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Old 20.03.2008, 12:00
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Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

There has been a number of laudable fund raising events proposed for the English Forum over the past few days, and much as I would like to both participate and contribute, its not clear to me how this is going to be handled. Can someone provide some clarification please ?

dave
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Old 20.03.2008, 12:10
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

Has anybody thought about selling advertising space in EF..? Not just any kind of advert, only advertisements which would provide goods and services to English speaking expats living in Switzerland.
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Old 20.03.2008, 12:16
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

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Has anybody thought about selling advertising space in EF..? Not just any kind of advert, only advertisements which would provide goods and services to English speaking expats living in Switzerland.
I believe Mark mentioned something about this last year when the donate button came about... ...But I think he wanted to avoid commercialisation of the forum. Maybe the mods can comment more on this.
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Old 20.03.2008, 12:22
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

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Has anybody thought about selling advertising space in EF..? Not just any kind of advert, only advertisements which would provide goods and services to English speaking expats living in Switzerland.
Oh please no...I think we have enough advertising in the world, and it's certainly not difficult to post specific information in the commercial section...Further, if you benefit as a company it's also not difficult to simply donate! Just my opinion...

Jack
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Old 20.03.2008, 12:57
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

I think it would be useful to create a new "Benefits" section, perhaps under Activities. I would be more likely to attend something if I knew EF was going to benefit from it. Being able to go to a single page to see what upcoming events were going to donate money would be easier.
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Old 20.03.2008, 13:10
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

Re advertising, ToyTown Munich (err, Germany) does ads and Editor Bob has found (IMO) a good way to integrate them into the community.

See here (top right corner): http://www.toytowngermany.com/
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Old 20.03.2008, 13:29
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

There are many aspects of this to consider. Right now, the sole purpose is to ensure the forum exists and continues to do so at this difficult time. Donations are being handled in an extremely transparent manner - there is one person holding the funds (me) but there are others who know who and how much (3-4 people).

There will be no changes in the short term and, in the coming weeks, things should become clearer. I cannot say any more because I don't have all of the information yet - and more importantly, I believe EF should be lower on the "things to do" list at this time.

The generocity of many EFers has astounded us all. We will ensure these events (and the funds raised) will be handled correctly and in an accountable manner.

Mark touched many people's lives - and they're showing they recognise that.

There are many factors which may define direction and when we know that, we will inform everyone; we are also 110% aware of how Mark wanted EF to function and will also respect that ideal.
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Old 20.03.2008, 13:44
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

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There are many aspects of this to consider. Right now, the sole purpose is to ensure the forum exists and continues to do so at this difficult time. Donations are being handled in an extremely transparent manner - there is one person holding the funds (me) but there are others who know who and how much (3-4 people).

There will be no changes in the short term and, in the coming weeks, things should become clearer. I cannot say any more because I don't have all of the information yet - and more importantly, I believe EF should be lower on the "things to do" list at this time.

The generocity of many EFers has astounded us all. We will ensure these events (and the funds raised) will be handled correctly and in an accountable manner.

Mark touched many people's lives - and they're showing they recognise that.

There are many factors which may define direction and when we know that, we will inform everyone; we are also 110% aware of how Mark wanted EF to function and will also respect that ideal.
I know that Lob is respecting people's privacy by putting no names to the list of people "knowing" how much and from whom contributions are coming but I am more than happy to say I am one of those and Lob is handling this in a manner Mark would have approved of - full transparency.

Taking this further, the ideal of these donations is to keep the forum free from advertising in any intrusive way. That said donations, as is typically the case, will dry up once Mark's sad passing has moved to the back of the memory of many. The forum still needs to survive. For that reason several people are thinking about how this might best be managed and certainly there are several options that need to be considered one of which is that of advertising. That option, however, would very much be lower on the list than the concept of running events to make a profit with said profit being used to continue the Englishforum.

Whatever the decisions are that are currently being made, these are just a holding strategy until such times as Mark's immediate family and Lynn decide on how the forum should go forward. We therefore ask that you show some patience until they can find the time and motivation to make such decisions.

Richard
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Old 20.03.2008, 15:26
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

Could you also scan a pink slip or give account details so people could make anonymous donations at the Post office?
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Old 20.03.2008, 15:56
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

In general terms, what are the costs associated with a forum of this nature?

I dont mean, how many swiss francs does it cost. I rather mean, what incurs the costs?

Is it buying servers to hold the data? Paying an ISP, or whatever? Im not an IT specialist, Im just curious and would be interested to know more about it.
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Old 20.03.2008, 16:06
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

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Could you also scan a pink slip or give account details so people could make anonymous donations at the Post office?
Excellent idea... You know my feelings about Paypal!!!
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Old 20.03.2008, 16:08
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

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In general terms, what are the costs associated with a forum of this nature?

I dont mean, how many swiss francs does it cost. I rather mean, what incurs the costs?

Is it buying servers to hold the data? Paying an ISP, or whatever? Im not an IT specialist, Im just curious and would be interested to know more about it.
As Mark handled all of the finances for the server, the actual costs are still not completely known to us. We'll be working on figuring all of that stuff out. The server administration and moderation is all volunteer work.
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Old 20.03.2008, 16:10
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

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In general terms, what are the costs associated with a forum of this nature?

I dont mean, how many swiss francs does it cost. I rather mean, what incurs the costs?

Is it buying servers to hold the data? Paying an ISP, or whatever? Im not an IT specialist, Im just curious and would be interested to know more about it.

What we do know is in Mark's post about donations that can be found here.
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Old 20.03.2008, 16:17
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

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Could you also scan a pink slip or give account details so people could make anonymous donations at the Post office?
Yes you can go to the post office and give cash over the counter with the pink slip and not put your name on.
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Old 20.03.2008, 16:38
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

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In general terms, what are the costs associated with a forum of this nature?

I dont mean, how many swiss francs does it cost. I rather mean, what incurs the costs?

Is it buying servers to hold the data? Paying an ISP, or whatever? Im not an IT specialist, Im just curious and would be interested to know more about it.
Primarily it is:

The cost of hosting be it virtual of physical
The cost of domain renewal
Software license costs
Administration and traffic costs.

Under administration there are such things as managing DNS, providing a firewall, managing IP addresses, running backups etc

If the forum is physically hosted ie it owns the computer then the administration costs fall away but you have hardware costs additionally such as new disks, new processors more memory etc.

The typical cost of route a or route b works out more or less the same and varies between CHF 200 and 500 per month. It is possible to get lower cost solutions but these tend to limit quite heavily the traffic. Once above a certain point you either pay per MB/GB or you get cut off. The general price difference between the 200 and 500 franc solutions really is down to the professionalism of the hosting organisation. The more "professional" the more expensive - but not necessarily the more flexible nor better.

Does that make sense!
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Old 20.03.2008, 18:22
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

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Yes you can go to the post office and give cash over the counter with the pink slip and not put your name on.
That was the whole point of my question Einstein Now do you have that pink slip?
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Old 20.03.2008, 18:47
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

200-500 per month?? Holy expensive, Batman! Thanks for telling us. I had no idea it was that expensive... Eeks. It's all intangible to us non-technically users.

Another forum that I'm on*, has set up a voluntary "subscription". You pay $15 per year to be a "friend" of the site. It's voluntary, & you don't get any more or less than those that don't pay. Well, you do get a different icon on your profile to let everyone know that you are a subscriber. It's clear that those who are more active in the site all have the little icon. I'm all proud of my little "friend" icon! (eeks, sad, really just a bunch of pixels! )

That site has 130,000 members and in the end the owner had to go with ads. The nice thing is that all the ads are related to the topic of the forum, to the point where they are even graphically compatible. Most of the ads are in fact useful to the members.




*yes, just these two! no time for more than that! Sheesh, if I find any more interesting forums, I'll have to give up my freelance work & my hobbies!
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Old 20.03.2008, 19:07
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

Gosh, that is a lot AND it's not counting all the man-hours.

I reckon the option where you have to pay a (manageable) "membership" sum for fancy extras using up space/bandwidth would probably be fairest. I'd certainly do it.
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Old 20.03.2008, 20:16
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

Assuming the current system is not broken, I see no need to fix it.
Time will tell once the admins get a handle on things.

Or another way: it could be a bad system we have currently, but any other donation systems would probably be worse...
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Old 20.03.2008, 20:33
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Re: Fund Raising Policy of The Forum

Whatever happens please don't let it end up like this...
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