Greetings Nova Makers!
As a member of the Nova Makers meetup, I hope you have had a chance to attend one of the many classes that have been held at Nova Labs over the two years since we started on this amazing journey! I wanted to update you all on some major developments that have happened recently at Nova Labs and extend a challenge to you!
The first big change is that Nova Labs and Herndon Robotics are merging! That's right, Herndon Robotics is becoming Nova Labs Robotics.
If you aren't yet familiar with this program you soon will be. This is a robotics group that has been bringing STEM values to Herndon schools in a big way for the last five years. This merger gives Nova Labs a huge boost for it's blossoming STEM program for kids, and the renaming is primarily to allow us to expand this program to other schools, and to expand into schools in the Reston area. If you want to learn more about the program please visit http://www.herndonrobotics.org/.
The other big change is the search for a new location for Nova Labs!
If you have been to our classes before (or especially if you have ended up on one of our class waiting lists before) you may be aware of how small our current classroom is. You may also have encountered our severe lack of parking. What you may not know is that this is just the tip of the iceberg! The biggest problem with our current location is that it's the site of a future apartment building! We've been looking for a new location for quite a while now, and after touring nearly fifty buildings and researching hundreds more online, we have finally found a location that we believe is absolutely perfect for our needs!
We're not quite ready to reveal all the details of the new location, but I can give you a little information about it to give you an idea of how great this will be:
The one downside of this new space (as you may have guessed) is that it's significantly more expensive than our current location. I believe so strongly that this is the perfect place for us, however, that after we toured it on Thursday I issued a challenge to the Nova Labs members, to increase their monthly contributions and get their friends to join, and boy did they deliver!
The challenge I made to them was to increase our monthly contributions by $5,000 per month! This is a huge number and there are some people who have said I was crazy and that it wasn't an achievable goal. I believe very strongly that Nova Labs is an organization worth fighting for, and I believe that in the end our friends will come through!
As of this morning - just 36 hours after the challenge was issued - we are nearly halfway to that goal, and with no sign that we're slowing down! So far the membership has stepped up to contribute an additional $2,045 per month! However, I'm not done challenging people yet! I now want to expand that challenge to include all of you! My hope is that by contacting just people who are already friends of Nova Labs to help get us into this location we can then save our real marketing efforts for once the lease is signed, to get the word out to people in the area who haven't yet discovered Nova Labs!
So here is the bottom line: We need your help!
Please consider accepting this challenge, and taking one or more of the actions below as soon as you can.
After you have accepted, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know what you have done so I can make sure you are thanked appropriately!
If you would like to make a donation:
You can make donations via credit card at https://www.nova-labs.org/pay/, or if you would like to make a larger donation by check or EFT (or suitcases full of cash, we're flexible!) please contact us to make arrangements!
Although our own 501(c)3 status is still pending, we are fiscally sponsored by School Factory, so donations to Nova Labs are indeed tax deductible!
And finally, if you have read this far, I want to personally thank you for the support you have given and will hopefully continue to give to Nova Labs, and if you are offended at being contacted in this manner to beg for support I want to assure you that the blame lies entirely on me personally as well. I'm also very hopeful that this challenge will be a one-time event. If we are successful in getting enough people to join that we reach that $5,000 target then we will be able to continue operating in the new space the same way we did in the old space, supported primarily by membership dues and donations that weren't the result of annoying mass fundraising campaigns.. So please consider making a donation, even if it's just to shut me up. ;)
~~ Jason Kohles - Nova Labs Vice President (and self-appointed Chief Fundraising Instigator)