I just got my annual college alumni renewal letter from my Upstate New York university. They would like me to send them $30. They plan to use the funds to (A) let everyone know the exciting things happening on campus and to (B) host a great reunion party later this summer. Now they already have a website and social media content. I see the campus news every few days on my Facebook feed. So strike benefit A. And later this summer I will be knee deep in kids as I help host a multitude of summer camps (click for more info). So strike benefit B.
On the other hand, a mere $20 can be invested in an annual membership of the Greenbelt MakerSpace Cooperative (click here for more info). This money will go directly to fund 10% of the MakerSpace annual budget, helping the community retain and expand a valuable asset and resource, a public activity center that encourages hands-on education and the development of critical thinking skills. And if that warm feeling you get from supporting the MakerSpace is not sufficient, there’s more! Because you’re not just dropping a Jackson/Tubman into our donation bucket. You’re becoming a member in the cooperative. You’re becoming a co-owner with an open invitation to help set policy and priorities. And yes, we’ll also host a great party later this year. More than one, in fact, starting with the Spring Maker Festival on April 15!
So, $30 to join a distant alumni association or $20 to join a local community cooperative. I think the math is simple. What do you think?