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Home > About SPJ > Documentation > Meeting Minutes

APRIL 23, 2006

With President Todd Gillman presiding, the meeting of the board of directors of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation was called to order at 8:08 a.m. on Sunday, April 23, 2006, at the Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center in Indianapolis.

In addition to President Gillman, the following board members were present: Vice President Betsy Ashton; Secretary Steve Geimann; Treasurer Howard Dubin; Ann Augherton, Fred Brown, Bruce Cadwallader, David Carlson, Al Cross, Irwin Gratz, Jane Kirtley, Mead Loop, Mac McKerral, Russell Pulliam, and Christine Tatum; and Executive Director Terrence G. Harper.

Other staff members present for the meeting were Associate Executive Director Julie Grimes; SPJ Associate Executive Director Chris Vachon; Communications Manager Beth King; Web Administrator Billy O’Keefe; and Controller Jake Koenig.

Upon proper motion and second by Carlson and Loop, respectively, the board approved the minutes of the Oct. 15, 2005, board of directors meeting.

It was suggested that the board adopt some type of expectation of financial support for foundation board members.

Gillman referred the following proposal to the Governance Committee for consideration and recommendation that the fall meeting:

Draft Proposal: All new board members recruited to serve on the board would be informed that there is a suggested financial commitment for board membership. It is suggested that each board member contribute or raise $500 per year on behalf of the Foundation.

Harper and Koenig presented the proposed budget for the fiscal year ending July 31, 2007. Koenig noted that income is budgeted at $614,558.02 with expenses at $588,567.90, representing a $25,990.12 surplus. Koenig noted that any

Upon proper motion and second by Ashton and Gratz, respectively, the board approved the budget for the fiscal year ending July 31, 2007.

The budget is attached to these minutes as Exhibit A.

Dubin updated the board on the performance of the Foundation’s investments and the work of the investment manager hired last fall to manage a portion of the Foundation’s portfolio. No decision will be made on the manager’s work until the trial year is complete.

The Finance Committee was charged with seeking out new revenue opportunities for the Foundation. Dubin reported that the committee has been discussing republishing the Society’s ethics handbook, Doing Ethics in Journalism. McKerral and Dubin will work to determine costs involved and secure a noted academic participate in the project. Harper pointed out that the Foundation has approximately $16,000 available for use on this project.

Ashton updated the group on her committee’s research about an annual fund raising gala. The Foundation is not yet ready to undertake the project this year. The general idea now is to turn this into a celebration of responsible journalism and tie it to the Society’s Fellows program. Ashton plans to contact all living Fellows to determine interest in this program.

Gillman appointed Harnisch to serve on the Foundation’s Governance and Mission Committee.

Harnisch iterated the importance of developing and maintaining a list of potential board member candidates. Board members always should be seeking out potential board members.

The Grants and Awards Committee had been charged with coming up with language to articulate the Foundation’s funding priorities to better guide future boards and potential grant-seekers.

Upon proper motion and second by Loop and Kirtley, respectively, the board approved the following funding policy:

Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Funding Policy

The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation acts as the primary supporting foundation to the Society of Professional Journalists and, as such, reviews funding proposals from SPJ as its first partner.

The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation also has long-standing partnerships with other journalism organizations and seeks to support innovative proposals.

The Foundation specifically seeks proposals for projects and programs that promote core missions of the Society, including freedom of information and ethics.

The Foundation primarily promotes programs and projects rather than endowments or general operating expenses within organizations.

The board discussed the recommendations from the Grants and Awards Committee. The board questioned some of the figures in the grant proposals submitted by the Society of Professional Journalists, in particular the Webcasting request and the costs associated with Reporters Institute.

The committee’s report is attached as Exhibit B.

Upon a proper motion and second by Loop and Geimann, the board approved the following 11 grant requests:

— SPJ Training on the Go newsroom training request in the amount of $27,000, split between the Professional Development and FOI Funds.
— SPJ Narrative Writing Seminars request in the amount of $31,440, from the Pulliam General Fund.
— SPJ Reporters Institute request in the amount of $35,000 from the Pulliam General Fund.
— SPJ Webcasting Project in the amount of $7,060 from the Pulliam General Fund.
— SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards Program Staff Support request in the amount of $12,480, from the Pulliam General Fund.
— SPJ Regional Conference Programming request in the amount of $6,000 from the Pulliam General Fund.
— SPJ National Convention Educations request in the amount of $41,700 from the Pulliam General Fund.
— SPJ Ethics in Journalism Week request in the amount of $22,720 from the Pulliam General Fund.
— National Freedom of Information Coalition National Conference request in the amount of $5,000 from the FOI Fund.
— Coalition of Journalists for Open Government request in the amount of $10,000 from the FOI Fund.
— Chicago Headline Club/Loyola University Ethics Adviceline request in the amount of $5,000 from the Pulliam General Fund.

McKerral abstained.

Board members shared their desire to be more involved in the program planning process as SPJ prepared grant requests in the future.

The board reviewed the planning document for the Campaign for Ethical Journalism. Carlson informed the board that an SPJ committee has been established to lead this project. Representatives from the Foundation board will serve on this committee, which is chaired by Tatum. The committee will review the planning document and develop a strategic plan with long- and short-term goals. Each goal will include a time value, a cost estimate and funding options.

Since the last meeting, three gifts were made to the Foundation to fund educational programs of the Society of Professional Journalists and one to fund educational portions of the Region 2 Conference in Washington, D.C.

Upon proper motion and second by Carlson and Cadwallader, respectively, the board approved the following specified gifts:

— $5,000 gift from the Harnisch Family Foundation for educational programs and activities of the Society of Professional Journalists.
— $10,000 gift from the Howard and Ursula Dubin Foundation for educational programs and activities of the Society of Professional Journalists.
— $50,000 grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation for the 2006 Ted Scripps Leadership Institute of the Society of Professional Journalists.
— $500 grant from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation to the Washington, D.C. Pro Chapter for the 2006 SPJ Region 2 Conference.

There being no further business to come before the board, Gillman declared the meeting adjourned at 12:20 p.m. on Sunday, April 23, 2006.

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