BURP Officer Meeting Minutes– 03/21/2015

The third meeting of 2015 BURP Officers was held at 11:00 AM at the home of Dan Allers & Christina Wren in Fairfax, VA on Saturday, May 9, 2015. In attendance were:

Emily Michelsen – Fearless Leader, Wendy Aaronson – Enlightenment, Dan Bremer – Culture, Dan Rozman – Mem-Beer-Sip, Bill Ridgely – Propaganda, Rich Sampson – Propaganda/Newsletter Editor, Thomas Sords – Prosperity, Robert Stevens – Propaganda
Not attending – Mike Reinitz – Enlightenment; Bob Rouse – Culture

1 BURP W&OD Trail Bike Ride

Robert reported that the ride scheduled for the following weekend (May 16) was still on track with a slight scheduling change. Co-organizer Jeanie Osburn suffered a cycling accident so may not be able to attend. Robert indicated he had not gotten responses from many BURP members who planned to participate in the ride and would send a reminder.

2 New BURP Beer-Food Pairing Group

Robert and Pam Leifer are putting together a BURP beer & food pairing group that will hold occasional dinners (possibly 4 per year), planned by the members, which will pair craft and homebrewed beers with gourmet meals. Robert and Pam have begun soliciting members and plan to hold an organizational meeting in mid-June. The first dinner will be scheduled for a date in mid-July.

3 BURPOUT Update

Robert has set up new pages on the BURP website for registration of BURP members to attend the 2nd BURPOUT. This campout for BURP members only is held each year on Popenoe Mountain near Flintstone, MD (site of MASHOUT for many years) and is scheduled this year for the weekend of Jun 26-28. Cost will be $20 for individuals (and for children 12-20 with BURP parent) and $10 for kids aged 2-12 (with BURP parent). There will be a limit of 70 people participating. Registration opens on Mon, May 11 and continues until all slots are filled. Bill will serve as organizer and registrar for the event.

4 Spirit of Free Beer Wrap-Up

Bill reported that the Spirit of Free Beer was successfully completed at its new location in Beltsville, MD and its new April time period. Number of entries was slightly higher than last year and sufficient to effectively break even on the event. Thomas reported that based on the current balance sheet, the club ended up approximately $100 in the black. Some tweaks will need to be made next year if the event is held at the same location, principally in quality and quantity of meals served to volunteers. The April BURP meeting, which served as both SOFB prize ceremony and “drink the leftovers” meeting, was very successful and well attended. Tom & Colleen Cannon did a great job organizing the competition beers by style categories, and Tom’s educational tasting of several entries was well received. The only issue noted was lack of a container for bottle caps. This will be corrected next year.

5 BURP Website Upgrade

Robert provided two proposals for upgrade of the BURP website. These have been attached to these minutes as addenda. The first proposal utilizes industry-standard WordPress as the development tool. The second utilizes Wild Apricot, an all-inclusive development environment that uses WordPress modules to create complete websites and then host and maintain them for customers. Robert has received one proposal from a WordPress developer and is awaiting two others. The current proposal is $4,500 for development of the website and $300 yearly for hosting. The Wild Apricot proposal is $2,500 for development and a $50 monthly charge for hosting (which will increase to $70 in September). Both development environments offer robust membership database modules that should be able to take care of BURP requirements. WordPress offers a number of different modules in various price ranges. If WordPress is selected as the development environment, we will need examine and review these modules to determine which offers the greatest value, flexibility, and toolset vs cost. Both environments also offer e-mail services, and we will need to determine what services we will require (such as our current listservs and e-mail forwarders). There are some questions that need to be addressed if WordPress is selected, in particular:

* Will upgrades to WordPress (and possible compatibility modifications to the BURP modules) be automatically included in the annual fees?

* Will full security and security upgrades be included in the annual fees?

It was suggested that Dan Rozman investigate the various WordPress membership modules and make a recommendation on which will best serve our needs. Thomas stated that he would make contact with the WordPress developer (and the other developers once the bids have been received) to obtain answers to the questions above.

Emily asked that Dan R, Robert, and Thomas conduct a final technical review of the various proposals and options and make a recommendation to the officers on the developer to be selected. The officers will meet again in June for a status update on the project.

Meeting was adjourned at 1:00 PM.

Minutes Submitted 5/15/15 by Bill Ridgely, Secretary


Addenda 1:

WordPress and WordPress Proposal

WordPress is an Open Source project that was first released in 2003. About 20% to 25% of the websites on the internet currently use WordPress.


WordPress content is based on themes. Themes control the pages default structure, colors, shapes, text style, shades and location of menus bars. They can be downloaded from WordPress or created. The content on pages are created using an editor that looks and functions similar to the current editor. There are additional WYSIWYG content editor plugins available if needed.

There are over 30,000 plugins available for WordPress. The plugins allow a great deal of flexibility in how the web site functions and what it does. The improvements can be small like embedding feature rich tables into the website to big improvements like a membership database management plugin.

We will need to make sure the major functions required to create and update content can be done without coding. There will need to be training and it probably would be helpful to create a user’s manual similar to the current membeersip manual to help members to learn how to create content.

A demonstration on how to create pages in WordPress can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgJ0OZYFzi0

Membership database

There are over 350 membership plugins for WordPress. Some are more comprehensive than others. Most connect with PayPal. We will need to find one that meets our needs and budget. An example of one possibility is the member find me plugin. It is a comprehensive membership management plugin and the features of this plugin at the end of the proposal.

Maintenance and upkeep

There are a several BURP members who are familiar with WordPress and have expressed an interest in helping develop BURP.org. Since WordPress is an established platform, it will be easier to find people who have some knowledge of WordPress in the future.


Going with WordPress is definitely more expensive.  Currently the lowest bid is $4500 to build the site and a $300.00 yearly hosting fee. There are two other providers who are in the process of providing a bids to me, so their bids may be lower. I hope to hear from them soon.

Proposal and what is next

There is greater flexibility with WordPress and the chance of finding members to help maintain and create content now and in the future is also greater. For these reasons, if the club wants a robust dynamic site that includes some of the following, you will want to pay the extra money for a WordPress site.

Making BURP.org the central location of information for BURP.ers

First step would be to create a steering committee which includes Rich and his social media committee to help identify ways and content to maximize the use of BURP.org and brand BURP.org. This might include things like including links on the front page for all BURP activities.

This group could also work with the membeersip minister to develop web site and other social media content and advertise events that will attract new members. The group needs to pay particular attention to communication to the 30 and 40 year old brewers.

Creating public content

The officers would be responsible for creating posts and encourage posts responses such as posting recipes for month contest winners in the recipe section of BURP.org.

If we use the content and energy that currently goes into making the newsletter and refocus it on developing web content, BURP would have a great web site. Not sure if that means indexing or reformatted the newsletter to enhance the online readership. Ways to make the content of previous newsletter articles more accessible could be considered. One such possibility is to ask some of the newer members to go back and use the various Minister of Cultures beer style articles as a bases for new articles that might include a style description, how to brew the style and maybe include recipes. These new articles could be posted in the beer style sections of BURP.org.

Content and activities for Members

Use the site to scheduling trips and events. Bring everyone to the site so they can see all that BURP has to offer and drive up visits to the site and save money on events by not paying event site fees. Eventually we could also explore something like amazon store. We can list some items from the amazon site in our store. If anyone, including our members, buy an item from the store, BURP gets some of the money.

member find me features


Membership and Subscription Management

  • Collect membership subscriptions and dues with Stripe, Paypal or Authorize.net
  • Unlimited membership levels
  • Allow multiple billing options for each membership level – including automatic recurring billing, online billing, pay by check and lifetime billing
  • Setup tax rates for membership levels by city, state, zip or country
  • Allow members to upgrade and downgrade between membership levels at any time
  • Create membership add-ons
  • Allow members to change membership add-ons at any time
  • Sophisticated pro-rating calculations when switching between billing options, membership levels or membership add-ons
  • Automatically send upcoming renewal and past-due notices to members, customized for each membership level
  • Members can sign-in to manage their membership billing and directory profile from your website
  • Labels let you find members by committees, categories and more
  • Member Timeline (CRM) allows you to see a member’s history at a glance
  • Group memberships for families, businesses or organizations
  • Allow multiple contacts under a membership account, every contact can sign in independently
  • Dashboard lets you to see membership metrics, member signups, member renewals, expired memberships, and event sales in one place
  • Financial dashboard charts your membership, donation, event and tax revenue
  • Daily membership report email
  • Export membership payments, invoices, and fees to QuickBooks or a spreadsheet
  • Export membership data to a spreadsheet
  • Group email members
  • Advanced custom fields and customizable membership forms
  • Show or hide different areas of the membership form based on membership level or label

Restrict Access for Members

  • Restrict access to members only on any page or post with a shortcode
  • Restrict access by membership level or label

Event Calendar

  • Infinitely scrolling event calendar promotes discovery and reduces friction
  • Event list view
  • Color coded events on event calendar
  • Event categories
  • Allow members to add or edit events with advanced permissions
  • SEO optimized with Rich Snippets
  • Upcoming events widget

Event Ticketing and Registration

  • Pay for event tickets on-page through Stripe, Paypal or Authorize.net
  • Automatic event registration confirmation email with iCalendar attachment let attendees add your event to their calendars (works with Outlook, gmail, etc)
  • Create custom event registration questions
  • Create multiple event tickets
  • Create free or paid event tickets
  • Setup tax rates for events by city, state, zip or country, override tax settings by event or ticket
  • Limit event ticket quantity, event capacity, event tickets per registration, and more
  • Member only event tickets
  • Limit event tickets to specific membership levels
  • Discount codes for event tickets
  • Group email event attendees
  • Cancel and refund a single event registration, or the entire event
  • Edit event registrations and issue partial refunds
  • Export event invoices, event payments and fees to QuickBooks or a spreadsheet
  • Export registration data to a spreadsheet
  • Event registration and event check-in linked to membership Timeline for members


Addenda 2:
Wild Apricot and Wild Apricot Proposal

Wild Apricot was created in 2006 by Bona Source Inc. which is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Wild Apricot has developed into a cloud base priority that has multiple features to help organizations manage their membership and IT functions. It currently has over 6000 members.


Base on themes and templates. As in WordPress, themes control the pages default structure, colors, shapes, text style and location of menus bars. There are currently three mobile friendly themes. Page templates have predetermined space for things like Menu bar, header and footer content and gadgets.  The templates are not intuitive and a first glance seems complicate. I spent several hours but could not create a web page, so training will be required.  No coding needed to create content and pages.

A demonstration on how to create pages in Wild Apricot can be found at http://www.wildapricot.com/webinar-setting-up-your-wild-apricot-website. You will want to skip the first 5:47 mins. of the video

Membership Database

Overall the membership module seems well developed and membership payment process seems seamless. There are some things that may cause some difficulties. For example, the membership levels and roles are based on the fee members pay. BURP would therefore have 17 membership levels if you include registered users and honorary members. The list of Memberships levels may be overwhelming to new members and restricting access to web pages could be complicated.

Maintenance and Upkeep

There was limited interest from the members to help create or develop content for the Wild Apricot web site last year or this year.  The Wild Apricot proposal does include paying for the development of the web site theme and membership database plus creating the pages.


$2500.00 has been allocated to developing the web site content and the members’ database. Currently there is a $50.00 monthly charge for using the site but the fee will increase to $70.00 a month in September.

Proposal and what is next

The cost for creating Wild Apricot is a lot less than creating a WordPress site, but there has been limited member interest in helping to develop and maintain the site and there is no reason to believe that will change in the future. Wild Apricot is a good choice if the club wants a static website with a well-developed membership process. You can pay to have the home page, description of BURP, monthly competition, SoFB results, Newsletter and meeting directions pages created plus a calendar.  Bill can update the meeting directions and calendar as he does now. If others do become interested in working on the site in the future, more static pages can be developed as needed. The web site will look nicer but the content of the web site would probably end up being about the same as it does now. The membership registration should work fairly well.