[hackerspaces] How do you fundraise?

Clement Quinson clem at electrolab.fr
Wed Nov 20 12:01:45 CET 2013

Hello all,
reporting for the Electrolab. Our space is currently 150 square meters,
15mn from Paris. We opened something like 3 years ago, and have
approximately 100 paying members (with several new ones each week whooooo).

We're in a quite special situation: we do not have a rent to pay, thank to
an arrangment with our landlord.

Our fundraising is divided approximately in 3 equal parts:
- membership fees, 15€/month (half for starving hackers), paid each 4
months (less paperwork)
- donations from members that can afford more than that, and/or would like
to see specific investments succeed.
- selling of stuff (vending machine for food, used equipment, kits, goodies
for example tshirts, ...)
for a total of approx 30k€/year, if I remember well.

Anyone can make a suggestion for a new investment. Members are informed on
the ML and wiki, those who wish to have that equipment can donate. Whenever
the total is reached, we buy the equipment. Simple as that.

We also have some campaigns for specific actions (currently ongoing: moving
to a much bigger space/hijacking the full building where we are now). See
http://donate.electrolab.fr/ for further information/example.

One of our main strenght is our network of member and friends: we do see an
incredible lot of equipment arrive on our mailing list. Some of it can be
fixed and put to good (or bad) use, the rest then can be sold to members or
on ebay & al (or directly on our website, recently put online:

We also did have some funding by the city, but it was like few % of our
budget last year, and all in all, it is not really worth the effort...

If you have any question, I'd be glad to answer :)
C. board member of the Electrolab

ps: we usually have a couple k€ in the bank, for special operations like
"hey, we have spotted an awesome piece of equipment for 1/100th of its
price. For this operation to work, it has to happen NOW". In those
situations, a call for investment doesn't work.
But things would be quite different if we had a rent and associated
expenses to pay.

On Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 10:33 AM, hadez <hadez.hso at nrrd.de> wrote:

> Hi there,
> On Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 10:21 AM, Kristin-Leigh Brezinski
> <okrysmastree at gmail.com> wrote:
> > What kinds of fundraising do you do for your space?
> If someone wants to by something he or she usually posts a message to
> the internal mailing list with a few details and asks who wants to
> chip in.
> We've had one time where we hat to move the to a new location rather
> unexpectedly for which we asked money publicly.
> > How successful have these efforts been?
> Worked rather well, we're still alive and kicking
> > How DO you fund your space (smaller fees charged to many
> > members, or a few members who foot a large portion of the bills)?
> Membership fees and to a significant amount selling Club-Mate and
> other drinks through our vending machine.
> A few members pay "supporter fees".
> We also take donations.
> However, we only use fees and income from selling drinks to cover
> recurring costs.
> > Have you ever had trouble paying the rent,
> Gladly, no.
> > and how much money do you keep in the bank?
> Hard lower limit is 3+ months.
> I think right now we're good for more than that which gives you that
> warm and fuzzy feeling and lets you sleep well at night.
> Note: _huge_ parts of infrastructure at our space was done based on
> donations coming from members.
> The non-profit running the space was actually _very_ conservative and
> reluctant to pay much more than the bare essentials during the first
> two years of its existence.
> This is now easing up a bit since we do have enough buffer-money to
> pay rent and a few unexpected repairs here and there.
> --
> hadez
> shackspace, Stuttgart, Germany
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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