West Philly makerspace The Hacktory sent out a brutally honest call for donations Friday via email: unless it raises $3,000, it might not make it to the end of the year.
“We are in desperate need of money!” read the email, signed by interim board president Sharp Hall. “Long story short: If we are going to survive the next couple months we will have to rely on your donations. … We have a very reachable goal of $3000, but we need your support.”
The call for donations comes two months after executive director Georgia Guthrie stepped down from the organization she helped shape.
“Though being at the helm of The Hacktory has been my dream position (except the part about not being paid), someone else needs to take over,” Guthrie said in a moving guest post a couple of weeks after news of her departure broke. “Contemplating this move, it dawned on me that there are some other signs that our ecosystem isn’t actually supportive of the hands-on learning, curiosity and collaboration that makerspaces thrive on.”
— Ameena GhaffarKucher (@AmeenaGK) October 20, 2017
The organization said its been trying to evade the “grant-to-grant” survival model by asking members to commit to yearly memberships and lower its expenses by planning a move to a space with cheaper rent.
In June, The Hacktory landed a $24,000 grant from Startup PHL’s latest Call for Ideas to offer a Summer Hardware Bootcamp for adults. The program offered low-cost training in robotics, 3D printing and wearable tech.