Funding GardenPondForums.com

Ian

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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.
 

addy1

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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.
 
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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.
 

Ian

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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).
 
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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.
 
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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.
 

Ian

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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.
 
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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.
 

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