One of our goals for the Attic is transparency- especially within the membership, but externally as well whenever we can. As part of this, I want to share what we're doing to meet our goal of economic accessibility. Comments and critical feedback are very welcome.
Legally, the Attic is a nonprofit organization, and we are striving to create a non-capitalist space, where a person's worth isn't about how much money they make or what their purchasing power is (as much as we can).
However, we exist in a capitalist society, and that means we need to pay rent and buy replacement robot parts. We cover these expenses with a combination of donations and, where members can afford it, dues. We explicitly solicited money for scholarships in our fundraiser, and as part of this policy, we've set that money aside so that we can't use it unless we have members who are on scholarship.
That means we have four options for members:
- Full scholarship. The Attic pays itself $50/month out of our earmarked funds for each member who's on a full scholarship.
- Half-scholarship with transit money. The Attic pays itself $25/month out of the above funds and pays $25 to the member to assist in bus fare/food while at the Attic/babysitting/whatever makes it easier to enjoy the space.
- Half dues. The member pays $25/month to the Attic, and the Attic pays itself $25 from earmarked funds.
- Full dues. The member pays $50/month to the Attic.
- Extra dues. If a member's financial situation allows it and their joy in the Attic encourages it, we ask members to consider paying a larger amount for dues at their personal discretion, with the knowledge that this is not required and the member may choose to change it at any time.
We encourage members to select the option that's right for their situation, with the knowledge that we will never question their choices, that no option makes a member more or less valuable to the Attic, and that things change and members can change their minds at any time.
We're also careful with the accounting information- the only people who will know what a member chooses will be the secretary and the treasurer, and we will never ask members to explain or justify their decisions. We trust and support our members, who are a valuable participants in the Attic because they are excited and exciting people, not because of their places in the capitalist pecking order.