Bylaws

Hi everyone,
I finally did it!

Here is the first draft of Bylaws for our incorporation. Please read them and comment below if you would like to suggest some edits.

Thanks!!!

[Constitution and Bylaws of the.pdf|attachment]
Edit: Attachment removed to avoid confusion with the new draft that is being posted in anticipation of the Members General Assembly in the next few weeks (CS-Jan 25, 2021)

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It doesn't mention where the organization is located. Which country's laws you apply.

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Hi Cécile,
this is great news. Thank you for putting this important document together!

As @MonkeybreadSoftware mentioned, register and governing law ist not mentioned. Not sure if this is required here.

Generally I suggest changing the mentioning of 'FileMaker Software' to 'Filemaker Platform'. It is more that just software.

Could you please elaborate on how does someone become a member and how is membership defined? Is there a distinction between members and users?

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The.fmsoup.org needs resources (personal & financial) in order to function.
A membership fee (voting member) would cover the cost. A yearly fee equal one month of hosting would cover the expenses.
What do you think about a membership fee?

Creating a fee system would require additional resources: the payment system; additional rules and expectations for multi-tiered membership; etc. This may be a great idea… only we should keep the additional costs and consequences in mind.

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Agreed, a fee system adds complexity.

However, we need to come up with a solution for collecting contributions. No sponsor came up to cover November and December hosting fees this year.

Ideally the.fmsoup.org should be covered at least 6 months in advance. We should offer that serenity to the people who put in voluntary work.

How can we improve sponsoring?

Hi, I asked earlier this year if any months need covering. I haven’t received any requests for contributions since.

I work on the basis that if I don’t hear anything, then the costs are currently covered.

Regards
Andy

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I have not asked Andy because I knew there was enough money in the pot to cover 2 months without jeopardizing the incorporation expenses.

I wanted new people to contribute.

We are 312 members atm. It costs 1 200 per year in hosting fees. So it would be a 4 yearly fee.

That’s a ridiculously small membership fee and I would much prefer everyone to pay $4 per year than hitting 6-8 of us for a larger amount.

As sad as it is, most people will be deterred by a any fee whatsoever. For some it will be because they don’t want to give their cc, others worry that they won’t find their profit...

What we could do is give a 6 months free trial for new members. It’s always free to read (site public) but to continue participating after the six month mark, you must pay your $4.

Although this scenario seems good at addressing the aforementioned issues, the caveat is that with our current hosting level, membership plugin isn’t included so I would have to create a small website for managing subscriptions, and would have to downgrade manually members that do not pay their fee.

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Once the setup is done, you could have a donate button to accept payments.
Best if that goes through some kind of store, where it creates a bill for taxes.

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Thanks Cecile

I was just a little worried that money may have been needed, I’m glad to hear the finances were already available.

I’m a little worried about asking for subscriptions. This site is gradually evolving into what I hoped, as a more creative forum for FileMaker developers. The Claris Community is also now what they wanted, a ‘how do I do this?’ or ‘this isn’t working’ direct question and answer site, whereas much of what goes on here is more outside of the box.

‘The soup’ is more expansive in its content, with more free thinking, discussion and, thankfully very little FileMaker or Claris bashing, which would do none of us any good. I’m worried that a fee would prevent more of these type of contributors form joining, as recently most posts have been from a small percentage of the 300 plus members.

For the growth of the forum, personally I’d prefer to try to keep away from asking individuals to pay to contribute. I do like Christian’s donation idea, which of course Wikipedia has been doing for years, albeit somewhat begging during the last couple of years.

If we could encourage employees from organisations to make voluntary contributions (through the company/organisation) to supplement those of us prepared to make our own direct contributions, I feel this would have less of an impact on new members joining.

I know a few dollars isn’t much, but looking at the subscription exhaustion we’re all approaching with Netflix, Apple, Spotify, etc. I think people are going to say ‘enough’ and rein back on these multiple outgoings that do add up significantly.

Many times I see a new contributor opening up with ‘this seems a nice forum’ and that’s what I’d like to see more of.

Kind regards
Andy

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As Cécile said, it would be good to have a diverse sponsor basis with contributions from many people.
All members duly registered with an account should be able to participate (with posts).
All members duly registered as sponsors should be able to vote (in the assembly).

I like Christian's idea of an automated donation process. If feasible, we should give that a try.

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12 per year would be a very small amount (1 per month) for becoming a voting member.

All of us spend more money on pq.

I like the idea of sponsoring ('donate'). I'm afraid that any 'regular' fee would keep some people 'off' (if I understand correctly)

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Well, just make it kind of optional and with an incentive.

A button somewhere to donate, which then puts a flag on your name here to say Sponsor for some time. Like one month per $10 donated.
And then when time ends, email person and remind them to consider to donate again.

Would be great if you would integrate something like Stripe to take credit cards and writes the bill automatically.

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I’m mostly sitting back and “listening”, but sites such as flickr (photo sharing) did pretty well with “pro” level as a paid option. In this case (fm soup), perhaps the “pro” is more of a “supporting member” or similar, with some commensurate privileges.

If there was a simple payment path to such a membership option perhaps there would be enough participation. PayPal or similar?

It was mentioned below that $12/year is affordable. I agree. But I’d not like to withhold help from those needing it if this is not the time they can contribute.

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Kind regards,

Dale

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I would stay away from individual subscriptions (we all hate them ofc). Some kind of donation would probably work fine if there would be a way to donate as a company. At the end of fiscal year it's quite easy to throw some money to good purposes as a company. And as a donation I mean an easy way to click a button and fill my company details and select a sum to pay. Then get a tax invoice to file it for accounting.

Most important success factor for communities is to be inclusive. Not exclusive.

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As a group we need to establish what grants voting if there are different kind of members (voting / non-voting). That said, I'm not convinced I would equate that with a form of payment.

About payment on its own, let's not forget that as a non-profit, the same dollars will give us double the mileage. I love fmSoup, but making a donation while it was not a non-profit was not aligned with what I wanted. I'll echo @villegld by saying I can only hope that officially being a non-profit will help gather new funds. I strongly believe we should avoid making membership something that requires paying a fee. In all likeliness, a small number of people who care more than the average are going to keep this site going, just like what it is for pretty much any other Claris-focused site I can think of. I think fmSoup is different because that small number of people is probably larger than elsewhere and I see that as a good thing.

I forgot the features that make it so we stick with the official version of discourse hosting, but I think the email component was the one element making it difficult to find a good alternative. If it is so, it will only be even more true once fmSoup is a non-profit.

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Plus 1 to @villegld and @Bobino

I am not following this thread closely -- this morning, I skimmed it for the first time, and not surprisingly, see the signature-thoughtfulness that I associate with the Soup.

In case this feedback helps any:

Once a year, being nudged/reminded/prompted in some way about being able to make some small annual contribution, and then being able to go do so easily (i.e. head to a contribution page, select/specify a payment amount, enter card details, click confirm) is something that works well for me. It allows me to contribute to something that I believe in, but otherwise it stays off of my radar for the bulk of the year, allowing me to just enjoy participating in the discussions, etc., without thinking much of the underpinnings of the site.

Hope this feedback may help, and many thanks to all of you who are weighing these matters so carefully/thoughtfully.

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