Membership Rate Changes

On Tuesday night, the Board of Directors voted 6-0-1 (Aye, Nay, Present) in favor of the following changes to the Membership Rates:

  • Starving Hacker: $40/month (from $30)
  • Full Member: $70/month (from $50)
  • Annual Full Member: $700 (from $500)
  • Pay what you will membership: completely new

These rates take effect immediately.  There is a grandfather clause: any current members who choose to remain at their current rates are free to do so indefinitely. However, if that member misses payments, changes membership class, or makes any other changes to their membership status, they will be obliged to pay the new rates.  Additionally, the grandfather clause does not apply to annual rates – all members paying the annual rate will make their next payment at the new membership rate.

The pay what you will membership is intended for persons who either wish to pay more to support our organization or simply cannot afford to pay our full rates.  Note: access to the mailing lists, space, and tools is still determined by membership rates as published on the Becoming a Member page – we aren’t offering full access for discounts via this option.

Explanations of why we made this difficult decision after the break.

Changing what we charge for membership is an understandably touchy subject, and not one we undertook lightly.

Here’s an abbreviated list of the many many issues that led to this decision:

  • We were forced to expand our space (and therefore our monthly expenses).
  • We attracted ongoing corporate sponsorships that might have met our budget gap (as opposed to the one-off, per-project sponsorships we have received in the past), but this proposal was rejected by members as selling out our community.
  • Even before this situation, our organization has been constantly living month-to-month, with no cushion to weather storms. To have a healthy organization, we require at least 4-6 months of expenses in our bank account, we have less than 1.5 months of expenses in our bank account, and that will dwindle as soon as the effects of our increase in expenses begins to take effect.
  • PS:One is a screaming good deal.  We are one of the very cheapest hackerspaces in the country. Heck, I3 Detroit charges $80/$40 for starving hackers, and rent in Chicago is significantly higher than in Detroit. Compared to any similar kind of dues-paying group in Chicago, we charge roughly 30-50% of the total we should be charging.
  • Faced with rising costs and no ongoing method of meeting them, we raised rates, to a level LOWER than what I3 Detroit charges their membership.

I hope that you, our members and community, understand that these difficult choices are necessary for PS:One to continue to serve this community with the excellent facilities and education that we have for the past two years.

Warm regards,

Sacha De’Angeli,

President, Pumping Station: One, NFP

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12 2010

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