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Donations towards the costs of the site (Read 7409 times)
Nick
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Donations towards the costs of the site
08.06.2010 at 07:12:08
 
There is an interesting case where we know that a yacht has been sold through this website.

Not only was the contact made through an advertisement on here but I actually contacted the vendor by email to point out that somebody was interested.

So we know that the forum can help people shift gear and even boats. It seems to me that this should be the way to get a small revenue stream to fund the website fees. However in 15 years or so of running this website and forum I've had three donations, two were actual donations, the third was me selling some stanchion bases and the money going towards costs.

I've just had a 20 note sent to me by somebody who made a very modest sale through the site, and I'm most grateful. That's the largest contribution ever made to the site's running costs.

However it seems rather unfair that so few people contribute, and in this case quite disproportionately, especially when if you sell a whole yacht the savings are quite considerable.

I did wonder if perhaps it would help if I made donations easier to make. I do have a paypal account, and I've seen donate buttons used on fora before linked to paypal.

This is a topic open for discussion, I'd be interested in views. The forum takes very little of my time but it does cost me money, not much but over the years it builds up, and I think I need to find a way of minimising that.

I've got help now for when I go away, which is great, though Terry now has his boat up for sale too. (You can have that one for free Terry, good luck with the sale!)
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jack_roberts
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Re: Donations towards the costs of the site
Reply #1 - 09.06.2010 at 11:03:20
 
Nick

I Think putting a pay pal button on the site is a good idea, many people have an account, and most decent folks would be happy to leave a donation in the case of say the sale of a boat or other larger item.  

I have no idea what the costs involved in running the site, but It would not seem unreasonable to me for a nominal cover charge to cover these costs.  there seems to be an awful lot of " members" with not that much activity.  perhaps a tenner when gaining full access and posting rights,  As i say I have no idea of the costs involved and have no idea how much such a scheme would raise over time.  would that cover costs?

Given the imense wealth of information and advise available I dont think that many would have objections.  there of course may be a few.  

To me the availability of a bunch of experienced and knowlagable owners, and the wealth of information available on the archive is invaluable.

Cheers
Jack
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Nick
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Re: Donations towards the costs of the site
Reply #2 - 16.06.2010 at 06:31:10
 
The costs are very low, I spend about 70 a year with the host but part of that is historical as it includes 3 domain names, I could provide just the trapper bit for less I'm sure but it works well the way it is.

In addition I have to pay nominet to keep the registration of our domain name which is 24 a year, so my total expenses are 100 a year of which at least half is because I run this site.

It isn't much, but I've been doing it for around 12-15 years in one guise or another and it does mount up.

So to me the cost is so low that it would seem wrong to charge people a membershiop fee, but a donation when it saves you a few bob seems not unreasonable. Brokers fees were quite high last time I sold a boat and they don't do much for the money. I would have thought if you were lucky enough to sell a boat through here then a contribution of 100 wouldn't be unreasonable (providing you didn't still have to pay the broker)

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« Last Edit: 16.06.2010 at 06:46:25 by Nick »  

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Terry
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Re: Donations towards the costs of the site
Reply #3 - 16.06.2010 at 10:13:20
 
I will happily make a donation whether or not the boat gets sold.

I think adding a paypal donation on the site might be a quick and easy starting point.

The costs you have outlined are only costs you have needed to physically pay for hosting and domain name. It does not cover the time and effort spent to implement and adminster and moderate the site. (I know as I host several other sites for Yacht Clubs, Sailing Clubs and also a Class Association plus several (28) forums. IIn between all that I have a day job and have to try and get maintenance done on the two boats I own which leaves me very little time for sailing.
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Nick
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Re: Donations towards the costs of the site
Reply #4 - 16.06.2010 at 10:21:52
 
You making a donation is like me making a donation though, you have helped to run the site. It doesn't take much of my time, and knowing I can leave it for a month at a time now is a real treat.

I've seen a yellow button on a photo forum I use, that's what I was thinking of, though I don't actually know how to make that happen. The place for it would be in the message that starts the for sale forum I think.
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Re: Donations towards the costs of the site
Reply #5 - 16.06.2010 at 12:33:23
 
Nick

I have been watching this post with interest,  It is surprising to me that there have been no further replys!   given that there are plenty of people logging on.

You must have the patience of a saint, If it was left to me with such a display of apathy I would have chucked the towel in by now.  Thankfully you seem a trifle more level headed than I am.

Given the costs involved, would it not be possible to e mail members annualy stating the actual costs, and seeking a committment to a contribution  after a month or even two those who have responded could be then set the total required (divided amongst the total respondants)     the others could then perhaps be given notice of the closure of their account privaleges( posting viewing photos)  

the one downside i suppose is that year on year you may end up with dwindling numbers willing to contribute.  untill eventually you may be left on your own  LOL  

perhaps a voting button would help form an opinion.  other than that  as you are paying for the site I guess it is up to you to make a decision as what to do.  

Just put a pay pal button on and see what happens

Regards
Jack Wink
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Nick
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Re: Donations towards the costs of the site
Reply #6 - 18.06.2010 at 06:42:17
 
Terry has now added a paypal donation button to the post that explains about using the for sale board. (and made the first donation using it)

I'll add something to the post that explains how to use the board.

Thanks to those who replied to this thread.
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Re: Donations towards the costs of the site
Reply #7 - 18.06.2010 at 16:13:02
 
I have re-added the donate button now Nick.

If you only get donations when people sell there boats I am not sure you will come close to covering your annual cost for running the site. I might therefore suggest a annual notice/reminder to be sent to people about the option to donate. If you send a reminder out every year when you get your invoice for payment of the domain it might help you.
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Nick
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Re: Donations towards the costs of the site
Reply #8 - 18.06.2010 at 16:35:45
 
I mentioned the boat sales because I think that should be worth a couple of hundred of anybody's money if it cuts out a broker, but people are reluctant to part with hard cash like that.

One option might be to charge for an ad but that isn't my choice of how to move forward.

If this brings in just half the cost of running it I'd be happy, though there might be a bit of a rush and then donor fatigue sets in!

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« Last Edit: 18.06.2010 at 16:37:27 by Nick »  

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Re: Donations towards the costs of the site
Reply #9 - 13.09.2010 at 13:26:16
 
Personally I value the sense of community and information/experience exchange the site presents, so I'd be up for making a donation on an anual basis, just because i value it as a resource -- pretty sure I'm not alone.

I think the suggestion of a blanket annual email requesting donations via PayPal would be a helpful reminder, and anyone selling their boat could be prompted to donate - not just by Nick, but by all members - as even a 50 donation still makes for a fair profit on the seller side and respects the resource that facilitated it.
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Nick
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Re: Donations towards the costs of the site
Reply #10 - 13.09.2010 at 13:54:27
 
I think when people pay for something they usually expect a level of service.

I can't really offer much of that. The costs are very low and I think they should be met by those who get a financial benefit from the site, those who achieve a sale, particularly of a boat.

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Re: Donations towards the costs of the site
Reply #11 - 22.09.2010 at 12:32:42
 
This is a tricky one.
Personally, I also think that the exchange of information is valuable, and in itself worth paying a small fee. But ,as Nick suggested , folk might expect more than is currently on offer if they were paying an annual subscription.
A couple of ideas :-
All new ( and current ?) members of the site pay a small ,one off ,fee at the time of registration.
OR
Members wishing to post on the For Sale board, pay an advertising fee. ( if adverts the appear on other boards to avoid this fee, could the moderators remove them?)
I certainly wouldn`t want to discourage folk from using the site, but the ` honesty box ` arrangement doesn`t seem to be working.
Would sponsorship be an option?
This thread is bit quiet, I wonder what others think?
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Nick
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Re: Donations towards the costs of the site
Reply #12 - 22.09.2010 at 13:18:03
 
It'd a bit early to say the honesty box isn't working, it hasn't been there long and I've had about a third of this year's costs paid into it so far.

One boat sale and one owner paying a fair contribution for that benefit would certainly pay the site's costs for at least a year.

I could charge for use of the advertising forum and delete any ads placed elsewhere, but it isn't the way I would like to go.

If my circumstances change and I am unable to afford the erunning costs then I may be forced to look at alternatives, but at the moment that's where we are.
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Re: Donations towards the costs of the site
Reply #13 - 25.09.2010 at 19:39:08
 
I've just had a donation worth about 6 months of running the site from the boat sale that prompted this thread.

That's a great step forward for me, the largest single donation ever received.

I hope that now the subject has been aired and the paypal button has been put in place future sales will generate larger and more frequent donations when significant sales are achieved through the site.
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