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FCIG Report

5,117 bytes added, 20:36, 25 July 2017
updated to add Appendix B summarizing results of conversation with Educopia
Code4Lib Fiscal Continuity Interest Group Report
23 January 2017, updated on 25 July 2017
== A. Executive Summary ==
The FCIG shared communications via a Google group list, and met via videochat 1-2 times per month from July 1, 2016 - Dec. 23, 2016. [ Meeting notes] are shared at the FCIG wiki page within the main Code4Lib wiki.
In initial discussions, the group brainstormed many potential options to explore as ways for Code4Lib to move forward in establishing, or determining not to establish, an ongoing fiscal entity; the FCIG wiki page contains an [ extensive list] of these possibilities. Group consensus determined which of these preliminary possibilities to gather more information about. Individuals volunteered to do the work of investigating each option. In order to provide a consistent and comprehensive template for discussions with potential fiscal sponsors, Coral Sheldon-Hess compiled a list of questions which was reviewed and agreed upon by the group. This list is included in the Appendix A section of this report.
== C. Findings ==
<li><p>Are there any significant incompatibilities between your mission and Code4Lib’s?</p></li>
<li><p>Are you able to readily collect funds in a variety of ways, such as check, bank transfer, PayPal, direct credit card payments, and so forth?</p></li></ol>
= Appendix B — Educopia =
This section is an addenda to the Report of the FCIG, which was first shared with Code4Lib on January 23, 2017. After the FCIG shared its Report with Code4Lib in late January, we were subsequently able to follow up on our initial inquiry to Educopia, and have prepared this summary of our findings about that option.
The Code4Lib FCIG first reached out to Educopia on January 11, 2017 to inquire out if there might be a possibility for a fiscal sponsorship or similar arrangement. We were subsequently able to arrange a phone call for a conversation with Katherine Skinner, Executive Director, Sam Meister, Preservation Communities Manager, and Christina Drummond, Director of Strategic Initiatives of Educopia, on January 31, 2017. In advance of the phone conversation, we sent via email our list of questions for potential sponsors, and our framing questions about duration - to ask about possibilities for short-term or longer-term options for a fiscal sponsorship arrangement.
Our phone conversation on January 31 confirmed that the aims of Educopia’s partnership program are well-matched to Code4Lib’s commitment to a decentralized, low-cost/low-overhead model for community-led action. The significant scope of services available within Educopia’s model for development partnerships, however, likely exceeds the current scope of the FCIG’s Report, which has been to investigate options for the primary purpose of securing ongoing fiscal sponsorship for Code4Lib’s annual conference. For this reason, the FCIG would recommend that if Code4Lib community members wish to initiate a conversation about pursuing further options relative to Educopia’s partnership program, a process for further investigation and discussion by the community should be undertaken to determine if consensus exists to pursue this option.
To summarize Educopia’s work and approach, this group works with communities at various stages - “nascent, growing, or revitalizing” - who are actively seeking to grow and mature organizationally. The wide range of communities Educopia engages work in a range of strategic areas, and are typically focused around a defined research area. Educopia’s incubator partnerships support organizational maturation by providing information and expertise to assist with development through a series of structured steps, addressing areas including methods for outreach, building revenue models, and considerations for governance structures to facilitate collaborative, responsive partnerships.
This model is in alignment with Code4Lib’s cultural values and objectives, but deciding to move in this direction would constitute a significant step relative to Code4Lib’s history and identity thus far as a loosely-affiliated community that embraces its role as an open forum for its members’ diverse and ever-expanding research interests, rather than focusing around a particular defined area of research. For this reason, the FCIG has determined that this option would require further investigation and significant community evaluation, which exceeds the scope of this Report.
A couple additional points emerged from the conversation with Educopia, which may be useful to include in the broader community discussion as it unfolds. Throughout our communications, Educopia expressed strong support for Code4Lib’s exploration of options for developing our community, and their initiatives in this area suggest several areas of expertise that could be very useful for Code4Lib’s community to keep in mind going forward, which we have outlined below.
First, Educopia’s explicit [ mission], “to build networks and collaborative communities to help cultural, scientific, and scholarly institutions achieve greater impact” is clearly closely aligned with many areas within Code4Lib’s objectives. In practical terms, this suggests that if Code4Lib decides to pursue some form of organizational structure in the future, Educopia’s expertise, particularly in helping communities to grow and articulate their strengths and purpose from the earliest stages, and to come up with mechanisms to move forward in making connections” across institutions and sectors” for the purpose of knowledge sharing, could greatly assist Code4Lib’s efforts. A specific example discussed in our phone call on January 31 is that Educopia could be a source for recommendations about facilitator/consulting services, to assist with providing neutrality for community development discussions if this avenue is pursued. Another potential area of overlap between Educopia’s work and Code4Lib’s activities would be if the Code4Lib Journal were to become a further developed initiative in the future. Educopia mentioned their interest in the Journal as a vigorous example of sustained, community-driven and practical research by and for information professionals, and their experience in supporting interdisciplinary research efforts in this field could be relevant in supporting this endeavor as well.

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