In January 2014, I finally got off my bum and set up donations for the site.
Yes that's right, here is a PayPal button!
Donations so far (goal is $2500/year to cover all costs)
- Total Donations: $4329.15
Number of Donations: 226
- Average Donation: $19.16
Median Donation: $10.00
- Largest single donation: $250.00
Smallest single donation: $0.01
- TESRenewal total: $3322.65
TTW total: $945.72
- Total Donations: $4329.15
- Paypal fees paid: $210.88
- Paypal balance: $4116.89
- Paypal fee percentage: 4.87%
Frequently Asked Questions:
Well, first off a lot of people have asked if they can donate. Also, it costs a lot of money to run this site, and I've been paying out of my own pocket for the last two years (see below). So I set up an LLC and so forth to handle donations.
Why an LLC and not a non-profit entity (non-profit corporation, etc.)?
I did consider this, but I went with an LLC because it provides better liability protection for me personally, as well as other users of the site. Plus, it's a whole lot simpler to set up. Also, the LLC gives the "operating at a loss" situation a bit of a silver lining. If I don't raise enough money each year to cover the costs, with the LLC, I can write off the loss against my taxable income.
But I thought you were rich or something?
Not really that rich, actually - just generous. And if I have the opportunity to cover some of the costs, then that's great. Plus, it's a big bill to pay come November (see below).
Why donations and not ads?
A couple of reasons. 1) Donations are optional, ads are mandatory; 2) A lot of people block ads; and 3) A lot of ads spy on the site and its users. No thanks.
Where does my money go?
Payments go to a PayPal account for "Blue Wizard LLC" (yep that's me). (I know TJ suggested "Pipe Smokin' Wizard LLC" but that sounds kind of shady to me). All transactions will be posted at least once a year (no emails or names will be shared, just screenshots) so you can see how much money I "make" on this and how much it offsets the costs. I guess you just have to trust me on that, but I genuinely do want to keep it transparent.
Where your money ultimately goes is for paying our service providers (Dreamhost and iflychat.com) for the web hosting and chat (respectively). The server is quad-core, 4GB ram, 500GB HDD space, Raid 1, with unlimited bandwidth. TTW's site averages about 10 GB of data transfer a DAY so unlimited bandwidth and a dedicated server is pretty much mandatory. The chat is capped at 60 simultaneous users.
What do I get for my donation?
Nothing! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Well maybe an icon on your forum posts that shows you've donated. That's about it though. This is strictly out of the goodness of your heart - you can still download TTW, or use the site, or whatever without donating.
Oh and if you do donate, send me a PM and I can add the little "Donor" icon to your forum post panel (see mine to the left).
How much do I have to donate?
At least one cent. Otherwise, PayPal won't let you donate. However, with a one cent donation, your money goes straight to paypal because of the fee.
Note that I reserve the right to NOT add the "Donor" icon if you donate a microscopic amount, such as one cent. A few people have donated this amount, and then PM'd me for their "Donor" badge. Nice try. Please donate $5 or more if you want the badge.
I've been here for years helping out with development, and I don't feel like donating because I think I've put in my time. Problem?
That's fine; again, donations are totally optional. If I find anyone pressuring anyone else into donating, I will rain fire on your asses.
I am rich and I want to donate $1,000 but I want to become a moderator, or some other such deal. Will you do it?
No. You can donate as much as you want, but it won't get you anything extra.
Can I get a refund on that donation?
Yes, but if it turns into a big hassle for me I will just refund your money and then ban you from the site.
Imagine taking your money and setting it on fire. That is what you are doing. If you don't want to do that, don't donate in the first place.
Don't you share this server with other sites? Shouldn't they be donating too?
Yep, and they are. On average, TESrenewal.com (formerly morroblivion.com) and TaleOfTwoWastelands.com use up about 95% of the server's bandwidth. It's a race! Donate more than the other guys. Or whatever.
What happens if you get more than you need? Will you stop taking donations? Will you keep the money for yourself (you jerk)?
If, by some miracle, people donate more than ~$2500/year, then the excess will stay in the bank account / PayPal account to be used for future server costs. Or, if we just have a shit ton of money, the excess will be donated to a charity after a vote on what charity (or charities) it should go to. Pie in the sky, but it's good to have a plan I guess.
Here are some numbers:
- 2012-07-24: $214.80 - Dreamhost Shared Hosting (paid ahead for 2 years of hosting)
- 2012-09-11: $59.70 - Domain Registration (six domains for TTW, including taleoftwowastelands.com/.net/.org and twowastelands.com/.net/.org, at $9.95/year)
- 2012-10-23: $6.66 - Dreamhost VPS trial / upgrade, for service through 2012-10-23
- 2012-11-03: $19.00 - iflychat.com monthly chat service
- 2012-11-06: $1859.00 - Dreamhost Dedicated Server (Blue Moon 4 Dedicated) - $169/mo, with 1 mo. free if billed annually (note that multiple sites share this server, but TTW.com uses about half the bandwidth)
- 2012-11-08: -$183.27 - Refund on unused balance of Shared Hosting plan
- 2012-12-02: $19.00 - iflychat.com monthly chat service
- 2012 total: $1994.89 - paid by me
- 2013-01-02: $19.00 - iflychat.com monthly chat service
- 2013-02-02: $19.00 - iflychat.com monthly chat service
- 2013-03-02: $19.00 - iflychat.com monthly chat service
- 2013-04-02: $19.00 - iflychat.com monthly chat service
- 2013-05-02: $19.00 - iflychat.com monthly chat service
- 2013-06-02: $19.00 - iflychat.com monthly chat service
- 2013-07-03: $19.00 - iflychat.com monthly chat service
- 2013-08-02: $19.00 - iflychat.com monthly chat service
- 2013-09-02: $19.00 - iflychat.com monthly chat service
- 2013-09-10: $67.70 - Domain Registration (six domains for TTW, including taleoftwowastelands.com/.net/.org and twowastelands.com/.net/.org, at $11.95 for .com and .net, and $9.95 for the two .org domains)
- 2013-10-02: $19.00 - iflychat.com monthly chat service
- 2013-11-03: $19.00 - iflychat.com monthly chat service
- 2013-11-06: $1859.00 - Dreamhost Dedicated Server (Blue Moon 4 Dedicated) - $169/mo, with 1 mo. free if billed annually (note that multiple sites share this server, but TTW.com uses about half the bandwidth)
- 2013-12-02: $19.00 - iflychat.com monthly chat service
- 2013 total: $2154.70 - paid by me