Post-Event Report: SOAK*2019 Leads Retreat

Last weekend (February 8-10), the Precipitation Northwest board attended the annual SOAK Leads Retreat. This event happens every year and is considered the official kickoff for the year’s SOAK event.

Organized by the SOAK Producers, this retreat has traditionally been attended by all of the SOAK Department Leads, as well as the RCs. Last year (2018), the Precipitation Northwest Board was invited to attend for a few hours to share updates and discuss things like event finances. Following last year’s event, Leads and Producers decided to invite the Precipitation Northwest board to stay and participate in the whole weekend starting in 2019.

The Leads Retreat is a chance for this year’s Producers, Department Leads, and the Precipitation Northwest Board to gather and prepare for the upcoming event and plan the weeks of hard work ahead.

This year’s retreat was held at Mount Hood Kiwanis Camp, and was attended by 6 of the 7 Precipitation NW board members, all 3 SOAK*2019 Producers, and 36 of the 38 Leads. Tzara, one of the three Portland RCs, also attended.

Here’s an overview of the agenda for the weekend. This agenda is set by the Producers, designed to orient new and returning leads about the upcoming year.

  • Friday arrival & overnight

  • Saturday presentations & breakout sessions (9am-6:30pm)

  • Sunday presentations (9am-10:30am)

In addition to discussing things like resources and budgets, the day also included time for each department to review 2018’s After Burn Reports (ABRs), which are reports written by last year’s leads that summarize important learnings and recommendations for how to improve over last year.

The Precipitation Northwest board presented 2 different sessions - one on Saturday morning about their organization, recent updates and developments, and a chance to address some questions that came up from (or since) last year’s event. The second session was on Saturday afternoon, and was all about finances --- specifically about how the Producers and Department Leads work together to propose both individual department budgets AND an overall event budget request to the board, which the board then reviews and approves.

In addition to a wide range of important event production discussions, there were two sessions on Saturday that the board was particularly excited about. First, the Producers prepared a short history lesson about the Portland burner scene and the precursors to what we now know as SOAK. This was a wonderful opportunity for everyone to hear about the legacy and history of our vibrant Burner community!

The second session of note was an open discussion with the Leads about their thoughts about the future of SOAK. This rich and passionate conversation gave all in attendance (board, Producers, Leads, and RCs) a chance to share their ideas and dreams for not only the SOAK event, but also for the broader Portland burner community. The board would like to thank all those who shared their thoughtful and creative ideas - this sort of feedback is extremely helpful when considering how they can continue to serve the community.

A special thanks to KosherBacon who volunteered his time to prepare and organize meals for the team over the entire weekend, and RC Tzara who joined us for the weekend to share ideas and wisdom!

Overall, Precipitation Northwest left the weekend inspired by and grateful for the hard work and dedication displayed by everyone who help makes SOAK happen, and deeply appreciates the opportunity to be working alongside such passionate and dedicated volunteers!

Post-Event Report: Annual General Meeting

On Sunday, 1/20/19, Board of Precipitation Northwest held its first Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AGM was held from 4pm-6pm at the Burner Barn and was also broadcast online via Zoom link. The event was promoted on Precipitation Northwest’s website, on their Facebook page, and also on the Portland Burners Facebook page.


In addition to all 7 of the current Board members and the Q&A moderator, there were approximately 15 people who attended the meeting in person, with an additional 5 people joining online.

The full presentation is available here, but in summary, the Board spent 1 hour presenting on the following topics:

  • A general overview of the structure of the Board and how the Board functions

  • Introductions of 3 new Board members who joined starting January 1 (Sarah, Dale, and Danielle)

  • A brief overview of financial and business responsibilities as a 501c3 nonprofit

  • How the the Board interacts with the production teams of Precipitation Northwest events (namely SOAK and BurnOut)

  • How the Board interacts with SOAK LLC

  • How the Board interacts with Portland’s Regional Contacts (RCs), who are the Burning Man Organization’s (BMORG’s) appointed volunteers (Click here to learn more about the BMORg’s RC program and about the RC selection criteria)

  • Known issues, concerns, and questions that about the organization

In addition to the above topics, there was a moderated 45 minute Q&A session that was facilitated by Sarah Nordbye Brice. Attendees online and in-person were invited to write down questions for the Board during the session. These questions were collected and reviewed during a break, and as many questions as possible were answered in the time allotted.  

The meeting was a success, and the Board plans to hold these more frequently (at least 1x a year, if not more!) to allow for more opportunities for the community to address concerns, ask questions, share ideas, and give feedback about their ongoing work.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to join, and for the thoughtful and passionate feedback that was shared!

The Board sees this AGM event, and the upcoming Town Hall event on February 16, as important opportunities to continue to improve communication, increase transparency, and foster collaboration with the community about the work they do.

A special thanks to our Q&A session moderator Sarah Nordbye Brice, and the Burner Barn Manager KosherBacon for helping us set up!

Board Personnel Update

Happy New Year to our beloved community! We have two updates to share with you.

Welcome to Our New Board Members: Danielle, Sarah, and Dale

For the last two months, we have been in the process of recruiting new members to join our all-volunteer Board of Directors. Adrian, Harry, Ryan, and Amelia composed our recruitment committee and interviewed several qualified candidates in December 2018.

We are thrilled to welcome three new members to our Board starting in 2019: Danielle Parks, Sarah Honeycutt, and Dale Lucht. All three will serve at minimum one 3-year term, lasting from January 2019 through December 2021.

Sarah, Dale, and Danielle are excited to get started and get to know more local Burners in their new role - click here to read their bios! You can also meet them, as well as our other board members (Ryan, Ariel, Harry, and Adrian) at our upcoming Precipitation Northwest General Meeting on Sunday, January 20th or at Burning Man Portland Town Hall on Saturday, February 19th.

Retiring Board Members: Amelia & Becca

At the end of every board member’s initial 3-year term, each member can choose whether they want to continue to volunteer and serve on the board or if they are ready to retire.

After serving productive 3-year terms, both Becca and Amelia have both chosen to retire as of December 2018. Amelia served as Precipitation Northwest's inaugural board President in 2016 and 2017, and served on the Development and Finance Committees. Becca was our Board President in 2018 and participated in the Programs Committee, and also served as the Board's event liaison to our volunteer Producers for both SOAK and BurnOut. We will miss both Becca and Amelia, and are grateful for their dedicated contributions over the years!

Upcoming Event: Precipitation Northwest General Meeting

In response to recent Facebook conversations, questions from the community, and an ongoing effort for us to increase transparency, communication, and understanding about what Precipitation Northwest actually does, we have decided to host a public event on January 20th at the Burner Barn.

This info session / meeting / event will be moderated, and will be an opportunity for us to…

  • Talk about the Board’s structure and operations

  • Introduce the community to our incoming and current board members

  • Answer questions from the community about the organization and what it does

This event is free and open to the public, and will be held at the Burner Barn (6425 SE Lambert St., Portland, OR.) Please note that the meeting room is up a flight of stairs and is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible.

For those who cannot attend in person, we will post a link for you to listen in remotely on our Facebook event page.

Seeking Qualified Board Members

The Board supports the work of Precipitation Northwest and provides leadership, oversight, and strategic governance to the organization and greater community. Board members currently oversee certain programs and projects within the community. The board does not produce events or manage general operations, but have important legal and fiduciary responsibility for Precipitation Northwest. Board members have the opportunity to:

  • Develop and implement Precipitation Northwest’s strategic plan.

  • Review the outcomes of projects produced by PNW and evaluate their impact towards the organization's mission.

  • Review agendas and supporting materials prior to board and committee meetings.

  • Approve Precipitation Northwest’s annual budget, auditing reports, and material business decisions; keeping informed of and meeting all legal and fiduciary responsibilities.

  • Assist the board chair in identifying and recruiting other Board Members.

  • Partnering with other board members to ensure that board resolutions are carried out.

  • Serving on committees or task forces and taking on special assignments.

  • Representing PNW to stakeholders and acting as an ambassador for the organization.

  • Ensuring Precipitation Northwest’s commitment to a diverse board and staff that reflects the communities that Precipitation Northwest serves

QUALIFICATIONS

Ideal candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • A commitment to and understanding of the mission of Precipitation Northwest and the diversity of the community.

  • Extensive professional experience with executive leadership in business, government, philanthropy, or the nonprofit sector.

  • Specific experience with non-profit accounting and legal support, fundraising, program development, human resources and volunteer management.

  • Knowledge of how to internet, including Google Drive and other productivity apps.

  • Commitment to a minimum term of 3 years.

  • An affinity for persuading, convening, facilitating, and building consensus among diverse individuals.

  • Personal qualities of integrity and credibility.

  • Engagement with Precipitation Northwest activities and events.

  • Must play well with others.

  • Must not serve as either a SOAK or BurnOut Producer or Lead during their term on the board

  • Time Commitment: 8 to 20 hours per month. Minimum: 2 hours monthly for board meetings, plus about 1-2 hours a week for to-dos, emails, etc. At busy times, you can expect up to 20 hours a month depending on how many committees you are on, if you are an officer, and any outside events or trainings.

SERVICE ON PRECIPITATION NORTHWEST’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS IS WITHOUT REMUNERATION, EXCEPT FOR ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT, TRAVEL, AND ACCOMMODATION COSTS IN RELATION TO BOARD MEMBERS’ DUTIES.

STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

Under the Oregon Revised Statute for nonprofits, Chapter 65, each board member must meet certain standards of conduct. These standards are typically described as Duty of Care, Duty of Loyalty, and Duty of Obedience. For additional information please see ORS Ch. 65.


INTERESTED?

Applications and nominations will be accepted for consideration through November 18, 2018. To apply or nominate someone, please email Board@precipitationnw.org.

For applications, please include your resume or CV, cover letter, and three professional references with the Subject line “Board Recruitment.”

For nominations, please include the person’s full name and an email address to contact them with the Subject line “Board Nomination.”

Burn Out 2018 Update

After much discussion and deliberation, Precipitation Northwest has decided to cancel Burnout 2018. The board came to this decision after months of discussions among ourselves, with RC’s, current and past event producers, and various community members. Due to lack of interest from the community to help produce the event, the board has decided to focus community resources towards future events and beyond.

Outreach for the production volunteer position via Facebook and personal outreach did not result in any applicants. While we are disappointed by the lack of interest for producing this event, we feel this is a clear message that perhaps what the community needs are more leadership development opportunities. We have a few ideas we’re working on, including potentially creating a Northwest Leadership Summit (similar to Burning Man’s Global Leadership Conference) and working to re-imagine a better Burnout that the community can get behind.


If you have an interest in participating in the Northwest Leadership Summit, helping us create an awesome Burnout 2019, or have any other event ideas that you think align with Precipitation Northwest’s mission statement, please contact us by sending an email to programs@precipitationnw.org.


Want to stay in contact with the local Portland Burner community throughout the year?

  • Meet local burners at Woosday, an unofficial burner gathering, every Tuesday night at Roadside Attraction beginning around 6pm.

  • Join the Portland Burners group on Facebook

  • Follow the Burning Man Portland page on Facebook

  • Contact the Precipitation NW Board for volunteer opportunities by emailing board@precipitationnw.org

Happy New Year from the Precipitation Northwest Board of Directors!

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 board@precipitationnw.org. 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 board@precipitationnw.org.

- Becca, Ryan, Ariel, Harry, Amelia, Adrian

Board of Directors, Precipitation Northwest

Precipitation Northwest Board Recruitment

Update: The deadline for board recruitment has passed. Thank you all for your interest in participating!

Foster and inspire our greater Portland community in producing “engaging, participatory, socially and environmentally responsible projects and events that support collaborative art, civic involvement and skill development” as the newest Board Member of Precipitation NW.

We are actively recruiting civically engaged professionals to join our enthusiastic and skilled Board of Directors. Do you have experience in nonprofit accounting? Program development? Are you passionate about Human Resources and Volunteer Management? Find out more at the board page

The board of Precipitation NorthWest is hosting a meet and greet at Manifestation PDX on Monday November 28th from 6:30pm to 9pm. Please RSVP via Facebook.

Board members provide leadership, oversight, and strategic governance of all activities led by Precipitation NW. Board members participate in active fundraising events and activities.  

NOTE: Service on Precipitation NW’s Board of Directors is without remuneration, except for administrative support, travel, and accommodation costs in relation to board member’s duties.

Interested? Please email Board@precipitationnw.orginclude your resume or CV, cover letter, and three professional references with the Subject line “Board Recruitment”.

Applications will be accepted for consideration through Friday, December 9th.