Annual Report 2010
Another year has gone by and we have continued advancing step-by-step into the world of Virtual admnistration. Since this time last year, we held a fabulous District Assembly. At this meeting for the first time we set up a Media Team who managed to record virtually every workshop at DA and get many of them up on our website the same day! It was so successful that this year we're going to have a table specific for the Media Team where our team members can gather and where you can come to ask questions and get knowledgeable answers with your technology issues!
At General Assembly we took advantage of being a Virtual Office and simply declared that a specific table in the exhibition hall was the Central Midwest District Office. Folks knew to meet us there and they did!
We've discovered a number of tools to help us with this, some of which may be useful to you, too. For instance,
- We are holding more and more of our workshops virtually using telephony and internet connections. Our thanks go to the office of the Prairie Star District for providing the hosting for many of these.
- We continue to rely heavily on online file services to not only store our many files, but also to conveniently transfer larger electronic files to each other.
- Speaking of files, we no longer mail out large packets of materials to our Board members. Instead, we store one copy of the entire packet on a secure area of our Web Site, and Board members log in there to read them. We do the same thing with our Chalice Lighter Grant Applications: the Chalice Lighter Committee reads the documents from their secure web site area, rather than in hard copy, saving many resources both financial and ecological.
- And on a larger scale, most of you are reading this Annual Report online rather than in hard copy, and resource savings on not mailing the Annual Report has been substantial. In terms of financial savings alone, we saved more than $1,300 in printing and postage.
- A good third of our Chalice Lighters have opted to receive their Call letters electronically rather than on paper via the US mails, again saving printing and postage costs which can better be used for resources for our congregations.
- The staff meets virtually every week using an internet telephony provider. And we've even held Finance Committee meetings with some members dialing in. I know Ian and Dori hold many multi location meetings via conference call.
- We are continuing to record meetings and post links to them on our web site.
- The UUA has created a web tool called MyUUA.Org where designated users from every congregation in the country can go in and update their own records online. We have been working with them, and this year we are going to stop forcing congregations to repeat their same information to both the UUA and us, and we will get our information from the MyUUA.Org site. Our information will be as up to date as you good folks can make it.