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Robbie
04-28-2010, 04:45 PM
Fellow mappers,

If I may direct your attention to the forum home page, I have placed a Donation Goal indicator. There was no way to set it up for a specific time frame, so I've set it up for the current year.

We've reached a turning point in the guild here, and its going to require some more software changes and very possibly (almost assuredly) a host change. This is not going to be a free thing, and the site currently makes just enough money to sustain itself. But if we're going to push beyond and upgrade the site into a MUCH more organized and content-centric website we're going to have to turn to you, our user base to chip in. We're looking at renewing our vBulletin license as well as upgrading to the CMS suite. Also, the cost of changing hosts, and the overhead involved as well will need to come from somewhere.

I've set a goal for 300 dollars, and that is for the year according to the status bar. But as things stand now, the sooner we reach this goal, the better. When we reach this goal we'll be able to begin the transition. At a minimum, we need to reach the goal by July, since that is when our software license is up for renewal.

This goal is based on my initial budgeting calculations, and doesn't account for any overhead costs or additional costs that may pop up. If anything more comes up, I'll definitely keep you all posted on it, and adjust the goal accordingly.

I don't like asking for money, and I've always intended for this site to be a free resource for everyone here...but as it grows, the cost of operation grows, and I'd rather turn to those who can afford to contribute instead of requiring a payment for participation here. In the near future, there may end up being some more revenue oriented things added to the site, but for now, we continue to operate on your donations.

Also, the donation system has just been installed, and there's a possibility it may not be working correctly. I definitely want to hear from you if you have any trouble with the donation system, and I'm also looking to see if anyone would be willing to try the subscription system. PM me BEFORE you donate if you are interested.

If you have any questions or anything, please let me know.

torstan
05-01-2010, 02:03 AM
I just wanted to say congratulations and thanks to all the generous people here on the donations. It's great to see that we hit the goal so fast.

Jaxilon
05-01-2010, 02:08 AM
Here, here. What was that like 3 days or something? Awesome!

Plus, no rest for you now Arcana :)

Diamond
05-01-2010, 02:55 AM
Yeah, it was crazy! I made a donation when the bar was at 27%, and the next day we're at like 94%! (Not that I contributed that 70%, more like 3% :D)

Coyotemax
05-01-2010, 03:26 AM
That's one of the things I love about this site - it feels like a *real* guild :)

Robbie
05-01-2010, 08:29 AM
Yes, you guys have been absolutely awesome on the donation front. I was planning on doing the host move today, but every other hosting option has come up short on something that will cause us problems similar to what we've already faced in a matter of time. Unfortunately, it appears the only option may be to move up to a larger form of hosting. If we're going to do that, it may be very difficult to maintain the site off of donations alone. I'm going to use this run of donations to upgrade the software, and then we'll have to see what other options we have for hosting.

Just to give you guys an idea of what we're facing though...Our current hosting costs 6.99 a month. The next reasonable level of hosting may cost about 45 dollars a month. Don't freak out though...I'm still investigating options.

Ascension
05-01-2010, 08:38 AM
Oh that's not bad. $360 a year, we can do that. Well, we should be able to do it. Hitting 4 digits per year might be pushing it, but even then I think we could do that. I'm not saying let's just jump in :) but you know what I mean.

Robbie
05-01-2010, 02:36 PM
Ok, I think I have something, but we're not going to be able to do it today. RobA and I will probably begin the move later this week if everything pans out fully. I want to thank you all so much for meeting the short-term goal. Now I'm going to change the goal to 500 USD for the year. This is NOT a rapid push for money. If we meet the 500 per year goal on donations alone, I'll be able to sustain everything as it is for now with some room for growth, and I am hoping to be able to put some of that money back into the community in the form of prizes and what-not. I'll be putting together a bit more of a financial plan over the coming months, but for now, lets shoot for 500 dollars a year. Donate as you wish, but we've met the short-term goal, so the begging is over lol.

Again, thank you all so much for the support. Things will be settling down a bit over the next week I hope once we get all the move and its bugs out of the way.

mearrin69
05-01-2010, 04:49 PM
I was slow to put up a donation the first time around but I'll definitely throw some more your way soon. I enjoy this site very much and benefit from it in more ways than I can count. Really appreciate you guys putting your time and resources into it.
M

Antheon
05-04-2010, 07:28 AM
I do have a question or a favor to ask about the donation and it could give someone goose bumps: Can someone tell me how to make use of this 'paypal' thing? I think I've heard of it as part of ebay or something like that. I really like this site and I'd gladly donate but I really don't know what to do as I have no connection to the internet but the Guild and my beloved writing forum and that thing I sometimes call homepage. Maybe there is someone out there who pities me and is willing to explain this stuff to me ... : (


Antheon
feeling very old now

tilt
05-04-2010, 07:55 AM
funny, I was just thinking about you should raise the donation target to have some backup money and something for some competition prices now and then :)

Ascension
05-04-2010, 09:05 AM
I know how ya feel, Antheon. I tried to make a PayPal account once, too, and failed. So I deal in what Randy Moss best said when fined once..."straight cash, homey".

Robbie
05-04-2010, 09:05 AM
I do have a question or a favor to ask about the donation and it could give someone goose bumps: Can someone tell me how to make use of this 'paypal' thing? I think I've heard of it as part of ebay or something like that. I really like this site and I'd gladly donate but I really don't know what to do as I have no connection to the internet but the Guild and my beloved writing forum and that thing I sometimes call homepage. Maybe there is someone out there who pities me and is willing to explain this stuff to me ... : (


Paypal is a standalone entity from ebay that basically handles sending and receiving of money internationally via the internet. My paypal account is directly linked to my bank account so the funds are safe and sound until the banks crash anyways. You can use paypal to send money for services or just donate money through a donation system which we have set up here. Normally you don't need a paypal account to just send money, but I think some of my previous testers of this particular donation plugin have told me you do have to log in to paypal to use it...I would recommend if you intend to donate to us, go to paypal.com separately from the site and set up an account, link some source of funds, such as a bank account or credit card, or I think you can even donate via e-check, and then come back to the site here and go through the donation system using your paypal login. The way it works is paypal handles all the money transferring in exchange for I think about 7%. So a 10 dollar donation will put 9.31 dollars in my account for running the website.

This money goes to paying hosting costs, and maintaining a current license for the forum software. I have paid outright for the software, meaning I can use it for life, but I must continue to pay a yearly fee to continue to receive updates to the software. I am on the precipice of purchasing an upgrade to the software that will give us a content management system, user blogs, and other site-wide things, and your donations will go toward that as well.

And again, I definitely want to send a HUGE thank you to all of you who have donated on this recent call for donations. It has been an absolute honor to share this site with you all, and in the past year of personal life turmoil I've gone through I am so incredibly happy this site survived thanks to your participation and donations. It has been a personal blessing to run this site for you all.

Katto
05-04-2010, 10:15 AM
Thanks for the explanation Arcana. I am also a Paypal virgin like Antheon. But this will change soon.

Antheon
05-04-2010, 10:17 AM
Thank you very much, Arcana!

Now that I think to understand this 'paypal' thing I'm going to donate soon. : )
On another note: I once was at another forum. The admins encountered the same problem and they used donations to in order to 'survive'. Now that I think of it, they probably used paypal themselves. I do not know because I always donated the good ol' way. There's some other thing to ... micro-something (micro payment or something like that) ... I have to look it up. It has been a service where you could donate to the forum via handy. I don't know if it was worthwhile but maybe there are people out there who would donate this way as it is easy. It could be another way to get some money if you so wish. Just to let you know if there's a possibility that you haven't heard of it already. : )

Ascension & Katto:
It's good to know that there are still people out there who haven't totally lost to the world wide web. Nowadays it seems that every little kid knows more about the internet than me. "What? You don't know XYZ?! You're so out of date!" It's funny to be young yourself yet feeling old because you lose track of such unimportant things. At least that's my point of view though I have to admit that this 'paypal' thing sounds interesting. Oh, why does this remind me of Louis Armstrong? *sigh*


Antheon
trying to feel 'cool' again

tilt
05-04-2010, 10:26 AM
You can pay via paypal without having an account - it accepts standard creditcards... that said, I finished my donation by making a paypal account, so now I have one.. :)

that being said, we do need some low cost micro payment companies - paypal aint bad but it costs A LOT to get money out of paypal if you don't have an american bank account. In addition to that, I've heard a lot of bad stories about paypal freezing accounts if a customer complains, so a good thing to remember is to "empty" the account often if you use it for earning money in addition to paying money :)

Zar Peter
05-04-2010, 10:48 AM
I made a paypal account this sunday after struggeling through it . Tried to make one last year but failed. And reason for the account is this site.

Antheon
05-04-2010, 11:53 AM
What the ...?!
Sorry, guys, I meant cell phones when I said handy. Where was my mind again? : /

So it really is called micro payment. As I mentioned before, that forum used payment via cell phone (now it's right). You call a number and wait until you reached the amount you want to donate. At the end of the month, the company transfer the money to you. At least that's what I think and - like tilt said - it would be advantageous for both, the user and administrators. One call is enough to donate and the cost isn't high. Maybe there will be other users who say: "Oh, well ... I don't have much money but six dollars won't hurt me." and donate even though they have never donated before. I know there were many users in that forum who only donated via cell phone to get the premium membership.

mearrin69
05-04-2010, 04:00 PM
Holy smokes! I guess the call for donations is working. Up to $450 now.
M

Katto
05-04-2010, 06:12 PM
You have weird ideas Antheon. I will have to buy a cell phone for that!

Antheon
05-04-2010, 06:55 PM
Oh, I'm well-known for having weird ideas, Katto. : )
In my opinion the donation can be done with both methods and I would recommend to let the paypal option alive because there will always be people who want to use it or do not have a cell phone like Katto. We could do it the good ol' way too, though I have never transferred money to an American account. But there's always a first time, don't you think? : )

Nah, we just have to go through all possibilities. Paying 'cash', the paypal thing & micro payment - a combination of them to satisfy all those who have too much money at their disposal. *grins*


Antheon
looking for his cell phone

Robbie
05-04-2010, 06:58 PM
problem with the cell phone thing is there's no automated way to add it to the donation system...I may set it up, but it will be a separate thing and I'll have to manually add each person that donates to my donation logs. DO you have a link handy for the system?

Antheon
05-04-2010, 07:54 PM
Nah, I've never used micro-payment before. So I do not know a way to help you. But I'm going to discuss this with a friend of mine who is quite the man for such problems. Maybe he does know what to do. : )


Antheon
trying to find a way

tilt
05-05-2010, 04:34 AM
another problem with cell phone systems is that the tele operators take a HUGE part of the profit. I'll give you an example from how it is in Denmark at least... 6 kr ~ $1 is charged when you send an SMS to the system, from that you make about 50 cents - the rest is profit for the phone companies. If its just close to the same in the US then we would have to donate double the amount needed - right now $1000 a year to keep it running. No need to line anyone elses pockets if we don't have too.
The other problem is that the phone systems mostly only work with the country its established in, so all non-us citizens wouldn't be able to use it anyway... Nah, paypal is the best for small solutions :)

Antheon
05-05-2010, 06:09 AM
Right, it seems way too difficult to implement it. But maybe you want to add the classic money-transfer-way if you haven't done it already. So all those who might not want to donate via internet can do it as they always did. : )


Antheon
having a headache now

Diamond
05-05-2010, 04:29 PM
Arcana could just rent a post office box and we can send him cold, hard cash. Although we wouldn't want anyone to look askance at a guy stopping in furtively every couple of weeks and taking wads of cash out of a post office locker... :D

Immolate
05-05-2010, 09:52 PM
Thursday is pay day for me, so like it or not, you're going to get some more. Oh... you can moan and gnash your teeth, but see what good that does you.

But seriously Arcana, I don't think you really appreciate how much this site means to a lot of us. To me it's one of the big things in my life, even if I don't post much. Thank you for your long, hard work in making it a success.

Antheon
05-07-2010, 09:57 AM
101% donated? Wish that could happen to my account too. : /
And 2010 has just begun. : O

Antheon
wondering how much money there'll be till the end of the year

mearrin69
05-07-2010, 12:30 PM
Wow. 102% now...guess your fundraising was successful! Nice work to everyone. Think I'm going to rep everyone with a "gracious donor" tag one time around. :)
M

su_liam
05-07-2010, 01:12 PM
Arcana could just rent a post office box and we can send him cold, hard cash. Although we wouldn't want anyone to look askance at a guy stopping in furtively every couple of weeks and taking wads of cash out of a post office locker... :D

Yo, dude! Isn't that what post office boxes are for? They'll look askance if you send a little package of white powder to each donor...
I'll send a donation just as soon as my income exceeds my current outgo. This will, I hope, be soon...

tilt
05-07-2010, 01:40 PM
we'll keep our fingers crossed for you su_liam - just stop buying all those houses ;)

tilt
05-08-2010, 10:11 AM
I just want to say thanks to all they users who keep paying even though the goal has been reached - its a sign of the sites popularity that people keep donating - just because they wanna help - its fantastic :)

Diamond
01-06-2013, 04:50 PM
Did we reset our goal amount for 2013 back to $700, or is the link/setting/display just broken?

RobA
01-06-2013, 08:56 PM
Did we reset our goal amount for 2013 back to $700, or is the link/setting/display just broken?

I believe the goal widget resets with the calendar year.

We have had a $10 donation (confirmed) in 2013 so far.

-Rob A>

groovey
07-21-2014, 11:06 AM
Sorry if this isn't the right place but I'm not sure how to proceed. I made a small donation to support the guild around Jun 29 and I received an automatic message from one Admin. saying I'd receive another message when the money was collected, but I haven't received such message, so I wonder if it's normal or something went wrong?

EDIT: never mind, it was confirmed. Feel free to delete the message if any Admin. sees it fit.