FUND RAISING: So far it's been an Italian soap opera........

Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
It would be funny if the site didn't depend on funds to keep running.
Now, we are all amateurs at this but there's no rule we can't get organized and come up with a method that will produce results in an orderly manner.

What I propose:
Two fund drives a year, on the equinox, that is 20 March and 22 September. As outdoors folks we surely ought to be aware of these dates and if we know they're coming we can get funds ready.

In early March and September have a few threads talking about the coming event so the slow ones have a chance to wake up.

A flat fee of twenty dollars to pay for the next six month.

Now here's the bite: If you don't pay, you don't post. Period. Be a member, that's fine, but if you want to partake then be willing to pay.
Before we get all the wails of lamentation started, be honest and look at how much you spend on all your gear and gas and what not to go camping. If you're flat assed poor your not going to go canoeing, you'll be looking for a second job. Or you damn sure ought to be.

Robin, God bless him, was much impressed when we got to 500 members. Then he was justifiability upset when out of that 500 only twenty or so responded. With these computers the numbers are not something to put much belief in. You may remember my DIY post about making an axe sheath? Well, according to the numbers 4,480 people looked at the post. Ha! In a pig's eye! I'd be very surprised if five people actually made an axe sheath as a result of reading that.

So, the real question is do we have enough genuine, faithful members to keep the site funded with this that I've outlined? I don't know but I think we do. To be realistic and fair, we need to have an organized method of raising funds where everybody has a chance, well in advance to plan and pay for their share of the site that we all enjoy. I think there needs to be some symbol in that square were your name is, showing that your dues have been received and your clear to post on the site.

The "system" that the site has run on so far is that the short fall is picked up by Robin. That is so not fair, and something that can't continue. Really, if there's not enough of us to pay for the site it ought to be knocked in the head and have done with it.

That's what I think anyway.

Rob
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
596
Location
Aberdeen, MD
Had no idea is was so bad... I belong to another site, where you get a little tag called "supporter" under your name. It's $36 a year, but has 25k members (not all of them are supporters). Supporters also get to put things up for sale/trade, add a signature under each post, and get to put a funny name under their 'supporter' tag. You can buy membership there for 3- and 6-month increments too, 3 for $10, 6 for $20, something like that. I know at least 3 people who are on this forum AND the other one (can't remember if they're supporters or not... I'm pretty sure one of them is.)

I'm ok with pay to post.

edit: I think there was a limit to the number of pics you could put in the other forum's album function too, based on whether you'd paid or not.
 
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Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,667
Location
Appleton, Maine
Interesting ideas, but I don't support pay to post or mandatory membership fees.

I recently installed 19 replacement windows in my house. I had never done it before, but I asked questions, read books and watched Youtube till I felt I had enough knowledge to tackle the job.
The first couple of windows took me literally days to get it right, the application was not the same as I had had been told or read about and I learned as I went. By the end of the project, I installed 4 windows in one day without a hitch.

My point is, I never meant to be a window installer or a website administrator, but to get what I really wanted I will try, persevere, and learn from my mistakes.
Like the windows, my wood canoes, my solo trips, each one gets a little better with time.

We are coming up on two years since the site was orphaned. In the beginning of that time frame, the membership and activity was so small, buying a license and paying for top notch support was out of the question. I had no experience with websites at all, but I thought the site had a very good nucleus of old SoloTrippers which I dearly missed so I went out on a limb, tried different things, spoke with some internet folks who each seemed to have a different approach and learned enough to keep the site afloat.

The site has grow and I expect it to continue to grow, and with time I hope my administrative duties will improve and "active" membership will increase. The Paypal button will stay up where it is, one little piece of commercialism we will have to live with, but I will give updates as to the financial viability of the site from time to time and hopefully that will give folks an idea of what's needed and when.

I'd like to put this whole thing to bed now, I apologized for suggesting the site might be shut down and the support via email, pm's and posts has been overwhelming. No changes in the site other than some grapics and better performance should be expected.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
4,363
Location
Ontario Canada
Italian soap opera? Just what do you get up to on those long winter afternoons? Never mind. I don't want to know. But I know what you mean. I like the idea of regular funding, twice a year. I'm not sure where, even maybe here, I remember seeing where nonmembers visiting couldn't view photos. There's another forum I visit which requires membership for a particular section of the forum. It's tricky, because you'd want to encourage membership, not discourage it. And of course all these ideas require yet more tech application from John and yet more $. I wouldn't want to see any kind of shaming. You know, like where a member's avatar might have a broken paddle below their name signifying a late payment. It sure is good to toss around ideas though. It's constructive and hopeful rather than defeatist and depressing.
My wife made two loaves of bread last night, and set them on the oven to second rise in their loaf pans. Last week's bread was gorgeous, golden topped, floury light and lovely scented. I love the smell of fresh bread in the kitchen. Any wonder why I sit with the laptop at the kitchen table? I swear I didn't touch the loaf pans though, because they didn't rise. She came back from her television show and just stood there staring at the loaves, while I sat there staring at the laptop, both of us hoping for better results. She for bread and I for donations. She baked them off this morning before heading out the door for work. I got the usual peck on the cheek, but I sensed something wasn't right. Oh oh.
I'm sitting here now munching on toast and peanut butter. The bread is absolutely awful, and isn't improved with toasting and a slathering of peanut butter. Oh well. We'll get through this somehow, maybe incorporate this flat bitter bread into a recipe somehow, and I'll go on to better bread next week. I hope.
There's no sense in giving up on baking bread. She's made wondrous things and she'll do so again. But what to do with this awful stuff? I suddenly wish we had ducks. And chickens.
I'm dissapointed there's such a small number of supporters. I'm hopeful those numbers will rise, and with it some stable funding for this forum. I'm encouraged to read of these kinds of ideas, looking forward to better days.
Aah. I just found a note from my domestic goddess. She doesn't mention the bread. She does say that she has plans for a quiche for tonight's supper. Yum.
Keep the funding ideas coming.
Arrivederci.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
Well Robin, You call the shots and I understand that's the way it's going to be.

But I really have a hard time with suspense, can you give a little hint? Will Luigi get on his Vespa and ride into the sunset, or will he make a honest woman of Rosa and do right by their unborn child?

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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I wanted to contribute on the bumper sticker fundraiser,but in my computer incompetence,I got confused how to do it. may be a foolproof donation method would work better?
Slow Turtle
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
1,133
Location
Minden, NV
I would be willing to pay to continue to use this site. The information on things like sitting vs kneeling in solo canoes is not readily available anywhere else. I really like all the boat builders and DYI equipment. Please keep it up.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2014
Messages
17
I'm new and have made a donation but I too would be willing to pay an annual, quarterly or monthly membership fee. Look at the cost of magazine subscriptions. You're lucky if you get one good bit of info out of it but are bombarded with all the ads.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
44
Location
Hickory, NC
I am on a fixed income, but am willing to pay to see this keep going and get better. It can do that if we all chip in and help. That's just my two cents.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
4,363
Location
Ontario Canada
context, content and character
Well, Robin says let's set this aside and move on. He'll lead. I'll follow. Membership fees make me a little uncomfortable, not that I'd be unwilling to pay, just that there's something to be said for a more casual approach to things. I bristle under bureaucracy. If more members feel more connected, then it stands to reason they might feel more inclined to support their forum, as opposed to just another place to visit and not feel any kinship. MikeM calls it his tribe. I like that.
I'm eating a late breakfast. I'm enjoying freshly baked bread. M made two beautiful loaves late last night. I knew she could do it. I sat at the kitchen table while she worked away, reminiscing about all the times we've done this, all the times we've shared. (and all the bread we've broken with family and friends, or just us two) On another thread ppine reminds me that context, not so much content, can be so important in our lives. Yes. Without a doubt. I've eaten better tasting bread than my wife's, but sitting here this morning I'd rather her's grace my plate or none at all.
This forum can and will evolve as time goes by. But the constant that will remain will be the casual character and openness of this place. No cliques or private clubs here. Good thing. I'd never remember the secret handshake. And please, don't get me started on passwords.
I'm off to meet up with my best friend. There's a cafe a block from his store we frequent about once a month. We've become regulars there over the past couple years. They know exactly what we'll order every time. A bottle of Chardonnay and two bagels-lox and cheese sandwiches. A dainty lunch for two gruff looking characters. Whatever. The crowd of patrons pile in and overflow onto the patio. We're sipping coffees by the time the crowd thins out again. The ladies who run the cafe seem to know everyone by name. But you know what? No matter how busy and bustling the tiny place gets, there's always room for more patrons to join the lunchtime crowd; for strangers to become regulars, and the lunchtime ladies to learn their names.
 
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