The space is approximately 2000 square feet and used to be a TV repair shop. The great thing about that is the fact of three phase power already being run to the location! It already has workbenches on one wall, and has a storefront that we could re-purpose for other things. You can check out simulated 3D photo of the main workshop at photosynth. There is just a lot to be said for the potential of the space. From the layout of the place, we would be able to build us a server room, possibly a kitchen, a storage closet, plenty of workbench space, individual cubbyholes, a lounge, and a maybe even a learning lab. We will be discussing all of this with everyone at the next couple of meetings to get ideas for potential layouts and what we can do to make the most of what is available. The owner has even generously agreed to give us the first month for free and $800/mo for the first year before raising the rent to the requested $900/mo. If we can get enough paying members interested this it really could become a reality quite soon.
Woot! The paperwork has officially come back. We are now an official non profit organization within the State of Tennessee. Keep in mind this is only within the Tennessee. We have not yet filed for 501(c)3 status.
That being said. Our next steps will be to file with the IRS for a tax ID so that we can make tax free purchases. Once we have all of that in place, and if the group is continuing to grow and do well, we’ll look into the becoming a national non profit. From what I’ve been told that costs somewhere around $750. So that will likely want to wait until we are a little more established. If anyone knows of any good tax advice for such things, or anything else financially related to non profits, feel free to comment on it.
Well we have things together now. We have a site up (with a wiki and forum), we have e-mail address being doled out, we have a monthly meeting scheduled, and we even have someone from a hackerspace in Chicago coming to the city for a trip that is interested in meeting us.
It is now time to work on our next step. We want to obtain non profit status to provide us a few advantages. The biggest one being an incentive for someone to let us borrow some space to use. The other portion of this is once we are incorporated we will be able to have a bank account to collect money into to continue all our other plans with. The tricky part is that we do need money in order to do this. We need a total of $100 to file all of the paperwork (a page or two) with the state. This will not hold things up for long, but I did want to offer everyone an opportunity to chip in what they can if they want to. There is no specific amount that anyone has to donate, the more important thing is how many people are willing to help.
If you wish to contribute anything big or small, feel free to contact me here.