The normal membership donation is £25 and the majority of our members donate that, however we're aware that people's financial means vary greatly and £25/mn is a guideline not a strict rule and the actual amounts donated by people vary widely; we'd rather have more active members than more money so if that's more than is comfortable for you then please talk to any of the directors and we can discuss a different amount. Similarly we operate on a principle that you pay what it is worth to you, for instance if you are away for part of the year then you might want to pro-rate your payment to reflect this. On the other hand if you're very wealthy, or if you're making heavy use of the space (especially commercial use) then it would be good if you could maybe donate a bit more, quite a few of our members put in substantially more than the suggested donation.
You will have to make some sort of regular monthly donation, even if it's only £1, in order to remain a member and keep your access card active. It is your responsibility to make sure that you make a monthly contribution, we do not send out reminders.
If your circumstances change, for example you loose your job, retire, marry/divorce, whatever and you find you need to change your donation amount then please speak to us. Nothing is set in stone and we're very open to varying amounts/timings whatever in order to help members out; People are more important than money, we'd rather have more active members helping to keep rLab a good place to be. If you are going to vary your payments then please let us know as it helps us keep everything organised in the accounts.
We're very happy to accept one-off financial donations from members, people who share our goals, or who just want to support us, so long as they're a simple donation with no strings attached. We're not a charity so any donations will not be tax-deductible, and we value our independence and freedom very highly so if you're expecting us to commit to doing anything in exchange for a donation that will need to be discussed with and agreed by the membership. We also have a list of items that we're looking for so if you have any of them and are willing to donate then they would be gratefully received!
Making payments into our bank account
Details of our bank account are posted in the kitchen in the space, by the door to the main workshop For membership donations we much prefer if people can set up a standing order so that the same amount is received the same day of each month, it makes it a lot simpler for our volunteer accountants to keep things organised and make sure that everyone's cards stay working properly . When we receive money into our account the only information we get about who it came from or what it's for is the reference that you gave when you made the payment. The system doesn't even tell us who the payment comes from, so it's vital that reference clearly says who is paying us and what for, some banks limit the number of characters in a reference so feel free to abbreviate, all transactions to our bank are reviewed by one of our volunteer accountants so anything that unambiguously marks it as a payment from you will get seen and processed. We regularly get half a dozen payments labelled "Membership" or "RLAB" with no clue as to who made them, which means we can't apply them against the correct member and then people get upset when their access cards are turned off for non-payment. Batching up payments of the same type is fine, e.g. if you've done 4 laser jobs over the course of a week or two then making one payment at the end labeled as "<Your Name> - Laser" is fine, but if you have to make payment for multiple different things please make one payment for each type of thing you're paying for e.g. don't make one combined payment covering both drinks and welding charges.
|Payment type||What to use for "Reference"|
|Monthly Membership Dontation||<Your Name>|
|One-off Donation||<Your Name>-Donation|
|Machine use charge||<Your Name>-Laser|
Getting reimbursed for stuff
If you needed to buy something small that's for rLab general use, for example new sandpaper or floor cleaner for upstairs or more toilet rolls, then please keep your receipt for it and give it to any of the directors along with a note saying what it was for and the bank details where you'd like to receive reimbursement and you'll get repaid for it. You can only be reimbursed for items that are for the general use of members of rLab or for the maintenance of our facilities and equipment; If it's something you specifically needed for one of your own projects and that we don't normally keep in stock then you'll have to pay for that yourself so if you're in any doubt at all then please check with any director BEFORE making a purchase.
All reimbursements are at our discretion and are not guaranteed unless prior approval is sought and obtained, however as a guideline we consider spends below £25 to be "minor" and people don't usually seek pre-approval for them unless they want to or are uncertain if the item is acceptable, expenses less than £25 are almost always approved so long as they were for general lab use/cleaning/repair/consumables etc. For larger items that you'd like us to have it's normal to discuss things on the mailing list before a purchase is made and if it's agreed then someone who can afford to will be nominated to make the purchase and then be repaid for it.