Upcoming Featured Events for 2018
Featured EventThis month’s featured event is very important – over the last few months the board and a number of volunteers have spent a fair amount of effort discussion the future of the Humanist Community of Central Ohio. As part of this discussion we decided that what we needed was a single, unified vision of where this organization is going. In order to do that we are going to solicit input from our members. The listening session is the first step in that direction. When we have that initial feedback the board will work together to put together a questionnaire that will be sent to the members of the community to get a final set of feedback before crafting a vision for the organization.
What is the Current Status of Your Membership?It is entirely possible that you are reading this right now and fall into the category of folks whose membership has expired without your conscious knowledge. You can test to see if this is the case by logging in. If you login and see this message: “If you’re seeing this page it means you do not have permission to view the content you’re trying to access…” That means your account has expired. Simply navigate to the join page and choose the membership level you’d like. And of course, if you do not have a login at all, but would like to join, you can do that too by going straight to the join page and signing up for the first time. Note: if you have paid your membership via cash or check, your account will need to be manually updated to “active” status. Please email our webmaster at webmaster[at]hcco.org so he can do that for you.
Why Are Memberships Important?Just in case you’re wondering, “Why do we even have memberships? What do they accomplish?” Let’s take a moment to talk about the role they play in our organization. It should be made clear right away that having an official membership is not necessary for participation in the vast majority of the events and programs we put on. For the most part, those are 100% free, and of course, open to all. However, when it comes to the vision and administration of our organization we require more than a passing interest in event attendance. We require a modest financial commitment: $1/month billed annually or a higher amount of your choice. This simple and accessible barrier to entry helps us identify those who are most interested in participating in our organization and seeing its mission of providing a supportive local community for humanists and other non-theists in the Central Ohio area fulfilled. We give these people the ability to do the following:
- Vote on board appointments.
- Attend board meetings.
- Access member’s only content that empowers them to participate in the community more meaningfully.
- Access to member services (currently in development).
- Get free or reduced ticket prices for our few paid events each year.
- Host official HCCO events.
- Join HCCO committees.
- Join the HCCO board.
- Covering the cost of a meeting place, storage, staff, event expenses, and more.
- Amplifying our collective voice in the community.
- Expanding our outreach to more people in Central Ohio.
- Helping us qualify for grants.
- Creating educational materials.
- Providing better member services.
- And more
Financial OverviewAs noted previously, one of the biggest challenges to getting this community report out monthly is the timely availability of numbers. Currently our accounting system is not in a state where our Treasurer feels comfortable releasing numbers without puting a lot of manual effort into validating the figures. Rather than doing the same work over and over again we decided that it makes more sense for him to concentrate his effort on fixing the default reports rather than cleaning them up every month. As such the financial reports will be less than monthly until that work is done. In the meantime you can view the budget voted in at the March board meeting.
Committee Report Summaries
Community Service Committee
Financial Management Committee
Budget for FY 2018A new budget was approved at the March board meeting. You can view it here.
Vision and StrategyOver the next few months the board and several volunteers will be honing our vision and strategy. Part of this process will be to engage with our membership and ask for feedback. This will be a very important part of the process, and I would ask that you take the time help us understand where you would like to see HCCO go over the next 5-10 years.
HousingWe have found a place to hang our hat temporarily! Since the last update we rented a storage space for our belongings and acquired a space for meetings (The Hub on Kenny). Now that we have a more formal place for our meetings we will concentrate on building a vision of the organization. Once that is done we will begin planning for a more permanent housing solution.
Become a contributorHave something to say about Humanism? We would love to have you. You can read more about contributing to the HCCO blog here.
Closing Thoughts2017 was a long and challenging year for our organization–no two ways about it. There have been ups and (honestly) more downs than I personally would have liked. Thus is life I suppose. There has been a lot of work done over the last year, but unfortunately due to various reasons we as a board have done a very poor job of communicating what’s going on to our members. I apologize for that and promise to do better. I hope that this post, and one like it every month, will show how serious we are about moving this organization forward, together. This post is meant to be a first step in communicating more openly and transparently with our members and we’re excited to see how you all choose to respond. Our sincere hope is that you will not only follow along interestedly, but actively engage in making our organization stronger and more effective. Here’s to making 2018 a great year!
Want to Get Involved?
There are lots of meaningful ways to participate in our community. You can come to one of our many monthly events, volunteer internally (for HCCO itself) or in the broader Central Ohio area, and of course you can support us by becoming a donor or official member.