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North Shore Permaculture Collaborative Message Board › Funding Northshore Permaculture Group

Funding Northshore Permaculture Group

Cassandra C.
user 62934682
Salisbury, MA
Post #: 30
Hey all:

I would really like to see this group continue. Some ideas that I had to fund the group, because it is not ok for one or two people out of 300+ to pay for this site:

1. If you are holding classes through or connected to NSPG, then 20% of the fees collect for the class go to the group to fund; the site, movie purchases, location fees, trips, etc...
2. A sliding scale for classes. If there are materials needed to be purchased for the class, then at least a downpayment should be sent prior to the class.
3. Any and all get togethers should have a sign-up and a collection basket anything collected helps.
4. Have mulled the idea of a dues, but classes should be separate.
Iris W.
HerbIris
Wenham, MA
Post #: 98
I disagree with the idea of giving a percentage of class fees for the site. I teach classes that are publicized in a number of different venues and pull in students from many different areas. This is my livelihood and does not yet give me much income. It would be a hardship to give a percentage of class fees at this point.

Also, giving a percentage of class fees for the site also does not spread the cost out among 300 peeps, as very few actually come to the classes.

Also, my classes pull in people from a number of different places where I publicize. I would not be comfortable having a basket for the site there.

I think a membership fee is more equitable and democratic, requires something from every member, and requires fewer dollars from any one person.
lee l.
user 13126023
Beverly, MA
Post #: 33
I mostly agree with Iris, and think that dues would be reasonable, or a small donation when we attend any NSP event, or both. Definitely it should not be up to a couple of people to fund the group! It seems like a benefit to the group to hear about interesting classes related to permaculture. But perhaps people who use the permaculture site to advertise money-making events of their own might make some kind of extra donation to the group, not per class, but maybe once per year, of a reasonable amount, on a voluntary basis.
Cassandra C.
user 62934682
Salisbury, MA
Post #: 31
The other Permaculture groups give a percentage of their classes to the group. Not looking for a few to fund the group. But if you are making money off of this site, then you give back.
Iris W.
HerbIris
Wenham, MA
Post #: 99
Cassandra, I don't make money off this site. A few folks in total show up from this site in a year at my classes. My classes are very reasonably priced. If you are making money off of posting on this site, than good for you and please donate. Don't assume that someone is making big bucks just because they post on here.
Cassandra C.
user 62934682
Salisbury, MA
Post #: 32
Iris,
If I were offering classes through this site, I sure would give back to the group. I also would only be offering classes that are strictly Permaculture in content. This was not an attack on you. If was a brainstorming on how we can pay for the site.
Elizabeth
sucrame2001
Group Organizer
Newburyport, MA
Post #: 75
Thanks everyone for your input and please continue the discussion. We are gathering info from some other permaculture meet ups in our area too so we can come up with a sustainable solution.
Boiester
Boiesterest
Corvallis, OR
Post #: 76
Hi folks,
Glad to see an exchange of ideas here. I didn't get here in time (before sending out my missives today) and apologize to all for thinking no one had responded. Deb
Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 2,365
Hi Friends. There is probably another email thread going somewhere beyond this meetup but here is some info I shared recently about the Portland meetup. I'll paste it below but then add another important comment re: valuing the time of presenters/instructors/etc.

----
We have always had a "hat" or "fishbowl" for people to throw in a dollar or two, even at our monthly "free" potlucks. This was to ensure that the meetup.com fees never came out of any one person's pocket.

Things have evolved over time since we've started, of course, so other ways that we have brought in money have included:

When we have an event that costs money, 10% of revenues go to "the house" for overhead like meetup fees or similar. We have that built into our event planning spreadsheets.
Sometimes we do group orders for things (books, solar ovens, etc.) and round up the price a bit on each item to go into the kitty to support overhead.
Once we started running bigger programs like PDC's, 10% of that revenue is going into the kitty also. Has allowed us to leverage up.
We've never used the meetup sponsor feature as a fund raiser but I think some groups do.
The "suggested donation" usually only gets about 30 people per year and I don't really push it (but that's enough to pay for meetup!).
We're getting to the point with having become an actual incorporated entity now that the meetup fees are just a line item in our communications/outreach budget, but still good to ensure it's covered!
------

New Comment: One thing I didn't say in the above is that we have always used a planning/pricing spreadsheet (google doc) for any meetup event that has a cost involved and the very first question we start with is "How much does the instructor/facilitator need to walk away with for $$$?" We don't usually do that "per person" but rather a fixed amount (i.e. the instructor needs to get $200 plus mileage - or whatever). We plug that into our spreadsheet which calculates for the 10% to the house, other expenses or supplies for the event, a few points for credit card processing if we're doing online payments, etc. We also plug into min/max attendees and that helps us find the right price point for events, know our minimum sign-up, etc. Anyway, lots of options but just wanted to share what we do for paid events - making sure teachers get what they need while also meeting the needs of the group and honoring the "asset" of our network to support teachers/facilitators, etc.
Elizabeth
sucrame2001
Group Organizer
Newburyport, MA
Post #: 76
Thanks, Lisa. This is very helpful.
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