Hello Esteemed Guild Mates,

I've asked my CLs this question a LONG time ago, and the result was more of a "whatever you think best" and I've not asked it to my current new staff, so I instead decided to ask it of all of you.

I want to preface this with the following: *THE SITE IS NOT IN FINANCIAL TROUBLE* I don't want you to think the site needs to be saved or requires you to contribute to participate.

Anyways, my hosting bill came in. And while it was not unpayable, it was more than I expected during the holiday season. Ad revenue is not reliable or steady enough to be considered, since the last ad check paid for the yearly subscription to vBulletin upgrades.

What I do want to ask though is what do you all think of some low overhead financial options for the site. Here's the options currently on the table:

  • A paid subscription level. This basically gives a site member the option of signing up to the site for a small fee that is good for one year of subscription level access. The benefits of said subscription level access are to be determined still, but I hope to make it at least worth the yearly subscription rate. General site access will ALWAYS remain free.
  • A permanent donation button. This gives anyone the option of donating money to offset the cost of upkeep and support of the site at any time and of any amount, and also doesn't involve any kind of additional membership benefits. Things remain the same, other than potentially recognizing donors with a tag of some sort.

I use the term "low overhead" because some of the options presented in the past discussions would require extra business licenses and legal checking, and overall interest protecting overhead which while I'm not opposed to eventually, I'm currently not prepared to handle. I'd like to use the low overhead method to gather enough funding to move the site to the next level, which would involve a higher level of dedicated hosting, and more business oriented capabilities, such as publishing, advertising, sub domain hosting, media hosting, etc.

So I now turn to the vote. I leave this in your hands to determine what I do here, and when you click the vote button, make sure that you are aware that this site will ALWAYS remain free and I don't intend to ever take that away from you all because I am honored and humbled daily by this community. I'm not asking or begging for money at all, and as I said before the site as it is currently is not in any financial trouble. However, I feel that a source of income could help the site grow above and beyond what it is currently.

Also feel free to discuss.