November 1st, 2011
- Approve draft minutes of the last meeting
- Consent Agenda
- Officer Annual Reports
- New Business
- Old Business
- Member Reports
- We allocate up to $700, to be spent no later than March of 2013, on filing fees associated with achieving 501(c)3 status. (Passes by consent)
It's been an incredible year. We've had at least 160 gatherings at the space, participated in MakerFaire NC, took on the Global Hackerspace Challenge, and are on the road to becoming a federally-recognized not-for-profit. We're cash-positive and have been accumulating membership slowly but surely.
What does our future hold? I think our past is a strong indicator. The high-level directions I see us going in are:
- Continuing to invite and host Meetups and individual classes
- Involving ourselves in or organizing local conferences and functions
- Improving the layout and load-out of the space to make it more conducive to a wider variety of projects
- Spreading the hackerspace idea and ideals throughout the triangle, culminating with the opening of a space in Raleigh
From an implementation aspect, I think we can do a better job:
- Monetizing meetups and gatherings at the space. Should we have and stock our own vending machine?
- Tracking members and money - Lisa has done a fantastic job, but the spreadsheet groundwork that Alan and Ashley laid out initially is not scaling particularly well
- The more automation around this, the better.
- The Arduino door initiative is an important aspect of this effort.
- One of the things we've done best is having a regular rhythm.
- A core group of members
- Growing fast enough?
Possible things to do:
- Get better/new tools
- * Laser cutters?
- * Common use 3d printer?
- Need to have better plans about doing things with surplus budget
- Get a person/people dedicated to outreach and visibility, perhaps in place of PR.
- Account balances:
- Paypal balance as of 11/1: $1,322.28 (plus $2,000 in process of transferring to BB&T, hasn't cleared yet)
- BB&T balance as of 11/1: $653.52
- WePay balance as of 11/1: $693
- Total balance as of 11/1: $4668.80
- October income:
- Paypal - $650.75
- BB&T - $205.00
- WePay - $693
- Total: $1548.75
- October expenses:
- CREH-Snow (rent) - $895.00 (auto-payment sent before our rent went up; Kim says we can make up the difference in November)
- Premium Assignment (insurance) - $364 (reimbursed to Alan)
- Receipts submitted by Jeff Crews, for project expenses - $65.04
- Total: $1324.04
Income was higher than usual in October due to several members catching up on overdue dues. Thanks!
We urgently need to get our 501(c)3 application submitted; this needs to be a top priority for the next couple months, unless we want the IRS to come after us for 2010 taxes. The deadline is end of December, and with the holidays approaching, that's not a ton of time left! I suggest that we clearly identify an individual owner and a working group for this project and create a wiki page with tasks and milestones. Unfortunately, I don't have the bandwidth to lead this project; I'm happy to contribute to it - especially any historical data we need to provide on income / expenses / balances, etc. - but need to know what needs to be done.
(My apologies if that organization / documentation has already been done and I've overlooked it - the Wiki page says it's deprecated but doesn't redirect to whatever replaced it, the working document on Google Docs hasn't been updated in almost a month, and the Trello link in the working doc is 404, so I wasn't sure where else to look.)
SplatSpace WePay account is up and running! If you don't already have a WePay account and are planning to create one, please use the SplatSpace referral link: . If you ever use your account to collect money (as opposed to just paying dues), then you will get $10 and SplatSpace will get $20. Can't hurt! :)
While they don't yet have a formal subscription process, they do have a mechanism for automatic monthly billing, and it's only a minor pain to set up. The way it works is that I create a recurring bill for an individual member, which is sent out via email. When the member views the bill in WePay, you will see two options for how to pay - credit card or bank account - and a checkbox for "automatically pay this recurring bill". If you check the checkbox, the bill will be paid automatically each month using the payment method you choose for your first payment.
If you're comfortable paying your bill from a checking account, that's by far the most cost-effective option - $.50 per transaction, flat rate. The fee for credit card payments is 3.5%, so the WePay fee for a $50 membership payment is the same as PayPal's fee - $1.75 per $50 payment.
In order to send out these WePay bills, I will need to know the email address that each member is using on WePay. If you'd like to pay this way, please email your WePay email address to firstname.lastname@example.org and confirm your membership level (full, student, associate).
(One of our members has requested the option for quarterly (advance) payments, which I think is a brilliant idea. Currently WePay doesn't have that option, so I contacted technical support and requested it. The tech support rep I talked to was very nice and seemed to think it'd be pretty easy to add.)
If you'd like to pay manually by credit card via WePay, you can go to  and pay via that donate page. The suggested donation is $50 (for one month's dues) although the donate button defaults to $25, so you'll have to edit that manually - I need to check with them and see if I can customize that. It looks like you can pay with a credit card without creating an account - I didn't actually test that, because I was already logged into my account when I went to the donation page to catch up Mike's & my payments. If you're willing to pay by bank account, please DO NOT use this link, because they charge the 3.5% - email me for a bill instead.
One open question is whether I can send money internal to WePay (e.g. from one WePay account to another, for reimbursements etc.) - if that's possible, then I believe we'll have full parity with our PayPal functionality. Then it's just a matter of setting up a payment page on the SplatSpace wiki and transitioning our membership from PayPal to WePay...
If you have questions on any of this during the meeting, please feel free to text msg me at my cell phone - I will be in a training class in CA, but should be able to respond pretty quickly.
Question from Justis:
- Where did all this money come from?
- Nothing to report
- Nothing to report
Modified from the consent agenda item:
- Establish a relationship with Velleman to stock Velleman kits at $250.00 fixed stock level (0 up front, payment due 30 days after acquiring kits, true for all subsequent orders). As kits are sold, the proceeds can be used to acquire more kits to maintain the stock level.
- * Justis asks about commitment to monthly inventory report; Scott agrees
- Putting up shelves and doing some organizing next weekend
- Going to set up the kiosk
- * Use it as a welcome center for the Space
- * * Donations, things for sale, &c
- Going to get an electronics kit workshop
- * Including learn to solder
- Been a lot of updates to the wiki
- Big train show at Neuse River railroad club this weekend
- Setting up an open source GSM system on a phone. Cool stuff!
- Isn't going to volunteer for any position at Splatspace
- The Scrap Exchange is cool, has lots of good stuff
- Now that Halloween is past, Jeff is finishing the filtering unit
- Moving forward again on the Mantis
- Put a teency (sp?) plus a usb hookup in it, so the mouse works and the teency executes whatever you want.
- Darren and Justis were both at MoogFest; awesome Amon Tobin project