Skip navigation

Olympia, WA Maker group (OlyMEGA) - interested in 501c3 support and connecting with other NW hacker/maker spaces

Task: Olympia, WA Maker group (OlyMEGA) - interested in 501c3 support and connecting with other NW hacker/maker spaces

Due Date: 
Tuesday, Jan 10

Hi Willow!

I'll try to refrain from restating what you can already read on our project page. Long story short, we've got a great group of people down in Olympia who've been meeting at shared spaces for the last 18 months or so.

We're in the process of hunting down space, and one topic that keeps coming up is "should we do 501c3 first" followed by "i've heard that's a lot of work/really expensive" and "i've heard you can be "umbrella'd" by another group".

Needless to say, when I saw (via Make) that you've started a group to do exactly this for hackerspaces, I got pretty excited :)

I'd love to discuss what's necessary to do this for our group. We're currently incorporated as a state-recognized nonprofit, but this doesn't confer any of the tax benefits of being a 501c3.

We've got a pretty non-hierarchical structure, but I tend to be the main point of contact for most "official" communication. I'll encourage some of our other dedicated members to join up here as well and participate in some of the open discussions. 

I'll be combing the discussions on the Atrium to see what else I can discover there. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!


Justin Burns - @justinb360


Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.



Justin, check out Fiscal Sponsorship (Book page in Space Federation) and let me know what questions you have about process.

Also, I return to Seattle in February, maybe I could make a trip down?


Assigned: Willow Brugh » James Carlson

Willow, it looks like we've received the paperwork from OlyMEGA. I'll get a Paypal button rolling for them. Also, OlyMEGA, we should set up a discussion with your board to do an introductory discussion about how they can use this. When is your next regular meeting?


I actually just got done canceling our "normal" saturday meeting (we have meetings on the previous two days, and attendance for day 3 was not looking great). I am planning to reschedule it to a time within the next 2-3 weeks. I'll update the case again when I do.


Ok-- let us know when the next one is, would love to chat with the rest of the group!


Some exciting updates:

1. Membership drive has largely been successful. We haven't yet met all of our long-term goals for sustainability, but have a sufficient cushion in the bank from one-time payments for a few months rent, and several hundred $ recurring in amazon subscription memberships. 3 more keyholders or a mix of keyed and standard members, and we're there.

2. We've settled on a space, a $400/month ~500ft^2 sub-let  in a historic downtown building. No lease, tons of character and potential. The guy sub-letting it to us has had a hydrology/wetlands-survey business in there for 23 years, but between declining business, retirement approaching, and the ability these days to do so much via the internet, he's ready to start working from home.

It's in the heart of Olympia's downtown, 2nd story corner office, lots of other eclectic arts/theater groups in the building. Big windows facing out onto a bustling street (and we are GO for LED signs in 'em!).  We'll be getting keys in the next few days, just allowing time for the lease-holder to transition stuff to his home office.

3. - Still checking these guys out, but they are in the building around the corner from our new space. I've sent them a pitch to occupy one of their sponsored spaces, in exchange for creating a FabLab in it. If accepted, rent would be free so we'd use it as an adjunct to the main space. We can probably get a 3d printer donated (member is upgrading) and build or do the same with a CNC. I'm hoping that the group behind the incubator can help make a laser cutter happen. Developing situation, going to meet with them some time this week. If it goes forward, I can see us utilizing more of School Factory's services to process donations and grants.

Just wanted to give you guys an update. We still need to schedule a skype-in soon (probably shortly after we move in at this point).

Space Federation