About a dozen of us met tonight to discuss the viability of a bigger Makerspace. We have an opportunity to move into a space that is 2.5 times larger than our current space, which is also 2.5 times as expensive.
The short answer is that it’s a bit too rich for us. We can afford 2X, but we can’t really afford 2.5X at this time as shown by this graph: Hint: we need to keep the bars above 0 to survive 🙂
If we were able to add 1 member per month, we can keep the Makerspace in the black, but our typical rate of adding members is 1 every 2 months.
We have several ideas about how to raise additional capital, the first of which being a gofundme or similar crowdsourced solution. If we can raise $5000, we can safely make the move. Tony and Trevor will be working on designing that.
Other ideas include:
- Asking visitors for a $3 donation, including game night visitors. The space is (obviously) not free, and $3 seems like a small enough amount to ask for.
- Renting out the main 2000 square foot area of the new space for events
- Adding TV’s and consoles and hosting video game nights
- Looking into grants, donations, and other sources of income
- Reaching out to home-school groups who might be interested in group memberships so parents could use the space as a teaching location
- Building/Selling Raspberry Pi Arcade/Minecraft boxes using the 20 or so old monitors we have on hand
- Holding a technology auction to sell off a bunch of the donated materials we have received over the years
To sum up, we are going to wait at least 30 days before making the next decision. If we can raise enough money or add a few new members, we will take the plunge.
That being said, we need people who can help fund raise, donate for the tech auction, help write grants, and spread the word that the Makerspace exists! The more members we have, the easier it is to add more space.
We will meet again in 30 days to check the progress on our new ideas.