Status Update – Spaces, Membership, Budget, Bylaws

The Inspiration Labs Board met yesterday to hold a workshop, do some priority setting, and discuss the state of affairs as we move towards establishing the first permanent community hackerspace in the Tampa Bay area. Nothing was voted on (by intent). I will be posting the complete minutes from the meeting when time permits. We plan to reconvene in two weeks time to approve bylaws and a membership plan.

Following is a summary of our current direction and status:

Bylaws
We are reviewing the bylaws of the former non-profit, bylaws from other local organizations that are similar in nature, and bylaws from a variety of other hackerspaces that represent what we consider the best practices. Most of the bylaws from well established hackerspaces are available to read and download from hackerspaces.org. I will post a draft for comment within a week. Please understand that it will only cover the minimum items necessary to maintain our non-profit. It won’t include rules for specific hackerspaces we may open nor will it include membership plans. We don’t want to restrict future boards by putting in a crazy amount of detail that is hard to change.

Budget
Our intent is to use funds from membership and other fundraising efforts to first cover necessary overhead expenses including obtaining 501c(3) status. Remaining funds will being placed equally into reserves to fund spaces and for contingencies. At some time in the future, when we have operating costs associated with managing spaces, the budget will be amended as necessary.

Membership
As soon as we have established our bylaws and approved a budget, we intend to begin membership registration. Our expenses are low and we intend to keep membership fees low until such time as we have our own dedicated space that needs to be funded. The current proposal is $20/month or $200/year for a basic membership. We’ll clearly identify the membership benefits as part of the registration.

Spaces
Our current best candidate for space is collocating in MOSI’s IdeaZone. If you haven’t been there, or even if you have, you may not realize they have a nice workshop behind the open, kid area that includes two 3D printers, a laser cutter, a small wood shop, big worktables, and more. We already have a working relationship with them and have access to the space beyond what is available to typical MOSI visitors. We’re currently in the process of negotiating a memorandum of understanding to give us even more privileges.

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