Below is a second post in a series written by Gangplank HQ and Gangplank Tucson to address topics raised during the Gamestorming event. Also refer to Gamestorming Reflections.
Funding a Gangplank
The original Gangplank grew out of extra space in Integrum’s office. Since then, Gangplank HQ’s ability to grow was the result of a sluggish real estate market, allowing us to maintain the same rent while increasing our square footage.
Our recent expansion into 15,000 square feet is a result of our partnership with the City of Chandler. Gangplank HQ believes strongly in working with and supporting the local community, resulting in years of social capital invested in the local economy and leadership.
When potential affiliates approach us about starting a Gangplank, we look for similar buy-in from the local community. Without a budget to build, that investment from the community in the form of a low- or no-cost space is imperative. In the case of Bookmans, the move into the new fulfilling facility presented an excellent opportunity to donate an area for a Gangplank Tucson.
Is Gangplank’s goal to make lots of dollah-dollah bills… yo!?
No. We run lean and mean, asking only for what we need to sustain our space. Our focus is community and collaboration, not profit. Gangplank HQ is currently in the process of obtaining our 501(c)3 status and plans to apply for grants and external funding to sustain programs across all affiliates. We also are working on a sponsorship package for companies looking to support our innovative work.
How long until a Gangplank affiliate is sustainable?
This depends on the affiliate. In the case of Gangplank Tucson, the goal is to prove to Bookmans the donation of space is a valuable investment. This may mean bringing in local talent, attracting businesses to partner, providing programming and hosting events. Sustainability and value do not happen overnight, but is an everyday effort on the part of Gangplank Anchors and leadership.
Each Gangplank is an experiment, with its own unique risks and challenges. Since our goal is not expansion and affiliates are not recruited but instead approach us, we take our time making sure each affiliate is the right fit. As has been said before, Gangplank Tucson is the result of nearly two-years of conversations and relationship building. Though they may not know exactly what they were getting into, Scott and Jacki were ready to move the Tucson creative community forward, with all the energy and passion necessary to get a Gangplank going. The tremendous response from the Tucson area simple proves the area was ripe for a collaborative workspace.