We’d like to share with you the current situation for Potteries Hackspace membership subscriptions and how we have arrived at an annual based model for basic membership with a monthly opt-in for full access to the space.
In our recent meetings, we’ve reviewed our budget for the coming year and put forward a proposal that reflects the changing needs and wants of the group.
There was also a problem identified in that there are a number of interested people who want to contribute to or support the Potteries Hackspace organisation but may not require space.
The proposed solution is to have a basic membership option without any benefits of a space.
Potteries Hackspace has evolved since we moved out of the former Newcastle-under-Lyme based garage space in 2015. Our initial reaction to moving out was to try and find a similar space, but having searched high and low, we’ve struggled to find a space like that within our budget.
Our budget depends entirely on the number of active members we have and how much they are prepared to pay each month.
To align the cost of a new space, a decision was made in December 2015 to put the recommended membership up to £25 per month, however a number of members were reluctant to pay this while there was no space. This decision, although voted in, ended up dividing opinion amongst members.
In February 2016 we began meeting up on a regular basis again, having found temporary space to do so in Hanley, and a proposal has been made to bring more structure to our regular meetups, with the focus on us as a group rather than on the space where we meet.
Since doing this, we’re seeing a number of new members join us and we are going from strength to strength again.
Given the shift in focus, it seemed unfair to ask people to pay for a space that we don’t have in order to become Potteries Hackspace members, and so the suggestion was put forward to either temporarily stop subscriptions or to switch them from monthly to yearly, during this period of flux.
Introducing yearly membership
After discussing it with all the members at a meeting, we came up with a proposal introducing yearly membership:
As of year starting May 1st 2016, all membership subscriptions are renewable per annum.
The minimum annual subscription is £24, pro rata for a membership starting after May 31st.
The annual subscription model allows for those members who did not wish to pay the previously set monthly minimum but who did still want to make a financial contribution.
This proposal succeeded and a decision was made as of April 10, 2016 via our online OneClickOrgs voting system.
If you’re already a member, it’s time to renew.
Please pay your annual (minimum £24) subscription fee now!
Since that decision was made on April 10, we found a new space, which brought to question how we were going to sustainably afford it.
New Membership Fee Proposal for Space
After speaking to a number of members and making observations, we’ve found that there are two types of members:
- Those that want to be part of the organisation
- Those that want to have and use the space as well
Therefore, this proposal will cater for both of those scenarios, by offering two types of memberships:
- Basic membership
- Advanced membership
The “Basic membership” will be at a cost of £24 per year, as per the existing proposal.
This will give a member the access to our private members only mailing list and resources, vote at meetings or virtually, access to special offers, discounts and cheap rates, opportunity to attend meetups, events and workshops, can attend the members meetings and be elected on to the Management Committee.
The “Basic membership” will not permit a member to have storage space, use of tools or equipment, 24 hour access to the space, wifi access and use of consumables (without a donation).
Members that want use of the space, tools, equipment and storage space will subscribe to an “Advanced membership”, at a recommended fee of £20 per month.
This will give a member use of the tools and equipment, 24 hour access to the space, WiFi Internet access, use of shared components, consumables, donated items including tea and coffee. Members paying the monthly rate will be allocated a 35L storage box.
Keeping a space clean and tidy is hard work and space soon becomes a premium. Additional space will be at a cost of £1 per sq ft per month (minimum of £5 per month).
We aim to monitor use of consumables and services, in order to keep track of usage and ensure stock is reordered when needed. If a member is found to be using more than they are putting in, they will be asked to increase their payments.