WE WON!

December 23rd, 2013 by metis

wewonOur team has won the Ultimate Maker Vehicle Challenge sponsored by Make and Ford!

Not only did all your support get us #1 in popularity, but the wonderful, wise, and generous sponsors chose our design as the Grand Prize Winner, AND Ford is intending to build and showcase our design! Our humblest and heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported us in the voting process, we couldn’t have won without you.  Competition was stiff, and the show of support from all over the world for our design and the community we’ve built is really appreciated.

A **HUGE** “Thank You!” to the sponsors for the honor they’ve bestowed upon us, along with the giant novelty check.  We’ve got a few great plans in the works on how to spend the funds to improve our facility and outreach programs.

We’re intending on having a minor celebration at the weekly open house on the 1st of the year, and would love to see all of you there.

Official Announcement!

Update: And a follow up post!

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Give to the Max Day 2012!

November 12th, 2012 by metis

UPDATE:  A member has stepped up with a $500 matching gift!   As of 1PM today we still had $480 sitting on the table, if you weren’t sure, you can double your gift’s value.   We’ll loose that money if we don’t get donations to match it!

Give to the Max Day is TODAY!  Every hour you could help us earn a bonus $1000 donation even if you can only contribute $10!

It’s the season of giving, and that means that  GiveMN is running “Give to the Max Day”.  For those of you not familiar, GiveMN is a website that manages cash donations for many non-profits, including us, and Give to the Max is a massive fundraising effort for non-profits across our state.  It’s also our first year as an independent 501c3 charity and we’ve got a new page there.

 

 

Why should you give this Thursday the 15th over any other day of the year?   The big reason for us would be the chance to win a “golden ticket.”  Every hour throughout the day, one random donor that hour will have $1000 added on to their donation, and at the end of the day, there’s a $10,000 super-sized golden ticket.  Any donation gets us a chance to win that bonus, and the more times you donate throughout the day, the better the chances we have of getting a big boost to our budget.  They’ve even made donating on Give to the Max day easier this year by adding a pre-scheduled donation link to the top of the suggested donation list.  (It triggers in the first hour of the day.)  There are a few other great promotions going on for other non-profits in the state as well, so if you usually donate to other groups as well, it’s a great way to maximize your charitable gifts.

  

If you’re pondering giving financially to Twin Cities Maker before the end of the year, today is the day that we will get the most benefit from your generosity. We can always take non-cash and cash donations, but Give to the Max happens once a year. If you’ve got a maker who’s particularly hard to buy a holiday gift for, a donation in their name might be just what they were hoping for.  Membership dues cover our basic operational costs, and previous generous donations have gotten us some major improvements to our space, and helped us expand our shop. Help us keep our gears spinning! Your generosity will help to buy tools and equipment, improve the space, and offer even greater services to the maker community in the Twin Cities.

As always, feel free to email “development”  at our domain if you’ve got any questions about donations, or if you’ve got a project for the community that you’d like a project fundraiser page set up for.

Applications Away!

February 20th, 2012 by metis

Well, it’s taken a while but videoman, orion and myself spend a couple of hours tonight correcting typos and printing.   We’ve finally knocked out the full 501(c)3 application, and gotten it shipped off.  Many thanks to all of the folks who have contributed to it, especially Tony and Becca.  We’ll be getting most of it up on the wiki shortly for the general maker community to use for reference.

All in it’s over 75 pages of forms, documents, narrative and bits and pieces and it’s taken a lot of triple checking but we’re happy with what we’ve sent off.  We’re hoping for an answer within a few months, but it’s always a bit of a gamble as to how long it’ll take the IRS to approve or come back with questions.

In other important news, the Annual Members Meeting has gotten scooted to the end of March this year to coincide with the Quarterly Clean-Up, and you must have paid your dues for March on time (before March 1st)  in order to vote.  An announcement and then big formal announcement will be coming out soon.

 

 

 

Give to the Max Day 2011

November 15th, 2011 by metis

As many of you know, Twin Cities Maker is fiscally sponsored by the wonderful folks at Springboard for the Arts.  Because of this partnership, physical and capital donations to us can be tax deductible. On the right side of the blog, there’s always a link to our fundraiser page through Give MN , a group that facilitates charitable giving here in Minnesota.

Every year, Give MN sponsors a “Give to the Max” fund-raising drive for charities across Minnesota.  Today, Wednesday the 16th, our usual processing fees are waived for all donations received through Give MN. As an extra bonus, each hour all day long,  one random donor to GiveMN will get a bonus $1000 added to the first donation they made that hour. So even a small donation can have a chance to help out a lot, and every donation we get increases our odds of getting the bonus cash.    Even the most modest donation made by clicking the logo above is quite appreciated.

If you’re pondering giving financially to Twin Cities Maker before the end of the year, today is the day that we will get the most benefit from your generosity. We can always take non-cash and cash donations, but Give to the Max happens once a year. If you’ve got a maker who’s particularly hard to buy a holiday gift for, a donation in their name might be just what they were hoping for.

Membership dues cover our basic operational costs, and previous generous donations have gotten us some major improvements to our space. Help us keep our gears spinning! Your generosity will help to buy tools and equipment, improve the space, and offer even greater services to the maker community in the Twin Cities.

As always, feel free to email “development”  at our domain if you’ve got any questions about donations.

Online fundraising for Twin Cities Maker

We have a lease!

May 26th, 2011 by metis

A flurry of activity today culminated a few minutes ago with the signing of a lease for our expanded home. Per the lease, as of June 1st we will have approximately 8800 square feet of space.

Please respect that the space is not yet ours, and while we have access, the Board of Directors has requested that members not move into the space until after the June 8th Annual Members Meeting. This is to give all of our members some time to tour the new spaces, get ideas about how things may work, and prevent a proverbial land rush.

As of today, all member key fobs should work on either the front door as well as the side shop door. Nothing else has changed in terms of space use or access at this time. I’m sure you’ll all have buckets of questions, and the board will get a post up in the forums explaining everything as soon as possible.

Fundraising UPDATE – Wow, thanks!

May 13th, 2011 by metis

 

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

A big thank you to everyone who was able donate and participate in this fund raising effort!  Not only did we make the $1k challenge goal, which will be matched by a donor, we also completed videoman’s secondary challenge of $500 for completing the $1k goal before Friday May 13th, 2011. As well, another very generous individual has stepped forward and given anonymous donation of $5,000.  This gift will be used towards ensuring that we are able to commit to our lease and stay afloat over the summer. This generosity doesn’t mean that we can rest on our laurels though.  We still need to make our membership goal of a total of 80 members by September 30th, 2011 so we can pay our bills and stay cash positive.

Through your generosity, we are able to bridge the gap between where we are at now in income and where we need to be, and we don’t have to close up shop in the interim.   Our goal of 80 members will bring in enough capital to pay the lease and basic bills.  The sooner we make this goal, the more comfortably we can fulfill some other critical needs.

Many of you are aware of some safety needs, such as more fire extinguishers (of several types), a better first aid kit, a long term dust collection solution, and some other health and safety bits and pieces.  We also need to re-evaluate our insurance as we have many more items in our shop, and that may add a bit to our costs.  Member storage has also been an issue recently, we’re pondering dedicated shelving and storage bins for each member.  The sooner we have a solid income base the sooner we can solve these core issues.

Once we have a signed lease, we will start a big marketing push.  We’ll need help from all of you with that.  Not only in patience with other members and the Board as we try to coordinate moving things about, but also in being good hosts to new guests, and being excellent to other members by helping keep the shop clean and functional.

These gifts, and your continued capital support do not mean that we can be complacent, they mean we have 2 months of breathing room.  The Board of Directors is still committed to meeting our membership goals set forth prior to these anchor donations, and with your help we can make certain that our community is not only welcoming to new members, but that we have a facility that our greater community is excited to use.  While some of you may know the identities of our anchor donors, they have requested that they remain anonymous.

That said, many many thanks for the support.
We can’t say it enough.

Save the date for our Annual Member Meeting

May 12th, 2011 by metis

The Board of Directors voted last night to call our annual meeting next month on June 8th at 7PM.  The meeting will be at the Hack Factory.  There are a few things on the agenda, and we intend to get a detailed heads up next week explaining the bits and pieces that will be covered, how we arrived at them, and what they mean for us.   All recent and current members should receive this general information.  We will also list as much as possible online.

Two important things to note other than the date.  First, in order to be considered a member in good standing, and be able to vote at the meeting, you will have to be current on payment of any past dues and have paid your June dues before 11:59PM on June 1st.  That means, we need to have the money in the door by then, NO EXCEPTIONS.  Second, please send back an email to us saying that you authorize us to inform you of the meeting and provide any other future official correspondence by email (rather than regular mail) – if that is okay – and confirm that we should use the same email address or a different address for these notifications.  Otherwise we’ll need to send you the official notice by regular mail.  Our plan is on June 2nd to send the Official Notice of Meeting to all members who are in good standing.

We are sending you this heads-up notice so everyone gets June 8 on their calendar right away.  Look for more information to follow – very shortly.  We appreciate your patience while we generate a more complete informational package and look forward to seeing you in June.

UPDATE:  Links to related documents–

May Meeting Minutes are the Minutes from the Board Meeting authorizing the Annual Meeting.

This note is a briefly explains some of the documents, and the process.

The Written Action is the formal written action of the Board, which includes the Amended and Restated Articles and By-Laws.

Here is the thread on the forums to ask questions about the Annual Meeting.

Polls closing!

May 10th, 2011 by metis

Just over a month ago we launched our first big polling of our members to sort out how folks are using our facility and what they want out of their makerspace.    The possibilities for change in the new lease means that it’s all the more important that we know what you think, and we don’t want to exclude the half of our members who haven’t yet answered .  To try to gain as much insight into our membership as possible, we’re going to keep the polls open through Saturday of this week.   This will provide enough time to have detailed analysis to the membership in time to work on the space planning as we expand.

These polls aren’t compulsory, but we’re hoping that you’ll fill them out so that we have better tools to help make our community space more of what each of you need it to be.

We’ve got (3) polls, (2) for members, and (1) for non-members.    The polls will be close Saturday May 14th at midnight, and we won’t ever release any personally identifiable information.  (e.g. We will show “x% of our members use $tool weekly”, but not “1 member from $town wants $tool”)

The Members Use and Access Poll and Members Info Update Form are for current members (or those who have lapsed, but intend to restart their membership in the near future).

The Non-Members Poll is for folks who are not current members of Twin Cities Maker.  This is mostly targeted at folks located in and around the greater  Twin Cities metropolitan area, but if you’re farther afield we’re still interested in your answers.

Thanks for taking the time to tell us about your interests.

 

 

 

Red Bull Creation Challenge

April 5th, 2011 by metis

Our local Red Bull distributor was kind enough to give us the local “Hackable Invitation Box” for their Red Bull Creation Challenge.  We get to poke the bits in this box, and find easter eggs that may help with the contest.   I’ll get a post up on the forum as it sounds like we may want to field more than one team for this, and will leave the box out for members to poke and prod.

They also gave us a case of Red Bull which is in the fridge for your caffeination pleasure…  actually a lot of it has already been consumed.  We may need more.

A few questions for you…

April 2nd, 2011 by metis

Twin Cities Maker has been open for over a year now, and we’ve seen a boat load of fantastic growth.  We’ve more than doubled our monthly membership, and offer a wide variety of tools and equipment that have for the most part been driven by individual member’s interests.  When there were fifteen of us sitting around one big table it was easy to discuss that we wanted a drill press, or a welder, but with almost fifty members working in wood, metal, electronics, plastics, paint, tile, locks, sculpture, art, bows, CNC and a myriad of other fields, it’s now difficult for all of us to keep track of all of the varied interests in the community.

We defined ourselves as a  “Twin Cities based community to Make, Share, and Learn.”  A big part of community is knowing your neighbors, and friends.  To facilitate that the Board of Directors has created a few polls that should take about five to complete.  We hope this will tell us what you’ve been up to, and what sorts of things you’d like to see in the future.  These polls aren’t mandatory, or perfect, but it’s our hope that members will complete them and give us a healthy compost of ideas to nurture our next year’s growth.

We’ve got (3) polls, (2) for members, and (1) for non-members.    The polls will be open for a few weeks, and we will release statistical data after that, but not any personally identifiable information.  (e.g. We will show “x% of our members use $tool weekly”, but not “1 member from $town wants $tool”)

The Members Use and Access Poll and Members Info Update Form are for current members (or those who have lapsed, but intend to restart their membership in the near future).

The Non-Members Poll is for folks who are not current members of Twin Cities Maker.  This is mostly targeted at folks located in and around the greater  Twin Cities metropolitan area, but if you’re farther afield we’re still interested in your answers.

Thanks for taking the time to tell us about your interests.

 

 

 

Locksport Tuesdays

April 1st, 2011 by metis

It’s taken a bit of time, but we’re starting a monthly locksport open house.

What is locksport you ask?  Locksport is the amateur study of how locks and locking systems work, and how to defeat them.  It’s not how to break into a soda machine, but the study of the little mechanical puzzles that we rely on for so many things in daily life.  You’ve probably seen lock picking in movies and on TV, and may have seen bump keys on the news, but this is your chance to find out more about how all of that works, or if you already know, to maybe show off your collection of antique lever locks, or just hang out and chat with other lock enthusiasts.

The first Tuesday of each month we’ll have a brief presentation, and then mill about and pick, snap, rake, bump, impression, disassemble, and generally embarrass some little chunks of brass. We’ll kick things off on April 5th at 7PM.

This month I’ll present a brief introduction into locksport, touching on ethics, how various types of locks work, and a bucket of the varieties of exploits that can open them.  The evening is open to the public, with a small cash donation appreciated, but not required, from non-members.

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