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Dear WRConnected Users: WOW! Our fourth "birthday"! We've grown so much over the past four years, and much of that is because of you, the amazing WRConnected Users. But like any other website, there are costs associated with running it. As some of you may already know, we accept donations. Some of you have made donations (thank you!). This helps cover some of the background costs associated with running this site. If every user were to donate $1 we would more than cover our yearly expenses. If WRConnected is useful to you, take a minute and help keep it online for another year. Any donation is helpful. Thank you.

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Site Funding
#46
I like the idea of some sort of progress bar, knowing the shortfall can spur people to donate more... I have no idea how much hosting costs these days, aeons ago I had a personal .com site and it only ran me 60$ a year or something stupid like that but I don't know what kind of bandwidth or database stuff that bought me and I didn't have to license forum software either.
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#47
(07-11-2018, 05:55 PM)Rainrider22 Wrote:
(07-11-2018, 05:53 PM)jeffster Wrote: I'm not sure they would get any sort of "Premium" content, other than perhaps not getting any info about donations. This is what Wikipedia does.

It also would add the word "Premium" or whatever you want, and I'll give you an example (this is from dslreports.com).

USERNAME
join: 2013-09-08
level: 4 loc:
Kitchener, ON
Premium Member
reviews: posts:
2327 online: Now!

Only paid members have "Premium Member" listed.

However, I was thinking about it more, what you could do is this: For the regulars who can't afford to donate, keep their username the same colour as any other unpaying member. However, if one donates (perhaps a minimum yearly), they could have an alternate colour.
Regulars should donate. It can be a little 2 dollars or one dollar. If you can afford the internet, you can afford that...

I would agree.

The only issue I see for Spokes is if he 'earns' too much. Does it become like a PT job at that point? Taxable income?

To me, this is more than a hobbyist site. You can tell it's not geared to generating income for the owner too. It falls somewhere in between those two.
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#48
(07-11-2018, 11:07 PM)jeffster Wrote:
(07-11-2018, 05:55 PM)Rainrider22 Wrote: Regulars should donate. It can be a little 2 dollars or one dollar. If you can afford the internet, you can afford that...

I would agree.

The only issue I see for Spokes is if he 'earns' too much. Does it become like a PT job at that point? Taxable income?

To me, this is more than a hobbyist site. You can tell it's not geared to generating income for the owner too. It falls somewhere in between those two.

True,  I personally am comfortable with any extra money going to him as a "honorarium" for all his efforts. If not for him, we wouldn't be utilizing the site.   After that, it is between Spokes and CRA.
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#49
Now that payday is tomorrow, I just threw 20 bucks towards this community since it's a great resource with mostly great people. Smile

Amazon link would not really work for me since I may spend about 100 bucks a year there.
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#50
(07-12-2018, 06:22 AM)Rainrider22 Wrote:
(07-11-2018, 11:07 PM)jeffster Wrote: I would agree.

The only issue I see for Spokes is if he 'earns' too much. Does it become like a PT job at that point? Taxable income?

To me, this is more than a hobbyist site. You can tell it's not geared to generating income for the owner too. It falls somewhere in between those two.

True,  I personally am comfortable with any extra money going to him as a "honorarium" for all his efforts. If not for him, we wouldn't be utilizing the site.   After that, it is between Spokes and CRA.

I feel like I shouldn't be surprised anymore, but the generosity of this community continues to astound me!  Thank you everyone for your support, kind words and donations.  You all rock!
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#51
(07-11-2018, 11:51 AM)Spokes Wrote:
(07-11-2018, 11:28 AM)Canard Wrote: Whoah, I rarely visit the front page, and I just noticed that too - that's a big red flag.

Also +1 on the fundraising goal thingie - I just make a donation every now and then but have no idea how much I'm helping.  I don't know if it costs $50 or $1000 a month to operate...

Mybb doesn't have any plugins for an ongoing goal. So it would just have to be updated manually.  Which I'm happy to do, I just worry about what happens when it doesn't get updated for a couple weeks.  Is that an issue, do you guys think?

Also, do I just keep the goal at the bare minimum for operating costs?  I mean I'd like to eventually raise more so that a) there's a buffer if we're ever short and b) so things could eventually be upgraded (aka server, software, etc)

Thoughts?

I think some info on what the costs are would go a long way to helping people size donations. I've always donated $10 in the past as that's been the suggestion, but I'd happily donate $20 or more if it was clear that's what the site costs. I don't think you need to go crazy with audited financial statements or anything like that, but something saying:
  • Raised: $200 this year
  • Target: $500 this year
  • Costs:
  • Hosting $240
  • Software $200
  • Reserve $60
If I saw that I'd probably donate $50 rather than $10, but right now I just have no idea how close you are to covering costs or what the costs are, so I end up donating the default amount. The target doesn't have to be bare minimum operating costs, I'd just want to know what it is and why. And if you said hosting costs were $50/month or something, there's lots of technical people here that could help you move to something lower cost, rather than leaving you to get ripped off by a bad hosting company.
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#52
I've been looking for some kind of funding tracker that is "pretty" and been coming up short, so Taylor, I think what you're proposing makes a lot of sense.

My goal which has always been a bit of a pipe dream is to have two years worth of expenses covered that way if something happened and no donations were made one year, we'd be covered. (worst case scenario, I know)
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#53
^ What Taylor said, I have no problems donating but have no idea if the amounts I've donated are in line, too little, too much, compared to where you're at with things. I saw the new message at the top tonight and now I'm thinking the coffers are empty again?!
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#54
They're not empty
I don't have the capability to exclude people from the announcement at the top, it goes to everyone.

I added the target/progress tracker to the support us page to track where we're at
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Launched in August 2014, Waterloo Region Connected is an online community that brings together all the things that make Waterloo Region great. Waterloo Region Connected provides user-driven content fueled by a lively discussion forum covering topics like urban development, transportation projects, heritage issues, businesses and other issues of interest to those in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and the four Townships - North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich.

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