Noteworthy Decisions from the January 2011 Board of Trustees Meeting
By Marilynn Kulieke, Secretary, Urantia Foundation, Lincolnshire, Illinois, USA
Marta Elders lead a planning session during which the Board members discussed their projections for what Urantia Foundation would be doing in, and will have accomplished by, 2025. After contemplating the future, we established one-year and five-year goals to help Urantia Foundation in its mission to seed The Urantia Book and its teachings throughout the world.
A. Community Relations
• Increase goodwill and communications with readers and reader groups worldwide via quarterly newsletters, local reader gatherings, and the fostering of organizational cooperation wherever possible.
• Make available the facilities at 533 W Diversey Parkway in Chicago for activities related to furthering the Foundation's mission.
• Involve younger readers in the work of the Urantia Revelation.
Jay Peregrine and Jesús Pérez,
Printing Manager, Rotäbook, Spain
B. Book Printing, Sales, and Distribution
• Increase book sales and distribution − including e-books, audio books, bookstore sales, and web downloads − by seven percent.
• Improve distribution in the Americas, Holland, Hungary, Italy, and Russia.
• Reprint 20,000 books in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
• Prepare audio versions of translations of The Urantia Book.
• Advance the translations and revisions of existing translations now in progress. This includes the Chinese and Japanese translations and the French and Spanish revisions.
• Complete the development of software and then implement it for the translation and revision process.
• Support the goal of creating 1,000 study groups by 2025. Cooperate with readers and reader organizations by supporting a centralized study group portal, participate in the study group initiative, and help provide study group, teacher and leadership training.
• Support the efforts of the Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS) to double the number of classes offered and to start offering courses in Spanish and Portuguese. UBIS needs teachers. The winter semester classes filled up in less than three days. If you want to share what you have learned, please consider becoming a teacher. To learn more please visit http://www.urantiabookschool.org/UBIS/needs.gsp
• Explore the implementation of study forums at 533 W Diversey Parkway, study group blogs, and interactive study group webinars.
• Cooperate with other individuals and organizations whose goal is to educate others about The Urantia Book and its teachings.
E. Budgets and Donations
• Stay within the approved 2011 Operating Budget which is less than the operating budget of 2010.
• Increase donations and the number of donors by 10%.
• Continue to build a strong treasury that can withstand social and economic storms while securing Urantia Foundation's short and long term ability to serve.
2nd Floor Living RoomF. Renovation of Building at 533 W Diversey Parkway
• Launch a midyear capital fund drive to fully renovate, including electrical wiring and plumbing, the aging birthplace of the Fifth Epochal Revelation. Approximate money needed: $250,000.
• Complete the renovation of the second floor.
G. Safeguarding the Text
• Create the best user–friendly internet download center at www.urantia.org that offers readers the standard reference text and the latest translations formatted using the standard reference system.
• Finalize a book electronic data base that synchronizes, coordinates, and safeguards, without redundancy, the processes necessary to create error free printed books, e-books, hand held devises, on line texts, translator tools, and all other media.
H. Organizational Development
• Continue strengthening governance procedures at Urantia Foundation.
• Provide continuing education for the Foundation's team.
• Replace three outdated computers at the Foundation.
2. Executive Director's Report on the Highlights of 2010
• Total book sales increased 22% in units and 23% in dollars.
• Total contributions exceeded budget. Total 2010 donors were up 15% from 2009.
• Total number of books printed was 24,266 in seven languages, including four new translations.
• Distribution contracts were signed for Poland, Sweden, Estonia, and Belgium/ Great Duchy of Luxembourg. A revised contract was signed for Germany. Watkins Books reopened and continues to be the main bookstore where The Urantia Book is available in the UK.
• EU book storage, accounting, and distribution is consolidated in Rotterdam.
• Nine cleaned and standardized HTML translation files were created and uploaded on the website.
• Translator's website is nearly completed − in final testing and moved to live server.
• New UBIS website went live for last year's spring semester. Dorothy Elder retired as founder and director of UBIS, and Trustee Georges Michelson-Dupont became the director.
• Phase 1 of the building renovation is underway with the second floor renovation in progress and more than halfway completed.
• Meetings hosted at Urantia Foundation: three quarterly meetings of the Board of Trustees, two meetings of the International Service Board of Urantia Association International (UAI), a meeting of the Education Initiative, an IT round table, a UAI/Fellowship meeting, and a UBIS Board meeting.
• New QuickBooks inventory system was implemented.
3. 2011 Budget Modifications
• The Board approved an additional $10,000 for the maintenance of the UBIS website, the development of classes for Spanish and Portuguese speaking readers, and the creation of a UBIS website manual.
• In 2010, $786,646 was spent on program and operational expenses compared with $775,000 projected for 2011. Capital expenses in 2010 were $241,435 for printing books.
4. Book Related Decisions
• The Board decided to modify the book cover by adding a gold frame border.
• The Board accepted restricted donations to fund the development of an index for The Urantia Book and has placed Seppo Kanerva in charge of the team.
The Foundation now has a European warehousing, shipping and distribution infrastructure that covers most of the EU. Therefore, the Board, upon recommendation from the Governance Committee and the European Advisory Committee, disbanded the European Advisory Committee, as it is no longer needed. We thank Henk and Claire Mylanus for their outstanding efforts in creating this new and superior system.
6. Centralized Download Center
The Board agreed to develop and operate the best possible, user friendly internet download center at www.urantia.org. The future internet download cen-ter will offer readers the most updated files for downloading The Urantia Book while simultaneously enabling the Foundation to update translations, protect the text, and disseminate the book in many digital formats.
7. Future Meeting Dates
April 15-16, 2011 (Chicago, Illinois)
July 15-16, 2011 (Chicago, Illinois)
October 14-15, 2011 (Chicago, Illinois)
January 27-28, 2012 (Chicago, Illinois)
April 27-28, 2012 (Paris, France)
July 2012 (to be determined) (Chicago, Illinois)
October 26-27 2012 (Chicago, Illinois)
January 25-26, 2013 (Chicago, Illinois)
Audio Urantia Book
Board Meeting Decisions
Urantia Foundation History