Donation request

General discussion on any topic which doesn't have a natural home on any of the other boards.
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Andrew Ray
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Re: Donation request

Post by Andrew Ray » 04 Aug 2018, 11:54

Each to his own. But Cliff, I wonder if those who have sent you some of the horrible emails actually realise what this costs without your time and dedication to the site which is invaluable?

I would happily sign up to a direct debit to this site for £10 or £20 a year because I think it is worth it, a wealth of information, advice and free plans and all you are suggesting is 10p a month!!

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RobbieB
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Re: Donation request

Post by RobbieB » 04 Aug 2018, 11:58

Right, first off, ‘vitriolic’ emails to one of our forum’s admins! Come on people, time to get real and tone it down a bit, yes?

Now a personal view (from someone who put a lot of work into this forum):

The reality of our situation is simply that we are an image intensive forum that everyone knows requires large server space and bandwidth, without which much of what we do would have little functionality, so it is a necessity not a luxury as I see it and that has to be paid for – fact of life. Yes, a comparatively small number of us did contribute compared to the total membership but it doesn’t take a keen eye to see that only a relatively small proportion of the membership also have input into the forum, and in my experience that is unlikely to change. I know it all reeks of lack of fairness ( a concept I have to say I have ever increasing difficulty in coming to terms with in this modern day and age) but each of us have to ask ourselves the question whether we want this forum to survive and if so, are we, the contributing minority happy to do that regardless of this apparent feeling of unfairness? I for one don’t have the least problem with that.

This last donation request has clearly raised sufficient funds to deal with the current year with a little surplus to carry over to the next year?

I think imposing a mandatory subscription fee for membership is a risky strategy on a number of levels and is not the way to go. Free plan availability – perhaps that might need some looking at particularly in view of how that facility is being abused.

Probably as important as everything that has gone before, this forum is a window for the rest of the world to see what it is that we do and as such has the potential to attract new blood into the hobby, hopefully young blood which is something we are desperately in need of right now ( no offence [our spelling] to any other members of my generation intended………..) so please think this through very carefully before anything is done that my prejudice that.

Those of us who have donated voluntarily I have no doubt did so happily and willingly to keep this great resource running – nobody makes us do it.

Postscript:

Having just read Barry’s last post it got me thinking, why use a lot of words when just a few would do :lol: :lol:

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Cliff Evans
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Re: Donation request

Post by Cliff Evans » 04 Aug 2018, 12:59

Robbie, thanks for that, wise words indeed. no one knows more the Vince and myself how much time and effort you put into this project. It just grates that as in life in general the few, make it easy for the many. I am giving it serious thought and it may be that we do carry on with the donations but, I am looking at limiting access to some of the benefits of the forum so that those that do contribute perhaps get a better deal than those that do not! We are now using wordpress on the front end which opens up a fair bit of control, especially if i can integrate word press with the phpbb forum which is possibaly the next phase! I may have to pay someone to do that though as it is quite a copmplicated process. But yes, thanks Robbie.

GordonT
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Re: Donation request

Post by GordonT » 04 Aug 2018, 13:41

The RCScalebuilder forum, to which I belong, charges US$20 per year, which I feel is reasonable considering what it gives you. If you don't pay the subscription, you don't get access to any photos and you can only post a very few times. I've not heard anyone complaining about the cost since I joined that forum a few years ago. To ask people to pay maybe £2 per year to access this forum is a no brainer as far as I'm concerned. Why, a cup of coffee costs more than that these days! Anyone who complains about paying such a trifling sum to be able to access this wonderful resource is a tightwad and needs to get a life.

Chris Hurst
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Re: Donation request

Post by Chris Hurst » 04 Aug 2018, 14:08

I am an occasional user of the forum but have some relevant past experiences to bring to this debate.....

Obviously it is deplorable that you have been getting unpleasant emails and I would have hoped that everyone, whatever their point of view, could express it in a civil and constructive manner.

What doesn't surprise me though is that you have only had about 1 in 10 registered users respond with a donation. That is not a criticism of the forum, which is excellent, or a reflection on the hard work you have put in. It is however, in my opinion, a realistic assessment of how these things work. I fear if you go with the subscription model, however modest the amount, only a similar number will actually pay up. The subscription amount is, I suspect, within reason irrelevant. You will probably get almost as many people pay £12 as would pay £1.20.

I used to oversee the finances of my professional association's monthly magazine, which was touted as an important membership benefit. Because of that many people hated the idea of it being available to non members. However, the only way to keep the magazine viable was to attract advertising and to do that it needed a circulation of at least double our membership. A few of those were paid magazine only subscribers but the vast majority was free distribution to relevant readers. Very few members would have been willing to have paid sufficient extra subscription to have balanced the books.

Surely the same principle must apply here? We need a wide readership, not a tiny one, for all kinds of reasons. If we have one then surely is must be possible to attract a few sponsors / advertisers to pay the bills? But that will only happen if it is seen by significant numbers of people.

I fear if the membership drops to 60 (or maybe an optimistic 100) it will be the beginning of a spiral dive and not a fully held off landing!

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Cliff Evans
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Re: Donation request

Post by Cliff Evans » 04 Aug 2018, 15:48

Thanks chris, the only problem with advertising and sponsers is that we then fall in to a taxable item which is something we wish to steer clear of!.

Chris Hurst
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Re: Donation request

Post by Chris Hurst » 04 Aug 2018, 15:51

Cliff Evans wrote:
04 Aug 2018, 15:48
Thanks chris, the only problem with advertising and sponsers is that we then fall in to a taxable item which is something we wish to steer clear of!.
Would that not be true with subscribers as well?

You may be OK in that respect with donations but it is only a donation if it is voluntary! If you have to donate to use the forum then it is a subscription surely?

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Cliff Evans
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Re: Donation request

Post by Cliff Evans » 04 Aug 2018, 15:57

Chris Hurst wrote:
04 Aug 2018, 15:51
Cliff Evans wrote:
04 Aug 2018, 15:48
Thanks chris, the only problem with advertising and sponsers is that we then fall in to a taxable item which is something we wish to steer clear of!.
Would that not be true with subscribers as well?

You may be OK in that respect with donations but it is only a donation if it is voluntary! If you have to donate to use the forum then it is a subscription surely?
I am sure you are right which is why I am giving it all serious thought!

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Peter Balcombe
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Re: Donation request

Post by Peter Balcombe » 04 Aug 2018, 16:40

Cliff,
Perhaps it is worth trying the voluntary donations again next year, but for those who kindly donated this year to hold off for a bit - just to give everyone else a chance to show how much they want the forum to continue - before chipping in yet again.

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Cliff Evans
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Re: Donation request

Post by Cliff Evans » 04 Aug 2018, 16:57

Thanks Peter, that definately worth considering.

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