As many of you know, I manage (either directly or indirectly) all of Colorado’s social media as well being a volunteer leader with the social media team for the National Party Facebook page. During my time doing this work, I have learned a great deal–to the point that I am a social media training mentor and resource for all of the affiliates. The success of Colorado has been phenomenal with our Facebook page likes going from just over 3,000 (ranked number 14ish in LP affiliate stats) in January 2015 to its present count of nearly 17,500 (ranked number 4). And I would like to share my knowledge and some tips with you. If you would like to start off fresh or perhaps brush up on some rusty skills (and teach me new ones!) please plan to attend my Social Media Training Seminar via Citrix Go-To Meeting on September 17, 2016 beginning at 6pm Mountain Time (Colorado time). The meeting is anticipated to last around an hour.

The log-in details are:

New Meeting
Sat, Sep 17, 2016 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM MDT
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) for audio. You’ll sound best with a headset.

First GoToMeeting? Try a test session: http://help.citrix.com/getready

There will be screen sharing so please plan to attend at a computer with large enough screen for viewing. Due to the need for screen sharing, no call-in number is available.

Region 1 Chairs, please share with your counties and other volunteers. The more the merrier. Colorado County contact, likewise… share away!

It may help to review this manual I co-authored in advance as this will cover a lot (but not all) of the material, and I will expand even further on the material contained therein.


June 2016 End-of-Month Financial Report

au bureau_0020Mr. Hagan provided the June 2016 End-of-Month Financial reports, and I am new to reviewing these items, so my input until I become more seasoned will be limited, and I solicit the observations and feedback of Region 1 members. This chart really struck me:

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 3.12.22 PM

When I see the number of active donors we had in 1999-2000 it hurts my heart. What happened? Well 9/11 happened for one thing, but I don’t know if that was the major factor. We often hear that we need to “moderate” our message but this time period is when we had our strongest-core-principle platforms. But fantastically, the “perfect political storm” we are now facing has worked highly to our advantage in looking at two-year trends and the JUMP in active donors though still a shadow of our former heights. The same holds true for revenue. Let’s use this as inspiration to work towards beating those former milestones.

You can see that are doing well in keeping within our means and as far as May 2016, well within our means:

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 3.17.58 PM

The actual report can be found here. If there are any line items you wish me to investigate further, please let me know. Please note that Mr. Hagan commented:

The June End­-of-­Month Financial Reports are attached. The budget is on page 5, second to last column. The reserve dropped slightly and is at $389,864.

The Policy Manual states: 17) Office Mortgage

It shall be the goal of the LNC to completely pay off the office mortgage as quickly as possible, and in any case prior to the due date of the 10­year balloon payment. Towards that end the LNC shall budget a minimum of $60,000 in each odd­numbered year to pay down the principal until the mortgage balance is zero. Fundraising for this specific purpose shall be made a high priority. This provision does not preclude additional fundraising and pre­payments in even­ numbered years.

In 2015, we raised and paid down the principle only $22,500. Since we missed the target by $37,500 and we now have enough cash reserve to pay down the mortgage, we will transfer $37,500 from unrestricted cash to pay down the principle on the mortgage, which is at $448,810, unless there is an objection. This will get us up to date with the intent of the policy. I will assess the cash position after the election and will have a motion for the December meeting to make an additional payment.

Tim Hagan

Understanding Two Similar Entries on the Membership Report

chartIn reviewing the past membership reports, there were two entries that are often confusing concerning active membership numbers. I noted the following question in the LNC Discuss List:

There are five columns on page 2 of the report.

1. Total “MEM” – this is the total number of constituents in state that have signed the pledge – whether they have paid dues or not. It includes inactive folks who are not reflected on this chart.
2. Active “MEM”- Current Dues Payer or Lifetime Donor with a signed pledge
3. Active “SUB” – Current due payer or lifetime donors who have not signed the Pledge
4. Total Active – that is just adding numbers 2 and numbers 3.
5. Total BSM- By-Law Definition of “Sustaining Member” and number used for delegate count with a parenthetical comment of Art 5-3 that a Sustaining member is any Party member who has given at least $25 to the party in the prior twelve months, or who is a life member. By that definition, a Pledge signer.

What is the different between Numbers 2 and Number 5? Dues payers? Check. Lifetime donors? Check. Signed Pledge? Check. That is true for both of those categories, so what is the difference?

And the different between those numbers in the states is only a few people, and in some states (such as Hawaii, Nebraska, Rhode Island, South Carolina), they are exactly the same [for the month I was reviewing].

Wes Benedict provided this concise answer:

If John signed the pledge and paid dues on 1/1/2015, then, at that point, their “Active Membership” and “Sustaining Membership” both expire on 1/1/2016.

We start sending renewal letters and renewal emails before people’s memberships expire.

If John renews his dues on 11/1/2015 (2 months before his expiration date), then his “Active Membership” is extended to 1/1/2017 (per the policy manual), but his “Sustaining Membership” will expire 11/1/2016 (per the bylaws).

The above kind of thing is one example of how the two sets of numbers can vary–sometimes records aren’t 100% complete updated right when a report is run as well. And sometimes errors are made.

The relevant Bylaw is:

3. “Sustaining member” is any Party member who has given at least $25 to the Party in the prior twelve months, or who is a life member.

The relevant Policy Manual portion is:

5) Benefits Lapse Date
An individual’s benefits lapse date is independent of the sustaining membership lapse date defined by the Party’s Bylaws.48
Individuals making a first contribution shall have a benefits lapse date established one year from the date of receipt.

Individuals who remit the required amount of dues in response to a membership renewal request shall have the benefits lapse date extended by one year from the existing lapse date or one year from the date of receipt, whichever is later.

Individuals who remit the required amount other than dues during the Renewal Period shall have the benefits lapse date extended by one year from the existing lapse date or one year from the date of receipt, whichever is later.

Individuals pledging at least $10 per month using an automated recurring payment method, such as a valid credit card or ACH debit, shall have their benefits lapse dates extended to the last day of the following December.

Other contributions in response to other than a membership renewal appeal shall not as a policy extend the benefits lapse date, however Staff shall have the discretion on a case-by-case basis to extend a contributor’s benefits lapse date up to one year from the last contribution date, if failure to do so would damage donor relations.

July 2016 Membership Report Released

membshipreport-smallThe July Membership results are in (a copy of the report can be found here). The states in Region 1 rank as follows for Bylaws-defined Sustaining Members (BSM):

Alaska – 41
Arizona – 15
Colorado – 11
Hawaii – 39
Kansas – 30
Montana – 43
Utah – 35
Washington – 12
Wyoming – 51

There are other numbers that can be compared, but BSM is what is used for delegate allocation and determination of automatic Platform Committee appointment. Some of the pertinent Bylaws are as follows (you can see the complete Bylaws here):

Article 10, Section 3: 3. Affiliate Party Delegate Entitlements:

Each affiliate party shall be entitled to send delegates to each Regular Convention on the following basis:

a. One delegate for each 0.14 percent, or fraction thereof, of the total Party sustaining membership in that affiliate; provided that at least one such delegate must be a resident of that State or District.

b. One delegate for each 0.35 percent, or fraction thereof, of the votes cast nationwide for the Libertarian Party candidate in the most recent presidential election, cast in that affiliate’s state.

Article 11, Section 3: Other Committees

3. The Platform Committee shall consist of 20 members selected as follows:

a. One member by each of the five affiliate parties having the greatest per capita sustaining membership as determined for Convention delegate allocations at the most recent

Regular Convention.

b. One member by each of the ten affiliate parties having the largest sustaining memberships, excluding those affiliates from (a), as determined for Convention delegate allocations at the most recent Regular Convention.

c. Five members selected by the National Committee.

d. These members shall be selected no later than the last day of the fifth month prior to the Regular Convention.

Here is the summary portion that will be of interest to compare the figures from last year and this year:

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 7.15.10 PM

The report contains several interesting charts depicting Party health including Renewing Donors, New Donors, Lapsed/Dropped Donors, and Active Donors over the past twelve months. The most dramatic change was in active donors and new donors with new donors dropping a bit post-convention. Over the course of a year, the number of lapsed donors has gone down, though not dramatically. The one area of concern is in renewing donors which dropped dramatically following our convention though it is on the rise over the 12 month review period. This though does reveal a failure to re-capture a certain segment of donors after our convention. My guess is that this reflects persons not happy with our nominees, and I expect this is typical; however, the extremity of the plunge from 1200 to under 500 should not be overlooked. It is also possible that this reflects an artifact of non-renewals stemming from expected convention bumps at convention time spread out over two years (i.e. donors that just automatically renewed one year out from the 2014 convention and failed to do so for the subsequent renewal). This trend did move back upwards between mid-June and mid-July.

In the state rankings, a few states switched places, but the composition of the top ten states for Bylaws-Defined Sustaining Members remained the same.