure out how to fundraise to help Stumptown Syndicate become more sustainable and expand our community impact.

Do you carry Directors & Officers insurance?

Yes, we do.

Additionally, as a volunteer board member of an Oregon non-profit, you have “qualified immunity,” as explained by the Attorney General:

To encourage citizens to serve as board members for charities, the law cloaks volunteer board members with qualified immunity. They cannot be sued for negligent acts. They may, however, be subject to lawsuits alleging that a loss was due to their gross negligence, willful or fraudulent acts.

Read more about serving on an Oregon non-profit board here.

How to apply

Please apply by 11:59pm Pacific on February 16, 2018:
https://stumptownsyndicate.wufoo.com/forms/qbplwq1ofrz92/

Questions? Email the board: board@stumptownsyndicate.org. We can’t wait to hear from you!

The 2017 recap

Over the course of 2017, Stumptown Syndicate:

  • hosted Open Source Bridge
  • sponsored the Innovate and Advocate Summit during Portland Startup Week
  • launched office hours with Safety First PDX
  • developed our fiscal sponsorship program
  • prioritized working with vendors whose mission matches our own (including moving our servers to Riseup)
  • supported meetups, events, and projects across Portland

Open Source Bridge
We’ll let the speakers, attendees and volunteers tell you about this year’s event. Here’s a sampling of the write-ups from OSB 2017:

This year’s Open Source Citizenship Award winner, Heidi Waterhouse, also blogged about her experience.

Safety First PDX
Stumptown Syndicate has a long tradition of working on resources to improve community safety, like the Citizen Code of Conduct. Our Safety First PDX program has taken on the process of continuing that work. In 2017, Safety First PDX conducted 3 trainings, covering the implementation of codes of conduct, incident response plans, and other strategies for improving community safety.

We also launched online office hours, where we’ve provided informal support to communities working on community safety questions.

Fiscal Sponsorship Program
Stumptown Syndicate has been building a fiscal sponsorship program, helping Portland communities with their administration, fundraising, and other operational needs.

We’re excited to be working with Donut.js (you can read more about them here!). We’re taking details like insurance and financial management off the organizers’ plates so they can focus on running great events.

And, by the way, you too can ask Stumptown Syndicate for fiscal sponsorship for your project.

Catching Up with Board Business
To ensure fair divisions of labor, Stumptown Syndicate limits officer positions on the board to one-year terms. This means we have some changes in the coming year, with Thursday Bram stepping up as Stumptown Syndicate’s latest President.

Photo of Stumptown Syndicate's 5 board members standing in front of a covered bridge in Vida, Oregon. Left to right: Reid Beels, Gabriela Rodriguez Beron, Elea Chang, Thursday Bram, and Sara Jensen

The 2017 Stumptown Syndicate board retreat

The Stumptown Syndicate board for 2018 is:

Thursday Bram, President
Elea Chang, Operations Lead
Gaba Rodriguez Beron, Director
Reid Beels, Director

While we’re all excited to work on these projects, 2017 has been a rough year for a lot of people. Our board is no exception. Three of our board members resigned over the course of the year for personal reasons. We support them for doing so—sometimes you need to put on your own oxygen mask first. As a result of these changes, we’re working to bolster Stumptown Syndicate as a more flexible and resilient organization.

We’re now prioritizing checking in with each other, not just to make Stumptown Syndicate a more supportive org, but because we care about each other as humans. As part of that, we’ve established a new board practice of having dinner together once a month, with a focus on each other rather than Stumptown Syndicate’s work.

We will be opening applications for new board members soon and have several volunteer roles available if you’d like to work on some of these projects with us!

Our Plans for 2018
For 2018, Stumptown Syndicate is expanding our efforts to support Portland’s ecosystem of technology communities, including these projects.

  • Growing our fiscal sponsorship program! Stumptown Syndicate will have some upcoming announcements about additional offerings for community events, so stay tuned.
  • Expanding Safety First PDX’s code of conduct and incident response resources, as well as offering more training options!
  • Hosting the 10th Open Source Bridge! We’re definitely ordering a cake, so you’ll want to be there.
  • Celebrating Calagator’s 10th anniversary! Excuse me, we’ll be ordering two cakes. We’re really going to need some help blowing out all these candles!
  • Developing more community partnerships! Stumptown Syndicate will be working with several new Portland partners in the upcoming year!
  • Redesigning our website! It’s about time, wouldn’t you agree?

To start strong in 2018, we need your support.

Your donations will help Stumptown Syndicate continue promoting and expanding the growth of Portland’s technology communities. In order to fund our early 2018 work, we need to raise $5,000 before the end of this year.

Help us close out 2017 by supporting our End of Year Fundraiser
Make a tax deductible donation below:

Donut.js is now an associated project!

Photograph of two women holding up an inflatable chocolate sprinkled donut, with their heads centered in the donut hole and both smiling at the camera. The text "Donut.js" is overlaid on the photo in the bottom center.As a 501(c)(3), one of Stumptown Syndicate’s goals has always been to support local events through fiscal sponsorship. Today, we’re thrilled to officially welcome Donut.js as a Stumptown Syndicate associated project!

In case you haven’t been to an event yet, Donut.js is a monthly night of tech talks and donuts. Tickets are $10, with proceeds going towards rotating local non-profits (past recipients have included p:ear, Basic Rights Oregon, and ChickTech). Going above and beyond the average tech meet-up, Donut.js also provides live captioning for all their talks, pronoun stickers, and marked physical access lanes.

Want to get involved? Donut.js is always looking for speakers and volunteers. Can’t wait to attend the next event? Mark your calendars for Tuesday, January 30, 2018 and follow their amazing emoji-filled Twitter account in the meantime!

Safety First PDX Office Hours: Oct. 31

Safety First PDX is holding an online office hours session on Tuesday, October 31 from Noon to 2 PM Pacific.

Safety First PDX is a program to help people create safer and more welcoming communities through good policies and actions. We teach people how to implement and enforce a code of conduct.

This office hours session is focused on answering questions you might have encountered in our trainings or in the communities you organize. Come ask us questions and find out about our workshops and online materials.
Please join us online in our Google Hangout on October 31 at Noon!

Safety First PDX Office Hours — July 25

Update: unfortunately, due to technical issues, we’ve had to cancel this office hour. Apologies for any inconvenience!

Safety First PDX (which operates as a program of Stumptown Syndicate) has held two trainings recently. We’re also holding our third online office hours session on Tuesday, July 25 from 4 PM to 6 PM Pacific. This month’s focus is how to introduce a new code of conduct to your community.

Safety First PDX is a program to help people create safer and more welcoming communities through good policies and actions. We teach people how to implement and enforce a code of conduct.

This office hours session is focused on answering questions you might have encountered in our trainings or in the communities you organize. Come ask us questions and find out about our workshops and online materials.

Please join us online in our Google Hangout on July 25 at 4 PM!

Safety First PDX Office Hours: June 27

Safety First PDX (which operates as a program of Stumptown Syndicate) has held two trainings recently. We’re also holding our second online office hours session on Tuesday, June 27 from 4 PM to 6 PM Pacific.

Safety First PDX is a program to help people create safer and more welcoming communities through good policies and actions. We teach people how to implement and enforce a code of conduct.

This office hours session is focused on answering questions you might have encountered in our trainings or in the communities you organize. Come ask us questions and find out about our workshops and online materials.

Please join us online in our Google Hangout on June 27 at 4 PM!

Give your talk at Open Source Bridge!

It’s your time! Open Source Bridge is an annual 4-day community conference in its ninth year, hosting 500 open source developers, hardware hackers, and community organizers. OSB is well known for being 100% volunteer run and fostering an in-person community in the open source world right here in Portland, OR. And we want you to submit a proposal.

The power of open source software is in the commitment, ambition, and vision of real people working individually and collaboratively to create tools that shape how the future is built — with no strings attached. To cover a variety of ways that power is demonstrated, we aim to provide an innovative track structure at OSB. The 2017 Open Source Bridge tracks are:

  • Activism | Demonstrate how you’re making change
  • Culture | What makes open technology and culture communities effective?
  • Hacks | It doesn’t have to be elegant, it just has to work 😉
  • Practice | How do you get a project to work
  • Theory | Explain the components of a project and how they interact

While you’re welcome to submit a proposal to speak on anything open source, here are a few topics that we thought would be compelling in 2017.

  • Open source tools for game development
  • Security: tools that make it easier for non-technical audiences to manage their own security / privacy
  • Git for open source, version control, and other tools for working together
  • Fun hardware hacks
  • Information Technology Operations (Devops)
  • The social and physical dangers of the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • An introduction to Threat Modeling

See what others have proposed already, for inspiration.

Submit a proposal to be considered to speak at Open Source Bridge this year!

P.S. There’s plenty of other ways to get involved. OSB is 100% volunteer-run, so your help would be 100% appreciated, and 8 hours of volunteering gets you a free ticket to the conference. Let’s meet up at Open Source Bridge 2017!

 

Sara Jensen and Gaba Rodriguez Beron join the board

In October, we put out a call for new Stumptown Syndicate board members and were impressed by the caliber of applicants. Thank you to everyone who responded!

We’re now thrilled to welcome two additions to the board: Sara Jensen and Gaba Rodriguez Beron.

Sara Jensen (Secretary)
Sara Jensen is a newly minted developer and Epicodus alumni who’s currently participating in the Fall/Winter Hack Oregon program as a Design Lead on the Portland Homelessness Team. Through February 2017, she will have interned with Premise Data. Previously, Sara worked in Quality Assurance and Tech Support for Idealist.org. She enjoys Android development, planning and retrospecting for social good.

Gaba Rodriguez Beron
Gabriela Rodriguez Beron grew up in Uruguay before moving to the US and has been a software engineer for almost 20 years. Gaba founded DATA, an open data non-profit in South America, and currently works with the Coral Project, building tools and guides to improve community spaces around journalism online. She also contributes to Systerserver and facilitates the Internet Freedom Festival in Valencia, Spain. Gaba is a feminist, activist, and mom to two kids.

Thursday Bram, Elea Chang, Ed Groth, and Briar Rose Schreiber will continue serving the remaining two years of their term, while Syndicate co-founder Reid Beels embarked on another three-year term. Elea has been elected as this year’s President.

Meanwhile, Christie Koehler completed her last three-year term and is stepping back for a much-deserved break. Besides co-founding Stumptown Syndicate in 2010, Christie also served as President, Treasurer, OSB chair, and countless other positions over the years. We are hugely grateful for all her incredible work and say with giant emphasis: thank you.

End of the Year Recap

Stumptown Syndicate has been busy this year, both with existing programs and new events.

At the end of 2015, we brought in five new board members, more than doubling the board’s size. This step has made Stumptown Syndicate a more sustainable organization, better able to help grow the Portland tech and maker community.

Some of the highlights from 2016 include:

  • Open Source Bridge: Four hundred attendees joined us for four days of Open Source Bridge. We even managed to surprise chair emeritus Christie Koehler with a birthday cake.
  • Resolution Fest: Stumptown Syndicate took part in the week-long festival that highlighted the Portland communities reimagining landscape of the tech industry. We screened two local films on Documentary Night, tabled at the Feminist Zine Pop-up Shop, and sponsored Affect Conf.
  • Ignite Portland: Ignite Portland returned from hiatus this year and was a resounding success, with more than two hundred folks attending. The Ignite Portland planning team is already working on a 2017 event.

We expect 2017 to bring new challenges. The Syndicate’s work on creating safer spaces is crucial and we will be building on the Citizen Code of Conduct and Safety First PDX in the year to come.

None of our work is possible without your support, though. As a community-based nonprofit, we rely on donations to continue our programs.

Please consider donating to Stumptown Syndicate to help us go into 2017 ready for new challenges. Each dollar you give boosts the inclusivity and resilience of Portland’s tech and maker communities, creating new opportunities for all of us.

Seeking Board Members (Applications due 19 October)

Stumptown Syndicate, the organization behind Open Source Bridge and other local tech events such as BarCamp Portland, Ignite Portland and WhereCampPDX, is seeking applicants to fill at least two open positions on our Board of Directors.

Read on for details and then apply here. Applications close 11:59pm PDT on 19 October, 2016.

About Stumptown Syndicate

Stumptown Syndicate’s mission is to create positive social change by supporting resilient, inclusive tech and maker communities.

We envision a Pacific Northwest that is home to many vibrant, diverse, accessible and inclusive tech communities of caring, actively engaged people. We aspire to serve these communities by facilitating the sharing of resources, knowledge, and experience. We work to build trust and a reputation for excellence among the communities we serve as well as the patrons who support us.

We have guiding principles that inform our decision-making.

Our current program activities include events (Open Source Bridge, BarCamp Portland, Ignite Portland and WhereCampPDX) and stewardship of open source projects Calagator and OpenConferenceWare as well as the Citizen Code of Conduct.

Future planned program activities include local user group support; fiscal sponsorship of related community projects; safety, diversity & inclusion training and support; and more.

Board qualifications & requirements

We welcome applicants from a wide range of backgrounds. Prior non-profit experience is helpful, but not required for being a Syndicate director. You must be able to attend monthly board meetings in person.

We will provide training to help get you up to speed on non-profit issues and related matters. Please apply if you’re interested in furthering our mission even if you don’t think you know enough about running a non-profit.

Serving on a non-profit board in Oregon comes with certain legal obligations, a good overview of which can be found at Oregon’s Attorney General website page about non-profit board service.

Board Responsibilities

  • Participates actively in the running of the organization and communicates frequently and timely with other board members, volunteers and staff.
  • Makes final decisions on policies relation to mission, programs, finances, personnel, and public relations.
  • Provides leadership and expertise with technical needs as identified by executive director and staff: for example, legal, accounting, marketing, and fundraising.
  • Expected to know the mission, history, policies, and programs of the organization.
  • Expected to know the duties the board delegates to staff and/or volunteers.
  • Available to be consulted by staff and/or volunteer consultation on matters of related to the organization.
  • Acts as both an informal and, when requested, formal ambassador and spokesperson for the organization.
  • Hires and evaluates the executive director.
  • Ensures financial support by participating in fundraising planning and activities.
  • With the help of the staff and volunteers, evaluates and updates the work of the organization to ensure that it is meeting its mission.

What we expect from you as a board member

  1. I will give my best effort to “hit the ground running” when beginning my service with the board.
  2. I will learn about the organization’s mission and programs, and be able to describe them accurately.
  3. I understand that the board meets 12 times per year, plus one annual full-day retreat. I will do my best to attend each meeting, with the understanding that three consecutive unexcused absences will be considered resignation from the board. Board meetings may be attended remotely via phone or teleconference by special arrangement. The annual retreat should be attended in person.
  4. I accept fiduciary responsibility for the organization and will oversee its financial health and integrity.
  5. I will provide oversight to ensure that our programs run effectively.
  6. I accept ethical responsibility and will help to hold fellow board members, the executive director (and, by extension, the full staff) to professional standards.
  7. I will serve as an ambassador to the community to educate others and promote our work.
  8. I commit to increasing my skills as a board member.
  9. I will participate in fundraising to ensure that our organization has the resources it needs to meet its mission. Our organization will be one of the top three charities I support each year that I am on the board.
  10. I will evaluate the performance of the executive director.

What board members can expect in return

  1. The organization will provide me a full orientation, including background information on work accomplished to date.
  2. The organization will provide me with relevant materials and education.
  3. I expect board meetings to be well run and productive, with a focus on decision-making, rather than reporting. I understand that agendas will be distributed in advance. If I wish to add items to the agenda, I will contact the chair at least a week in advance.
  4. I expect timely, accurate, and complete financial statements to be distributed at least quarterly, one week in advance of the relevant board meeting. I also expect to be trained to interpret these financial statements.
  5. I expect monthly reports from the executive director, program updates, press clippings, etc.
  6. The organization will provide me with relevant training.
  7. I will need materials and may need training (public speaking, etc.) to do this job effectively.
  8. The organization will provide me with appropriate training and support.
  9. I will be able to choose from a range of fundraising activities, and I expect relevant training and support to help me fulfill my obligations.
  10. Evaluation of the Executive Director will be based on goals developed jointly by the board and the Executive Director.

What is the time commitment?

Directors can expect to spend an average of 3-5 hours a week on Syndicate business.

The term length for directors is 3 years and starts December 1st.

What is the compensation?

Board members are volunteers and are not compensated. Reasonable expenses will be reimbursed (e.g., childcare, transportation, meals, approved training).

Do you carry Directors & Officers insurance?

Yes, we do.

Additionally, as a volunteer board member of an Oregon non-profit, you have “qualified immunity,” as explained by the Attorney General:

To encourage citizens to serve as board members for charities, the law cloaks volunteer board members with qualified immunity. They cannot be sued for negligent acts. They may, however, be subject to lawsuits alleging that a loss was due to their gross negligence, willful or fraudulent acts.

Read more about serving on an Oregon non-profit board here.

Are there any perks to being a Syndicate Director?

Fame and vast opportunities for wealth! Just kidding. There is a certain visibility to being a Director, but the biggest reason for serving is that you get to help make the Portland tech community (and beyond) better and more vibrant.

What are some reasons for serving on the Syndicate board?

Some specific reasons to apply to be on our board:

  • You’ve attended one of our events and it’s been meaningful to you, and you want to see those events continue to happen.
  • You’ve had an idea for a new event or an idea about how to improve an event we’re already doing.
  • You’d like to make our community even more welcoming and supportive by improving safety, diversity and inclusion.
  • You’d like to see Calagator or OpenConferenceWare continue to improve and thrive. You’d like to support Outreachy or other interns contributing to these projects.
  • You’d like to see another Portland Tech Workshop happen. Maybe more than one?
  • You’d like to help us figure out how to fundraise enough so that more people can get paid to work on our events and so that we can have a scholarship fund to bring anyone who wants to attend one of our events can do so.

How to Apply & Application Deadline

We encourage all those who are interested to apply no later than 11:59pm PDT on 19 October, 2016 here:

https://stumptownsyndicate.wufoo.com/forms/stumptown-syndicate-board-member-application-2016/

Questions? Email the board: board@stumptownsyndicate.org.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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