Dear friends of Twin Cities Maker / Hack Factory,
We need your help. In an unexpected turn of events, TC Maker has been informed that our landlord (who rents from the management company for the building) is terminating their lease on May 31st. This means that our sublet with Broadband America will terminate as well. What we are planing to do is lease directly from the building management company. This would mean that we’d go from about 4,500 square feet to about 7,800 square feet. This would give us access to the entire space to set up things like a lounge in the front office area, create a dedicated class room, and expand to have way more shop space for working on bigger projects. The TC Maker board has decided to pursue a lease with the building. This is a big gamble for us, but should have huge benefits and rewards for the community and our members.
The Board of Directors called an informal discussion at our weekly open house to solicit feedback on 5/4/2011. After discussion on costs, pros and cons of moving and other considerations, the membership in attendance, as well as the board, were unanimous in their decision to seek a lease in our current location. Unfortunately this decision had to be made quickly so we can make plans for the coming months, as 25 days to find a new space is not something that is reasonable right now.
While we don’t need everything today, we have some significant commitments to make this happen. We need to increase our membership by 25 new members (while retaining current members) through August of this year. This is a very achievable goal however we do still need some capital in order to act on this great opportunity for growth. At the meeting, one member stepped forward and generously offered us a challenge grant. If we raise $1,000 before June 3rd, that will be matched with another $1,000. While that will reinforce our security deposit, we still need to average ten members in growth each month over the next three months.
In the discussion, a number of members pledged to pay double dues for a few months to help keep us on track, but relying on the generosity of members will only get us so far. Our long-term goal is to increase our membership. We’ve been averaging a new member a week for the last few months, but we’re really going to have to step up our game in order to achieve this goal.
A number of marketing and fund-raiser ideas have been brought up, and we will pursue these to benefit the community space. Over the next week we’re going to get some formal information up on the wiki and provide some coordination tools for this, and we ask for your patience while we start this sprint. We also ask that you contribute time, skills, or capital as you are able to help to this unexpected catalyst strengthen our community.
To help us make this challenge grant you can either send money via PayPal, give us cash directly, or donate through GiveMN, but please annotate it as “Challenge” so that we can count it towards the goal. Keep an eye on the forums and on the blog for ways to volunteer, and as always, if you have input or ideas to help, please share them on the forums or via email to the board, and we’ll do what we can to help you facilitate them.
As an aside, we need approximately $1,000 – $1,200 to make up the difference for the security deposit right off the bat.
TC Maker / Hack Factory is excited for this opportunity, and we want to welcome you and your friends to become members, teach classes, or take classes.
Board of Directors, Twin Cities Maker
Donate via GiveMN.org (tax-deductible):