Freeside Atlanta is our city's original hackerspace. We exist to encourage curiosity and creative passion, and for over ten years, we've built, broken, fixed, forged, soldered, molded, cast, and cut with thousands of skilled, intelligent, and thoughtful people. We’re deeply committed to education in STEM, the arts, and to engaging Atlantans through classes on subjects as diverse as microcontrollers, welding, electronics, 3D printing, woodworking, computer programming, auto repair, and even inoculating a log to grow your own shiitake mushrooms.
As an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit, Freeside is an amazing resource for Atlanta’s creative community (this means you), but we also run on a fairly tight budget, and after a challenging move at the end of May, we now have many critical and costly construction projects to complete before we’re fully operational. We’re doing our best to hunt down other sources of funding, but none of our volunteers are professional fundraisers. Beyond that, we've had to cancel several months of paid classes and member events due to the pandemic.
Our new space is going to be amazing once we’re done with the buildout, but to run power and build walls will require permits and licensed contractors. We need to get this done quickly to make the space usable for old and new members alike. Based on our research, this will cost us tens of thousands of dollars that, currently, we don’t have. Freeside needs your help.
So, what can you do?
Here are some great ways to contribute:
Donate - This campaign represents a fraction of what our build is going to cost in the short term, but a donation in any amount will help us move forward. We're pretty resourceful, and we will make your dollars stretch.
Join us - People are the lifeblood of Freeside. We thrive because of our community, and everything we are has been built by our enthusiastic membership. Every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:30pm, we host an open house (starting again in July), and it’s absolutely the best way to get a feel for the space. Come by, take a tour, and see what makes us great.
Take (or teach) a class - All of our classes can be found on Meetup. Class fees are split 50/50 between the teacher and Freeside, so part of your class fee will act as a donation to our organization. Furthermore, you don't have to be a member to teach a class, so if you have a skill you'd like to share, let us know and we'll work with you to create an event.
Tell your friends - Mention us and refer your friends so we can get to know them. Sharing our story on social media will go a very long way to getting the word out.
Help us find outside funding or grants - We don't have much experience in the grant writing realm, and the process of tracking down funding sources is a big challenge. If you have experience with grant writing or fundraising and are willing to lend us your skills, we'd thoroughly appreciate it.
To keep our space running, we really must do this work. The buildout is a daunting prospect on its own, but with the pandemic on our shoulders as well, it’s going to be even more challenging than we thought. Freeside is scrappy, and DIY is in our blood, but this time we’re going to need all the help we can get. Thank you, truly, for doing what you can to help keep this Atlanta icon alive.