Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

Doterati Doesn't Get It

Fri, 10/24/2008 - 04:37 -- rprice

Doterati is holding elections for their advisory board. The current leadership has decided that they will not be allowed to govern next year, in an attempt at humility, or checks and balances. In theory, this is a good idea.

However, what if the best people to steer the organization are already in the right place?

Edit: Only one member of the current board is allowed to sit on the elections committee. They are looking for some volunteers to round out the electorate.

However, and this is the big one for me, in order to nominate anyone, you must be a paying ($150) member.

This community is synthetic - if one really wants to support all of Central Florida, why not invite all of Central Florida to participate?

Take down the pay wall. I won't vote if voting comes with a price tag.


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I'd be happy to help you understand our process for installing a new board for 2009. Feel free to give me a call directly if you'd like to discuss: 407.310.0066. I've also provided a very high-level response below.

Our current board was self-appointed mid-year, as a result of our advisory board that was formed in January of this year. As a 501c3 non-profit we decided to run our fiscal on a calendar year; therefore, the board will be voted in for a term of Jan 1, 2009 - Dec 31, 2009.

The current board members can be nominated for 2009, so your statement above that we will not be allowed to govern is not accurate. I am from the mindset that it is very important to get the right people on the board, so I expect that some current members will be nominated for their existing position or a different position. I also expect that some of the current board members will elect to step down and take a role as a committee member or simply a member.

This is actually a huge opportunity for those that haven't been involved thus far to get involved and step up to a position on the doterati board. We would like to encourage diversity in both our board and membership. Also, we've currently been operating with a few vacant positions and I'm very excited to see who else will join the board for 2009!

It's also important for us to identify volunteers and committee members, in addition to the board for 2009. I would encourage you and others reading this to consider where you'd like to get involved and let us know.

Similar to other professional associations, members will vote at an annual meeting. The voting is not open to the general community at large, because it is a privilege to participate in voting as a member of the association. This is a standard operating procedure and not one that was intended to alienate non-members.

For more information on how to become a member, how to participate on the nominating committee, positions that are available and how to volunteer to to our website:

Let me know if you have any other questions and thanks for allowing me to provide clarification Ryan.

I'm sorry if I misunderstood something Tara, did you mean that only one member of the board is eligible to sit on the nominations committee?

"Only one Member of the 2008 doterati Temporary Board of Directors is elligible" [sic]

Hi Ryan - that's correct. That could have probably been made more clear.

So as to not introduce bias into the nominating committee, only one current board member is eligible to sit on the nominating committee.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Happy Friday!


Before I pay a membership fee, I'd like to see a budget, and that's something I haven't seen included when the membership benefits are mentioned - even a general statement - how much goes toward education, events, administrative costs, running the website, etc.

If such a document has been published, please point me to it, and I will further consider becoming a member in full standing with your organization.

Submitted by Mike (not verified) on

Which memberships do you belong that have elected offices and no membership fees? I certainly don't come across too many (school committee?). Unfortunately, feedback from other organizations suggests that when an election is held with no formal membership requirement, friends, friends of friends, and other dis-interested parties show up to stack the deck. Is membership cost too high? Maybe. Does paying a membership mean someone doesn't get it? I , and every union, Lions, Kiwanis, Chamber, Rotary, Bar Association, IMA, Publicly Traded Company (shareholders), 501c3, Fraternity, Sorority, Fantasy League, etc. would disagree.


Practically all organizations that have a concept of "membership" require you to be a member before you're eligible to vote, so I won't fault them on that. I *do* fault them on having a membership rate that is honestly way too high and definitely gives off an elitist odor.

Ryan - I've provided the formal position regarding the current status and direction of doterati below. Again, let me know if you have any other questions. Have a good weekend!

doterati is a member-based educational organization designed to promote the practices of interactive marketing and technology to people within Central Florida. The overwhelming majority of our current resources (financial and volunteers) is allocated to provide affordable educational opportunities to anyone that shares a curiosity, interest, passion, profession, or obsession with interactive marketing, media, and technology. While the membership is primarily comprised of marketers and technologists, it is not intended to be exclusive to creatives. To date, we have helped educate and inform individuals with backgrounds in finance, human resources, retail, association management, real estate, customer service, internal audit, and public relations, and others.

As most any organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Florida, our board of directors will be elected annually. In this case, the volunteer board members will be elected by its members. Much like any other association or non-profit organization, this volunteer board will provide the strategic vision, stewardship, and corporate governance to help ensure its growth and sustainability. At this time, it is the decision of the board to follow best practices in non-profit governance and not share private and confidential information pertaining to any contracts, agreements, budgets, and financial information to non-members, outside of its annual report that is required to be made public under IRS ruling.

However, given that doterati is in the initial phase of its lifecycle, any budgetary information could be considered a preliminary forecast due to the uncertainty of membership and revenue growth. The current plan as developed by the Board is to continue to invest its cash on hand in as many free or low cost educational programs as possible while working diligently to become financially sustainable.