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Alex Pepple 09-15-2009 12:13 PM

Your Support
Dear Eratosphereans,

This is one those posts that I don’t make unless it’s unavoidable. As always, I’ve been running the financial end of things here solo and they’ve been at a stage that those who issue alerts would deem condition orange for a several quarters now. Of course, the challenging economic climate everywhere that has now become almost cliché has only exacerbated matters. It’s probably been too easy to miss the donate link given how little trickles in quarters apart, still I’m most grateful to those few.

Apart from the recurring fees for monthly server rental, the server and forum software license fees, the technical maintenance and upgrades which luckily I can mostly tackle with only the outlay of time, there is now a need for critical upgrade, especially of the storage due to the large amount of data for backups and stream of new data.

So, I’ll simply point out that donation link is at the top of most forum page, here . The available methods are credit card (through Google Checkout), Paypal (indirectly through 2Checkout), or check by snail mail. And every little bit helps.

I’ll leave this up for while as a sticky post -- long enough for those who might interested in helping to see it.


David Mason 09-15-2009 04:57 PM

Alex, Is the snail mail address available too?

Janice D. Soderling 09-15-2009 06:15 PM

David, Click on underlined "here" in the post above. Scroll down to the bottom.

Michael Cantor 09-15-2009 09:26 PM

I've just sent off an overdue contribution - Alex has always been clearly uncomfortable asking for money, and while this is normally an admirable quality in a person, it does not make for a good fund-raiser - and it's very obvious to me that if Alex comes out this bluntly and says that the Sphere needs money - The Sphere Needs Money!

I suspect that the situation with many of us has been what Alex hinted at. The donation link is overlooked, there is almost no pushing, and people forget to contribute. The Sphere is a massive asset for our community of poets, we need the occasional kick in the rear end to remind us that it doesn't come free and to help maintain it, the reminder has been administered, and I hope that as many as possible respond.

Thanks, Alex!

Rose Kelleher 09-15-2009 09:53 PM

Even embarrassingly small donations add up. At least, that's what I'm counting on (blush). If you're thinking of not donating at all, please consider making a really small donation so that mine won't look so bad.

David Mason 09-16-2009 09:49 AM

Got it. Donation on the way.

Simon Hunt 09-18-2009 11:13 AM

Sorry if this is a crass question, but I'd like to know how much of a donation seems appropriate to folks. I know giving what we can is appreciated, but how much does the sphere need from each of us to survive? I'm a schoolteacher with small children who may one day want to go to college, so I can't donate as freely as you childless gazillionaires, but I love it here even when not posting often. What sort of a donation-range seems appropriate to you guys? What would be a reasonable "subscriber's fee" here if we handled things that way?

(I pledge to donate some amount after I think on this for a bit...)

John Whitworth 09-18-2009 12:07 PM

I'm quite poor. Twenty quid is my thought. Though will you need it in dollars Alex? I THINK I can do paypal.

John Beaton 09-18-2009 12:14 PM

Simon, if you click on the Paypal link, and then on the 2Checkout one on the next screen, you'll find a list of suggested amounts ranging from $10 to $1,000.

I imagine that contribution levels will vary widely by individual and think it unlikely that the total will come near to compensating Alex for out-of-pocket expenses, far less time, so I don't think it's possible to give you a formula.

It might be helpful to look at it this way: "If I had to pay a fee to participate, above what price-point would I decline?" The answer to that question will reflect both a member's personal financial circumstances and the Board's value to them.


Allen Tice 09-20-2009 08:13 PM

Maybe a $10 (or equivalent) minimum membership per annum (or some multiple of that) starting after a six-month trial period would be reasonable. Where it might be most convenient, this could be remitted by cheque in USD sent directly to Alex's address by postal mail, thereby doing an "end-run" around the fees charged by credit cards and other services.

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