Why does rLab have Directors?
rLab is a member-centric organization and it is encouraged that members take responsibility for the upkeep and development of the space and to provide and improve the sharing of knowledge and skills - so why do we need Directors?
To support rLab activities we need to interact with the "real world" as a legal entity, for example to be able to enter into a lease agreement for the premises. As a result we have formed a "Non-profit Company Limited by Guarantee", and under UK Law companies need directors. rLab has to provide limited annual accounts signed off by a director, and maintain sufficient details for Companies' House. It also makes things much easier when dealing with outside organisations such as banks and insurance companies to have to appearance of a traditionally structured company.
Do Directors run rLab
Technically the Directors of the non-profit company do not need to be involved in the day-to-day running of the hackspace; it tends to work the other way around. Those members who have been proactive in the day-to-day running of rLab and have provided new-member inductions, advice, workshops and training to members tend to be the sort of people who are happy to take on extra responsibility. They have already proven to act in the best interest of the space and its members, and they are therefore the best candidates to become Directors of the non-profit company.
What should I do if I want to be a director
"The desire to be a politician should bar you for life from ever becoming one" - Billy Connolly
And the same applies to Directors! - It is a thankless but essential task. If you still have the desire to be a director then start by contributing to the running, maintenance and improvement of rLab for its members. You will be noticed, and when the time comes for the directors to choose another you will be top of their list.
Typical things expected of a director
- Be in the space for at least 5hrs per week. This includes time when you're working on your own projects, just so long as you're available to people who need help
- Not have any accusations of fraud or theft against you that would cause the bank or insurance companies to impose special terms
- Help keep the space clean and safe (all members are expected to do this, but directors should take a leading role in it)
- Listen to members and what they want from the space and try to help them make it happen