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products & services funded community workshop
Aloha - 

Looking at opening a community workshop :-)

I appreciate the helpful nature of Artisan's Asylum in assisting others in creating a space in their respective areas.  AA is a great leader in this industry and we hope to emulate much of what you have done in our area.  

We are a husband and wife team (both owners of small businesses).  
We love the idea of a community workshop and are prepared to commit our lives and careers to a space.  

The biggest hurdle seems to be funding the space with income from sources other than the members.  From the financials I've studied from AA (2016), the income of $1,400,000 is likely >90% from members (Membership $500K, renting space $400K). The remaining $500k is a mix between outside sources and members (classes, contributions, materials, other).   After rent, utilities, paying teachers (outside services), etc. there is very little money remaining to properly pay staff.  Specifically $140K in salaries and wages is very small for such an organization.  There also seems to be no money remaining for expanding and improving the program.     

We'd like to create a space that supports the members by providing products and services for the public much like a hospital provides products at a markup (i.e. medications) and services (i.e. doctor visits, surgeries, scans).  A goal of 50% member funded and 50% local community funded through sales seems reasonable.

There seems to be a fear of the makerspace nonprofit bringing in money from sales and services because it would be "for-profit" yet other industry nonprofits do it as a regular operations because it fulfills their mission as a nonprofit.  

We want to start our space, in the typical way, as an "educational nonprofit" because this most fits our goals.  The sales of products and services to the general public would legitimately be part of the education we offer members.  We understand that we cannot be unfair (aka untaxed) competition for the tax paying businesses in the community.  The local businesses are an important part of our community and may be members or partners with our nonprofit.  

If anyone out there can contribute to this public discussion I think it would be helpful to all. . .

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