Now that Phil's birthday is over, let's move on to talking about our beloved capita£ester's favorite subject - money!
When this forum started in 2016, we signed on with a free to use host. At a certain point, that service was sold to another company that used a platform we were eager to stay away from so we signed up with a small business that was offering to help forums that found themselves refugees from the buyout with discounted service. We've been with them for three years now, and overall the service has been at a level we want to maintain.
Our Current Dilemma:
Unfortunately, that initial discounted rate has slowly been raised in increments over the years. This isn't an unexpected thing; they're a company trying to survive. For the first two years we paid $4.99/mo. Last year, it was increased to $9.99/mo. Now given the bandwidth strain that IDB places on their servers, they're asking us for $19.99/mo starting in March. It's not an unreasonable request - the truth is that up until now they were asking us for very little in exchange for hosting a forum of this size and traffic. Even when things appear slow, our analytics prove that this site is visited and used as a resource by many people that don't even have an account.
What We Wanna Do About it:
Our fundraising goals in the past have always been to ensure that we had enough money to last the coming year. Any amounts that we came up short after doing our yearly ask for donations would be covered by the mod team out of pocket, but that is no longer a sustainable long-term plan. At present, with the price increase, we only have enough to cover the next six months.
In exchange for opening up to year-round donations, we will offer an update on our forum finances regularly. We do not need nor do we want to raise more than enough to ensure the forum will remain open for a year at a time, and we will state when we have reached that level. This forum was started in March, and our price increase is happening in March, so our year in forum terms will run March-Feb. Having extra money past the year-in-advance mark in our account serves us no purpose, therefor anything we have in donations over that amount will be donated to a charity that we'll pick as a group, forum-wide.
We have added a donate button to the forum that you can find along the bottom, as well as refreshing our Redbubble shop, which will remain open year round now with periodic updates. The redbubble shop is more as a perk for users who want something material; the share we get of each sale is minimal, though in the past with lowered expenses it was nice padding to our fund. The most direct and beneficial way to donate is through Paypal.
Thanks for sticking with us. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here. This forum means a lot to all of us working on it behind the scenes. And, come on - Dan and Phil are building their own house, we all need IDB around we can speculate on where that polarizing green feature wall is situated!
Post questions, comments, concerns, and suggestions about this forum here.
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Just like alittledizzy I'm feeling a little emotional here. It has sometimes felt like IDB is hanging on by a thread, and since we won't allow ads to be shown on the site our options for paying for it's upkeep have been limited. It's a huge relief to know that we're able to keep things going for another year, so here's a huge thank you to those that have donated so far, the rest of the mod team for their work, and also to those that simply visit the forum to read or post!