Planning Checklist

Once A Year

Summer Potluck

In the summer we get together to eat. We usually do this around the summer solstice (approx 1st day of summer). (This was when it was joint with the Unitarian Universalists.) But typically before people get too deep in to vacationing and cottage living and that sort of stuff.

In the past it was the 'president's picnic' where the president pays for hamburgers and we cook them up. As we transitioned to the park (because the members that let us use their home are no longer coming out) it got too costly and hard to have a BBQ.

Now the organization pays for subs, sandwiches or pitas and everyone brings sides and desserts.

Winter Potluck

We usually have this very early in December so it's not during busy time of Christmas stuff and people can come out. We used to do it toward the Winter Solstice (approx 1st day of winter) but have stopped. (This was when it was joint with the Unitarian Universalists.) We typically meet at the start of the month so it doesn't interfere with Christmas activities.

For a while Gab was able to get is free accommodations at Lion's Gate. 2019 we met at his office.

Annual General Meeting

At the end of every year we have the Annual General Meeting to elect the board of directors for the following year. For the last ten years we have had it at the Winter potluck. In the previous decade it was held during the final meeting of the year (November). On occasion we have had it on the first meeting of the new year when the potluck was cancelled.

This is also where members would vote on changes to the constitution and adoption of any bylaws. We have never done this.

I just copy last years minutes, make the changes I expect to happen, and run through that. If anything arises, that would need to be added.

Monthly Matters

Monthly Exec Meeting

Where we plan our upcoming meetings. Haven't done this yet this year. Usually monthly. Not alway.

Monthly Meeting

Every month we have presentations. Two decades ago it was all science and atheism. Over the last decade it has been more science and other big ideas. We are transitioning to science, big ideas and lots of topics about compassion: including social justice, social services and developing a full human being. (Intellect only being one part of that).

We give a tiny honorarium to non-member speakers: $50 if they came in town and $100 if they are significantly out of town.

We used to meet at the Zehrs on Young and Big Bay Point Road for free. Eventually they started charging. We looked in to becoming a charity but it's tricky to argue that and they were getting serious about it. So we went with non-profit. This way we could use Zehrs for free. But we thought: that's nice, but if we have non-profit status, why not just use the Library, which is also free for non-profits. It seemed like a good idea but the library is nearly impossible to work with to have a regular meeting date.

We keep our meetings on the same day of the month to make it easier for people to remember when the meetings are.

We used to advertise these in the paper, but they don't have a big community events section anymore.

We should be advertising on the City of Barrie's website, Kijiji but we haven't had enough people to spread all the work around to laterly. We do advertise on Facebook and half of all new people seem to find us on which is currently paid for by past vice-president Kristina Kennedy. She stopped coming out when she found out someone it came to our group religiously believed in God.

Pre-meeting Dinner

Since the beginning we have met for dinner before the meeting to take the guest out, on us. Over a decade ago we met at Swiss Chalet on Barrie View Dr. When meeting at the Library we used McReilly's Pub.

One speaker was a vegetarian so we went to East Side Mario's for a year after that. Now we meet at Kelsey's purely for it's menu range (some items under $10) and proximity to our meeting location.


Periodically we have tried to have social which live or die on group participation. For a couple years we had one at William's Fresh Cafe at the south end. We tried a few downton but that was hard to do at coffee shops which always seemed closed somehow. It's unstructured time to just hangout.

Other Events

There was a year when I tried a board game night. But it was only Greg and I who came out.

Yearly Paperwork

As a registered Not-For-Profit corporation we must file paperwork every year.

Notice of Change

The Ontario Government requires that we file a 'Notice of Change' to indicate who is the duly elected (or acclaimed) directors of the organization.

You can file paperwork for free. I got in the habit of using the expensive electronic option because paperwork was originally filed incorrectly and I need to pull the current data from their files to properly correct it. If it's not exactly right they simply reject your notice of change.

Income Statement

Every year we need to file an income statement to prove we aren't doing anything too profitably. This goes to CRA. This was not originally filed. After several years I accidentally discovered this when talking with CRA. I then went back and properly filled out the first year's paperwork.

We haven't actually filed since. It's about a half dozen lines on a return, everything else being nill.

To Add

What else needs to be here?

I guess something about using MailerLite for email newsletters, something about MeetUp and Facebook and Twitter.