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Arkadaslar Board Meeting
April 20,
Atilla's  Restaurant, Arlington

In attendance: Linda Scheffer, Sandy Pfunder, Ken Hill, Allen Gall, Sandy Anderson, Dave Weinman, Valerie Olson and Mike Jewell.

Member Survey
Sandy Pfunder mailed out the survey to 800 members. Heís received 140 back. He shared an overview of the findings.

bulletThere are a lot of comments thanking us for keeping things going.
bulletThe majority want periodic activities, particularly the dinners.
bulletThey want more information on local cultural events. We may need to find out how to get those events to us and to put them on the web.
bulletSome said they participated in Peace Corps activities, years ago.
bulletAbout half have looked at the web. Some looked as a result of the survey. Those who use it like it a lot.
bulletThey find the listserv interesting, but criticize the volume and content. Twelve persons (10%) asked to be put on the listserv.
bulletMore than half are considering travel to Turkey. Greater than half have been back. There is a lot of interest in receiving travel and hotel recommendations from others.
bulletThe interest in purchasing a copy of recollections at $50 was mixed at best. Sandy considered that not marketable.
bulletNearly everyone who answered said that they got value for their dues. When asked why they didnít pay dues, one commented, "You send the newsletter anyway."
bulletSome persons were interested in lists of restaurants, but commented that there were none in their area.
bulletThere was no interest in Turkish charities.
bulletA small number articulated as to why they werenít interested. "My time in Turkey was difficult, and Iíve put it behind me." "It was wonderful, but Iíve been to 28 countries and Iíve put Turkey behind me." But some messages retained the nostalgia and comments about old friends.
bulletSome mentioned retirement.
bulletThere was only one price-related comment about the Bayram dinners: "I will go to a Bayram dinner, but I wonít pay for someoneís alcohol." Some said $50 was too high.

He commented that we have 25-30 totally new addresses and 40-60 new email addresses. We are staying connected to people. Heíll tabulate some more, but not necessarily the web categories. He has prepared a report of what he thinks we should do, and believes we have tapped into the faithful. "It was a way to pull some folks in that we hadnít otherwise."

Listserv and Database
Sandy Anderson reported that the listserv currently has 326 members. It is growing right now because group coordinators are finding new people, Sandy Pfunderís survey is adding new persons, and Sandy Anderson is going through the NPCA directory and finding additional persons.

The database has 1,368 entries (individuals and couples). There are 773 with addresses, and weíve made progress in identifying people who didnít go over.

Buralarda and Membership
The issue of Buralarda, expected to be sent in January, is overdue. General discussion noted that Buralarda is the one thing where we still contact everyone. It was stated that we should expect members to pay for it. But it was also recognized that cutting off people who are not paying dues jeopardizes our membership.

Our paying membership is stable around 350, with the individuals paying dues changing. The discussion noted that the presence of our network is what we offer our members. It keeps the membership up as we age, and it supports our bayram dinners.

The persons not paying dues are also not returning the survey.

We have many extra directories. It would be a shame to put out a new one with these surplus ones sitting here. Perhaps we could sell the old directory at a reduced rate. Or, we could sell them at half price when we put out the new one.

We should consider putting the directory on the Web. People would update their own information. We would maintain security with password protection. On the other hand, members will look for people in a directory without using a computer. Members donít look at the website. It may be important to keep the directory and pictures. We will lose contacts if we go online. Plus, there is not quality control when people correct their own data. We will not be able to keep track of it.

The directory is a good marketing tool since memberships are greater during years that we publish it. We need to republish every 3 years because addresses are changing. A couple of Board Members say they never look at it; a couple of others use it frequently. Perhaps we should put it on the web as well as in bound copy.

We need to remember the age and experience of our members; radical new directions are not going to happen. Weíve done amazing things and need to set new directions. The question is, What will we do in 10 years, when weíre in our 70ís?

New Initiatives
What are new things people want, like travel? One person suggested we talk to the embassy about having us go back for 3 months at a time to do community service. For that we would need a local Turkish organization. There is a Turkish volunteer organization connected to the GŁney Anadolu project. Yıldız Yağıcı knows them about the GAP project. People will pay perhaps $2,000 to go over, and they will want to have a 501(c)(3) to deduct taxes from. Sandy Pfunder will follow up.

Treasurerís Report and Budget
We voted unanimously that all contributions must fit within $5,200, which is over and above what people send in as a contribution.

Sum of contributions $4,815.  Our set-aside 5,200.  Total: $10,000

With this change to the budgetary process, we will no longer make contribution decisions as they come across the table.

We also voted to set aside $4,000 for the directory.

Portland Reunion
Sandy A. read the proposed agenda from Jim Healey and the Portland planning team, attached.

Next Meeting: Atillas on Tuesday, June 28 at 6:30.

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