Machine Learning/Fundraising

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Background on Noisebridge Financial Situation

It turns out that Noisebridge is starting to get low on funds for paying rent and keeping the lights on. This was brought to our attention during Wednesday's meeting when a member (Rubin?) was polling everyone in the space about membership/donation history, while also clueing us in about the financial situation. I was curious about how NB is funded so I looked into it more. Here's the summary of the key points from Tuesday's members meeting minutes where the financial concerns were first raised.

  • After paying December's Rent, Noisebridge will only have one month's expenses in the bank.
    • Normally, they try to keep it at 3 months buffer, so this is the reason for concern.
    • Noisebridge costs about $165/day to operate.
    • There is no magic endowment funding the space.
  • The members' dues paid have dropped off over the last few months
    • If you are a member, double check you are up to date with your dues and your paypal autopay hasn't mysteriously stopped as it has for others.
    • If you aren't a member, consider joining but if that seems like a hassle or you don't want consensus rights, you can just pay "dues" via regular donation if that's more your style.
    • "If you're here a lot, you should be paying dues" was the consensus [which seems reasonable]
  • The suggestion was raised that usergroups (like ours?) should contribute to the space financially.
    • Members also raised concerns of lack of engagement between groups and NB membership
    • Members suggest that outreach to groups might help this [agreed]
  • An idea to "sponsor a day of NB" was raised, and a few members picked days in December to "sponsor" (at $165/each)
  • Idea of a suggested $5 dayuse donation was raised for encouraging regular, but infrequent users to contribute to the space.

Machine Learning Group Contribution Ideas

Basically, I just wanted to shed some light on the issue within our group. I know that our group collectively brings a lot of value to Noisebridge, but it seems that there is a need for us to contribute financially as well. Individually, that means contributing what you feel you can via dues or donations. Collectively, I suspect our group could help add to the coffers as well. Some ideas in that vein follow. Chime in if you have other ideas!

  • Simply shedding light on the problem for 1 minute at our meetings will go a long way towards raising awareness.
  • At our regular meetings, especially those featuring super awesome talks, we can take a moment to pass the hat to collect (optional) one-time donations.
  • The ML Group collectively could join the membership effort to "sponsor a day of NB" in December as a fundraising goal. This would mean raising $165+ via the mailing list or from meeting attendee donations.
  • Beernation (as suggested by Sean C. on NB-disc): "walk in with a 6 pack of beer, start drinking one, and offer them to peeps in the space. When they ask if they owe you anything, I just tell them to throw $5 in the hat for NB, and it seems to work out" [mmm beer]
  • Win the Kaggle Social Network Competition!