FabSpace Capital Campaign – Build A Community, Build A Business
In studying makerspaces over the last two years, a few things are evident. No two spaces are alike, either in organizational or physical structure. None are making large amounts of money. And most significantly, the successful ones have a strong membership base and the support of their local community.
Armed with this knowledge, we set out to fund FabSpace in a way that would give us the best chance of success. Then it hit us “Build A Community, Build A Business.” We are asking you, as a member of our own local community, to contribute directly to the capital campaign, whether it’s because you want to be able to use FabSpace or because you support learning, making, and innovating in Dayton. By raising money to open in this manner, we will build the strong membership base and community support needed to make FabSpace a success.
The plan is simple. We have determined that it will cost approximately $120,000 to buy all the equipment needed to start FabSpace, make needed improvements to the building, and cover day-to-day expenses for the first year of operation – this number does not include any salaries, which hopefully will come one day in the future. Rather than approaching a bank for a loan to start FabSpace, we are approaching You, our community, to start FabSpace.
On January 1st, 2015 we will launch the FabSpace Capital Campaign. It will run for 6 months, ending on June 30th, 2015. Anyone interested in FabSpace will be able to contribute funds to the campaign in exchange for membership to FabSpace, to help establish a FabSpace scholarship fund, for gift certificates redeemable for membership, classes, and tool time, and other premiums. All money contributed will be placed in a business checking account at Wright-Patt Credit Union, where one of two things will happen. First, if we raise our $120,000 goal, whether it is in the first month or the sixth month of the campaign, we will start ordering equipment and building FabSpace – it should take approximately two months from when we start ordering equipment to be up and running. Or should we fail to reach our $120,000 goal by June 30th, 2015, we will return everyone’s money.
The benefits to raising operating capital this way are amazing:
- It allows FabSpace to open with a strong membership core and community interested in seeing us succeed. We don’t have to go find you, you are already involved.
- It gives us a year of financial stability. We will be able to focus on building and improving FabSpace for the future rather than worrying about how to cover next month’s rent.
- FabSpace will own its equipment. Almost two-thirds of the $120,000 we want to raise covers equipment costs, if the equipment can be purchased outright that makes the operating expenses for year two and forward much less costly.
- Most importantly, it helps build and reinforce a community of people in Dayton who recognize learning, making, and innovating are traits worth encouraging.
Of course, no plan is without risk. In this plan, it comes down to two key questions – do you trust us with your money, and do you trust us to deliver FabSpace? At all steps in the process, we recognize that it is your money building FabSpace. If we fail to meet our campaign goal in the allotted time, or should you have reservations anytime during the campaign, your money will be returned. Based on our research and our own desire to see a space like this in our community, we feel confident that, with your support, we can create a unique and groundbreaking business that you will be proud to say, “I helped build FabSpace!”
If you are interested in contributing to the FabSpace Capital Campaign, please consider joining at the FabSpace Founding 100 level. It offers many special perks that will only be available during the capital campaign, and will be the quickest way to help get FabSpace open and accessible to you and the community. If you would like to learn more about other ways to contribute to the capital campaign, see our Make FabSpace Real! page.