Sounders Community Trust Membership Update – March 2016
Thank you for being a member and for your support as work continues on building the foundation for the Sounders Community Trust (SCT). You’ve been patient, extremely patient, throughout 2015. In October, members were invited to provide feedback on a range of topics, and we’ve read through each response to help guide our decisions as we work towards the realization of one member, one vote. Please feel free to read the brief summary of the survey results.
Shortly, if you have not already, you will receive an update from the Sounders regarding Founders Club refunds. As stated by the Sounders, refunds will not affect your membership in SCT. From the SCT organizational perspective, the single, most important highlight coming out of the announcement is that the SCT continues to hold a 20% interest in Seattle Sounders 2. You retain SCT membership today and will moving forward. Movement towards a membership-based organization continues and is detailed below.
We understand if there are frustrations in the pace of our progress and in the lack of communications in 2015. We also hear you that this can be a great organization, with many positive impacts on our local soccer community. Meeting notes for 2015 and the first two meetings of 2016 will be available for your review in the near future. Moving forward, we are committed to delivering SCT board notes within two weeks of our meetings. The SCT Board meets on the third Tuesday of each month and we will post back/future meeting notes on the SCT Blog at www.sounderscommunitytrust.org/blog/.
Progress continues. Interim bylaws have been ratified until the SCT becomes membership driven; please read the interim bylaws. The intent of the bylaws is to guide the Board of Directors through the transition to being a membership driven organization. The Board considers these temporary and we are working towards finalizing the creation of bylaws for the membership driven organization.
Formalizing the relationship between SCT and the Sounders continues and we remain confident that we the progress we’ve made on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be finalized in the near future. At the same time as the membership-driven by-laws development and working towards finalization of the MOU, we are exploring ways to generate a revenue stream to build a healthy, long-lasting organization.
Roadmaps are important. The Board has laid out the SCT roadmap for the next few months:
- 501c(3) application: The legal review process turned out to be longer than originally anticipated in 2015, but the application is now in process. Final IRS approval can take several months, but we are confident that K&L Gates, our legal firm, will steer us through this important task.
- Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): nearly final and jointly developed by SCT and Sounders legal teams.
- Projected date of finalization: mid-April
- Finalization of bylaws establishing the SCT as a membership driven organization
- Projected completion and approval date by Interim SCT Board: Mid-April
- Town Hall meeting
- Date/Location: April 16, at The Ninety. Plan for 3:30-4:30, beer and food available for purchase, proceeds go to SCT’s charity fund.
- Meeting for SCT members only with announcements about the new, member-driven structure of SCT
- Discussion of the new organizational structure, election plans for the new Board of Directors, etc
- Annual General Meeting
- Projected date: Mid-June
- Location: TBD
- Election of new Board of Directors
- Charity funding discussion/decisions
Participation is key. The interim SCT Board’s goal is align the structure of the SCT to allow for all members to have a voice and to improve the participation by members who want to be involved.
Finally, there have been updates to the SCT Board. First, the Board would like to thank Angelica Germani and Stephanie Steiner, who both helped guide the conversations and efforts to create the SCT and served through 2015. Both have left the Board, effective January 1, 2016. In addition, we welcomed Daniel Roe and Thom Kephart to the organization. Dan is using his background in finance and accounting to guide conversations around fiduciary responsibilities, while Thom will be guiding our communications and marketing efforts. Additionall, in 2016 Thomas Buford joined the Board and has already brought a wealth of experience having served on numerous non-profit boards in recent years.
To reiterate the main points of this update in closing:
- The SCT board is committed towards turning this into a membership-driven organization by the middle of 2016.
- Progress is being made on establishing structure.
- Your voice is being heard and we are committed to improving transparency.
- The roadmap outlines our plan of action.
Thanks for your continued and committed support.
Your interim SCT Board of Directors