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Wednesday, April 17, 2024 (virtual)

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Board of Directors Minutes

Wednesday, April 17, 2024 (virtual)

Attended: Joanne Donaruma-Wade, Cara Fenstemacher, Cindy Hendrickson, Patrice Joslin King, Carol Mandour, Cindy McLean, Joanne Moskal, Colleen Munger, Doreen Nicholls, Kathy Perra, Ellen Rainey, Janet Richmond, Kathleen Rutishauser, Michele Sheridan, Kelli Watson, Diane Wolfe

Excused: Debra Altdoerffer, Ely Arnone-Earl, Jan Corn, Denise Flihan, Flossie Mitchell

Absent: none

Guests: Leigh Ann Dillon and Kathy Hartnett

Quorum:  11

President Janet Richmond called the meeting to order at 11:32 a.m.

Minutes of the March 20 meeting were distributed to members prior to the meeting, and were approved on motion of Diane Wolfe, seconded by Colleen Munger.

Preview of New Website: Janet Richmond introduced Leigh Ann Dillon of Hilltop Marketing who previewed the Women’s Fund’s new website. Leigh Ann demonstrated where information about our programs can be found, how visitors can make gifts, volunteer, and sign up for our newsletter via the website, how grant and WIIW applications will function, and the password protected board member portal. Her goal is to launch the revised website in conjunction with our Mother’s Day appeal. She reminded board members that both she and we will be able to update the site; she will provide instructions and a video explaining how to do that.

Board members raised several questions including:

  • Who will receive requests made through the website? Those will go to Victoria at and can be blind copied to others.
  • Can information about applications for nonprofit grants and WIIW grants go to different people? Yes.
  • Is there a way that donations and volunteer requests can get an immediate, online thank you? Yes; Leigh Ann will look into programming this.
  • All board members will have access to read/download documents on the board portal. How many people should have the ability to add documents there? The best practice is 6 or fewer.

The Executive Committee has already reviewed the new site and made suggestions, which Leigh Ann will incorporate in the coming days. Once those changes are made, Kathy will share a link with all board members for a final review before the site goes live.

Correspondence: Doreen Nicholls reported that she received a thank you note from MVCC regarding the Prepare for Success clothing drive held earlier this spring. It indicated that the 132 students who participated gained both attire and confidence.

Talk Around Town: Ellen Rainey had a conversation with a representative of Wolfspeed. While it is unlikely they will provide funding to the WF, she promised to connect us with the Wolfspeed Women’s Institute as a source of potential volunteers.

President’s Report: Janet Richmond reported that the allocation for the upcoming nonprofit Grants cycle will be $21,658. This is based on the formula agreed upon last year: (1) 3.5% of the Community Foundation Women’s Fund Account (Wom2) over a 20-quarter rolling average; and

(2) 3.5% of total Women’s Fund Baird Account based upon the average of end of quarter amounts of the prior two calendar years (since we have not had the Baird account for 20 quarters).

Executive Committee Report: No report beyond what will be included in committee reports.

Treasurer’s Report/Finance Report

Cash Balances (Bank of Utica) as of 3/31/24                                     $ 49,942 (WF-Operating)

$  14,320 (Annie’s Fund)

$ 15,182 (Isla’s Fund)

$ 50,619 (WF CD 11/24)

$ 50,619 (WF CD 5/25)

Cash Balances (Adirondack Bank) as of 3/31/24                               $  13,558 (WF-Operating)

                        TOTAL CASH                                                                                  $192,240

Baird Investments as of 4/17/24                                                         $224,142 (WF)

                                                                                                            $111,901 (AF)

                                                                                                            $  34,271 (AASF)                  

                        TOTAL AT BAIRD                                                                          $370,414

Community Foundation as of 12/31/23                                              $394,521(WF)

                                                                                                            $24,584 (AF)

                                                                                                            $  11,410 (AASF)

                        TOTAL AT CF                                                                                 $430,515

TOTAL INVESTMENTS                                                                                        $800,929

TOTAL CASH AND INVESTMENTS                                          $993,169

  1. Financial Statements 3/31/24
    1. Balance Sheet
      1. Cash Position 3/31/24 vs 3/31/23:                        $192,240 vs. $179,056
      1. Investment Position 3/31/24 vs. 3/31/23:             $800,929 vs. $692,871
      1. TOTAL comparison                                             $993,169 vs. $871,927
  • March deposit summary:                         
  • $10,000 tsf. From Adirondack Bank to AF at Band of Utica
  • $  9,560 from CF for MUCC grant
  • $  1,500 Stewarts grant award for sponsorship
  • $  1,075 board pledges ($125 to AF)
  • $     650 general donations
  • $     619 quarterly interest posted to each of two CDs at Bank of Utica
  • Board pledges to date – $1,595 (19%) and $750 in pledges


Grants: Michele Sheridan reported:

  • The committee will hold its first meeting immediately after the board meeting. Chair Denise Flihan hopes to make the committee more active and plans more committee meetings this year than in the past.
  • Aileen Townsend has stepped down, leaving 13 committee members.
  • Young Scholars has not yet requested its distribution.

Annie’s Fund: Flossie Mitchell submitted the following report:

  • Since the March report, Annie’s Fund has received six requests. Four of these were $500 or less and were handled by the partner agencies:
    • A request from ICAN in the amount of $495.20 covers the replacement of household goods for a single mother of five who lost everything in a house fire.
    • A request from CNYHHN in the amount of $288.99 covers the cost of a bed frame and mattress for a retired 71-year-old single woman with medical issues who has been sleeping on a cot.
    • A request from CNYHHN in the amount of $500 covers partial rent for an unemployed woman whose husband cannot be left alone; they are at risk of being evicted. An application with Social Services is pending.
    • A request from CFLR in the amount of $409 covers the cost of turning on the electricity for a woman whose ex-husband turned it off when he was evicted.
  • Two requests were sent to the Committee:
    • The Committee approved a request from ICAN in the amount of $809.98 to pay for a couch, dining table and chairs for a single mother of two who lost everything in a house fire.
    • The Committee approved a request from ICAN in the amount of $1,250 to cover first month’s rent for a 28-year-old single mother of five who was leaving an unsafe apartment where the landlord refused to fix the problems. She paid the security deposit for the new apartment, where the landlord allowed her to pay the first month’s rent late.
  • Jan and Flossie enjoyed the Meet and Greet in Rome on April 11, and met two women who are interested in joining Annie’s Fund committee.

Isla’s Fund: No new report

Ann P. Allen Memorial Scholarship Fund: Patrice Joslin King reported that the committee is preparing for this year’s grant cycle and is determining how many grants to make and how much to grant.

Events: Cindy McLean reported:

  • The April 11 event at Keaton & Lloyd Bookstore in Rome was a great success. Janet will follow up individually with all guests.
  • The next “gatherings” will be:
    • Thursday, May 30 from 5:30-7:30 at Diane Wolfe’s home.
    • Thursday, July 25 at Raindrops on Roses B&B in Herkimer.
  • The golf outing is scheduled for Thursday, July 18. The board discussed how to encourage participants in that tournament to sign up to receive emails from the Women’s Fund. Patrice will share the upcoming newsletter with the organizer and encourage her to share it with the group.
  • The fall event is scheduled for Thursday, September 26 at the Yahnundasis.

Development: On behalf of Cara Fenstemacher, Kathy Hartnett reported that this year’s Mother’s Day appeal will take the form of a newsletter, which will highlight upcoming events and the new website. It will include a business reply envelope and will be in mailboxes prior to Mother’s Day.

Nominating: Janet Richmond reported that the committee is finalizing the slate of officers and will present that at the May meeting, for a vote in June. She encouraged nominations – including self-nominations – for officer positions.

Janet Richmond nominated Denise Cavanaugh as a new board member beginning in June.

Denise currently serves on – and is an active member of – the WIIW committee. Professionally, Denise is Executive Director of the Herkimer Chamber of Commerce. She previously held positions as Executive Director of the YWCA and Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Oneida and Madison Counties. In addition to her work at the Chamber, Denise teaches in the College in Prison program for Herkimer College. She and her husband own Raindrops on Roses B&B and Wine Tasting Room in Herkimer. She will host a gathering for the Women’s Fund there this summer.

Diane Wolfe seconded the nomination, and the motion carried unanimously.

Public Relations/Social Media: InDebbie Altdoerffer’s absence, Kathy Hartnett reminded the group that Debbie previously emailed our social statistics from Leigh Ann Dillon. They demonstrate that 75% of those who follow us do so on Facebook, 13% follow us on Instagram, and 12% follow us on LinkedIn.

  • Kelli Watson noted that last year, we did not have any followers on Insta or LinkedIn, so having 121 and 110 followers on those platforms now represents impressive growth.
  • Colleen commended Leigh Ann for the work she is doing on those sites.

Status of Women: Kelli Watson reported:

  • Committee members are resupplying schools. Supply delivery could be a good “done in a day” volunteer project.
  • The nurse at New York Mills specifically thanked Kelli for supplying nurses’ offices, noting that even if free period products are available in bathrooms, some girls are too embarrassed to get them there, and come to the nurse instead.
  • Janet Richmond is working through the Women’s Bar Association to see if there is anything we can do to encourage funding the mandate that schools provide supplies.
  • The committee is interested in reaching out to pharmacies beyond Walgreens for funding or supplies. Board members who have contacts with local pharmacies should let Kelli know.
  • Kathy is editing the vote video so that we can use it this fall.

Women Investing in Women: Ellen Rainey reported:

  • We have been approved for a $10,000 grant from the UpMobility Foundation to support WIIW.
  • The committee is in the process of identifying judges for this year’s applications. Board members who are interested in judging should let Ellen know.

Patrice Joslin King moved to accept all committee reports, Michele Sheridan seconded, and the motion carried.



Adjournment The meeting adjourned at 12:43 p.m. on motion of Diane Wolfe, seconded by Joanne Moskal.

The next board meeting will be on Wednesday, May 15 at Hospice.  

Submitted by Ellen Rainey, Secretary