[hackerspaces] What should you sell or shouldn't you sell in a hackerspace?

Volatile Compound volatilecompound at gmail.com
Wed Oct 15 00:24:40 CEST 2014

In addition to the other comments, consider also other costs that may be
incurred in the normal running of the space - as an example, it's not
unreasonable to ask a fee for materials used in a class or project.  If
someone brings their own, great, but letting folks know in advance that
there's a fee of $whatever to cover consumables or components can help

- skroo.

On 10/14/14 3:19 PM, Matt Maier wrote:
> There isn't AN answer, there is only a range of options from which you
> pick whatever you want based on what's important to you. For example, if
> you try to make things easy and clear-cut by talking about only
> registered charities, where what they do is obviously focused on a cause
> and not on profit, there is still a huge variety of approaches.
> http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=419
> "/Savvy donors know that the financial health of a charity is a strong
> indicator of the charity's programmatic performance. They know that in
> most cause areas, the most efficient charities spend 75% or more of
> their budget on their programs and services and less than 25% on
> fundraising and administrative fees. However, they also understand that
> mid-to-large sized charities do require a strong infrastructure
> therefore a claim of zero fundraising and/or administrative fees is
> unlikely at best. They understand that a charity's ability to sustain
> its programs over time is just as important as its short-term day-to-day
> spending practices. Therefore, savvy donors also seek out charities that
> are able to grow their revenue at least at the rate of inflation, that
> continue to invest in their programs and that have some money saved for
> a rainy day/"
> So, according to an organization devoted to ranking how well charities
> do their job, the benchmark is <=25% on overhead. So if your hackerspace
> operated at a proportion like that it should be beyond reproach, since
> your hackerspace probably isn't an actual charity. That implies a
> balance between the things you really want to give away, and other
> things you have to do to fund the things you want to give away. If
> you're a straight up charity you can start with donations and sell
> enough to make up any shortfall, and it wouldn't make sense for anyone
> to object to that. If you're not a charity, you kind of have to reverse
> those; start with selling things and then ask for donations to make up
> the shortfall. If you want to be self-sustaining you should probably
> start the balancing act with the amount of money you can bring in, and
> then decide how much stuff you can give away based on that. The actual
> thing you choose to give away or sell probably doesn't matter much. If
> you decide to sell something that somebody thinks you should give away,
> they can just go find (or found) a different organization that gives
> that thing away and sells something different.
> On Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 3:01 PM, Florencia Edwards <floev22 at gmail.com
> <mailto:floev22 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     Hello everyone, today we were discussing what you can sell and what
>     you can't sell in a hackerspace. For example "how to make a
>     hackerspace", is something i believe everyone should be able to
>     access, because the design patterns are free and available for
>     everyone since 2007: we want more hackerspaces around and if the
>     knowledge was shared with us why not keep sharing it back. So what
>     caught my attention is this "Makerspace operations bootcamp" to
>     learn how to make a makerspace,, that artisan's asylum offers. Why
>     is it so expensive? 2000 dollars for person... Maybe i'm being naive
>     and it's good, so the makerspace can sustain itself? :  
>     http://maker-works.com/classes/makerspace-operations-bootcamp-2/
>     Also checking their workshops i believe they are a little expensive,
>     i always think that  for education. it's better that it has the
>     lowest cost possible, because education is a right. But  again,
>     maybe i'm wrong and if you can't charge workshops, how can a
>     hackerspace sustain itself
>     My real question is, what is ethical to sell in a hackerspace so it
>     can sustain itself and what is not,  what should we give to the
>     community for free because it helps people and it makes a better
>     world.Also, I know that the fact that things have a cost, or the
>     fact of winning money is not a bad thing in itself. We need it to
>     live and paying somone for their job is also helping them. 
>     So where are the limits, how can you know what to sell, at what
>     price, and what never to sell. 
>     - Florencia
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