The COVID Pandemic has hit every business and organization around the world. Some that were “on-the-edge” unfortunately will not make it. I’m proud to say that the Guild is in a sound financial position, and we WILL make it.
The Guild has always been fiscally conservative, and that has allowed us to build a substantial reserve. We had planned to use that reserve to expand our facility and offer more services to Guild members. That is still the plan, but obviously, now is not the right time to grow. Now, we’re going to use some of that reserve to support the Guild’s fixed expenses, like the rent of the shop space.
The good news is we will be opening our shop, with some restrictions, starting July 1st. We are beginning to schedule classes, both basic shop skills and more advanced courses like Taeho Kwon. We will continue to take full advantage of Zoom to provide learning and social opportunities, like Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings, monthly lunch meetings, etc. We are also working on plans to keep members involved who will not be willing to come into the shop in the near term.
Over the past three months, we held no classes and no open shop sessions, and as a result our revenue stream has dried up. On top of that, we have some members not renewing their membership because nothing was happening or their financial situation may have required them to cut back on spending, and we understand that. For those members who can afford to hang with us, we’re asking you to renew your membership when due. If you want to go further and make a donation to the Guild, now would be a great time. We completely redesigned our website during the past several months to make it more user friendly and made it easy to donate by providing a “Donate” button on every page of the new website.
So in summary, what can you do?
Be patient – we are adding activities as fast as we can and are allowed. We are working to minimize the changes, but your safety is always our number one concern.
Renew your membership when due. Aside from the money, more importantly, it tells us if we are doing the right thing and have your confidence.
Be positive – attitudes spread like a virus. If you keep a good and understanding attitude, others around you will also.
Donations are always appreciated – some will be used for members who may need financial help with dues or classes, and will help us build reserves so when the need is proven, we will be in a position to consider facility expansion.
Volunteer – be part of the solution. We are starting up the Estate Team again, and these small fund-raising programs will need help. Note that we are working on opportunities for members who may not be able to come into the shop. Please pay attention to our weekly email blast for requests for help.
Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to making sawdust with you soon.
Steve Poland, President
With input from the Board of the Guild of Oregon Woodworkers:
Gary Weeber, Vice President for Programs
Ed Swakon, Vice President for Members
Carol Boyd, Secretary
Bill Hamilton, Finance Director
Ken Hall, Shop Operations Director
Doug Drake, Education Director
Tim Moore, Community Outreach Director
Ed Ferguson, Planning Director
Keith Williams, Membership Director
Charlie Meyer, Volunteer Director
Roger Crooks, Communications Director