“The mission of the Dark Clouds is to support professional soccer, serve and build communities, and create a welcoming, inclusive culture around the sport in Minnesota.”
The Dark Clouds have several components with varying functions:
Dark Clouds GBC & its Board of Directors
The Dark Clouds activities are supported by a general benefit corporation incorporated in Minnesota to support soccer and the communities engaged in it. This general benefit corporation (or, more commonly, B-corp) functions largely as an LLC, but without the necessity of operating to return a profit. The job of the Dark Clouds GBC is to supply stability and governance, as well as evaluate the President with respect to the job they are doing in adhering to the principles laid out in the Mission, Articles of Incorporation, and the Bylaws.
The Board of Directors is responsible for setting agenda and budgets that support activities of the Dark Clouds. They are not responsible for the day to day operations, but evaluate whether these are helping meet the organization’s long term goals and whether they are within the mission of the Dark Clouds.
The Dark Clouds GBC has a seven member Board of Directors. Board members are elected at the yearly Supporters Summit. Elections are staggered so one year 3 board positions will be up for election while the next will see 4 board positions open for election. To run for a seat on the Dark Clouds board, an individual must nominate themselves in advance of the general meeting (an online form will be provided). Voting is open to all Dark Clouds shareholders. Shares are sold prior to each Supporters Summit.
Each year the board members appoint the 4 executive officers:
- President – The primary executive officer of the Dark Clouds
- Vice President – The facilitator who is empowered to act on behalf of the President
- Treasurer – The chief financial officer of the Dark Clouds
- Secretary – The board’s record keeper
Each committee has a Committee Chair and Co-Chair who are responsible for the budget and strategic plan of that committee.
The Chair and Co-Chair of the committee are responsible for ensuring that they meet all goals and responsibilities of their committee throughout the year as well as ensure they stay within their budget. At the beginning of each year, each committee is responsible for appointing their own Chair and Co-Chair executive members. If the committee cannot decide for themselves who they want to be the Chairs of the committee the appointments will be made by the President and the VP.
The following standing committees:
- Communications is the marketing, public relations, and advertising arm of our organization. It is responsible for producing an informed Dark Clouds membership, disseminating information to the media, and maintaining the positive public image of the Dark Clouds. The Communications committee advises the President and the Board of Directors on all public outreach.
- Events is responsible for all Dark Clouds gatherings that are unrelated to Silver Lining, Gameday, or tifo events. This includes all Dark Clouds sponsored parties and travel to away games we make an effort to go to as a group.
- GameDay Operations is in charge of facilitating a vibrant and engaging match day experience. They organize buses to and from home matches, and handle the transportation of equipment/accessories necessary to provide a raucous matchday atmosphere. GameDay operations is always in search of new ways to make match day more engaging and is dedicated to helping supporters of our favorite club find their inner rowdy and unleash it to spur the club on to victory.
- Membership focuses on recruiting, welcoming, retaining, and engaging new and existing members from all backgrounds into our Dark Clouds community.
- Merchandise is responsible for the approval and sale of all Dark Clouds merchandise. Merchandise is the largest revenue source for the Dark Clouds and it is important that the committee both minimizes financial risks and maximizes potential revenue.
- Silver Lining is the method in which we give back to the community which supports us. Through this committee we organize our volunteers that give hundreds of hours combined to help feed the hungry, preserve our environment, and help those in need. The amazing work done by this committee fuels the passion and community of the Dark Clouds.
- Tifo is responsible for creating the public art. Big banners, flags, two poles and all other large, and small scale, visual representations of support on matchday.
The Dark Clouds Affiliate Program
Dark Clouds Affiliated Organizations are groups who have come together behind a common theme or purpose and want to pull in the same direction as the Dark Clouds. This might be college buddies from Dortmund who want to build tifos like the Yellow Wall. Or it might be a group of neighbors in Saint Paul who want to make a uniquely Mac/Groveland-flavored crew. Affiliated organizations enjoy unique identities of their own while still partying with the Dark Clouds.
Minnesota United will recognize affiliated organizations on their website and in their marketing. Affiliated Organizations can also petition the Dark Clouds board for support on items like connections to our merch suppliers for volume pricing, help with tifo construction, or financial support for a project.
To be officially recognized, affiliate organizations need 5 or more Dark Clouds Season Ticket Holders and a charter. The charter is a list of these ticket holders’ names and a description of why the group exists (mission statement, purpose statement, origin story).