Hello

As so few IDMN members could attend last week's EGM, this survey is intended to fill you in and seek your feedback on key points, so that your input can be included in our minutes and planning. I know this survey will be a long one, but we'd all be extremely grateful if you can hang in there till the end. Thank you.

Your Name
3 & 4: Review of previous minutes

3. The key points from the December meeting minutes were:

  1. The previous meeting on 8 December appointed an Executive Committee (EC) of six; seven months later, only two members are still actively involved, hence the later discussion points of needing new EC members.
  2. ODUK has finally created an IDMN page for us on their site, but it’s still awaiting our updated copy before it can go live.

4. Discussion around IDMN’s shift in activity and members’ response

The dicussions around this shift originated in the EC’s weekly Skype meetings, where we explored what more IDMN could do and offer its members, as I felt strongly that only an egroup and shared Dropbox wasn’t sufficient.

To support this, I’ve read through IDMN’s founding documents, some of the original work undertaken and all of the EC meeting minutes to better understand IDMN’s history, work and ideas over the last 15 years. Consequently, while this shift represents a shift from IDMN’s recent model, it does represent a return to IDMN’s founding aims, while still seeking to reflect our industry as it currently is, as well as its current needs.

Based on our surveys - mine from earlier this year, Claire’s from the end of last year and also past membership surveys - members have indicated the following:

  • They want training and information sessions to return
  • Members are interested in advocacy work
  • Members cannot be expected to work for free, eg on the working groups

With this in mind, and considering the very positive industry response so far, I’ve had a number of meetings with various organisations – FCD, ODUK, SED, PDSW, Chisenhale, Equity, PANDA, Coreo Cymru, past members and others – about IDMN’s direction and potential work.

As a result of all this input – IDMN documents, member surveys and meetings - it’s become clear that IDMN’s work should follow these three strands, to better support our members and the wider sector:

a. Producer Support

Supporting and developing producers and other support at all stages of their career (funding has been offered for our training programme, and for producer upskilling). Please add any comments or thoughts you may have on this.

b. Artist Support

Artist support, by offering consultancy and services to artists who are without producers or are seeking to work with one (funding has provisionally been proposed to subsidise members’ time for this). Please add any comments or thoughts you may have on this.

c. Advocacy Work

Advocating on behalf of artists and the wider independent sector, through functional working groups. Please add any comments or thoughts you may have on this.

d. Anything else

Do you have any other thoughts or points you'd like to raise?

5. Discussion around name change, new logo and rebrand

Changing how IDMN works will take time, so I’ve had a couple of long meetings with IDMN founder member Anne-Marie Crowther, now Director of PANDA, about applying for an org development GFA, and her working with us as an organisation development specialist. I’ve also been advised to apply for the ACE-funded Change Creation scheme, which supports organisations of all sizes undergoing change management to ensure longterm sustainability.

GFA

The GFA will help provide interim income for activity until larger grants come through, and will enable us to test out ways of working. Please add any comments or thoughts you may have on this.

This means the following things:
a. We really need a new logo

Please add any comments or thoughts you may have on this.

b. New Name

We should probably identify a new name, although not straight away. Please add any comments or thoughts you may have on this.

c. Rebranding & Recruitment

Once we agree to this model, and we rebrand accordingly, we can increase recruitment. Please add any comments or thoughts you may have on this.

d. Executive Committee Recruitment

We need a new exec of members willing to participate in our management committee. As there is some time commitment involved, we need members who have that availability, and if we can’t recruit from within, we’ll need to recruit from outside the network – which is a good way of boosting numbers. Please add any comments or thoughts you may have on this. (There are questions at the bottom asking if you'd like to nominate yourself or anyone else, but if you want to go ahead now, please do!)

6. Group resources: Welcome Pack, Dropbox, egroups, our corporate memberships and what they offer.

The Welcome Pack has been updated, circulated and is available for download on our website. It can also be converted to a web page if members want/need. The main issues I raised about it were:

a. Online Profiles

A priority is for members to create and update profiles. I've had to create about a third of the profiles on the site, so they’re incomplete. Therefore, if you haven’t created a profile, please log into the site and update yours. Please add any comments or thoughts you may have on this.

b. Online Community

As IDMN was partly founded to combat the isolation independents can feel, it would be good to strengthen our community with more active membership of the egroup and Facebook group. If you have any news, please do share it in the Facebook group so that we can congratulate you, or commiserate. These tools are there so that our members can reach out to each other, so please don’t just use them for questions. Please add any comments or thoughts you may have on this.

c. Newsletters

As we receive a lot of newsletters, and I’ve been feeling guilty about clogging up our egroup with them, I’ve created a separate egroup just for newsletters, which you’ve all been added to; details are in the Welcome Pack. If you receive any newsletters or emails which you think would be of interest to our members, please circulate them. Please add any comments or thoughts you may have on this.

Our Dropbox definitely needs replenishing, so:
a. Contents

What would members like to see in there, eg reports, job descriptions, collaborative files – eg lists of venues etc? And do you have files you’d like to contribute?

b. Contributions

Within the EC, we discussed having a directory of sample (redacted, if needed) funding applications, budgets and contracts which other members could refer to, to cover different types of project, funding bodies and collaborations. Would you be interested in this, and would you be willing to contribute to it for other members’ benefit?

Our corporate memberships

Details are now in the Welcome Pack, including benefits and login details. Are you getting any use out of any of the memberships so far?

7. Workshops & Training
a. Topics

Are there any specific topics you’d like to have covered?

b. Teaching

Would you be interested in teaching any workshops, or leading any sessions?

c. Additional Events

In addition to the training events, the EC discussed having additional thematic events, such on strategic planning and other issues. Would you be interested in these, and are there any particular topics you’d like us to schedule events for?

8. Skillsharing etc

We had a lengthy discussion about this, about who can and should offer it, and about the resulting need for indemnity insurance, which we can obtain through our corporate memberships. Skillsharing would take two forms: working with our members, and offering your services to non-members.

a. Members

Would you be interested in offering 1-to-1 sessions / surgeries for other IDMN members, and/or to offer shadowing and mentoring to less experienced members?

b. Non-Members

Would you be interested in offering 1-to-1 sessions and/or a list of services to non-members, such as artists, self-producing artists and emerging producers?

10. Advocacy Work

This could cover working with organisations to advise on cultural policy, working with Equity and/or ODUK and/or ACE on topics, with IDMN as a natural go-between between artists and gatekeepers.

a. Is this something you’d be interested in working on?
b. If yes, how much time do you think you could contribute? (Paid/unpaid)
c. Do you have any suggestions of topics or issues you’d like IDMN to address?
d. Do you have any suggestions on how this could work more effectively than before? Eg funding to cover members’ time, management tools…
9. Resourcing the network
a. GFA

We should apply for an org development GFA to cover the next stage of IDMN’s development, and a lot of the legwork for it has already been done. Do you have any advice or thoughts, and/or would you be interested in helping with/writing the GFA?

b. Other sources of income

Currently, our main source of income is through membership, with future income through training sessions and charging an admin fee for 1-to-1 sessions. Do you have any thoughts on additional sources of income we could explore?

c. Other sources of funding

Do you have any thoughts on other sources of funding we can consider for IDMN’s future activity?

IDMN structure

By this time in the meeting, we’d pretty much run out of time and steam, much as I’m feeling right now while writing this up! (Never mind how I'm feeling at 1am, converting this into an online form!)

a. Constitution

The circulated constution was in draft stages anyway and subject to further changes, and so there wasn’t much to say about it. But if you have any comments, please state them here.

b. Budget

There were a few sections of the draft budget which had been highlighted in orange for further discussion, which we didn’t cover, but which are really important to address, so these are all mandatory questions. PLEASE DO NOT SKIP THESE QUESTIONS.

bi. Admin / project management support fees

We don’t currently have a budget line for this, but it needs to be addressed: nobody is currently being paid for any admin or any other work for IDMN or has been for the past six months. Do you have any thoughts, including how much should be offered? (I feel that we do need a project manager or producer, as the role seems to be beyond the scope of an administrator, which could or should be an additional role). MANDATORY: PLEASE DO NOT SKIP THIS QUESTION

bii. Investment in IDMN’s future

This includes preparing for and writing a GFA: this has taken some considerable time, and there is still work to do; do you think this is something worth IDMN investing in and paying for? As IDMN is not exactly viable in its current state without this work being carried out. MANDATORY: PLEASE DO NOT SKIP THIS QUESTION

biii. Working Group members’ fees

What are your thoughts on trying to make our working groups sustainable by offering our members a fee to be part of them (subject to funding)? What fee/s do you think would be fair? MANDATORY: PLEASE DO NOT SKIP THIS QUESTION

d. Treasurer

According to our constitution, we need someone who can keep an eye on the money side of things. Is anyone interested?

e. Executive Committee callout

And last, but absolutely not least, we need new Executive Committee members. Many of our previous EC members valiantly supported IDMN in the initial transition phase to the best of their abilities, but most of them have since succumbed to work, family and life pressures, so we’re looking for new people to join IDMN’s management committee.

Depending on where IDMN is at, it will (hopefully) involve no more than one Skype meeting per month, plus adhoc feedback and assistance. While IDMN continues its period of change, we need people who have the availability to respond, who can take a longterm interest in IDMN’s future, and who have skills they can contribute to IDMN's management, organisational development and planning - after all, this is like a board of directors or trustees. Anyone with leadership or nascent leadership skills is particularly welcome.

Would you be interested, and/or could you suggest anyone who we could approach?
Many many many many thanks for your time.
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