The time has come to kick our nonprofit transition into high gear. With coverage in place, we are now in a position to run a large scale clearance event to raise capital and give the collective the resources it needs to launch boldly into the future.
Starting now, and through the entire month of October, the entire inventory of the Monte Cristo Collective Bookshop (excluding consigned books) is being sold at reduced prices. The best part is that this means that you can do your part to help the new collective just by coming down and buying lots of books at unusually low prices.
The first meeting about forming the Monte Cristo Collective Bookshop was August 5th, 45 days ago, and the Collective took over on August 23rd, 27 days ago. The Collective took over with $34 in the till, a team that consisted of a hair over half a dozen people, a shop too hot to be occupied for any length of time, and an idea.
The goal was that the shop would eventually be open 77 hours a week and become a financially secure institution.
At this point, over 40 volunteers have offered their assistance with about 5 new volunteers signing up each week, and next week we will have 44 hours covered. We have an author coming in tomorrow afternoon to speak on a fascinating topic. We have a great team forming to bring an amazing array of events in the future.
Our thanks to our Membership Manager Alison Downs for organizing these 44 hours, and I look forward to seeing 77 hours on the schedule shortly.
We still have some major challenges, but I would say that we’ve come a long way in 45 days.
We’ve had some folks ask how they can become members of our new collective. There are two ways to do it. First, you can drop by the shop when it’s open. Alternatively, you can buy membership online through our GoFundMe page.
Memberships are $60 for a year, $200 for 5 years, or $350 for life. Members get 10% off new books, 20% off used books, voting privileges, and other benefits.
Some people have expressed concerns that such a new enterprise may or may not make it. Fear not. If the Collective does end up shutting down, your membership dues are convertible to merchandise (prorated $60 per year elapsed).
You can find our GoFundMe page here.
During the transition into our new nonprofit form, some people may have come to the shop when they expected it to be open and been disappointed to find it closed. “What’s going on?” you might wonder.
The new shop is all volunteer run, and we are working as quickly as we can to recruit enough people to get the shop open a good range of regular hours. Our first goal is to be open a few hours weekends, and 11-2 weekdays, which, believe it or not, is the busiest time of the day. Then, we want to build up to get to be open 10-9, 7 days a week. Of course, that is 77 hours a week, and that takes many participants.
What does a volunteer do? A minimum, we just need someone trustworthy to hang out in the shop and be on hand to greet customers as they come by. Some volunteers want to do more, and they help us sort books, keep things neat, arrange displays, and other helpful tasks, but even if you just want to hang out a few hours a week reading a book and being on hand, that is a few more hours that we can have the shop open to the community.
We also need volunteers to run events. We would like to get a board game night running, as well as book clubs on various topics like sci-fi, biography, business, etc. We need someone to take point on organizing these events. It’s not terribly difficult work. You’d just need to be there for the event, make some posts on Meetup and do a bit of other promotion.
If you would like to volunteer for these roles or if you feel you could be helpful in any other way, please email our executive director Michael Whitehouse at firstname.lastname@example.org