How to crowd fund the Discourse costs

A focussed conversation on the options

I think that’s the majority of the users and I don’t think everyone can afford it nor sure they feel as if they have to contribute just because they’re active.

Correct me if I’m wrong, because I genuinely can’t remember how it worked last time round with the server costs, but did you not basically just let the boards know how much needed covered each month and provide the means (Paypal and something else?!) for people to contribute if they felt able?

I’ve probably worded my initial post in a slightly misleading way - I’m not suggesting that you ask every one of those 300 users to contribute to the costs.

I more meant that you just let us know how much needs covered each month and set up a transparent payment system to allow people to contribute to those costs if they are able.

If that doesn’t work, then start looking at alternative solutions.

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Yeah. I shared all the screenshots of the invoices of what was due several times. It was all pretty much fixed costs every month. The big difference then was some months we’d get £2k ad revenue and others £500, now it’s about £150 and that doesn’t even cover keeping the old editorial site online (have managed to radically reduce all of those costs)

I think the problem is, some people skim reading, read this and our exchanges as me agreeing with this as a concept, rather than as a principle of the average. So I wanted to clarify too.

As others have said, I think any crowdfunding needs a clear funding target and transparency in who is donating. It might be a bit trickery to set up while we’re still looking at ways to reduce running costs, so maybe we should solve that problem first. Regardles…

A sensible idea is an easily accessible pinned thread with, and I think this is key, regular updates on whether the target for the month has been met. In case people don’t open this thread very often (I admittedly tend to glaze over the funding threads) I think it would be perfectly reasonable for an admin to post in key popular threads i.e. football, politics and remind people that it’s good to donate and we’re X amount away in monthly donations from being financially sorted for the year, etc.

It’s also obviously very important that people who cannot afford to pay money to keep the website online understand that they are under no obligation to. I think the community is level-headed enough to understand this and make sure everyone is welcome, but also understand that the website needs X amount a month to run.

I can’t deal with the other thread so moving some of my responses over here

This is a really great summary

It’s hard to balance what some people might want as an incentive (I can’t think of anything beyond the forum existing) and I think it might be hard for anyone to say “I would donate but does that get acknowledged in any way” when there’s a a lot of concern of it upsetting those who can’t afford to pay. I’m not saying anyone does feel like that but it would concern me if we end up not raising as much because some people would want to be credited, if that makes sense?

I’m happy to discuss this privately if anyone does feel like this, who may be in a position where they want to be more generous ie if 20 users wanted to donate tenner or more a month but would also like to be able to have a quarterly check in about how monies is being spent. although I’ll obviously be transparent about everything but say there’s an overage and we wanted to use that money to cover potential future dip in income or use it to pay a specialist developer to improve server speed or spend it on a fundraiser event or something.

Just thinking allowed, this isn’t a consideration I had before (that consideration for others silence these requests) and wanted to be clear that I’m very much listening to the feedback about most people seeming to want anonymous donations and no credit for contribution in order not to make those who can’t feel uncomfortable.

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nothing wrong with talking through your thoughts, but very glad this is the key focus - seems to be entirely in keeping with the majority views from the other thread to me

i would genuinely think of any payment i made as like money going to Spotify or Netflix - i don’t get any acknowledgement from them of my payment, except for access to their services (so on dis that means mid-tier puns and great music chat), and wouldn’t want or expect any acknowledgement.


I just what I was thinking was that some people would feel funny paying for a gig ticket, knowing everyone else for un for free? So you might give £2 instead of £10, if that makes sense? I don’t think it’s a popular view but I can imagine if someone is going to contribute more that they would want to ensure that money is being well spent.

some bands do reduced price gig tickets for people on lower incomes etc - it would never cross my mind to be annoyed about that when buying my own full price ticket. So I really don’t see that sort of issue being a factor here

i think anyone who pays might want to know the money was being spent well/on keeping the site going, don’t think the amount the individuals pays has much impact on that (unless some nepobaby decides to drop £100 a month or something for some reason)


I can’t remember the thread but I think we had a discussion about this a while back and the vast majority of people were either against the idea of incentives or not arsed either way

Yeah. I remember it. But I also know it would be hard to contribute to a discussion like that if you felt otherwise. I just wanted to flag in case anyone wanted to DM about it.

I really love in venues when it has names on the seats of patrons or YouTubers add supporter credits at the end of a video. Makes me want to contribute, if I had the money.

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Yeah - the calls for transparency is more about asking for something akin to a monthly update along the lines of “we raised x amount, y amount has been spent on board hosting”, etc.

I think the majority of people who decide to pay - myself included - aren’t looking for any special recognition, and will be the most active existing users. Just keeping this place afloat is prize enough. :slight_smile:

To add to my last point: that’s why I don’t see much conflict or resentment rising from some users paying more than others - we come here every day because we like the people and want them to stick around whether they’re able to pay or not. If that makes sense?


Yeah I get you about your contribution getting recognised, it’s nice. But I think the difference here is it’s not really that glamorous, we just need to keep the lights on as it were haha


This would be reward enough for contributing imo


That’s how I’m hoping everyone feels but obviously wouldn’t wanna find someone with a larger sum is turned off from contributing and they want to suggest ideas of something in return (even if that’s me personally making them a playlist or something)

The only thing I would say is having a list of users who pay/donate feels quite icky to me. Especially if for whatever reason they suddenly couldn’t contribute for a period of time, feeling as if they have to plead their case feels quite wrong and against what a lot of us stand for. Also, if there are users that can’t afford to pay then they might feel as if they shouldn’t contribute as much which again, doesn’t sit right with me.

FWIW, although I have a lot of breaks from this place I do love it very dearly, and if it the amount was say £2 a month, I’d happily pay twice or three times that amount to cover other users (lord knows I need to sit down and trim my streaming services and this place brings me far more joy than my sports subscriptions :D) but yeah, I wouldn’t want to know who I was paying for and I’m sure most other people would be the same, otherwise it could make discussions feel unfair I think.


I don’t think you’d know who you were paying for if you donated (I was thinking it might encourage those who can afford to pay more to feel like paying more than say £2 a month to cover x other users). I think Patreon does have a public list so I’ll look at options around anonymity but I honestly don’t think anyone would judge any user for not being able to donate or dropping off.

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Oh no, I don’t think any user would judge another but I know for me personally I might feel a bit bad if I couldn’t donate. IDK, could absolutely just be a me thing and obviously I’m just a massive nitwit so take anything I say with a big pinch of salt :smiley:

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I’m a massive nitwit too, tbf. Hence asking questions to find solutions. And considering anything that might not he considered.