Noteworthy Goals and Decisions from the July 2011 Board of Trustees Meeting
By Mo Siegel, President, Urantia Foundation, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Increase goodwill and communications with readers and reader groups worldwide via quarterly newsletters, local reader gatherings, and foster organizational cooperation wherever possible.
Urantia Foundation has been working as a partner with a number of organizations devoted to spreading The Urantia Book throughout the world. Efforts towards cooperation will continue as the number of translations increases.
Increase community accessibility and usage of the facilities at 533 W Diversey Parkway in Chicago for activities directly related to furthering the Foundation’s mission.
The doors of Urantia Foundation are open to Urantia Book organizations needing meeting facilities for the purpose of furthering the Urantia Revelation. For further information please contact Tamara Strumfeld at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Involve younger readers in the work of the Urantia Revelation.
The on-going search for young leaders and volunteers continues. Any suggestions you may have are welcome.
Book Printing, Sales, and Distribution:
Increase book sales and distribution in 2011 by seven percent over the 20,000 books distributed in 2010. Sales and distribution targeted improvements include e-books, audios, book store sales, and web downloads.
Urantia Foundation’s physical book sales for the first quarter of 2011 were slightly up. North American book stores continue to struggle with internet sales and digital book competition. Downloads of The Urantia Book are increasing at a dramatic rate so the goal will be reached, but the book industry remains challenging.
Increase distribution in North America, Brazil, Italy, Russia, Hungary, and Holland.
The work of Henk and Claire Mylanus in distributing The Urantia Book and its translations in Europe continues to solidify distribution in European markets. Despite the changing book market, sales continue.
Develop and implement a plan to expand the audio versions of Urantia Book Translations.
An effort to join forces with others interested in supporting this project continues. More information on providing audio versions of The Urantia Book and its translations will follow in the next few months.
Advance the translations of The Urantia Book and revisions now in progress.
Updating translations is a high priority of Urantia Foundation. A revision process has been set into place for the Spanish, Portuguese and French translations. Work continues on the Chinese and Japanese translations. We are gaining momentum on the Chinese translation with a target date of publication in 2016.
Continue refining the new translation software.
Translation software to support translation projects and translation revision projects has been developed. This software improves the efficiency and accuracy of these projects.
Study Group goal
Support the goal of creating 1000 study groups by 2025, cooperate with readers and organizations by supporting a centralized study group portal, participate in the study group initiative, and provide study group teacher and leadership training.
The Urantia Book Fellowship, Urantia Association International (UAI), and Urantia Foundation have launched a global, non-political, study group portal intended as the repository of all publically listed Urantia Book study groups in the world.
If you have not done so yet, please list your study group at: http://www.urantiabookstudygroups.org/home.php
Special thanks go to Scott Brooks and his team for all the work they have done creating this site. Together we can help study groups grow from approximately 450 groups to 1000 groups by 2025.
Support the efforts of The Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS) to double the classes offered and begin offering courses in Spanish and Portuguese.
The UBIS fall trimester included more courses than ever. Registration filled up within three days. For more information, please visit http://www.urantia.org/en/education/course-schedule-and-registration-information. The Spanish UBIS website is currently being developed with the Portuguese website following.
Investigate the implementation of hosting study forums, study group blogs, and interactive study group webinars at 533 W Diversey Parkway.
The Education Committee has plans to host forums and interactive workshops in the near future.
Cooperate with other individuals and organizations whose goal is educating others about The Urantia Book and its teachings.
This year’s summer conferences were well attended by members of the Expanded Board of Urantia Foundation. More efforts are needed to provide quality educational experiences for readers.
Budgets and Donations:
Stay within the approved 2011 operating budget which is under the operating budget of 2010.
Due to additional service opportunities that have arisen in 2011, the Board of Trustees approved new expenditures for the year. Our 2011 budget will be comparable to 2010. Annual operating expenses for Urantia Foundation continue to be about $800,000.
Increase donations and the number of donors by ten percent over 2010.
Thanks to the generous donations from readers, this fundraising goal has been met for the first half of 2011. The winter match fund raiser will be a big push this year. With anticipated pledges of $180,000, raising another $180,000 will be the goal.
Find people of means who will joyfully fund seeding The Urantia Book and its teachings throughout the world.
The financial goals of a not-for-profit require vigilance and accountability to our donors. We thank all of you who have given to our fundraising campaigns.
Building Renovation at 533 W Diversey Parkway:
Launch a capital fund drive to fully renovate the aging birthplace of the Fifth Epochal Revelation.
A new fund for the building renovation has been established. The second floor bedrooms and bathrooms are the focus of the 2011-2012 efforts. Major improvements will be seen on the second floor as a result of the generous donations to this project.
Safeguarding the Text:
Create the most user friendly internet download center at www.urantia.org that offers readers of The Urantia Book the most up-to-date versions of all translations formatted in the standard reference system.
There is a download center for each translation which is accessible via each language’s homepage on Urantia Foundation’s website. Just click on download.
Finalize an electronic repository/database that synchronizes, coordinates, and safeguards the processes necessary to create error free printed books, eBooks, online texts, and all other forms of media.
HTML files for every translation on Urantia Foundation’s website have been standardized according to the current, best practices. Work has begun on further transformation of these files by creating UBXML files that can be used for printing, digital books, internet, the translation software, and more.
Many thanks to Jay Peregrine, Jim Zigarelli, Larry Watkins, Tamara Strumfeld, Rob Reno, Mary Jo Garascia, Rogerio Silva, Georges Michelson-Dupont, and other anonymous servers.
Continue governance improvements at Urantia Foundation which include placing documents on Google Docs and providing continuing education for the team at the Foundation.
Most of the Foundation’s vital documents are being uploaded to Google Docs, and team members are participating in educational classes for non-profits.
Finnish Urantia Books:
Book sales have significantly slowed in Finland, and there is a perceived need to attract younger people. The Board approved the printing of a soft cover Finnish book with a new cover to help increase sales.
New Leather Books in English:
The Board approved the creation of a new leather book that will be bound with durable blue and white book covers. These gift books will be available for Christmas.
Use of Social Media:
Urantia Foundation has a long standing policy that members of the Expanded Board not post on internet discussion boards. The Board adopted a resolution that members may participate in discussions about The Urantia Book on the Foundation’s Facebook page as well as their own social network sites.
New Social Media Roundtable at 533 W Diversey Parkway:
With the global growth of social media, the Board approved convening a Social Media Roundtable at 533 W Diversey Parkway in Chicago. The invited participants will be social media experts within the Urantia Book reading community. This meeting will take place in 2012.
History of the Revelation:
Decades ago Emma Christensen, an “adopted” daughter to Dr. Sadler, began a history of The Urantia Book which has not been completed. Urantia Foundation is working with historian, Dr Sioux Oliva, to facilitate the production of a history of The Urantia Book from the early 1900s to the time of its publication in 1955. Other members of the Education Committee are contributing to this history project.
Broadening Urantia Foundation’s Planning Team:
Because so much of the work of Urantia Foundation is accomplished through committees, the board decided to broaden the planning process to include individuals beyond the Expanded Board. The January planning meeting will include former expanded board members, Urantia Foundation staff, and committee members. Our hope is to enlarge the circle of wisdom and create a broader shared vision.
In a mere 56 years, the Urantia Revelation has spread from a small handful of believers in Chicago to readers throughout the world. Revelatory light now glimmers in virtually every continent on this planet. We have come a long way from selling three books in 1957 to having 710,000 physical books in print.
The team at Urantia Foundation deeply appreciates your continued support. Thanks to your generous donations of prayers, love, time, and money, the work at Urantia Foundation moves forward. May we all work together to serve this wonderful Revelation destined to bring a new age of love and goodness to our world.
Audio Urantia Book
Board Meeting Decisions
Urantia Foundation History