ok ok relax, just having a little fun
There is a lot of suggestions i like such as the following
funding by lots of smaller donations, eg some kind of pay-pal thing for people to put in whatever they think fit. we think it would be sad for there to be threads begging for money though. there would also have to be some way of putting a cap on the funding so we don't get surpluses which then need to be looked after by someone. (it would be good to do it without having to go to the cost and hassle of forming a legal entity)
Whilst having some non legal entity would seem ideal, it has inherent dangers. Creating an association isn't that complicated and "meetings" can be conducted on-line as could elections for office bearers. The office bearers can then outsoure the IT specifics to ideology or whomever they wish. BUT at the end of the day the association owns "geocaching.com.au", not any individuals.
We have 5,000 registered users, no doubt someone can check as to how many are active users. Assuming only 20% are active, that's 1,000 users who if they became members with an annual membership fee of $5 would be able to support the ongoing running of the webiste.
Others could still access the website, but won't be able to vote for office bearers and be involved, all be it in a small way, in the future development of the association. All there would eb would be a small area for "Members Only" information (ie voting, regulations, etc.)
I like the donation idea. Instead of of worring about a surplus, remember the old fundraising signs in front of schools and hospitals that use to say when the required amount was reached. That way people who want to donate can and when the the limit is reached that's the end of it.
I like this idea as well.An alternative is that any excess funds be held over for the next year or used to upgrade the service and/or used in some form to make the coders / Fairies lives easier
Except I'm not keen on a membership type system, even if only $5 per year or less. The whole beauty of the GCA site is it has no advertisements, is free and open to all with no members restricted to some areas or stats.
I like the idea of Donations. I'm sure there is enough members who are willing to throw a few or many bucks towards the site.
I myself would be more than happy to contribute to the funding of the site especially when my programing skills can't be utilised as they would defiantly cause more problems then they would fix. That's if i could even fix any!
But Just to create a few more choices i will attempt to explain my own idea.
I'd place a link on the front page "Donations"
Which operates through Pay-Pal with a minimum donation amount of $5
Once a member has made a donation a couple of little things could take place to acknowledge the member who donated in the interest of the site.
(As its hard to get money from someone if they don't get anything out of it)
In the users forum posts under there GCA Finds Stat perhaps get the message
"I Supported GCA"
And Perhaps Next to the Cachers name in search results, Profile and Logs
you could have a little GCA logo.
In regards to the safe keeping of the money you could block the donations once the required amount is reached or put it back into resources used in developing and maintaining the site, eg coffee.
Buy some GCA stickers and send them out to the supported members.
Or if a lot of money is raised it can be put towards running a GCA event in each state by paying for food/drinks.
The options are endless and really depends on how much extra money is raised.
In order to keep the funds coming year after year you could save the additional funds and hold them for the next coming year or at the end of the year everyone looses there "I supported GCA"message , icons. and need to redonate to get them back.
And for all developers/volunteers involved behind the scenes of the GCA website they automatically receive the support message and icons with no need to donate money.
That is one idea of mine and hopefully something worth considering or at least some parts of it.
One thing for certain is if there is a donation system there needs to be a tally for all to see.
Sorry ideology hope you don't mind me using you as an example