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Introduction. History of NCF and the Board NCF’s Offerings: 1) Access; 2) Community How members make use of NCF today Donations and the renewal process Roles with a Governance Board. NCF Mantra.

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Introduction
Introduction

  • History of NCF and the Board

  • NCF’s Offerings: 1) Access; 2) Community

  • How members make use of NCF today

  • Donations and the renewal process

  • Roles with a Governance Board


Ncf mantra
NCF Mantra

NCF is a large group of people joining together to share costs, doing something good for themselves and their community

NCF facilitates Vibrant Community Interactions

NCF: People helping people

NCF: Ottawa’s online Public Commons

NCF helps make the National Capital region

a better place to live


History of ncf

History of NCF

NCF surfs the wave of internet success (but falls off in 1995 and then treads water)


Started in 1991 underway in late 1992
Started in 1991, Underway in Late 1992

  • The National Capital Freenet project was started in November 1991 when George Frajkor and Jay Weston of the Carleton University School of Journalism approached Dave Sutherland, Director of Carleton's Computing and Communications Services with information about the Cleveland FreeNet.

  • The founding National Capital Freenet Organizing Committee was comprised of: Dave Sutherland, June Hacker, Tambrae Knapp, George Frajkor, Jay Weston, Warren Thorngate, Ross Mutton, Robin Allardyce of Carleton University and Richard Mount of Mount, Yemensky, Daigle, Barristers and Solicitors.


Based on freenet software by freeport
Based on FreeNet software by “FreePort”

Details are fuzzy, but apparently:

  • FreeNet menu system software was developed by University of Toronto co-op students for Case-Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio

  • “FreePort” was incorporated in the US as a company to hold the property rights to the FreeNet software and to control the product and name

  • NCF purchased the FreeNet menu system software for US$600 and installed it on UNIX machines

  • NCF organized itself to use (not develop) FreeNet community network software

    • Warren Thorngate (Carleton psych prof) ran weekly classes to teach people how to be “information providers” (menu builders)

    • Staffing plans included project administrator, a systems administrator and five part-time personnel: two subscription and operation assistants, a writer/trainer, a researcher and an accountant


Remember back in 1993
Remember back in 1993?

  • DOS, Windows 3.1, and 486 processors

  • Windows 95 was two years away

  • Email limited to academics and hi-tech workers

  • 2400 baud modems were common, and 9600 modems were ‘high speed’

  • No “ISPs” back then; “internet, what’s that?”


Catching the wave 1993
Catching the Wave (1993)

15000 *

14000 *

13000 *

12000 *

11000 *

10000 *

9000 *

8000 *

7000 *

6000 *

5000 *

4000 *

3000 *

2000 *

1000 *

_________________________________________________________

jan feb mar apr may jun jul aug sep oct nov dec jan feb

(1993) (1994)

Accounts


Catching the wave cont d
Catching the Wave (cont’d)

  • 2400/9600 (“high speed”) modems

  • FreeNet was a miniature, self-contained version of the modern-day internet

    • Content organized into categories by the ‘Main Menu’ (now Yahoo does that for the modern internet)

    • Organizational content in FreePort “menus” (now organizations have content in web sites)

  • Publicized by Ottawa Citizen (for free)

  • Funded by start-up grants

  • Hands-on board (founders), with no staff

  • High-skill volunteers (eg., s/w development)

  • 15,000 accounts by end of 1993


Surfing the wave heady times 1994
Surfing the Wave: Heady Times (1994)

  • 9600/14.4K modems

  • Publicized by Ottawa Citizen (for free)

  • Staff: Executive director, Office manager, Fund-raiser

  • Grants and donation drives

  • Interest groups stake claims in this New World

    • Will every city, town, and village run its own FreeNet?

    • Language rights, gay rights, commercial rights, privacy rights

    • Jostling for menu position (today, jostling over domain name)

    • Policies developed with eye toward national/global significance

    • FreePort threatens NCF with a lawsuit over use of FreeNet name

  • 60,000 (?) accounts by end of 1994

  • ED brings in Boardwalk board development seminar; Board sees logic of governance model (but still operating as ‘management by committee’ with 15 bosses). No matter, it’s hard to fail in this phase!


Wipe out www isps arrive 1995 96
Wipe-out! WWW & ISPs Arrive (1995-96)

  • 14.4K/28.8K modems

  • Arrival of Windows 95, WWW browsers, and PPP

    • “World wide web” and “internet” become household words

    • But NCF is text-based FreePort menus

  • City-based comnets not seen as the future; global, Yahoo

  • Ottawa Citizen leaves NCF; starts its own site and ISP

  • NCF’s easy ride on the “wave of success” is over

    • NCF fails to catch the next wave (PPP, WWW)

    • FreeNets failing across the country

    • Web-based comnets are soaring (“TheGlobe.com” hits $600M)

    • NCF faces shortfalls

  • Membership levels decline

  • Grants dry up; fund-raiser (a.k.a. grant getter) let go


Survival 1997 2000
Survival (1997-2000)

  • 14.4K/33.6K modems

  • NCF belatedly adds PPP access service and Lynx (text web browser)

  • Account renewal program averts funding disaster

  • Insufficient resources to keep up with the times

    • NCF no longer trendy; NCF never organized to do development

    • Volunteers dry up

  • Tough times test management’s skill to even keep NCF afloat

  • Membership levels decline steadily

  • Shortfalls loom; to avoid lay-offs leading to a death spiral, NCF seeks contract revenue (but further reducing NCF’s ability to keep up with internet services)

  • Cleveland FreeNet packs it in; FreePort corporation is long gone

  • Communication problems lead to crisis (Oct-Dec 2000)

    • Surprise termination of Executive Director contract

    • Split board, each calling for resignation of other


Reorganization 2001
Reorganization (2001)

  • Board strengthened substantially at March 2000 AGM; governance model begins functioning after ED on-board

  • Core staff in place (ED, system admin, office admin)

  • Membership levels begin to steady at 7,000 (but at half of sustainability level)

  • Contracts with potential synergies pursued:

    • HRDC thin client

    • SmartCapital webmail, extended access, thin client

  • NCF still has a good reputation (from the 1994 days) in certain camps

    • Tens of thousands of departed members may disagree

    • Points awarded for survival, longevity, and good intentions


History of revenue weekly usage staff
History of Revenue, Weekly Usage, Staff

Not shown: Value of

many non-cash donations

Exec Director

1995: WWW, ISPs

1996: FreePlan, PPP

1997: Renewal program

Lisa

Chris

Ian

Fundraiser

Gordon

Sys Admin

(amortization in ‘other’)

(unique users excl Mitel?)

Ian

Roy

Yannick

Andre

Admin Coord/Mgr

Kyla

Sheila


Ncf s offerings

NCF’s Offerings

Dial-up Access

Online Community

Internet Services


Ncf s access offerings
NCF’s Access Offerings

NCF offers dial-up access (text or PPP)

Access is valuable, and is the foundation of NCF’s ability to earn donations.


Use of text access is fading
Use of Text Access is Fading

Dec 1996

Dec 2001


Characteristics of ncf s dial up service theory
Characteristics of NCF’s Dial-up Service (theory)

(Marketing story)

“NCF's dial-up features:

  • access to all the usual PPP-based internet services, plus special text services ('FreePort') not offered elsewhere

  • generally 33.6K baud rate

  • generally available (busy signals may be encountered occasionally, requiring a few redials to get service)

  • no connection limit, unless there is congestion, in which case, guaranteed at least 2 peak hours per day and unlimited non-peak hours

  • people to answer questions online, and (limited) help by phone

    “Thousands of people find NCF's 33.6K modems quite adequate for their everyday email and web browsing.”


Characteristics of ncf s dial up service reality
Characteristics of NCF’s Dial-up Service (reality)

(Problems need to be corrected)

  • You can dial the same number and get different (confusing) responses (depending on which terminal server answers)

  • … if you can get a response at all (busy or endless ring)

  • 14.4K (OK for email) to 28.8K (adequate for browsing?)

  • Modem-sharing system isn’t functioning for all ports

  • NCF has a modem-testing system to obtain service quality data

  • Flakey (see modem test results)

  • “Your experience may vary”

  • People using NCF and accustomed to its quirks obviously find it tolerable, but it’s a barrier for new members and contributes to attrition




Ncf s online community offerings
NCF’s Online Community Offerings

At NCF, ‘community interaction’ is still limited to the text world (five years after the world went WWW, NCF still has no web-based online community services software).

NCF needs to buy and install web-based Online Community software. Refer to http://builder.cnet.com/webbuilding/pages/Authoring/CommunityTools/ for a short, readable overview of what’s available and widely used.


Online community software make or buy
Online Community Software: Make or Buy?

  • In 1992, FreePort online community software package was purchased and then enhanced by a few industrial-strength software development volunteers (NCF had attraction power in 1994). Enhancements may be why NCF survived while other FreePort-based FreeNets failed.

  • Recommend doing the same now (but don’t count on help)

  • Find a package that is:

    • Full-featured as can be afforded (community is a big part of NCF’s purpose)

    • If it’s based on low/no-cost open technologies easily installed at home (eg., Apache, MySQL/Postgress, PHP), more likely to attract enhancement by volunteer developers

  • Don’t contract development of homebrews (life-cycle cost is too expensive)


How people use ncf today

How people use NCF today

7,000 members

Useful, low-cost ISP

Pockets of ‘community interaction’


Usage freeport community services
Usage: FreePort community services

Items in the period 2002 Feb27-Mar6, ranked by number of users

All Guest --Registered Users--

----Uses---- Uses Uses Users Ratio Admin Item/Service-----

30320 (32%) 1% 99% 2754 10.9 1% Service: FreePort+PPP

20195 (21%) 0% 100% 1849 10.9 0% Service: PPP-login

10125 (11%) 2% 98% 1126 8.8 1% Service: FreePort-menu-system

7691 (8%) 0% 100% 848 9.1 0% Service: mail-mr

20446 (21%) 1% 99% 601 33.7 1% Service: nr/mgnr-newsreader

2881 (3%) 6% 94% 433 6.3 1% menu.main

844 (1%) 0% 100% 218 3.9 1% Service: mail-send

548 (1%) 1% 99% 155 3.5 4% Service: lynx-web-browser

629 (1%) 4% 96% 94 6.4 1% Service: who

248 (0%) 3% 97% 60 4.0 0% Service: time-remaining

468 (0%) 0% 100% 54 8.6 9% Service: mail-BBelm

173 (0%) 2% 98% 32 5.3 3% Service: telnet-other

87 (0%) 8% 92% 30 2.7 13% Service: userInfo--get-from-name

98 (0%) 5% 95% 29 3.2 7% Service: userInfo--get-from-ID

81 (0%) 0% 100% 25 3.2 0% Service: irc

178 (0%) 0% 100% 21 8.5 5% Service: mail-from

27 (0%) 30% 70% 14 1.4 0% Service: help-menu

179 (0%) 3% 97% 12 14.5 0% Service: telnet-anywhere

122 (0%) 0% 100% 11 11.1 0% Service: telnet-comnet


Usage freeport what s first
Usage: FreePort, what’s first

First selection on Tuesday, March 05:

823 55% Service: mail-mr

127 8% FreePort-menu-system-exit

78 5% Communications Centre

SEEN_MOTD Read your favourite newsgroups (FavList)

42 3% NCF and Usenet Newsgroups

SEEN_MOTD Read your favourite newsgroups (FavList)

42 3% Service: mail-BBelm

36 2% E-Mail

See who your new e-mail is from

34 2% Service: lynx-web-browser

30 2% Service: mail-send

22 1% Service: mail-from

20 1% Buy and Sell area

Computing buy & sell (ott.forsale.computing) >>>

14 1% World Wide Web (WWW)

NCF launch pad to the web using LYNX 2.5FM-ncf browser

14 1% NCF and Usenet Newsgroups

Read the newsgroup of your choice <?>

14 1% Service: telnet-anywhere

8 1% FreeMail: Internet e-mail on NCF

MOVE your FreeMail into your mailbox (deletes it from FreeMail)


Usage newsgroups served by ncf
Usage: Newsgroups served by NCF

Count Newsgroup

1 3162 ott.forsale.computing

2 2010 soc.culture.scottish

3 1306 ott.jobs

4 1168 ott.general

5 1077 rec.video.desktop

6 942 ott.forsale.other

7 812 soc.genealogy.britain

8 663 ncf.sigs.religion.christian

9 611 ncf.agm2002.general

10 605 alt.obituaries

11 603 comp.unix.solaris

12 600 ncf.general

13 576 soc.culture.indian

14 569 rec.video.production

15 535 comp.sys.mac.system

16 523 comp.lang.perl.misc

17 474 soc.men

18 434 rec.travel.europe

19 412 ncf.admin

20 400 alt.gossip.celebrities

March 5, 2002 (to all users of NNTP)


Web pages hosted by ncf
Web Pages Hosted By NCF

  • Three types: NCF itself, Personal, and Organizational

  • NCF’s popular pages are personal pages

  • NCF itself

    • Portal page, office pages, AGM and Board pages, etc

    • NCF-specific Help pages (non-specific help elsewhere)

  • Personal

    • Approximately 10% of members have web pages (“home pages”)

    • Most are less than 250K bytes

    • Largest is 43M bytes

    • Some ‘personal’ pages are businesses run by the member

  • Organizational

    • One or two hundred?



Ncf s most served homepages 1st
NCF’s Most-served Homepages: 1st

Contact address is in Florida


Ncf s most served homepages 2nd
NCF’s Most-served Homepages: 2nd

“This site contains stories in which you will find depictions of violence and explicit sexual content”

- Andrew Nellis (a former NCF board member)


Ncf s most served homepages 3rd
NCF’s Most-served Homepages: 3rd

Richard Webb’s directory of local businesses



Ncf s most served homepages 5th
NCF’s Most-served Homepages: 5th

Film reviews, film facts


Ncf s most served homepages 6th
NCF’s Most-served Homepages: 6th

“weblog” of Mark Woods of Perth





Internet congestion at carleton
Internet Congestion at Carleton

Max’ed out, meaning unacceptably poor response time for users waiting for web pages

Acceptable during summer and when Carleton students are on holiday.


Donations and renewals

Donations and renewals

Keeping NCF afloat, and independent


How donations renewal work
How Donations & Renewal Work

  • NCF issues annual guidance to members about what would be a reasonable donation, explaining:

    • Enough to cover expected expenses

    • Plus some extra to cover people who find NCF difficult to afford

  • If there is an impending shortfall, NCF issues an appeal for special donations (members have always risen to the occasion)

  • Each year, members are asked to renew their account, because

    • NCF needs to know if people are no longer interested (for housekeeping)

    • It is a way to trigger awareness of NCF’s need for donations

    • Front-end loaded (Jan-Jun). Expect a big drop in Jul-Dec.

  • NCF must always do things to earn donor support

    • Good deeds

    • Good services

  • … and then must ask for support (donations don’t just happen)


Why donations are the way to go
Why Donations are the Way to Go

Less wasted administrative expenses

Attracts sponsors

Differentiates NCF (eg., from ISPs)

Resonates with NCF’s mission and raison d’etre

Dignified accommodation of low-income people

Simple and it works

Low-risk? Members have always come to NCF’s aid

Downsides

  • Some donors are offended by freeloaders (“I pull my weight”)

  • Some people are offended by ambiguous/disingenuous messaging (“Free to use, not free to run”; “Free”Net)


Ncf donation guidance in context
NCF Donation Guidance in Context

Per year

$275 Sympatico dial-up (100 hrs/month max)

$522 Sympatico DSL modem

$621 Rogers Cable modem

$600 Typical Bell phone ($305 base rate)

$237 The Ottawa Citizen

$453 Typical cable TV ($232 base rate)

Compared with NCF’s donation guidance of $60/year


Donations in 2001 jan feb 2002
Donations in 2001 + Jan/Feb 2002

Recommended donation is $60. Average (of those ~50% who donate) is $53

65% of the 2778 users last week were donors in the last year

48% of the 3691 donors last year used the system last week (20% FreePort, 28% PPP)

PPP users: Average donation = $57 (max $550), sum = $59K

FreePort: Average donation = $59 (max $380), sum = $44K

Non-users: Average donation = $49 (max $280), sum = $94K


Average donation by age group
Average Donation by Age Group

0x and 9x groups have insignificant number of members


Average donation by age group1
Average Donation by Age Group

0x and 9x groups have insignificant number of members



Renewal received processed vs target date
Renewal Received & Processed (vs target date)

The arrows indicate when renewal request letters are sent (target date is day zero)

Nov 1997


Expenses
Expenses

  • 24-hour physical security and monitoring; disk back-ups

  • Climate-controlled fire-protected computer room

  • Office space (though not ideal)

  • Some donations are included as ‘amortized expenses’

  • Software development, board members, office help, etc (volunteers)

Much that is donated does not appear in

the financial

statements:


Revenue history after renewal program
Revenue History after Renewal Program

Shift from fund-raising & donor drives to renewal program

Note shortfall in 1998 and donation appeal, then on target

in later years. Organization becomes more independent and

efficient.


Sweet spot sustainable operation
“Sweet Spot” (sustainable operation)

  • Minimum operational functions:

    • System Administration (technical skills)

    • Office Administration (organizational & mgmt skills)

    • Executive Director (mgmt & partnership skills)

  • It is presumed that:

    • These functions are best filled by three different people

    • Contracting (for ‘fractional people’) is non-optimal

  • Thus minimum staff is three people

  • At existing donation levels per person, it takes at least ~12,000 people to support three staff (currently ~7,000 people)

  • Therefore NCF must arrange to support 12,000+ members


Getting to sustainable operation
Getting to Sustainable Operation

  • Sustainable operation with three staff requires ~12,000+ members

  • Donations per member are reasonable – but need more members

  • Total modem capacity is the bottleneck; only supports 7,000 now

  • Modem capacity is Number of Modems x Number of People Willing to Happily Share a Modem

  • External (market) factors and services offered by NCF determine Willingness to Happily Share (and donate)

    • Upgrading modems (eg., from 14.4K) would increase usage per modem

  • Best plan to attract 12,000 donors is probably to increase the number of modems

  • New capacity would probably be noticed without marketing

  • Would people donate for something other than modem access? Ask Yahoo, etc


Governance

Governance

The Board Governs,

the Management Manages.

Play your position.


Board members collectively oversee ncf
Board Members Collectively Oversee NCF

Recruitment text:

  • Prospective board members come from all walks of life and bring varied experience to the Board.

  • The ability to understand financial reporting and to make business decisions is essential

  • Often board members have subject-area expertise, such as experience in management or law.

  • Collectively, NCF's eleven board members have the experience to recognize and approve plans and strategies that will move NCF toward its goals.

  • NCF has a 'governance' board, where day-to-day operations are handled by staff and volunteers, under the management of the Executive Director. The Board sets the mission, vision, principles, and broad policies that guide the Executive Director. The Board is responsible for employing and evaluating the Executive Director, and for monitoring macro parameters that measure the operation of NCF.


Ten basic responsibilities of the board
Ten Basic Responsibilities of the Board

  • Determine the organization's mission and purposes

  • Select the executive staff through an appropriate process

  • Provide ongoing support and guidance for the executive; review his/her performance

  • Ensure effective organizational planning

  • Ensure adequate resources

  • Manage resources effectively (the buck stops with them, ultimately)

  • Determine and monitor the organization's programs and services

  • Enhance the organization's public image

  • Serve as a court of appeal

  • Assess its own performance

    From "Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards," published by the National Center for Nonprofit Boards, Washington, DC 20036. http://www.ncnb.org


Roles in a governance model organization
Roles in a Governance-Model Organization

(adapted from material provided by BOARDWALK: Board Development for Community Organizations, a

volunteer Board Development program of the United Way Ottawa-Carleton, in co-operation with the

YMCA-YWCA of Ottawa)


Organizational roles cont d
Organizational Roles (cont’d)

(adapted from material provided by BOARDWALK: Board Development for Community Organizations, a

volunteer Board Development program of the United Way Ottawa-Carleton, in co-operation with the

YMCA-YWCA of Ottawa)


Relationship between board and staff
Relationship between Board and Staff

  • Board primarily governs, and staff primarily manages

    • Board provides counsel to management and should not get involved in the day-to-day affairs of the organization

  • Directors do not have power or authority individually

    • At times, individual board members may become involved extensively with staff but must keep the full board informed

      (From http://www.nonprofits.org/npofaq/03/16.html)


Relationship with members
Relationship with Members

  • Management, not the Board, should be the center of member attention

    • Members should complain about operations to the ED, not the board

      • Board generally cannot directly address immediate member concerns

    • Board should ensure the ED resolves complaints (thus earns attention)

      • ED must actively address member issues (that’s the ED’s job)

    • If ED cannot solve member concerns, members should complain to the Board (not about the operational issue, but about the lack of response)

  • Board members should be careful not to undermine Management

    • Don’t undermine the ED by attracting (or accepting) attention. If Board is willing to speak with members, why should they speak with Management?

    • Take your cue from corporate and not-for-profit boards – low public profile. Help ED with partners, but not with members.

    • If complaints are not being resolved by ED, find out why, don’t address operational problems yourself (or at least not visibly to members).


Helpful adjuncts to a governance board
Helpful Adjuncts to a Governance Board

  • To avoid distracting from and compromising governance functions, sometimes it is useful to create honorary and/or advisory boards as adjuncts

    • ‘Board’ designation is simply an honorific

    • People are selected by governance board for their appropriateness

  • Honorary board

    • People willing to help by lending their name (not their effort)

    • The more honorary board members, the merrier

    • No governance or management involvement

  • Advisory board

    • Experts/experienced people willing to assist and coach management

    • Small number of advisory board members, and as required

    • No governance involvement (governance board arbitrates)


Governing by use of key indicators
Governing by Use of Key Indicators

  • Management should be governed by a mission and measured by key indicators.

  • Strategy document produced by Management helps ensure good understanding between Mgmt and Board/members/supporters

  • Performance is measured by key indicators

    • Usually revenue

    • Donations from members, Number of members

  • Key indicators keep the relationship clean, impersonal, and effective

    • Everyone knows how it’s going without having to be told or surprised

    • No hard feelings – it’s business

  • Helps resist the temptation to micro-manage

  • Stick to key indicators

    • Many indicators becomes no indicators

    • Becomes management by committee

    • Reduces accountability (if the Board manages, what’s left for ED to do?)


Why member donations is a key indicator
Why Member Donations is a Key Indicator

A good key indicator is one that:

  • Reflects the health and success of the organization wrt its mission

  • Induces all the right behaviours from management (without having to specify those behaviours)

  • Is easily measured and obvious to everyone

  • Is difficult to accomplish in undesired ways

    “Donations from members” is a great key indicator because:

  • Donations must be earned by good service/performance

    • People only donate if they are happy with NCF

  • Making people happy with NCF requires doing many things well

  • Donations are NCF’s lifeblood

    Thus donations from members is a perfect direct and indirect measure of NCF’s operational performance

  • Other revenue is excluded because NCF wants to be dependent only on its members (and be accountable to only its members)


Doing the board job diligently
Doing the board job diligently

  • Always do what a “reasonably prudent person” would do.

    • Ask for data that you need; it’s your right and obligation.

  • When approving a financial statement, the Board says “we say to members that these statements are correct”

    • How do you know the statements are correct?

    • What would a reasonably prudent person do?

    • Advice: Set up a finance committee with qualified members. Know in detail how the money is spent.

  • Checks and balances are the basis of good accountability; be sure they exist.

    • It has evolved in reaction to centuries of scams and fraud

    • Good check-and-balances are like good fences (good neighbours)

    • Be proactive; waiting for cause creates suspicion and ill-will, but being proactive creates respect. It’s about doing the job expected of the board and creating an organization with obvious high integrity

  • Accepting responsibility earns respect in the community

    • Respect is earned by operating with diligence and by organizational success



Advice observations
Advice & Observations

  • Governance Board governs:

    • Align with members and community, not with management

    • Set your own agenda (plan instead of react/respond to mgmt and events)

    • Know where the money is going (liability)

    • Ask for information you need (to act “reasonably prudent”)

    • Having more than one/two key indicators is like having no key indicators

  • Management ED manages:

    • Keep the Board informed (don’t hide problems or delay discussion)

    • Be open and honest (discuss, not ignore, unwanted Board decisions)

    • Effective and productive: Build team spirit and get things done

    • Serve the members (not institutions, corporations, advertisers, etc)

  • Volunteering is an opportunity (not a ‘right’)

  • Members-owners are also customers and can walk away (and have)

    • “No one has ever won an argument with a customer” (German)

    • “The customer is always right” (American)

  • Newsgroup postings are not representative of NCF members

    • Use random phone lists and surveys; don’t rely on newsgroups or meeting


Advice observations cont d
Advice & Observations (cont’d)

  • As NCF becomes successful, interest groups will want to co-opt NCF

    • Everyone can *use* NCF but no one interest group should run NCF

    • Keep NCF-admin pages clear of non-NCF matters, and give equal treatment to everyone in indices, etc

  • Some members may act like customers, not owners

    • Vote for “free goodies”

    • “Democracy” is best with fully-informed voters

      • Becoming informed takes work; what’s the motivation? What stake?

  • Who should vote? (NCF is worth $millions?)

    • Voting age

    • Locals

    • Authenticated (one vote)


Useful resources
Useful Resources

Internet Nonprofit Center (http://www.nonprofits.org/npofaq/)

(excellent info on governance and organization)

Ottawa Volunteer Center

(excellent info on creating vibrant volunteer programs)

NCF Board manual

(but needs to be updated)

People at Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) (http://www.piac.ca)

(informal legal advice)

“Duties of Directors” at http://www.osler.com/ (look under Publications)

(good review of the duties of directors of Canadian corporations)

Board members, Members of NCF, and the Citizens of Ottawa

(just need to be asked)


Ncf is poised for success 2002
NCF is poised for Success! (2002)

  • Contracts are coming to fruition

    • HRDC thin client

    • SmartCapital webmail, extended access, thin client

  • Online Community software packages are available

    • NCF has been running FreePort since the days of Windows 3.1

    • Hardware has been upgraded – now time to upgrade community network software?

    • WebCrossing, CommunityZero, etc

  • Opportunity to establish a well-structured organization

    • Modern infrastructure (ISP-like, including office systems)

    • Proven organizational models/methods and volunteer programs

  • With all its advantages, NCF ought to be able to operate as well or better than benchmark for-profit organizations

    • But intentionally two or three years behind, in terms of ISP technology

  • Go for it! More than one million National Capital residents await! NCF helps make the National Capital region a better place to live.