As you can see from the charts above, we have regular monthly expenses that our income from memberships isn’t able to cover. We haven’t done a huge push for memberships since we opened, as we were still organizing and building out our space and filling up our calendar. Now we’re doing it, we’re asking for support from all of you, our awesome, talented, diverse friends and supporters. We want to be here for a long time as a great resource and community hub for you, and now we need you will be here for us.
Our new location on Lancaster Ave is the first location where we are the sole tenant, so it’s the first time we are covering expenses like rent and utilities on our own. We love the location, space, neighborhood of our new location, and we know those of you who have stopped by love it too. Since we opened our doors to the public in March, we’ve seen an increase across the board in participation in our classes, afterschool, and strong turnout to our weekly Project Nights. Though it was risky, we knew sooner or later we’d have to make the jump to managing our own space, as this would be the best way for us to secure a solid financial future and create the learning environment we envision.
When exploring moving to our own space, we knew that in a pinch we could cover this level of expenses with revenue from afterschool program fees and adult class fees. These programs ebb and flow over the year though – and summer is a particular lull. Now it’s time to be upfront and let you all know that we really need the support of members to keep going for the next month, and through the rest of the year.
We have been writing grants left and right, and we are well-positioned to receive grant funding in the near and long term. However, we also know that the best way to ensure our future for a long time in the future is not to rely on grant funding for general operating expenses. This is why we need your help now.
Many of you may know that much of our work happens with the help of dedicated volunteers. Many of you have already stepped up to lend your time and effort, which we are so grateful for. We strive to pay our teachers and other staff competitive hourly rates, though as we’ve been getting on our feet a number of our staff have gone without pay. Our Executive Director, Georgia Guthrie, has been paid sometimes by grants, but for the past few months she’s been volunteering 20-30 hours of time to make things run smoothly. At this point she needs to seek other full-time work. For her to be able to do this and for us to not have to scramble to make rent, we need your help.
We have a wide range of tools that are useful for multiple projects. You can see a full list here. We just added a ton of fun and interesting events and classes to the calendar, and are aiming to add more in-depth classes in the fall (if we are still open). There’s a lot to gain by being a member at The Hacktory, and now you can know for sure that your support is helping us do the work we love, which is making technology accessible in a friendly environment.
After running a kickstarter campaign, we know that having a time limit can be helpful in spurring action from supporters. For our ask right now, we’re looking to fill in the gap between current member revenue and our monthly expenses by September 1. If we don’t make that goal, at this point we are not certain how we will pay rent. We do have some grants pending review, and maybe they will come through. If they don’t and we don’t meet this goal though, we will implement a plan to shut down or drastically decrease our programs and services.