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May 3rd, 2011


  1. Approve draft minutes of the last meeting
  2. Consent Agenda
  3. Officer Reports
    1. President
    2. Vice-President
    3. Treasurer
    4. Secretary
    5. Public Relations
  4. Member Reports
  5. New Business
  6. Adjournment



  • Alan Dipert
  • Peter Reintjes
  • Jeff Crews
  • Darren Boss
  • Eric Hope
  • Drew Michealsonovsky
  • Mark Corzine
  • Lenore Ramm
  • Drew Nelson
  • JC Sackett
  • Ashley McLelland
  • Justis Peters


Consent Agenda

Officer Reports

  • GHC project concluded - many thanks to all who participated!
  • We hosted another Durham Public School meetup, on experimental literature.
  • We were represented at both RARS Fest and CarolinaCon.
    • Scott Hall made us an awesome tri-fold
  • A bunch of people went to CarolinaCon; that's cool.
  • Nothing to report

PayPal balance as of 5/3: $1906.54 (Initiated transfer of $1500 of that to BB&T account on 5/3; transfers take about 5 business days)

As a side note, we have had our first PayPal dispute; it was not initiated by a member, but rather was an inquiry by PayPal into a $50 payment from Gavril Huber. Apparently it was flagged for review because of an address mismatch on his account, and they wanted to know where we had shipped his item. I followed their dispute resolution process, labeled it an "intangible goods" transaction, explained the situation, and provided my phone number and the treasurer@splatspace.org email address if they want to follow up; I expect them to make it go away.

While dealing with that, I noticed that the primary email address for the paypal account was set to paypal@splatspace.org; I don't know if anyone is checking that account, but I am not. I have changed the primary email address to be treasurer@splatspace.org for future ease of use.

BB&T balance as of 5/3: $937.44

BB&T just converted all their small business accounts, including ours, to Small Business OnLine. After reading through the notices, they've mostly added new security features (alerts and verification). Also, we can add up to ten users to our account. If anyone wants me to add another user to the BB&T account (president, secretary, etc.) please let me know.

Misc updates

During the month of April, Ashley brought up the topic of paying taxes (good catch!). After some thrashing about on the IRS website, I talked with my tax accountant and he pointed me in the right direction. Because we are a non-profit with gross income under $25,000/year, we can file online using an electronic postcard format, and the filing deadline is May 15th. I have all the info needed now and will file our e-postcard next week.

Dealing with the tax question consumed some of the time I had hoped to put toward researching alternate payment methods, so I was not able to get alternatives in place in time for the April payment of May dues. My proposals for alternate payment options are on the consent agenda. Once we have consensus on a forward direction, I will move us over to the option(s) selected.

I've fallen behind on tracking who has paid their dues; I will update the dues spreadsheet and send out (individual) notices to people who are in arrears later this week.

Any questions, give me a call at 919-384-7275 - I'm in Puerto Rico tonight but am on the same timezone and my phone works. :)

  • Agreement Audit Complete
    • 39 members since we started
    • 36 are active, 3 have quit
      • For some definition of 'active' and 'quit'
    • 9 are missing member agreements
    • 7 are missing member application data
    • 1 is not just lacking application data, but only has his first name in any record. "Andrew".
  • Application Data Audit starting
  • Current membership information will be cross-referenced with treasurer payment records. Regularly paying/intending to regularly pay will be the final definition of 'active' and 'quit'.
Public Relations
  • Still excessively excited that we had a new member visit and join due to a tweet. Trying to tweet about more of the individual events.
  • No progress on the tri-fold paper handout yet.

Old Business

  • No old business.

New Business


TABLED FOR NEXT MEETING I (Lisa) propose that we add Dwolla (http://www.dwolla.com/) as an additional payment option / alternative to PayPal. Dwolla allows direct payments from a member's bank account (checking or savings) to a SplatSpace Dwolla account and direct transfers from a Dwolla account to our BB&T account. Members would need to create a Dwolla account, associate a bank account (verification similar to the PayPal credit card verification process), and then set up payments from their Dwolla account to the SplatSpace Dwolla account.

Dwolla's biggest advantage is their fees (or lack thereof). The only fee is $.25 per transaction. So where PayPal charges a transaction fee and a percentage (SplatSpace gets $48.75 of every $50 payment), Dwolla charges only a $.25 transaction fee (SplatSpace gets $49.75 of every $50 payment). Dwolla also supports multi-payment schedules (i.e. recurring payments) and automatic funds withdrawal (i.e. it automatically sweeps the Dwolla funds into our bank account so we never hold a balance in Dwolla). Paypal doesn't offer the latter, so the treasurer would no longer have to transfer funds manually (not that manual transfers are big deal, but it'd be nice not to have to remember to do it!) The non-profit transaction limit is $5,000 - I would love for us to hit that limit :) but don't see it as a big constraint any time soon.

Dwolla's biggest disadvantage is that they require associating a bank account, rather than a credit card, to users' Dwolla accounts. Some members may be comfortable with this (especially credit union members, since credit unions tend to offer the same fraud protection to their bank accounts that credit card companies do to credit card accounts); others may not (especially regular-bank customers, since regular banks are not required to extend the same fraud protection to checking accounts, so whether they do or not may vary).

I took an unofficial verbal poll, at one of the recent SplatSpace meetings, to see who would / would not be comfortable with using Dwolla to make payments; about half the people in the room were okay with it, about half were uncomfortable with attaching a bank account rather than a credit card. So my current proposal is that we add Dwolla as an optional alternative for members that are comfortable with the concept, based on the advantages above, and keep accepting PayPal payments from members who are not comfortable with Dwolla. (I will continue to investigate alternatives to PayPal, such as Google Checkout or Amazon Payments, for credit card dues payments.)

Member Reports

Drew Hope
  • Hackerspace in Charlotte has talked about doing a "Hackerspace Village"
    • All the hackerspaces in NC will be in roughly the same area.
      • This requires some coordination, and there doesn't seem to be a person running it.
    • There will be a large contiguous space available for the hackerspaces to use.
    • Plot size 10x10; we will either have 10x40 or 20x20.
  • Mobile fab lab touring NC this summer. Needs places.
Jeff Crews
  • Second sewing class happened, taught people to sew from a pattern.
  • Class three is next week, and is on-the-fly sewing of gear pockets or webbing or the like.
  • The conference room continues to be a danger.
Darren Boss
  • Asterix box drive has died.
    • Alan has replacement.


7:45 pm