[EMS Discuss] Getting funds together for a possible move

Wed May 22 09:49:52 PDT 2013

When we first started EMS we had about 5 people involved.  We all decided
that in order to get things moving, we would have to bite the bullet and
rent a space, even though it would cost us each $100 per month at the
start.  We all came to the agreement that we could each afford $100 for 6
months, worst case scenario.  After that if we weren't going anywhere, we
could cancel the lease and call it quits.  The idea was that once we had a
space, we would get more members and our $100 shares would drop every month.

Well, obviously things have worked out since we now have around 28 members
and all of our bills are covered by dues alone!  However, this growth means
that we really need to move to a bigger space in order to keep growing EMS
in a positive way.  Getting a larger space means our operational costs are
going to go up.  Right now, we are making just enough money to break even
on all of our bills.

We figure we are going to need an additional $500 to $1000 per month
(depending on the particular space) in order to afford a move to a bigger
and better space.  We were talking about several ways to accomplish this
goal at the Hack your Hackerspace meeting last night.

I have two questions for the members.

1) Are any members interested in joining that "financial backers" group?
 This is the group of members who agree to split the difference on the
bills so we can afford to keep growing our organization into something even
more awesome.  It's hard to say right now what the monthly cost would be,
since we don't have a particular space lined up.  But we would most likely
try to keep it under $100 per month per person in order to actually move
forward on a new space.  And we would try to get a 6 month commitment so we
can back out after that time if we just can't afford it any more.

2) We are considering introducing a sliding-scale membership.  The idea
here is that the lowest "tier" would be $25 per month.  Then there would be
additional tiers above that price.  All members would still have equal
rights and access.  You wouldn't get anything extra for paying more.  But
this model allows members to who get a lot of of the space to pay what they
think their membership is worth to them if they can afford to pay more.

What are your thoughts?  Would you be interested in belonging to one of
these groups?  Do you have other ideas for how we can increase our monthly
income to afford a better space?

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