Meeting Notes 2010 11 23

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The 136th Meeting of Noisebridge

All the Noisebridge meeting notes. The previous meeting notes (2010/11/23). The Noisebridge meeting notes template

Crew

Get someone to grab the membership binder now. Get someone to take notes.

  • Moderator: Al
  • Notes: Andy


Kelly gave our treasurer's report:

treasurer's report : balance $8679 about to pay rent, so down by $3600. So, $5000 in the bank.

Shannon pointed out we want to have 3 months expenses in the bank.

Our data for recent months:

august: 4500 dues paid, 1400 donations september: 2600 dues paid, 325 donations october: 2500 dues paid november: 2500 dues paid

Shannon makes the point: the space is full, every night. But we don't have much money coming in. People should be paying their dues.

Jof: there's not much incentive to become a member other than joy of

   supporting a thing.  What is the incentive?

Shannon: "shame!"

( At this point an open floor discussion commenced, with many ideas some

of them very good.  I am sure I missed some; my apologies.  Replies
are sometimes included in square brackets. )

Frantisek: has discussed money with many people: Why do we not have new

  members coming in, and why do we not have donations coming in?
  Conclusion:  people (the core) are not happy, are becoming detached.
  Frantisek tried to develop more social connection, for example with
  food; that didn't work out as well as he had hoped.

Jake: Relates his previous experience, with another space that was open

  to people coming in off the street.  He found that people tended to
  come in and take advantage of the space, but remain anonymous (not
  become engaged in the community).  He found that a "census" worked
  well to help keep track of people.  Their implementation was a
  simple notebook in the space; anyone interested can take a census at
  any time, just walk around and ask people "a few simple questions":
  "What's your name?"  "How many times have you been here in the last
  month?"  "Would you like to continue coming here?"  He made
  suggestions for defusing hostile encounters and intransigence.

Al suggested a few ideas: He'd like to find a car and someone with a

  Costco membership so that he can restock sodas.  Al also stated that
  he wants a locking, clear, box for donations at the space; he is
  pretty sure that cash has disappeared from the donation bin, and
  that a significant number of people don't donate because they think
  donations are insecure.

Patrick: thinks problem is, no official announcement or bulletin board

  for people coming into the space.  Suggests a weekly printed
  calendar with notifications to people.  Specifically finds the wiki
  hard to find information on.

Kelly: A subset of our populace -- people who are here a lot -- get

  indoctrinated in "how we do things"; but a lot of people aren't
  interfacing with that culture and don't get indoctrinated.
  Remembers when she was doing "new people indoctrination" after the
  meetings.  Would like to see more people step up to help introduce
  newbies to the Noisebridge way.

Frantisek: suggests his homebrew as a fundraiser; it's cheaper than

  soda and mostly organic.  also suggests outreach, bringing new
  people in.

John: suggests guestbook like at hackerdojo -- people should sign in

  when they come in, using an alias or pseudonym if they prefer.  He'd
  also like to solicit donations from people who come to events.  He
  also suggests a new event -- a "Fix your PC" night.

Shannon: wants to know if anyone disagrees with statement "if you're

  here a lot, you should be paying dues".  General agreement.

Alison: agrees with statement, but genuinely can't afford $40 per month.

  says it feels bad to not be able to.

Al: suggests a front desk, a place for a scheduled volunteer to sit and

  interact with people, request donations, etc.

Jay: new here, no background. Not likely to be a hanger-on, but here

  for one day.  Says it would be great to have an explicit suggestion
  at the door, "suggested donation for day use $X", plus a clear way
  to make the donation.  We asked "how would you feel about a sign
  that said "suggested donation $5"?  and he responded "I'd think
  'whew, I was considering giving $10 or $20'."

Kelly: affiliate donation is too low; suggests benevolent sponsor at

  $40 for person who wants to be a supporter but not be closely
  affiliated or involved in governance.

Carl: asked what the actual run rate numbers are. Rather than letting

  Kelly answer precisely, we all barged in and said "about $5k per
  month".  Carl then asked about income; we estimated "about $3k
  coming in".

Patrick: is there a link to paypal on the site? (yes)

  do the usergroups pay?  (no).  we should get the user groups to pay.
  even just $5 per person for a 20 person member group is $100.

Jof: do we need to encourage members to pay? or do we need to induct

  new members?  (we need to get members to pay, but also to get new
  members.)

Kelly: re user groups, tries not to raise it, but finds it really

  annoying that regular groups hosted here don't interface with the
  membership AT ALL.  Thinks that we need to outreach to those groups.
  suggests a regular volunteer group show up for the next month to
  conduct a census of what groups are *actually* using Noisebridge.

Carl: re user groups, wants a suggested minimum donation per user group.

Jay: how many members? (kelly: 105, including hiatus). "sounds like

  there are enough members if everyone was paying"

Frantisek: what were expenses of previous place? and, is noisebridge

  too big to support itself at the current size in SFBA?  should we
  move somewhere smaller?
  (it cost $20k to move last time, so we can't afford to move.  no
  actual answer to his question)

Kelly: I don't know how to say this nicely, so I'll just say it: last

  treasurer wasn't actually tracking who paid dues.  kelly is going
  back through 2010 data to find out who's actually paid their dues.
  another problem:  paypal randomly cancels recurring payments,
  doesn't notify payer.

( at some point earlier, Shannon mentioned that it costs $137 per day for

Noisebridge to operate. )

Meredith: really likes the math we did, of $ per day. Helps set a goal.

Alison: is there a need for a group that operates at Noisebridge to have

  a sponsor member?  (no.  but we have always suggested that there be
  a member involved, but that's not enforced; Shannon points out that
  we should make sure they pay at least even if not members. )

Laura: suggesting numbers to people who use the space would be good.

Grey: suggest that people with popular blogs encourage the larger

  community to support us.  (hey, we should ask laughingsquid to drive
  people to our affiliate membership)

shannon: "I'll raise the stakes: I'm going to sponsor a day of

  December.  $137 in addition to my dues for December."

Andy: sponsoring decmeber 13 Al: sponsoring december 26 Jof: sponsoring december 1

John: some events have money involved (for kits, etc). is there

  interest to have people donate money at an event such as "fix my
  computer day"

Kelly: The theme of being treasurer: lots of work, awful

  recordkeeping.  perhaps we could nominate a new secretary who's not
  burned out.

Jay: actually, the day costs more like $165, not $137. Shannon made a

  arithmetic error.

( oops. The day-sponsors agreed (I think) to raise their amounts. )

Meredith: sewing area is one of the most busy areas at noisebridge.

  wants to raise funds for sewing area specifically.  wants to have a
  few sewing days to get people introduced to the sewing area and get
  people involved.  people who are interested in helping should
  contact her.

Steve suggests a light in the space, that turns red as we are going into

  the red.  kelly wants a data pipe out of our accounting website.
  frantisek wants to display the number of members who've paid and
  haven't paid.

John: how about putting a speaker at the door, to play a recording

  saying "please donate; it costs $XXX to run this space"

Laura: if people don't pay their dues, do they lose membership? (no, we

  haven't been giving members nag feedback since mitch was doing it,
  long ago.  Soon Kelly will implement her scheme:  a single friendly
  nagging email "pay your dues", then after another week, go on hiatus
  list until dues are paid. )  Should we terminate members when they
  don't pay?  ( Kelly thinks it'd be good to terminate people who
  don't pay, but doesn't think that's the consensus. )  Grey points
  out that process for getting off hiatus is unclear.

Jay: getting money from people, we should get money from people however

  much we can.

Jof: we could use the signs, the one that's been running life could say

  something useful, like "here's how much we need to get this month"
  and "here's how many members have paid dues"

Steve: the signs should say "hey, we're $X below target, please give money"

Andy: will start about 15 threads on -discuss


Finally we were done discussing money pains and plans. A few other discussion items came up:

bikes: There are a lot of bikes that have been around for a long time, taking up space on the bike parking. Andy and Shannon masking-taped them all to the wall; if the masking tape is unbroken in a week, they'll go away (to the Bike Kitchen).

skylights: need to be plasticked for winterizing. Andy will order plastic. Costs about $80, donations towards cost (to Andy directly) appreciated. Plasticking party after it arrives.


We had one candidate for membership, John (present); he asked to wait until next week.

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