The following is a post from Stephan Lewis.
We know this past year has been taxing on all of us, and there is a crisis of faith that permeates the clubs. Even the most die-hard supporters have questioned their commitment among the slow drip of disheartening information oozing out of PTFC — ultimately leading to things being far worse than even the most pessimistic supporters had ever anticipated. It has been described as a rollercoaster year, both emotionally and spiritually. Everyone from supporters to long-time, committed volunteers is burned out.
Our community is in crisis. The question then becomes: How do we start to heal? How do we rebuild? And what does that look like for next year’s board?
As we roll into another election cycle, we’ve been pondering about the future and ruminating on the past. Last year’s post still seems relevant: What does it mean to be on the board today? Real talk: It's complicated. It’s safe to say that more of you have a deeper understanding of what we were talking about now — wanting to create a more healthy, professional relationship with the FO. That shit was toxic. (And, like at this point last year, we’re back to not meeting with them.)
One of the age-old questions in our elections is: Are we a working or strategic board? While that answer for a long time was "a working board with aspirations of being more strategic," we have actually made that transition for the most part. The 107IST board of ?the past few years is different from what many have past experienced or understood.
Thinking forward, and looking back over the past year, the org could really benefit from members with more professional services experience. Anthing from financial services/accounting, fundraising, data wrangling, to the management of complex relationships. While having these skills on the board would be great, we would openly welcome involvement on many of our committees from Finance to Community Outreach. We’re all volunteers, and many hands make light work, as we say. Maybe more so, however, we could use more help rebuilding our community. That’s likely to be an all-hands-on-deck situation, but someone may have unique skills that could help.
It’s not all doom and gloom. The Thorns lifted the championship trophy, and the Cascadia Cup is back home. We also saw a return in the number of people coming out to paint tifo this year. We’re hoping to be in a place where we can offer our sweat equity to some of the other organizations we support again.
We all have legitimate reasons for joining this community in the first place, and a reflection of those reasons and those moments may just be the key.
Everybody hurts. Hold on. We can get through this, but only if we work together.