Subject: Warmshowers.org Foundation Organizational Changes ([fullname])
Hi [fullname] - Thank you so much for your participation in Warmshowers.org
My name is Chris Russo, and I’m a long-term volunteer and the president of the Board of Directors of the Warmshowers.org Foundation, the legal entity behind Warmshowers.org. You may not have heard my name before, but I’ve been here working behind the scenes for many years.
We as the Board of Directors wanted to let you know about important and exciting changes at Warmshowers.org.
First, the Warmshowers.org Foundation became a nonprofit corporation about 3 years ago, and got its official US government recognition of that status (501(c)(3)) in 2014. That means we have a charter as a not-for-profit, with clearly stated goals to serve bike travelers.
Second, Randy Fay, who many of you know as the one who turned Warmshowers into a website and has led it for many years, is still working hard to maintain and improve Warmshowers.org, but is now a full-time paid staff member of the organization. He is no longer on the Board of Directors (or the president of it) because it’s not possible for him to be a paid staff member and on the Board at the same time. Instead, the Board oversees his work as Executive Director of the Warmshowers.org Foundation. Of course, we remain overwhelmingly a volunteer organization, and volunteers are always needed!
Third, as many of you already know, we are working to make Warmshowers a financially sustainable entity that will survive into the future. The tremendous growth of the organization over the past few years has outpaced our ability to function solely on volunteerism, and we are therefore working on fundraising strategies which will allow us to continue to grow in a sustainable manner. Immediate goals include key work around member responsiveness and availability and enhancing guest profiles, along with more active volunteer communications and Android app updates. We have introduced a "Memberships" initiative (FAQ), similar to many other organizations of our size, that will be crucial to the future of our organization. Many of you have already signed on for a membership, and we want to thank you for your many supportive comments and your commitment to support the Warmshowers community on an ongoing basis. We understand that there may be concerns around this and we are committed to listening to you in order to pursue what's best for the long-term viability of our organization.
Thank you so much for listening, and for being a valued member of Warmshowers.org. We welcome your input as we navigate these important changes.
Chris Russo, President
for the Warmshowers.org Foundation Board of Directors
PS: If you have questions or comments, we appreciate them and will do our best. You can use the contact form or reply to this email. Some resources: Warmshowers Annual Report, Board Contacts, Other Board activity