[Finance] Psychological Aspect of the Finances

madstringer madstringer at denhac.org
Tue Aug 31 18:40:44 CEST 2010

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When we first started, it definitely wasn't mandatory. We asked who
would be willing to contribute financially to getting the space up and
running. We did make it known that once we did get a space, we would be
implementing a mandatory dues system, but we also highlighted what
members would get, e.g. 24-hour access to the space and all tools,
internet access, projects and workshops, etc. I think that as long as
you let people know what to expect, you don't necessarily have to
perform marketing kung-fu with the wording. I think comparing the cost
that an individual would incur vs. getting it thru a hackerspace/makers
membership would be a good way to get people to see the value. You can't
count out the value they get from hanging around other people who are
like-minded either. Knowledge transfer is an invaluable tool...

madstringer at denhac.org

On 8/31/2010 10:29 AM, Dan Hess wrote:
> Well that isn't to say that we won't implement the dues system.  If you have
> bills such as rent and utilities to cover then of course you need some sort
> of steady income that you can count on.  It is possible to do with out that
> of course, but much more problematic and likely painful.
> For our group, when we are ready to move into a space, we will of course
> have to have some form of commitment from the group in order to support such
> an undertaking.  So what is our current "donations" that we're asking for
> will simply become our "dues" with the difference of the fact that they will
> be mandatory for membership and access.  I'd have to say though, the point
> that I was more so trying to get at is no so much on the side of whether or
> not the space would have to go with one or the other, but a matter of what
> it is called during this early formation of the group to take and put a
> positive/motivational spin on all of it.  That way we can hopefully get the
> biggest number of people contributing only while we have no space.
> It is more of the careful wording and details of things like that that I was
> curious about other spaces doing to try and keep the whole cost of the space
> as upbeat as possible for the members.
> Thanks,
> Daniel
> - Copying one is plagiarism, copying many is research.
> On Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 10:40 AM, madstringer <madstringer at denhac.org>wrote:
> Hi!
> When we decided that we wanted to start a hackerspace in Denver, we
> figured out a budget, and then looked for a certain number of interested
> individuals to contribute "seed" money to get it going. We do use the
> "dues" system - the flip-side to your argument is that using the dues
> systems also really only attracts people who are truly interested in
> making things happen. I understand not wanting to scare people away, but
> i think that if you're going to be handing the finances of a non-profit
> (in my case), you're gonna need to be able to forecast out a certain
> number of months, plan purchases, and be sure that you can pay the rent
> and utilities on a space, not just for the current month, but for months
> to come. This is harder to do on a "donations" system. I think there's
> good and bad sides to each system, and that you need to decide which one
> fits you the best, based on your situation. If you don't have many
> expenses, or a space to maintain, I think maybe the donations model
> would work better for you....
> madstringer
> <><><><><><><><><><><>
> madstringer at denhac.org
> On 8/30/2010 8:53 PM, Dan Hess wrote:
>>>> So I was talking earlier today with Brimstone (Makers Local 256) about
> the
>>>> psychological aspects of the finances that we at Midsouth Makers have
>>>> encountered and it lead me to wondering what others might have for input
> on
>>>> this.  I'd like to hear about any sort of "herding cats", "controlling
> the
>>>> masses", and psychological warfare type of situations, events, changes,
> or
>>>> anything else that other spaces have encountered.  And hopefully after
>>>> reading our spaces encounter with it you'll grasp the idea a little
> better
>>>> of what I mean.
>>>> Let me preface this with we are still very much so in our infancy stage
> and
>>>> are learning by leaps and bounds every day.
>>>> In the very beginning, once we knew a financial goal that we would need
> to
>>>> hit in order to move into a place, we decided we would need to implement
>>>> some form of collections from the people showing up.  I would assume that
>>>> almost every space hits that exact same point.  Well we figured out that
> we
>>>> had X number of people coming, and we needed Y amount, so if we collected
> Z
>>>> from each of those people we would get there in a matter of 3 or 4
> months.
>>>>  So we decided we would see about starting some form of collection.  What
> we
>>>> did was make the mistake of terming that collection as "dues" which gave
> it
>>>> a mandatory/required or else type of connotation.  We paid the price as a
>>>> result of that too.  We've spent quite a bit of time trying to recover
> from
>>>> the people that no longer show up likely due to that for the most part.
>  The
>>>> response that we essentially got was that we were attempting to sell a
>>>> product that (and charge for it) that did not exist yet, and so people
> who
>>>> were not seeing the vision felt no need to pitch in.  What we've resorted
> to
>>>> now is doing away with the term "dues" until there is an actual mandatory
>>>> aspect to it.  Now we have our set goal and are requesting
> pledges/donations
>>>> in order to accomplish our goal, and that is exactly how we word it to
> all
>>>> our regulars.  Any time we give an update on our goal we usually word it
> as
>>>> such "we are X number of donations of $45 away from our goal."  This has
>>>> overall had a reasonable result on our group working very nice as
> motivation
>>>> and encouragement all without discouraging them or enticing them to run
> away
>>>> as a result of a mandatory monthly payment.
>>>> We've had a few other little things here and there, and I'm personally
> very
>>>> much so interested in other psychological concepts of handling the group
>>>> whether it be finance related or not, but I hope that the above helps to
>>>> explain the kind of input that I'm curious to hear about.
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> Daniel
>>>> - Copying one is plagiarism, copying many is research.
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