CALL TO ORDER: The meeting of the Parkinson’s Support Group of Sonoma County (PSGSC) was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by Acting Chairperson Kathy Osbun. Chairperson Patricia Staudacher is on a leave of absence. Kathy introduced Sue Goranson, a Santa Rosa CPA specializing in non-profit organizations. Ms. Goranson was invited by PSGSC Treasurer Sandy Grant.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Kathy Osbun read the minutes from the regular board meeting of March 16, 2011. Those minutes were accepted as read.
Ms. Goranson said she had no problem with a “non-profit” like PSGSC using its current QuickBooks program to keep track of its finances even though the computer program uses terms like “Profit” and “Loss.” She also said it was not a problem that we have unspent funds in savings. It is “absolutely” necessary, however, to file for non-profit status with the State of California Attorney General’s Office. PSGSC currently has only federal non-profit status. The filing requires a CT1 application form and an annual filing of Form RRF1. As to why PSGSC is recognized as an “Association” rather than a “Corporation,” Ms. Goranson said “groups like this” don’t need the detail and expense demanded by Corporation status.
As to the question of why PSGSC would record a budget “deficit” even though there is enough in savings to cover that loss, Ms. Goranson said there will be months when the organization has profits and months when there are deficits. “I have clients who have [ongoing] deficit budgets.” It is better, she said, to have a “deficit budget” acknowledging running at a loss than to have “pretend figures” that are unrealistic.
Ms. Goranson also suggested the board “go outside of your group” to recruit doctors and nurses to serve on the board. There is some concern on the part of board members that professionals might want to serve on the board but would be unavailable for routine time-consuming duties where help is most needed.
There was a lengthy discussion of an oft-discussed vision to create a Care Center of some type for people with Parkinson’s and their Caregivers. “It’s a huge undertaking,” Sandy Grant noted, and “nothing in writing yet,” added Kathy Osbun. “We need someone to help us through strategic planning,” said Davis Brown, who has been a long-time advocate for such a facility. “Start with a basic strategic plan,” Ms. Goranson advised. “There is money out there for specific medical-type projects.” She suggested affiliating with an existing clinic, “which opens the door of where money can come from.” The Volunteer Center would be one place to seek assistance. Another idea would be to recruit doctors who can work off their school loans by practicing in an underserved community.
Regarding an IRS Form 8734, a complicated financial reporting tool that documents years of financial records, Ms. Goranson suggested obtaining a letter from the IRS stating that PSGSC is exempt from the requirement, or checking a web site that will say whether or not the form is required.
DATA BASE UPDATE: Barbara Stiling reported that she has already received 45 responses to an email request for member contact information for a data base. The 45 responses represent about 70 members, both PWP and Caregivers. Among other things, the information will be used by greeters at meetings to keep track of attendance and provide a heads-up when somebody stops coming to meetings and is perhaps ill or unable to attend. We will continue to gather data base information by having forms available at meetings and by making phone calls.
FUND RAISER: Kathy Osbun reported on a potential fund raiser to replace participation in the Human Race. Mary’s Pizza has a weekday dinner program that could net PSGSC 20 per cent of profits for an evening of dining.
PRACTICAL PLOYS: Joe Hootman reported that he had printed 15 copies of “Practical Ploys for Parkinsons Patients—Tools and Techniques to Help Manage the Disease,” at a cost of $8.00 per copy. On a motion by Karen Lovvorn, seconded by Bud Suiter, the board approved payment of $144.07 for Ploy coping costs. Joe requested that earlier versions of the booklet be returned to him so that he can insert updates to make them current.
Kathy Osbun adjourned the meeting at 12:07 p.m. The above minutes are subject to approval at the next board meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 18, 2011, at Emeritus (formerly Brighton Gardens), 300 Fountain Grove Parkway, Santa Rosa.