Board Committee Reports

Back to




Members Present: Susan Loucks, Laura Sonnichsen, Carol Kenney, Ken Peal, Jack Easterling. Also present: Fran Spadafora

Volunteer Activities
Laura reported that volunteers picked up and delivered groceries and pharmaceuticals 33 
times in April and 26 times in May along with 5 other types of volunteer services. 


Susan reported on the survey about future volunteering that Laura sent to over 100 volunteers in May. She received 48 responses. Some salient points:

  • 60% were prepared to resume serving members when this was allowed.

  • 20% would resume if certain conditions in the society or in the driving were.

  • 20% might not return or were uncertain.


There were very mixed opinions about volunteer social events: some volunteers had attended and intended to attend; others were not interested. Some thought that a presenter or program was important at a social event; other thought not.

Conclusion: we believe that we have enough volunteers for our needs in the near future and we should continue to have volunteer social gatherings (when permitted). And not try to please everyone


The committee discussed the new protocol for driving members and commented on some provisions in it, especially the member in the back seat. Susan said that all of these should be seriously followed, except in unusual circumstances. It was agreed that the driving volunteer should ask the member some health questions when making the driving appointment and when picking up the member. It was also agreed that the volunteer

should feel free to cancel the drive or service if this did not seem safe.

Susan and Laura reported that through the board and some volunteers NF has been able to continue to phone each member of NF periodically to converse and check on needs.

Recruitment of New Volunteers

  • Susan and Laura reported on the addition of 6 new volunteers from the end of April to the end of May. Some would be available full time, others for more limited time.

  • It was clear to all that most of our usual recruitment activities were impossible, such as, placement of brochures, presentations before civic groups, and small parties in homes. These would all have to wait until social rules and practices change.

  • It was decided that the main recruitment activity would now be publicity whichwas directed toward recruitment. Susan will work with the publicity committee on this.

Volunteer Events

For several weeks now we have had a Zoom gathering for volunteers (and members if they are interested) at 11 on Thursday to discuss any topic related to NF now or at any time. Attendance at these has varied but never more than 14.





Participating: Sue Gnospelius, Marion Bihari, Mike Bihari, Carol Chittenden, Marcia Easterling, Marilyn Zacks, Susan Loucks Absent: Joanne Blum-Carnevale, Rhona Carlton-Foss, Martha Gavenas, Lee Turner, Joanne Voorhis


We welcomed to our meeting new Board member and volunteer Marion Bihari who, we are proud to announce, is joining MSAC, and Mike Bihari, who as our new Board president wanted to become acquainted with the MSAC in action. We appreciated their active participation today and many useful ideas and clarifications.

Committee members who had been making regular check-in calls to members reported that a few did not want calls; others preferred emails, and none made requests. So far most had shown no interest in zoom weekly and then tri-weekly social gatherings. Few volunteers as well were joining the weekly zoom social gathering. Susan reported there has been a very slight increase in member requests in general but so far no difficulty fulfilling these. She also identified as the NF social events most attended and appreciated are the monthly restaurant lunches, new member teas and the fall and winter/spring NF luncheons.

As anticipated, the primary focus of the meeting today was the topic of FAMILY CONTACTS. The three pertinent questions on our agenda were : 1. What do we know? 2. What do we need to know?, and 3.What should we know?

Most of the ideas brought forward today were related in one way or another to these questions, though we brain-stormed rather than sticking pointedly to each question. An important suggestion was for a short but critical survey to members, first as part of information given to new members, then to renewing members, rather than to ALL members, new and old, all at once. Committee members expressed much concern for any appearance of unwanted or inappropriate intrusiveness. The focus of any survey should be NF’s very fundamental concern for the well-being of members. Ideas for questions:

  1. If a member could request ONE more service from NF, what would it be?

  2. Three possible questions about socializing:

  • What are your favorite ways of spending time?

  • Are there any NF volunteers with whom you have a special relationship?

  • Would you attend NF monthly luncheons if you had a driver who also attended with you?


Some additional questions suggested:

  • Are you able to get adequate hair care?

  • What precautions do you take on a regular basis before and during COVID-19 if you go out of your home?

  • How do you feel about resuming going to medical appointments?

  • How do you feel about virtual appointments?


Mike brought up the problem of isolation and depression among many elderly which he said is poorly treated by the medical profession. Loss of family and health are causes of alcohol and drug abuse and suicide among the elderly. Mike suggested we visit the NF website for more about the topic of relationships of the elderly with family - problems of distance, lack of intimacy, alienation.

The subject of a buddy system of volunteers with members came up. We all agreed such relationships grow out of frequent interactions between volunteers and members and cannot be mandated. A number of volunteers are in buddy relationships which, in effect, have become new friendships with members whom they have come to know. One suggestion was for a newsletter profile of such a relationship. Another suggestion was for a Silver Threads article about how technology, specifically Zoom, has made the development of new friendships among those few who have become part of the online NF Zoom group through regular discussions by these members and volunteers of topics of abiding interest.

Susan reported that Stephanie Kelly, head of the Samaritans, would be willing to do a training session for volunteers in “listening for subtext” in their interactions with members - thus being better able to gauge to what extent loneliness and isolation were affecting them. Susan also reported that she will soon be moving more potential members off the waiting list and that with the opening of the new stage in anti-COVID-19 activity, volunteers may now escort members into doctors’ offices. She also reported an upcoming Beacon Hill webinar showing seniors how they can participate in civic activism from their own homes and computers.


Each member of MSAC is requested to submit questions as soon as possible either for inclusion in a survey for members to Susan and for further discussion at our next meeting on Monday, July 13 at 1:30. Susan will forward these to Carol and Marcia to organize in preparation for the meeting.




Tech Committee Activities

  • Monthly maintenance

  • Deleted 2 links-websites gone (probably due to COVID


  • Started to populate newly added password-protected Director’s page

  • Added Eldercare and Falmouth Chamber to Community Resources Page

  • Added latest newsletter

  • Added latest Silver Threads

  • Updated COVID pages

    - added 2 new resources (including Hartford Foundation)
    - added resources for mental health issues related to COVID - added section for COVID-related articles




User Activities YTD

  • Users: 1416 (up 546)

  • New Users: 1371 (86% of all users)

  • Sessions: 1827 (up 641)

  • Session Duration: 1m 56s (down 25.1%)

  • Bounce Rate 43.57% (down 9.3%)

  • Page Views: 4990 (up 1590)

  • Pages Per Session: 2.73 (no change)

  • Return Visitors: 13.8% (down from 17.3%)


Country and City of Origin

  • 1081 US (76.3% of users)31 China/ 22 India/ 21 Philippines/ 20 France

  • 429 Falmouth (41% of users)66 Boston/ 52 Barnstable/ 18 Hangzhou/ 17 Paris


Sessions by Device

  • Desktop 62.9%

  • Phone 30.8%%

  • Tablet 6.3%


How Users Found Us

  • 44% came directly by typing in our URL

  • 32% came through a search engine

  • 23% came through other websites

  • 1% came through Facebook


Top 10 Page Visits - YTD

  • Home Page

  • Newsletter

  • About

  • What’s New

  • Members

  • Volunteers

  • Events

  • Directors Page

  • Forms


Busiest Day in May 2020: Friday 05/29 - 97 users with an average session duration of 2m 10s




Things continue to go pretty well with fundraising. May was a good month for contributions to our Covid/NF Resilience Fund. In all, we have received 115 donations to NF Resilience (COVID) Fund totaling over $24,700! Thanks to all the board members who have donated at this critical time.

As a reminder, we received a Federal PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loan of $21,645 on April 29. To convert the loan to a donation, we must retain all current staff for an 8 week period after receiving the $, and spend no less than 75% of the amount on payroll. By the end of June, I will submit the loan report documentation to the SBA which will, I hope, allow our PPP loan of $21,645 to be completely forgiven, and converted to a gift. The receipt of the PPP loan has been a critical cushion to help us retain staff and make up some planned revenue from the loss of the Gala and Shredding events.

The next big hurtle, is to reconfigure the rest of the year’s fundraising. I am exploring whether any likely donors were left out of the Resilience Fund appeal mailing. If so, I will do a smaller mailing to those outliers. I continue to explore different granting possibilities. As mentioned last month, if we are able to hold an even modestly successful fundraiser by year’s end, we may just stay close to our planned revenue budget.

I continue to think that a “Board Challenge” appeal near the end of the year could be an effective fundraiser. A thought would be to raise, say, $5,000 from board as well as former board and use this as a match for other supporters. More later this summer.


We received $3,500 from the Woods Hole Foundation this week to help us during the COVID- 19 crisis. We are still waiting to hear from the Behren’s Fund at St. Barnabas Church. We will submit our annual grant requests to the Stanley W. Watson Foundation as well as the Willett Fund (which we heard was closing, but never received any notification that that had happened). Still planning requests for Kelley Foundation, and others. It is not clear whether the COVID-19 crisis will have an impact on grant funding. In some cases, grantors have been extra generous, but it may make other grant monies more difficult to access.

Fundraising Events

Gala – No movement here, but hoping to meet with Sue and Mary Pat to assess what we are thinking. I hope to talk about whether a virtual event or online auction is possible or preferable.