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Project: Membership Structure


Project: Membership Structure

Description: Define membership in your space, what benefits and fees are associated with it, how members can join and how they must be vetted as well as what the rules are and how members must follow them. This will officiate your inner community’s personality.

Create donor and supporter acknowledgement wall/display
Role who does itPublicity Officer, Outreach Team
DescriptionGive your supporters some clearly visible acknowledgement and thanks for all that they have done to help the space. 
It can also give members an idea of the spirit of your space by who is advocating for you.
Estimated Time3 days
Level of EffortEasy
Determine the types of members desired
Role who does itCommunity & Governing Board
Using what you have learned about your surrounding community from the ‘Project: Learning about your Community’ during the Discovery Stage and getting the input of your inner community, the people who have become involved in your space, get a feel for the personality of both. That will determine what kind of members you are looking for. 
Also take practical matters into consideration when making this determination. For example, if your space has no kid safe areas, families are not a part of your membership offering. On the inverse, if you do plan to welcome families, prepare kid safe areas and arrange for appropriate adult supervision.
Estimated Time1 week
Level of Effort
Medium, depends on the size and how diverse your community is as well as how much prior thought has been put into this as well as what the current emergent membership is.
Determine different types of membership, including their fees and benefits structure
Role who does it
Governing Board with Leadership of Finance and Facilities Officers
Considering your community personality, your financial requirements to be sustainable, and what your facilities have to offer, define the classes of membership and their respective member benefits and fees. 
You need to have enough income to cover expenses and that income requirement will give you a clear goal of how many members are needed and how much they must pay at a minimum. Your finance people are vital to setting the goal.
Also, take into strong consideration what your current membership is willing to pay and what they think the current space is worth to them for what it offers. Make a poll and get their feedback. Your facilities people are essential to determining what the shop can offer as member benefits and how many people want to take advantage of them as well as how much they are willing to pay. Remember to be keep fees sustainable for the members.
Estimated Time1-2 weeks
Level of Effort
Medium to High depending on your financial state, the facilities you offer as well as how many members you have gained at this point. The more stable your finances, the more prepared your facilities and the more mature and committed your membership, the easier this will be.
Develop the vetting process for new members
Role who does itCommunity & Governing Board
Develop a process to check out new member and make sure they will fit in well with your community and its culture and are overall okay. Depending on the nature of what you do and how in-depth you want to be, this can be as casual as as new members being recommended by a current member or a meet and greet with the governing board or as serious as a background check.
At the very least, you want to make sure that they fit in well with the community, they have an overall positive character and if your space is working with minors or hazardous equipment and/or conditions, that they are okay with such and can either pass the required background checks or undergo the recommended training. 
The membership application forms and bylaws ought to reflect the values you are looking for in this vetting process and be clear to a new members when they wish to sign up. Also, have members of the governing board sign off on their membership applications.
Estimated Time1 week
Level of Effort
Easy to Medium depending on how much vetting is needed based on what your space does as well as your community’s experience in fitting new members.
Write your membership agreement (
Role who does itGoverning board
Based on your community values, what you have developed with your vetting process above and sourcing from your bylaws, formalize it in the membership agreement.
The objective is to develop a membership agreement that makes sure all incoming members understand the values, rules and regulations of the space and agree with them and that a member of the community and a board member can sign off on that agreement in good faith.
Estimated Time1 week
Level of Effort
Depending on how mature the vetting process is, it ought to be easy.


Need help?


The notebook section provides a way for you to store and share information with your group members. With the book feature you can:

  • Add book pages and organize them hierarchically into different books.
  • Attach files to pages to share them with others.
  • Track changes that others have made and revert changes as necessary.
  • Archive books that are no longer of interest to the group. Archived books can be reactivated later if needed.