AIM’s Board: At Retreat, Not In Retreat

We passed the cookie tray and munched spicy caramel corn as the hard reality sank in: This takes resources—lots of resources. AIM has a wealth of talent, passion, and richly diverse content, but our terrific trainings and fabulous facilities aren’t free. And, for the first time in our 35-year history, AIM will have to pay rent next year—perhaps an amount equivalent to a quarter of the current overall budget.

As Producers’ Rep, I was invited to join the AIM Board of Directors when it met on November 12 for an afternoon-long retreat to define goals for the year ahead. Top of the list: this resource question.

The news about rent wasn’t new. That’s been known since the latest franchise agreement was completed about a year ago. Executive Director Paul LeValley reminded board members of the tremendous turnout on behalf of AIM at the county hearings and of the stacks of letters county board member Katie Cristol had before her in one of those meetings. “We know how to do this,” LeValley said. “We have a lot of support in the community—and we need to mobilize it again.”

Mobilization, the board determined, needs to take multiple forms, including:
• Advocacy at the county level, making the case for AIM’s strategic importance in the community;
• Continued exploration of alternatives for location and operations;
• Raising some serious cold hard cash, including a first-ever Winter Fund Drive on WERA, with participation from every program and producer and a year-end mailing to members (just for inspiration: WOWD, our sister LPFM station in Takoma Park, raised $25,000 in their recent on-air fund drive!); and
• Testimonials.

Which is where you were magically transported into the room with us.

Paul read aloud several of the emails he receives every week from viewers excited by what they see and hear coming out of AIM. You wrote those letters—and AIM needs more of them.

If you love what you hear, if you value the training you’ve received, the facilities you frequent, the equipment available to you, let AIM know! Let AIM let others know. Fill Paul’s inbox— (and then make your donation!).

The retreat closed with formalizing committee assignments and a quick briefing on the online system for the Winter Fund Drive so board members can be among the first to make their donations. The goal is 100% participation by board members—and members in general. Nothing says more about an organization than the full support of its members. Watch for your letter.

President Kim Phillip sent us out into the chilly evening with thanks and the promise of more to come. We left with our bellies full, resolved to do what it takes to ensure that this remarkable community resource continues to thrive in the year ahead.

—Lynn Borton



The station means that Brendan who had just left the military got a job through the show in 2016. In 2017 women and men will hear from experts on how to deal with sexual harassment at work. And it means in 2018 Afotey and I will bring more workplace shows that make a positive difference in the lives of others. Thanks for sharing what happened and what we have in front of us. You can count on me to contribute to the fundraiser. Lorne