Machine Learning/Fundraising

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Background on Noisebridge Financial Situation[edit]

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[edit]

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!