• Mon, February 26, 2024 5:41 PM | Anonymous

    Upcoming Rate Changes at Twin Cities Maker


    We know that this is a long post, but it’s also an important one. If it’s easier for you to read as a PDF file with a table of contents please click here.

    As you’ve likely seen in previous emails, we’ve been considering changing our dues structure for the past 6 months or so. At our most recent meeting, the board unanimously passed a set of changes to our dues structure. As a small non-profit with a focus on creating opportunities for making, we take changes like this very seriously and have done several surveys to better understand the impact of this change on our members. Rising costs have forced us to increase our  membership dues, but we also want to make sure that we are maintaining our financial accessibility to as many people as possible. 

    We will be instituting the following dues structure, effective on April 4, 2024:




    Member-Supported 30


    For those with financial need, not eligible for +1

    Member-Supported 65


    For those with financial need that are unable to afford our new Monthly Membership level, not eligible for +1

    Monthly Membership


    Has option for $25/mo +1 add-on

    6 Month Membership


    10% discount, has option for $135/6mo +1 add-on

    Please note that we have created a new level at $65/mo, the same as our current rate. We hope that those who would end their memberships due to financial constraints would switch to this level instead.  

    We will also be discontinuing our annual membership option. Members on this level will be switched to the 6 month level unless they select a different level. Members on the $65/mo level will automatically switch to the $85/mo level when your membership renews after April 4, 2024. If you would like to change levels, please fill out this form.

    Your current membership is {current membership} and your next renewal date is {renewal date}. This change will not affect your membership through that date.

    Special One-time Add-on!

    We are offering a special $800 1-year add-on for anyone who would like to save some money up-front and support the organization. This add-on may be purchased by any member and must be paid before April 4, 2024.  If you have an existing membership we will extend your expiration date by 1 year from your current expiration date.  After the 1-year add-on, your membership will renew at your existing membership level.  Click this link for details and to purchase this special deal. It may take up to two weeks for your account to be updated.

    We understand that there are lots of questions about how this will work, so please see below for answers that may be relevant to you. If you have any questions or you believe that these changes will create a significant financial burden for you, please feel free to email We will continue to communicate and clarify as we hear questions, and will also hold a town hall meeting where you can ask questions about these changes on Thursday, March 7, at 7pm. Please feel join in person at the shop or online at 

    Frequently asked questions

    How does this affect my membership?

    This change affects all membership renewals on or after April 4, 2024. You will receive an email in the next 7 days detailing how this affects your specific membership level and the options you have for switching levels. If you’d like to switch levels now, please fill out this form. In general:

    • Current Community-Sponsored 1 ($30/mo) members will not be affected

    • Current Monthly ($65/mo) members will be charged $85/mo on your renewal date starting on or after 4/4/2024, or will need to change to another level

    • Current 6 Month ($325/6mo) members will be charged $460 on your renewal date starting on or after 4/4/2024, or will need to change to another level

    • Current Annual Members will be automatically switched to the 6 month level, or will need to switch to another level

    • Any accounts with +1’s will be charged the +1 amount for their level on their first renewal date on or after 4/4/2024. You will need to contact membership to remove your+1 from your account, if you do not want to be charged

    What if I can’t afford the $85/mo rate?

    If you are unable to afford the $85 rate you may switch to the new $65 plan, that’s what it’s there for! If you’re looking for more information on who the Member-Supported levels are for, please look at the question “Who is eligible for the Member-Supported levels?” below.

    Why are you doing this? How do these rates compare to other similar spaces?

    We’re doing this because we have to, not because we want to. Whether or not we stay in our current building, our costs are going up considerably. Not only in terms of rent, which just increased by 50%, but also in terms of materials and tool maintenance. We are doing whatever we can to keep our rates low, but we need to raise our membership dues to keep our cashflow sustainable; 80% of our revenue comes from these dues. We have analyzed financial projections and our survey data, finding that this dues structure will keep the organization sustainable while remaining affordable to the greatest number of members. 

    Even at $85/mo, we think we provide that value and more! The most comparable spaces in the Twin Cities to us are MPLS Make and A Maker’s Place (formerly White Bear Makerspace). Their rates are $230/mo and $250/mo, respectively. Even among makerspaces nationally, we continue to be among the most affordable.

    Who is eligible for the Member-Supported levels?

    We are committed to providing access to as broad a community as possible, and we don’t believe that there’s a good way for us to identify who has the greatest financial need for these levels. There are myriad situations that can affect people’s budgets–income, family size, debt, medical issues, employment, and more. So instead of implementing an arbitrary income limit or having every member who’d like to use one of the reduced-rate levels fill out a complex form, we choose to trust you. Only you know your financial situation and what you can afford best, and we ask that you choose a level appropriately. We do not do any verification of need for these levels, and have no plans to start. Member-Supported members are considered members exactly the same as all other members are.

    That said, we understand that many members would like a better guideline on use of these levels, so below are some recommendations for who we think could benefit from these levels:

    • Member-Supported 30 ($30/mo)

      • This level is intended to support those with the greatest financial need, who wouldn’t be able to afford membership otherwise

      • For those looking for a specific income level as a guideline, we recommend this level for households below the 50% of the Area Median income, as defined by the US HUD. For a one-person household, this is currently defined as an income of $43,500 per year. For more information and other household sizes, click here

    • Member-Supported 65 ($65/mo)

      • This level is intended for those who may not have as much need as the Member-Supported 30 level, but for whom $85/mo doesn’t make sense

      • We intend this level to be used by:

        • Those who maintain their membership as a way to support the community

        • Members who don’t need Member-Supported 30 level but for who are unable to afford membership otherwise.

      • For those looking for a specific income level as a guideline, we recommend this level for households between 50% and 80% of the Area Median income, as defined by the US HUD. For a one-person household, this is currently defined as an income range of $43,500 to $66,300 per year. For more information and other household sizes, click here

    How do I switch levels?

    You will receive an email in the next seven days specific to your current membership level detailing the options you have for changing levels. If you’re ready to switch levels now, please fill out this form.

    Can I pause my membership?

    Sort of! If you log into your account at, there will be a button that says “Cancel Membership.” This will cancel your membership.

    If you want to re-join within the following year, you can do so by logging into the same place and selecting your level. If you re-join after one year, you will need to retake New Member Orientation as well as shop orientations.

    What will happen to current +1’s?

    We will begin charging for +1’s beginning on April 4, 2024, $25/mo for monthly members and $135/6mo for 6 month members. If you would like to remove your +1 from your account in order to avoid this charge, please email to have them update your membership.

    Why did you get rid of the annual option?

    The board has decided to remove the annual option to simplify our membership tiers. More membership levels create more work for our membership and IT teams, so we try to keep it simple. With the addition of the second Member-Supported rate, we chose to remove this one.

    What is your refund policy?

    Twin Cities Maker does not offer refunds once dues are paid, except in exceptional circumstances or if there was a billing error on our part. Canceling your membership before the end of your term is not considered grounds for a refund. All refunds other than billing errors must be approved by the Board. For our full refund policy, see

    Is any part of dues tax deductible?

    Great question–we’re not sure. We’ll be discussing this with our lawyer in the near future, and will send an update in a future newsletter, so keep an eye out for that.

    Are you considering other ways to increase revenue?

    Very much so! We’ve recently started to apply for more grants, and are aiming to send out about one application per month for the rest of the year. We’re also working on expanding our class offerings and exploring other opportunities such as offering paid storage space and sponsorships.

    Most of all, we hope to significantly increase our donations in the coming year, and may even do a public radio-style giving campaign. If you’re able, please consider donating!

    Have you considered other options for structuring dues?

    Yes, we’ve discussed flat rate increases, tying membership rates to income levels, offering discounts for volunteering, pay-as-you-use structures, and more. In the end, we’ve chosen this option to try to keep it simple and it maintains our financial accessibility to the broadest range of people.

    How can I help out more?

    We’re doing a lot, and we always need help! This year, we’re running more events, teaching more classes, and our membership continues to grow exponentially. And on top of that, we might be building out a new space and moving! As a volunteer-run organization, we always need more people to help:

    • If you’re interested in volunteering, please email with your skills, interests and availability. We have lots of things you could help with, from shop projects and manager roles to helping with membership, marketing, and more!

    • If you’d like to teach a class, please email We do a 75/25 revenue split with our teachers, so you’d get to keep 75% the revenue, after expenses!

    If you aren’t able to volunteer, please consider donating, every bit counts! Be sure to check if your work matches donations, it’s a great way to increase your impact.

  • Wed, November 29, 2023 9:44 AM | Anonymous

    Last month we had our annual membership meeting, thank you to all who attended! As part of that meeting, we elected 4 new board members by a consent vote since we had no opposed races. Our last board meeting was their first as official board members, and they elected our new slate of officers, including myself as president. One of my primary goals for my term is to improve our communication, so I’m aiming to put a note in our newsletter each month covering the key updates about the organization and an overview of the most recent board meeting. Our board meetings are open to the public, so you’re welcome to join in person or through the link on our Wild Apricot calendar on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00. We also have an AI transcript and a recording available on request, and meeting minutes that get posted to the wiki.

    First of all, I’d like to send a huge, huge thank you to our outgoing board members and officers: Kat Cantner (President and Board Member), Joseph Bozarth (Board Member), Marsh Jones (Board Member), and Ken Schultz (Treasurer). They have all made huge contributions to making this organization what it is today, from navigating us through Covid to improving our financial systems to helping launch Wild Apricot. If you see them around, say hi and/or thank you!

    Second, I’d like to introduce our new board members and officers!

    • Board Members:

      • Molly Swinder

      • Riley Harrison

      • Brandon Paplow

      • Tom Foran

    • Officers:

      • Sage Kaplan-Goland, President

      • Pi Chowdhury, Vice President

      • Patti Cordano, Treasurer

      • Mark Fleetham, Assistant Treasurer

      • Bob Poate, Secretary

    You’re welcome to contact any of our officers or board members using their TCM email addresses (, or you contact all of us using

    Board Meeting Updates

    • New managers: we had several people interested in manager roles after the annual meeting, and officially approved Catherine Cardenuto and Ken Schultz and Membership Co-Coordinators and Peter Haugen as Storage Manager.

    • Treasurer's Report

      • We now have donation envelopes! Please use these when making donations in the drop boxes in the shop

      • We now have all of our 2024 Budget Requests in, totalling over $75k. We plan on doing a special budget meeting, likely in early December. If you’d like to participate, feel free to reach out or just keep an eye on the calendar for the meeting info

    • Building Update

      • We had over 20 members of TCM leadership visit the location at 2518 N 2nd St a few weeks ago! Overall, folks seem excited about the possibility while conscious of potential drawbacks

    • Training for volunteers

      • We'd like to offer more external training opportunities for our members and especially our leadership. Aaron Berg has been looking into Stop the Bleed training for us, and we'll also be offering nonprofit finance/governance training to board & officers. If there's any external training you'd like to get for yourself or you'd like to see us offer, please let us know

    • 2024 Dates

      • Quarterly Cleanups are planned for 2/10/24, 5/4/24, 8/10/24, and 11/2/24

      • Annual meeting is tentatively scheduled for 9/14/24

    Survey FAQ

    Thanks to everyone who responded to our member survey, we had an excellent response rate of over 35%! We’re still working on a full analysis and report on it, which I hope we'll be able to link in our next newsletter. However, I wanted to take a moment now and respond to some of the most common/pressing questions we got on the survey:

    • Why are you thinking about moving?: Don’t get me wrong, I really love our spot in Seward, but it comes with some major issues, too, mainly: the roof leaks (and the landlord won’t fix it), it’s inaccessible to anyone with mobility issues, we’re getting close to what we think is the max capacity for the space, and we’ve been stuck on a month-to-month lease for years. We’ve stayed because the rent is super cheap, but we were just informed that our rent will increase by 50% in 2024. This increase will bring us closer to paying market price on the space, but for a substandard building. The building is for sale, so it’s also likely that a new owner would want to raise rents further. A new space would let us build shops to fit our needs better, increase membership, and even start thinking about new shops! Not to mention it’d be great to stop having leaks right on our most expensive tools.

    • Why haven’t you looked at XX location?: We’ve been looking all over the place, but also we’re all volunteers so we might miss things! There’s a decent chance we have looked at it, or maybe we missed it. If you have suggestions for alternate locations, feel free to let us know. In general, we’re looking at industrial/mixed use spaces with a minimum of 13k sq ft (ideally 15k+) in the center of the metro area, and rents <$15psf gross (lower is better)

    • I’m worried that if we move we might make some of the smaller shops smaller! And Why do we even have XX shops?: TCM is a member-run organization and we try to be responsive to what our community wants. That said, I haven’t met a single member of our shop leadership who seriously thinks we should get rid of any of our shops. Yes, woodshop gets far more usage than any other, but that doesn’t mean the other shops don’t have value and their own user bases. If we move, it’s likely that most shops will get a mild upgrade on space, not a downgrade.

    • Why do we have +1’s?: At its core, the +1 benefit is a way for us to incentivize people to bring in new folks to the space, and to bring people who might not feel comfortable in the space otherwise. We’ve gotten a lot of comments on how to improve this policy, so stay tuned! If you’d like to weigh in further, you’re always welcome to email or show up to a board meeting

    • Why are you thinking about raising rates? and Why should we continue adding members? and Don’t be greedy: TCM has a lot of members (486, as of today!) with a lot of viewpoints. One of our goals is to be as accessible to as many people as possible, and another is to provide the best service to our members. Those two things are always going to be at odds with each other. Raising rates will make us less accessible, but will let us have more, better space and better tools. Increasing membership will make the shop more full but lets us add new, diverse members and is another way to have access to more, better space. If we move, we’re also looking at losing a portion of our membership, and we need to find ways to keep the organization solvent as we take on that project. To be clear, TCM is in a pretty stable financial position, but not an unassailable one. Both staying and moving come with serious risks that we’re looking to ameliorate.

  • Wed, December 28, 2022 6:50 PM | Anonymous

    Welcome to the new TC Maker Website. You'll find all the same resources here as you found on our old website - but we have launched a new member management system. If you're an a TC Maker Member with a membership prior to 2023, check your email inbox for more information on how this affects you.