End of the 2024 Year Message from The President

There are only a few remaining hours for the year in my corner of the world. 2023 has been a good year for The Soup. Let me share some highlights.

The year was quiet. We've had a slow but steady increase in membership. Participation has been steady and cordial. Topics have been varied and all over the map… a good thing.

You may have noticed there was no fundraiser this year. This was a deliberate decision on the board's part. The Soup has enough resources to fund operations for nearly two years. It is good and prudent to have some savings but there is such a thing as too much savings.

The Soup is a non-profit. By definition, a non-profit is not suppose to make profits. The Government of Canada, where The Soup is incorporated, views excessive savings as a form of profit. Excessive savings is only defined on a case-by-case basis. Some factors considered include the size of the non-profit organization, forecasted operational expenses, planned projects, etc.

The board decided some time ago that its savings should never exceed three years of forecasted operational expenses unless The Soup is saving up for a project. There is no project on the radar at this time. We likely would have exceeded three years of forecasted operational expenses had we had a fundraiser this year.

Fret not if you want to donate to The Soup. The "Support the Soup" button is still at the top of every page on the forum. This button will remain so long as we are not too close to the three-year mark. One-time and periodic donations of all sizes are welcome.

All was not easy for the board this year. We've mastered the forum platform called Discourse. We've mastered the donation platform called Zeffy. We've not mastered the art of time travel or finding and retaining volunteers. This challenge is putting The Soup in a bind.

The two-year term has become a three-year term for the entirety of the board. The board has been holding off the Annual General Meeting until it finds suitable and willing board member candidates. The challenge has been two-fold: lack of time on the board member's part and lack of interest on the candidate's part.

While this is a tough one made tougher because all board member positions are up for renewal, it is not doom and gloom. Some of you have shown interest. I have unfortunately been too busy to reach out to you this year. I will be reaching out to you in the first week of the new year to answer your questions.

By the way… new interest is welcome. Please reach out to me if you are curious or have any interest in becoming a board member.

The same is true of volunteers. The Soup needs volunteers to elevate its experience and to help out the board members with their duties. In case you are wondering, the most important difference between board members and other volunteers (board members are volunteers) is a legal one: board members have a fiduciary duty; other volunteers don't.

What is the outlook for 2024? There will definitely be an Annual General Meeting. It will be business as usual until the new board assumes its duties. What happens after that will depend entirely on the new board.

I won't bore you with many more words. I thank you all for your contributions, be they in the form of questions, answers, discussion, volunteering or donations. I look foreward to a wonderful 2024 for The Soup and wish you all a happy new year.

David Lalonde,
President, the.fmsoup.org