As we look forward to an exciting new year, we wanted to take a moment to pause and look back on what was a very busy 2017 for us.
Milestones this year:
January: We brought on 2 new board members to kick off the new year, Ariel Rigney and Ryan Krellwitz. We also published a Joint Statement to the SOAK Community with SOAK LLC, which provided information about the status of our organization and our new role regarding our region’s burner activities and sanctioned regional event, SOAK.
February: We presented at Town Hall 2017, the annual meeting to update the community about Burning Man and our regional, SOAK. We shared about our activities over the past year, challenges, and next steps for our organization. (Mark your calendars: we’ll be presenting at Town Hall 2018 on Sunday, February 18th! Click here to see the Facebook event.)
March: We had the first meeting of our newly created Development Committee, which is responsible for fundraising, marketing, promotions, external communications, and branding.
April: We launched our Logo Development Project, which allowed us to identify and partner with an artist to develop a logo for our new organization. We learned a lot about this process and want to thank the community for their feedback regarding our initial logo competition.
May: We served as members of the SOAK Event Operations team alongside SOAK LLC and Producers Honeybee and Starfish, shadowing the team and contributing to high-level decision making. We also also successfully administered the SOAK*2017 art grants program for the second year in a row. With a budget of $6,000, and we are proud to have funded 28 projects. We also had a great time chatting with many of you at our board’s Meet & Greet at Business Casual.
June: We held our first annual board retreat, where we spent two intense days strategizing our new organization, as well as creating a new mission statement and vision statement.
August: Big news --- we were granted federal 501c3 nonprofit tax exempt status!
October: This was a busy month for us. We launched our updated website with our new mission and vision, and unveiled our new logo - Nimbus. (Special thanks to graphic designer Ka(Ren) Green who created our fabulous new look for us. Read more about this process in our Special Branding Press Release). This month we also produced our first event, BurnOut 2017. Shout-out to Producer Ice Queen, Assistant Producers Starfish and Pablovex, and all our volunteers for helping us throw such an amazing event! Over 520 people joined in the fun, we received $280 in tax-deductible donations, and donated $1,128 to support artists in our community.
In addition to looking back on our past year of activities, here are some projects we are currently working on.
Introducing the new Conduct Review Panel: It is our intent to be responsive to the needs of our community and to help make our community and events more transparent. As a result, we have begun the process of launching a Conduct Review Panel that will be responsible for receiving and investigating reports of misconduct within the Precipitation Northwest community and events. The policies and procedures established and enforced by this Panel will be applicable to all events that our organization is legally and financially responsible for managing (including but not limited to SOAK and BurnOut.) We have worked closely with RCs and other regionals to establish a transparent structure for this Panel. This process is being led by Adrian “Cucumber” Thomas-Eikmann, and anyone who has questions, concerns, or would like more information about this program are encouraged to contact us directly at email@example.com. We announce more details about this program and post a call for volunteers on our website soon.
New & Retired Board Members: We are pleased to announce our newest board member, Harry Nedley, who joined our Board of Directors in January 2018. (Click here to read his bio!) While we are not accepting applications at this time, you can learn more about what it takes to be on our board by reading our recruitment announcement here. We’d like to acknowledge two former board members who retired in 2017 - Julia Betts and Tomcat Martin. Julia’s service concluded at the end of October, and Tomcat completed his service at the end of December.We’re so grateful to them both for their hard work and volunteerism over the last two years, and wish them the best of luck as they move on to new and exciting personal and professional projects.
BurnOut*2017 Survey Feedback: Thank you to the 114 people who took the time to fill out our survey in November. We’ve gotten a lot of feedback about what was great and what can be improved for next year, and look forward to integrating this into our plans for BurnOut*2018.
SOAK*2018 Update: After applying in September, our Outdoor Mass Gathering Permit was approved as of December 6th. We trekked out to Tygh Valley to attend the public hearing with the Wasco County Commissioners. SOAK Producer Honeybee and RC Ice Queen spoke on the event’s behalf, and the hearing was attended by two Precipitation Northwest board members, as well as several SOAK leads, volunteers, and community members. Also in attendance were the Wasco County fire chief and one of the Justesen family members who spoke in support of our event. This was the first major step in the SOAK*2018 event cycle, along with recruitment of the Leads team and two new Associate Producers. We are grateful to Pablovex and Tacy “Sweet Pea” for stepping up into this leadership role, and are working with them and Honeybee to facilitate the event production process. Make sure to check the official Facebook page for SOAK*2018: Parallel Multiverse for the most recent updates!
Strategic Planning: After taking our first two years to get on our proverbial feet as an organization, we’re excited to announce the launch of a strategic planning process that will result in a template for measuring our success and growth over the next 3-4 years. Plans for this process and what the final product will look like are still taking shape, but we plan to involve the community in gathering the information and feedback that will inform our objectives. Stay tuned for updates as this project unfolds!
In closing, we’d like to thank you, our community, for your continued support and patience. Building Portland’s brand-new burner nonprofit business from the ground up is a lot of work, and don’t forget, we are not only community members just like you, but we are also all volunteers! We’re honored and grateful to be able to support our local community through our organization, and encourage you to reach out to us with ideas, questions, and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Becca, Ryan, Ariel, Harry, Amelia, Adrian
Board of Directors, Precipitation Northwest