THIS WEBSITE NEEDS YOU - SERIOUSLY!
This website is perpetually in arrears & will not survive without regular donations! Of course, we appreciate not all of you are in the same financial position, but we do have over 18000 members & if just half of you donated we would never have to worry about money again. We value your support, so if you can afford it please stop us worrying by making a donation. There is a thread on running costs here.

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Thread: This forum needs donations to survive!

  1. #73
    the devil's avocado Moderator Paul's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GyroLady
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    I love the ebay link. I've managed to train myself to (almost all the time) only buy stuff via the link and I hope it makes a small difference.
    It's only a few quid a month, but everything helps, thank you
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    Incidentally, the Android app is costing me an extra tenner a month and has had 260+ installs - but since this has happened donations have fallen. I'm currently thinking about how much I should charge for advertising, as I need to do something and we're at risk of becoming unsustainable again.

  2. #74
    Bimbling around GyroLady's Avatar
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    Bugger. Is there any way on putting the donations link onto the app. Maybe so it flashes up?

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  3. #75
    the devil's avocado Moderator Paul's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GyroLady
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    Is there any way on putting the donations link onto the app. Maybe so it flashes up?

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    It's currently under the settings menu... I can't get it to work from within the app, so maybe I need to move it somewhere more convenient, or something
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  4. #76
    Bimbling around GyroLady's Avatar
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  5. #77
    the devil's avocado Moderator Paul's Avatar
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    In the last few months donations have dropped again, and so I'm going to take on the suggestion to remove the arbitrary progress bar and see if that makes any difference - of course, people using mobiles don't see that anyway, but let's see what happens...

  6. #78
    Linky not working for me

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  7. #79
    the devil's avocado Moderator Paul's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Karinofnine
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    Linky not working for me

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    This should work...


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  8. #80
    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Like many on here im perpetually broke but ill do what i can end of month when ive sorted my MOT.

    As far as ongoing funding to make the site sustainable and not disappear due to lack of funds like the other hippy site did,you and the members are maybe going to have to change the inbuilt hippy ethos and start charging for/paying for membership.
    Im not here all of the time but id rather pay an annual membership than see it fold and i dont think its entirely fair that you should be funding it for the benefit of 18000 users and with only limited help from users.

    I can think of a few forums im in or been in, that have faced similar routine dire funding issues until an annual membership has been introduced -usually around 20 a year -with a few perks thrown in like discounts with certain commercial partners ie green flag or halfords or an insurance company (theyre just arbitrary examples)...but it might help you put the forum on a more sustainable financial footing.A few people will moan like fuck and say youre profiteering but assholes like that exist everywhere,I think the vast majority of us who use this place appreciate what you do and how difficult it is to maintain and finance it.
    If you wont go the membership route then I think it might help if we knew how much it costs you to run the site per month so we can all assess how much we can afford to spare to help you....i think maybe you need to look at payment systems too.
    I know your stated position and thats fair enough but many people vehemently dislike paypal(me included but i do use it) but you could perhaps look at other ways for people to pay you like buying you amazon gift vouchers or some other method that would help you and the member with an amicable method of payment.I know a couple of site owners who adopt this approach and seems to work well...just a suggestion though...it is afterall your site.

    As for the Android app you should have launched it with an annual subscription 5 ish.If members want the convenience of an app they should accept its going to cost them.Many other services charge app subscriptions so why not ukh? I think you should look at that...Its cost you time and money to develop and as good as you are for doing it, youre not a charity.
    Thats my pennyworth of thoughts anyhow
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  9. #81
    Peace Practitioner! Cobra's Avatar
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    I dont have a paypal account(and dont want one either)so if there is another option to donate,please let me know x
    You are the creator of your own reality!
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  10. #82
    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    I cant edit my earlier post but meant to include something i picked up on in your pm to members concerning 'the site is free and always will be' mantra...to be fair so is Facebook but it comes with a hefty price of data mining and interminable tedious advertising.I have a bigger objection to adverts and targeted advertising than i do to membership fees.
    One I choose to pay for, the other is content forced on me whether i like it or not and that gets my back up more than anything and the most likely reason i stop using websites that push adverts.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...
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  11. #83
    the devil's avocado Moderator Paul's Avatar
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    Rather than quoting everyone, I'll cover a few points above that I've made before in case people have missed them.

    Nobody is ever obligated to prioritise this website over their day to day survival - yes we do need money, but it's not fair to shame people for being skint -- I've been close to homeless myself in the past, and as such I do understand the meaning of poor.

    This is why there isn't a membership fee, a list of donors, or any special privileges that can't be gotten some other way - the ethos of this website is to try our hardest to be as egalitarian and inclusive as possible, which means offering a space for people no matter what their ability or financial situation is.

    As for paypal, I know some people have an issue with it, but it has the lowest transaction rate, is compatible with the site software (thank you messages etc.) and keeps things separate from my own personal and business finances - if I were to use another processor I'd have to update the site software and link it closer to my other accounts. I don't discount it for the future, but Paypal does serve its purpose here.

    The above is also the issue with paid advertising - any "business" route takes this site out of the" hobbyist" domain and into the professional domain, and in doing so it becomes subject to a different set of rules with tax, data protection and so on - it puts it on the radar and adds a different level of responsibility, and will potentially cost even more to run.

    If I ever introduce site-managed advertising it will need to follow the highest possible ethical criteria (vegan, non exploitative of humans, ecologically sound, sustainable and so on) - if we endorse anything, or allow anyone to partner with us, it will need to be worth it and we'll need to hit the ground running.

  12. #84
    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Youre quite right,youve made those points a number of times as to why you wish things to remain exactly the same for your tax and other personal reasons but equally youre regularly having to remind people theyre not donating enough to sustain the site.Its a bit of a circular discussion thats gone on for some time and nothing has changed.
    You say you dont wish to shame people but the forum is plastered with nag screen panels (huge ones now)and so are the threads so how is that different to shaming?
    Plenty of us have been or are homeless- including myself -and in dire straights financially so its not exactly a comfortable feeling being nagged about making a contribution to the site running costs when its not possible to.I would gladly do so regularly if I were in that position.

    You could conceivably have more people contributing if other methods were available but you refuse to chamge the payment method because it suits you...fair enough,as I said its your site,your personal arrangements but if you want more people to contribute then why do you make it so difficult for some to do so?
    The membership suggestion need not be any kind of elitist thing,just a supporter membership for those who feel more able to contribute,no other members need know.But might give you an option to regularise income for the site.

    i appreciate advertising is sometimes the only thing that keeps sites viable,but any advertising(including vegan or eco sustainable) is annoying (to me at least but im an old git).Then you get the potential arguement of propagandising to suit your ethos when there are plenty on here who perhaps dont feel the same way.Websites are always better with no ads and no hidden or overt agenda peddling.

    Im not criticising -im unpopular enough on here as it is- but if you want to try and make the site more financially stable then realistically youre going to have to make changes. Nagging people constantly to cough up and help out is not a great way to win friends and its not a great image for the site IMHO.
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  13. #85
    HedgeDruid JonnyBrush's Avatar
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    I'll help very soon...
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  14. #86
    the devil's avocado Moderator Paul's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by NomadicRT
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    Youre quite right,youve made those points a number of times as to why you wish things to remain exactly the same for your tax and other personal reasons but equally youre regularly having to remind people theyre not donating enough to sustain the site.Its a bit of a circular discussion thats gone on for some time and nothing has changed.
    It can be frustrating, but this site is still here in spite of being close to closing a couple of times. In fact, until three months ago it was the most sustainable it had ever been, which is why I could afford to go for the Android app.


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    Originally Posted by NomadicRT
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    You say you dont wish to shame people but the forum is plastered with nag screen panels (huge ones now)and so are the threads so how is that different to shaming?
    The current banner is the same size as the previous one, and it's not personally focused - I either make it "in your face" and change it occasionally, or I don't mention it - and if I don't mention it people forget - a bit like wandering past a familiar building and never noticing until it gets demolished.



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    Originally Posted by NomadicRT
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    Plenty of us have been or are homeless- including myself -and in dire straights financially so its not exactly a comfortable feeling being nagged about making a contribution to the site running costs when its not possible to.I would gladly do so regularly if I were in that position.
    The last time I sent out a mass PM was in March 2016 - it's hardly nagging. Yes there is a banner, there needs to be, but apart from that it's just this thread - it also states that we understand that not everyone is in the same position.


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    Originally Posted by NomadicRT
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    You could conceivably have more people contributing if other methods were available but you refuse to chamge the payment method because it suits you...fair enough,as I said its your site,your personal arrangements but if you want more people to contribute then why do you make it so difficult for some to do so?
    Paypal is highly accessible and widely used - it isn't me making it difficult when people refuse to use a widely accepted system. If I was to use Worldpay (for example) or Bitcoin there would be a different set of issues and undoubtedly a different set of objections.

    However, it isn't just about me "refusing" - it's about working with what I actually have in front of me that isn't going to take a massive amount of time, a new learning curve or another financial investment. Believe it or not, this site eats considerably into my time, and as much as I don't mind, I simply don't have the resources to give up any more of it.


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    Originally Posted by NomadicRT
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    The membership suggestion need not be any kind of elitist thing,just a supporter membership for those who feel more able to contribute,no other members need know.But might give you an option to regularise income for the site.
    Well how would it be advertised if nobody knows? I don't means test people when they sign up, and I don't intend to have a little supporters forum where only they can post -- I'm not sure how it would work, and I don't want people like yourself to be excluded.


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    Originally Posted by NomadicRT
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    i appreciate advertising is sometimes the only thing that keeps sites viable,but any advertising(including vegan or eco sustainable) is annoying (to me at least but im an old git).Then you get the potential arguement of propagandising to suit your ethos when there are plenty on here who perhaps dont feel the same way.Websites are always better with no ads and no hidden or overt agenda peddling.
    It's not about propaganda, it's about minimising objections and potential for causing offence - if this site is to be inclusive it needs to consider the lowest common denominator and aim for the highest possible standard. It's a case of damned if I do, damned if I don't.



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    Originally Posted by NomadicRT
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    but if you want to try and make the site more financially stable then realistically youre going to have to make changes.
    But if I bring in membership options then people like yourself would potentially be excluded - and that's what I have succesfully managed to avoid thus far.

    Between charging a membership fee, annoying people with ads (and managing the system) or asking people to donate, the latter is still the best option for simplicity or keeping the site inclusive.


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    Originally Posted by NomadicRT
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    Nagging people constantly to cough up and help out is not a great way to win friends and its not a great image for the site IMHO.
    I covered this above, but to add to that we have 18000 members, and if half of those contributed a fiver just once this site would be sustainable for several years.

    If the "nagging" offends you so much, all you need to do is ignore it and nobody will think anything less of you. Of course there would certainly be an issue if everyone was in your boat, but thankfully they're not, and so on we go...

  15. #87
    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    The point i made about a supporter membership was that other non paying members need not know who is a paying supporter or not,everyone gets the same access but you could sweeten the deal offering some other benefits like store discount or whatever.

    What ive tried to do,obviously unsuccessfully, is offer some alternative options but youve deconstructed what ive said simply to maintain the status quo.If youre more or less happy with the way things are and dont want to change anything at all then dont make a song and dance about funds being dire.You dont want to change anything because it upsets your methods but expect everyone else to change theirs -ie use of paypal- to suit you...why should they when you wont change how you operate.

    Yes in a pefect world if 18000 users contributed something everything would be hunky dory but that isnt the case.Despite the 18000 users its probably more realistic to say around 200 individuals use it often, regularly or daily and its those users who are most likely to want to support the forum and who benefit most from it...maybe, just maybe they might be persuaded to buy a loyal supporter membership? Who knows it might even be a more sustainable income model than spurious monthly donations...i dont know for sure as we only get to know when youre asking for more donations.

    Anyhow ive tried to offer some constructive ideas,Ive no more to add,we just go back into the never ending cyclical discussion which is pointless...i dont do pointless.
    Last edited by NomadicRT; 08-07--2017 at 02:38 AM.
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  16. #88
    Radiant Being Lightbringer's Avatar
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    I paid a membership fee, I'd probably be dead by now if I'd not found this place

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  17. #89
    journeyman rumpusmany's Avatar
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    I am not a member of Paypal,when I can afford todonate to UK Hippy I use Paypal as a guest,it's easy to use,they don't keep my details I give an e-mail address for a receipt and UK Hippy sends me one. Simples
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  18. #90
    Would introducing a paid membership make this a for-profit site and incur the wrath of the taxman? Also something to think about: would people still donate that fiver a month if they were paying a 20 a year membership fee? Would you get more people paying for membership than in donations if there was no benefit to being a paid member? If there was a real benefit, would that be fair on those who cant afford a membership?

  19. #91
    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    I dont know what the perfect solution is and its not our site to decide a solution,its Pauls.Ive just thrown a few ideas into the tumble drier and see what happens,ultimately the never ending saga of funding needs to be sorted out to gaurantee the future of the site,not a decision any of us users can make.
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  20. #92
    the devil's avocado Moderator Paul's Avatar
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    I spend between 30 and 60 hours a month maintaining this website (occasionally more) and I don't get paid for it. I love it though, and I love that this place has outlasted many other sites and that it has brought a great deal of people together and that it exists as a relatively independent community in an ocean of contention and sameness.

    At the moment I just don't have the money, resources or time to make huge changes or commercialise it or to go looking for supporter deals, or bring in other payment options or any of the things that have been suggested. This frustrates me, and it frustrates me more that doing so would necessitate me turning it into a business, both for legal reasons and that it would have to replace some of my actual work - along with the possibility that some people would potentially be excluded, and I don't particularly want to exclude anyone if I can avoid it.

    I do the best I can, which sometimes means a little nudge to keep the donations coming in.
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  21. #93
    Radiant Being Lightbringer's Avatar
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    Thank you for all you do paul and all the other moderator's

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  22. #94
    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    No one,least of all me.is criticising what you do and everyone appreciates your efforts.Merely making suggestions that might help take off the pressure of financially sustaining the site so dont constantly have to remind everyone of the need for money.One really good hippy site has already vanished due to lack of funds (spurious donations from members) and preferably this one wont disappear the same way.
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  23. #95
    Afloat ... or adrift? marshlander's Avatar
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    Paul, have you a feel for the impact of the different methods you use for raising funds? For me the most effective method is the direct reminder via the private message. The banner and the funding progress bar, however visible, are a bit like living near a railway line and easy to switch off after a while. I realise it doesn't help you if you don't have a regular sum coming in, but if, for example, you felt the direct mail approach is effective, as it is with me, would it help to split the members on your mailing list database into groups and send messages out more regularly, but not always to same people each time? I understand that could be a nightmare to set up initially, but it might help spread the frequency when members in general receive reminders, without them feeling overburdened with begging messages, and up the frequency with which you receive donations. Could such a process be automated in some way once it is in place?

    Thanks for all your work keeping it all going.


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  24. #96
    the devil's avocado Moderator Paul's Avatar
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    Yes I'm thinking about something like this actually - I don't want to repeatedly nag everyone, but it might be a bit less intrusive to send out a monthly message instead of the large banner - and it works on every platform. Frequency vs targeting would be a bit more difficult though.

    Something to consider.
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