COVID A Big Drag For Group in 2020

On Saturday, October 10, 2020, the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie held our annual Members Meeting. This is the time members get a run down of how the group operated in the previous fiscal year and we elect members to our Board of Directors.

The big news is how the COVID-19 outbreak and resulting public health orders curtailed much of the group activities for most of the year. While donations overall were above the levels of 2019, not being able to hold in-person meetings and events really dampened the ability to promote the group in the community and recruit new members.

The Board reduced spending such as closing down the Meetup group and since most of the budget was allocated for the Meetup and other advertising, we ended the year in a good financial position.

“I would like to have a small nest egg in the bank,” SHoWLE President Doug Berger said. “Our spring and fall fundraisers didn’t amount to much unfortunately. I get it. Some people are low on income due to the lockdowns and layoffs in the community and I’m sure others complained about donating to a group that doesn’t seem to be doing anything.”

Doug said he is committed to the group for the long term.

“I’m sticking with the group even if it just becomes me and my fiancee Shawn.”

A bright spot for the group was the start of their outreach podcast “Glass City Humanist”. It has had a dozen episodes produced since January with over 400 downloads. The goal of the podcast is to promote Humanism and the group.

Further financial results and other data is available on the group website.

The other task of the annual meeting was to hold elections for the Board of Directors. Normally this would be done during the meeting with nominations asked for and a vote taking place from those who attended. Due to the pandemic, SHoWLE used a voting website and closed nominations on October 4th with voting open from the 5th to the 9th. Over 50% of the voting membership eligible voted and members Ed S. and Bev A. were elected to the Board for FY2021. Board terms are for two years. Four other Board members elected to complete their 2nd year in FY2021.

The other thing voted on was an amendment to the Bylaws which would specifically allow electronic business meetings of the group. In the future, if local, state, or national authorities issued orders that would prevent us from meeting in-person, SHoWLE would be able to conduct a business meeting like the annual members meeting online.

The amendment passed unanimously.