[EMS Discuss] Getting funds together for a possible move

Wed May 22 13:31:09 PDT 2013

All great ideas.  I would like to add the possibility of, space permitting, renting table space where one could have
their own project station that they wouldn't have to tear down each trip.


> I would be willing to pay more for the right space in the right
> location.  The current EMS location isn't very usable for me (too small
> and too far away), so I'm really just paying to be part of a club and
> support EMS instead of getting access to a space I can really use.
> Another idea I've seen at some other makerspaces is charging a small fee
> for some extra benefits.  Renting lockers is one that makes a lot of
> sense to me.  Everyone pays the basic membership fee.  If you need some
> space for your projects (like me) you can rent a locker - anything from
> a shelf to lockable cages of various sizes.  As long as the storage
> doesn't cost too much to setup, that is a revenue stream that also
> provides one way for people to pay for the amount of use they get out of
> EMS.
> Another option is paying a small fee for some of the more popular or
> expensive tools (like a 3D printer).  This can be hourly, a monthly fee
> for the right to use it, or maybe just a one time fee to get checked out
> on a machine.
> Holding classes (soldering, arduino, etc.) for a small fee can bring in
> some money, but I'm not sure if there is enough of a market for that.
> We should do those anyone once we have a space that supports that, but
> I'm guessing that would be more to break even and attract new members
> than a revenue source.
> Finally mixing some business memberships could dramatically subsidize
> the cost.  EMS is mostly empty on during the day on weekdays, so having
> one or more small businesses or individuals make use of the space during
> that time could bring in a substantial amount of money.  Think of
> something like CodeChops operating out of EMS during the daytime -
> geared towards business uses that wouldn't prevent a normal EMS member
> from working on projects at the same time.  I myself my consider up to a
> couple hundred dollars a month for an arrangement like that.
> Craig
> On 5/22/2013 9:49 AM, Rick Osgood wrote:
>> 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?
>> Rick
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