Ozformers Transformers Club of Australia (otca.com.au)

Ozformers Transformers Club of Australia (otca.com.au) (http://www.otca.com.au/boards/index.php)
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-   -   Ozformers Donations & Member Donor Status (http://www.otca.com.au/boards/showthread.php?t=21583)

griffin 13th September 2015 08:27 PM

Ozformers Donations & Member Donor Status
This site costs between $2000-$3000 per year to maintain, and it keeps getting more expensive each year.
Since the costs have been covered by one person so far, it has been necessary to allow members to donate money to keep this site running as those costs grow. It is a structured donation scheme that is voluntary, transparent, and if it works, it will offer rewards to those who donate.

(Read everything carefully before committing to anything.)

First, we need to see what proportion of our members are willing to do basic Donations towards the running of this site, before looking at expanding it into a rewards/incentive scheme (which will make it more complex and more complicated, but fairer for those wanting to contribute here financially). It will also help us learn how to administrate it while it is still a simpler scheme, and then have a better idea later how to expand it.

Now we have the Donor status concept (people can donate in lots of $10 to earn a 12-month Donor status, that rewards them for their generosity).

A voluntary payment system for this site needs to have...
- a voluntary amount or multiple dollar options so that there isn't one fixed amount that is too high or too low.
- a reward or incentive scheme for those greater dollar/payment options.
- if there is a set time-frame for the dollar amounts (monthly, yearly), it has to allow for upgrading that is easy to do and not confusing.
- an easy way of keeping track of the amounts paid and how long they last for (month or year).

So, it will be a little like an annual Club subscription, with your donation earning you 12 months of "Donor Status", with the level based on how much you donate.

- Each Donor level is worth $10. (at this early stage there is no need to donate more than that amount if you were wanting to donate, as I want to see how a basic donation scheme works here).
- Only Members who are Basic, Dedicated, Deluxe and Staff Members can donate, to earn the Donor Status.
- A listing of paid people (only) will be posted on the board in the Meets section, with their current Donor Level noted for transparency, and for prize drawings. It is in the Meets Section here, to keep the general public from seeing it, and will be updated periodically as payments come in and as Donor periods expire. I will have a physical copy to make sure that the info isn't lost if the board goes down.
- Payment can be done by Direct Deposit or Paypal, but will need your username noted so that I know who has paid what, and posted in the member listing topic to help with transparency and keep track of payments. If there is no notation of username on the payment I will do my best to work out who it is from, but will not advertise it so that it isn't claimed by someone else.
- Each month will have a prize drawing of all the current Donors, with multiple entries for each Donor Level earned. Drawings will be random and noted how it was done at the time of drawing.
- Other promotional items will be made available to those who are current Donors, as they are known (from Hasbro and other promoters). If items are donated, they will be prizes in the monthly drawings.
- If in future I get paid corporate sponsorship, or relocate to a cheaper server, or generate enough money from the Donations concept, I will look at ways of giving more back to paid Donors, like access to image attachments or larger mailboxes.
- No refunds, even if a person is banned, so don't Donate too much (especially in the first trial year). You will be able to upgrade your Donor status later if you need to (calculated from the remaining time left in your original Donation year).

So basically, people can pay as much or as little as they want (in multiples of $10) to give you a Donor Status for 12 months, and each multiple of $10 gets you a prize drawing entry for each of those months, as well as priority access to any promotional items that can be sourced.

As it may be noticed by junior members, this concept has undergone a six month trial so far with just the Deluxe Members, so after its first year, if there aren't any major problems, this will be an ongoing concept.

If you have any questions, post them here, or send me a PM.

CHILENO20 13th September 2015 08:46 PM

I'm happy just to buy a Cube to keep the site running :) competiton entries are a bonus :D happy to help

Starscream77 13th September 2015 09:10 PM

Sounds easy enough Bossbot, I am fine just buying some to keep the site going

BruiseLee 13th September 2015 09:27 PM

Good concept. :)

Zommael 13th September 2015 09:53 PM

This sounds like a good idea. $10 is not too much to contribute a year, which was something I was concerned about as I am on a limited budget for collecting but still keen to support Ozformers, and wouldn't want to be in a situation where I was paying for Ozformers over actually buying TFs!

The firepower concept sounds like it could be workable as a reputation system if you felt at some point you wanted to introduce that. Obviously we have the ranking system but on other forums I frequent where only positive rep is allowed it's generally given out for the most intelligent or humorous comments (or both).

yoshi594 13th September 2015 10:04 PM

10 dollars to support the site sounds great! The prospect of promotional items is very enticing and exclusive to Ozformer merch/toys would be awesome as well :D

Thinking ahead here but, lets say that hasbro or whatever are super keen and decide to make an exclusive ozformers deco of a figure; What would the colour be?

Gofigure 13th September 2015 10:19 PM

Sounds more than reasonable. I'm in :)

i_amtrunks 13th September 2015 10:34 PM

I'm happy with a $10 annual cube fee. More than reasonable after all this time that you've been running this resource on your own.

Megatran 13th September 2015 11:49 PM

Got me thinking....

What's the annual operating cost to run this board? Is it in the tens, hundreds, or thousands? Who's been paying for it all this time :confused:?
How much funds do you intend to raise annually?
Can a member not opt in to this 'donation' scheme? If so, is their membership revoked given they have no Cube to be deducted annually towards the running cost?
The transparency of paid members can have the unintended consequence of 'shaming' members to make a donation.

griffin 14th September 2015 12:48 AM


Originally Posted by Megatran (Post 490132)
Got me thinking....

What's the annual operating cost to run this board? Is it in the tens, hundreds, or thousands? Who's been paying for it all this time :confused:?

Costs over the last 8-10 years...
- monthly hosting of otca ($1800-2400 per year)
- monthly hosting of toycollectors ($300-360 per year)
- domain registration for otca.com.au (board database) (about $10 per year)
- domain registration for toycollectors.com.au (all images and webpages) (about $10 per year)
- business registration (about $25 per year)
- business bank account fee (about $84 per year)
- board software registration (about $20 per year)

That's about $2249-$2909 per year... or for for just in the last 8 years at this current location about $17,992-$23,272 spent running this site out of my own pocket.
Something I don't broadcast or want to make back, because I don't want people to feel guilty.
(unless someone accuses me later of just doing this to make money)
This has just been part of my hobby, and I don't make a point of keeping track of how much it has cost... other wise I might not want to do it if I kept in mind how much it did cost.
I'd rather be spending that 2-3 thousand dollars each year on toys. :p


How much funds do you intend to raise annually?
I'd like to cover the running cost of the site, but I don't know how many people will be willing to contribute, or be wanting to spend their Cubes.
I wanted to make sure that people can do both - contribute and spend extra to get something back... but also give members the option of not contributing.
If the scheme raises more than I need to run the site, I noted that I would be investing that back into the site for extra benefits for the members... but if it doesn't raise enough, I'd have to look at other incentives, so that people aren't forced to contribute, but will be more willing to do it for something in return.
Ideally it would be good to start growing a warchest for relocating the site to better servers as it grows, or paying for tables at Conventions, or even pay for a dedicated toy convention. But first things first... I want to see what it takes to cover the cost of the site first.


Can a member not opt in to this 'donation' scheme? If so, is their membership revoked given they have no Cube to be deducted annually towards the running cost?
Members can opt out of the donation scheme by not buying any Cubes.
But if they want to enter competitions, gain priority access to exclusive items, or gain access to free drawings of donated items, then they'd need to buy Cubes and one would go towards the running of the site to make those exclusives, donated items and prizes possible.

Since Cubes are $10, I will probably have multiple prizes in a monthly draw to make up a significant value so that I'm not raising hundreds of dollars from Cubes spent to enter the draw, for just a $50 toy. But I will have to be careful not to offer up a $200 lot of toys and only get people spending 5-6 Cubes ($50-60) to enter the drawing.
The prize draws are only meant to be a small element of the fund-raising, with the possibility of getting something in return... I don't want it to be the main source of our income.
And if it gets to be too expensive for people to enter, I might have the prize drawings every two months instead of monthly.


The transparency of paid members can have the unintended consequence of 'shaming' members to make a donation.
That's why I wasn't going to include every member in the listing, as it would make it obvious who wasn't donating (because I didn't want people feel shamed into donating). If it is just a list of donors, it won't be easy to see who hasn't, unless you are looking through the list for them.
TFW has a "supporter" icon in their profile on every post, which is like shaming people into donating... so I didn't want anything obvious on people who did OR didn't.

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