[hackerspaces] Need suggestions regarding some issues

Avinash Sonawane rootkea at gmail.com
Wed Jan 1 15:16:34 CET 2014

Hello everyone!

We are "Hacker's Den", a budding hackerspace at Pune, India. We
started 4 months back. Currently we are doing fine but we are facing
some issues (mainly administrative issues). I am here looking for some
suggestions from the community like how you deal with these

1) Do you fund members' projects from your hackerspace's account ? Or
the money in hackerspace's account is utilized only for funding
hackerspace's projects (like doorbot, hosting charges for official
website), for buying tools and for arranging events ?

2) How do you decide to buy a new tool for your hackerspace ? Do you
use voting or it's absolutely necessary that each and every member
should say yes for that particular tool since the expenses will be
paid from the group's account ?

3) We have a group of members who built a quadrocopter and then they
donated it to our hackerspace to be used for whatever purpose the
group thinks the best. So what do you do with the donated hardware
projects ? Do you give it to other member(s) who want to hack on it
(and might burn it to ashes in doing so ;) ) on first come first serve
basis or do you try to retain that project (as it'll continue to
inspire new members/projects) by asking the interested members to
built their own replica ?

4) Dues Policy
a) What's your dues policy ? Let's say a member broke some group's
tool then is it his/her responsibility to repair the same or whole
group bears the expenses ?
b) If member has to pay for what (s)he has broken then is it
compulsory to pay the full expenses or (s)he can get away with it by
paying just a part of it ? In later case additional punishment can be
imposed like restricting the access to the space for few days so that
financially weaker hackers wont have to say bye bye to the space if
they don't have the full amount.
c) If member has to pay for what (s)he has broken but (s)he simply
refuses to pay and walks away then what do you do ? How do you ensure
to get the dues from members ? Is there some legal arrangement or

5) Borrowing
a) If a group of members are in great need of a particular tool and a
member X has that particular tool but (s)he don't want to donate it to
the space rather (s)he is willing to lend it. Then whom (s)he lends
the tool? To the space (The org) or to a particular person whom (s)he
didn't even know and was willing to lend just because those group of
people were the members of the same organization (s)he was ?
b) If the tool is borrowed by the Org and not by a particular person
and then the said tool is broken by a member Y then who reimburses the
tool to member X ? The space or Member Y ? What if member Y simply
walks away ?
c) If space decides to bear the expenses for 5b then what if there are
number of people who never wanted that tool in the first place and
neither they used it nor they broke it then how much it's logical to
pay from the group's account ?
d) To avoid problem 5c do you take voting ? And then in case of any
mishap asking the group of yes voters to pay ("member Y walking away"
problem solved) ? What if a No voter uses that particular tool ? How
do you restrict the access to Yes voters only (as only they gonna pay
in case of any mishap) ?

Please pardon me for so much of text. Looking for your valuable suggestions.
Thank you!

Avinash Sonawane (RootKea)
PICT, Pune

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