Funding GardenPondForums.com


Ian

Administrator
Joined
Jul 26, 2011
Messages
866
Reaction score
706
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United Kingdom
I've been running GPF for almost 10 years now and I'm so proud at what a friendly, helpful community this forum has become :). In that time, we've had a little bit of advertising for guest readers (i.e. members that aren't logged in), but no advertising for members when they're logged in to the site. Some years, this has paid enough to cover the costs of running the site (hosting, software licenses, etc...), but as time has gone on I've subsidised the site because I wanted to focus on the community and keep it advertising free for members.

As some of you may know, I've just gone through a divorce - so this combined with covid19 has meant that I'm not able to financially support the site to the extent that I did before. I've been thinking on how I can make it more sustainable, and I've come up with a couple of options that will ease the pressure. I wanted to run them past the community here and see what you think of the ideas. I just want to clarify that the site isn't going to be going anywhere, we'll all be here for a long time to come :D .

I'm considering either adding something like a "supporters" button, so that members can give a small donation to the running of the site and it means they'll get some extra features on here (and badge to indicate they support the site on their username, plus some other benefits that I can add to the site - I'm open to ideas!). By no means would this be anything other than optional, but it would mean that the site can remain advertising free for members and I'll be able to add more features to the site as I can purchase software license fees etc. The alternate option would be that I add a small amount of advertising for logged in members, and hope that ad-blockers aren't used and that the revenue is enough to start covering costs. I don't know how this option would look, but I wouldn't add anything intrusive if that was the route taken.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this, as I would hate to do anything that ruins the community we have here, so want to make any changes (if it goes ahead) in a way that is acceptable to all.
 
Ad

Advertisements

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
38,182
Reaction score
22,562
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
I would prefer the give some support option.

Ads are not bad, but unless someone buys from the ad you don't get funds or you do get funds just for having the ads on the site?

A couple forums I have been on have a special section for paid members. A lot of the forums do ask for a support donation.
 
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
708
Reaction score
495
Country
United States
I would rather keep it ad free too. I support members contributing to the costs. Thanks for running this site, Ian!
 
L

Lin

I would be willing to pay $10 per mo. to support your site. I haven't been here very long, but even in this short time I have saved money, time, and frustration.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
9,624
Reaction score
10,191
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
Same here @Ian . I'd be willing to pay to support the site. Ads are fine, too, if that's the route you decide to go, but like you said if someone gets around it with ad-blockers it won't help you. And many of us do that just to avoid the annoying stuff we get constantly on other sites.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2010
Messages
3,671
Reaction score
3,353
Location
Chicago Area
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
Hi Ian. I would be okay with a voluntary contribution. Thanks so much for keeping the site going all these years!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ian

Ian

Administrator
Joined
Jul 26, 2011
Messages
866
Reaction score
706
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United Kingdom
Thank you all, this is encouraging to know :) - I'd much rather avoid ads if possible too. I'll have a look at how it's possible to implement this sometime in August, as there's a new forum update coming out soon, so I can tie it in with that (adds new features, but the "look" of the site etc.. stays the same).
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jul 6, 2020
Messages
32
Reaction score
36
Location
Waco, TX
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
8a/b
Country
United States
I'm new and I would contribute. Is it wrong for us to ask how much you would need on an annual basis? I think everyone would like to help in a way that is meaningful.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ian
Joined
May 29, 2017
Messages
257
Reaction score
149
Hardiness Zone
5
Country
United States
I agree to the optional support button. I really like the idea of helping to contribute to add new features. Sounds a lot better than cluttering up the place with ads and just hoping it will be enough.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ian

Ian

Administrator
Joined
Jul 26, 2011
Messages
866
Reaction score
706
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United Kingdom
You are all very kind! I wouldn't want to put a figure on how much would be needed, as I don't want to pressure anyone in to feeling they need to donate - it would be entirely optional and just a small amount. I'll have a look in to how to do this in the coming weeks and keep you all updated :D.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2017
Messages
1,917
Reaction score
1,310
Location
North Oklahoma
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
United States
oooh, you could do a Meet the goal type thing, where you figure up how much is needed, and we pitch in what we can until that goal is met. And if that’s not working, maybe we could put up pond plants, pretty fish, spare supplies that we can ship and the profit goes to you. I know I’d be interested if there was a good liner repair kit! And after that, I’ll need more plants, so even if we have to do a fund raiser every year, we could try to find stuff we need or want from other forum members.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
1,866
Reaction score
1,177
Location
Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Hardiness Zone
6a
I'm OK with whatever is decided. A few ads here and there are not that bad as long as they aren't too obtrusive. Some forums I go on have them and after a while you just ignore them.

A boating forum I belong to funds itself by selling boat related merchandise. I don't know if that's feasible, but I just thought I'd mention that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ian
Ad

Advertisements

IPA

Joined
Aug 9, 2017
Messages
684
Reaction score
405
Location
63b Chesapeake-Pamlico Lowlands and Tidal Marshes
Hardiness Zone
8a
Country
United States
I like the idea of voluntary amount to contribute opposed to a premium amount across the board believing a few will give a lot and many will give a little. I am used to ads on other forums and ignore them. Happy to visit as a guest and click away if it helps. I do not like forums that have exclusive premium membership subs which non premium members cannot access. If what is given isn’t enough than maybe giving X amount will block ads but otherwise no one knows who gave and who didn’t and we all have access to the same content. Maybe a benefactor level of gift and if those that gave that amount want to be recognized they could be benefactors or something like that

feedback on this forum. Best Forum evah! Love the software and layout, way better than the other software a lot of other forums use.
Most friendly and helpful membership of any forum, most tolerant of others even when some go off on tangents.

cheers and thanks!
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
225
Reaction score
152
Showcase(s):
1
Country
United States
you could also see what it takes to do amazon affiliate links, some can go up to 50c per person who follows the link, and even more if they buy, or you could do sponsers, for example with a site like webbs online, they might give you x amount of money and a 20% off code for a shout out on a side bar, and then you could do a forum post every now and then shouting them out and linking to the site with there discount code :) just some ideas from generation x.

nano reefs does lots of sponsership things, and when visiting there site I have even seen sponsored giveaways, so deffinitly a simple option would be optional donation, but there are also many many more ways :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ian

Top