Brother Richard deserves to be paid. A|N deserves support. There should be paid staff.

I have never met Br. Richard, and other than a very small number of emails, have not communicated with him. He may even be pissed at me for starting this topic, I have not discussed it with him. I recently noted this, which I've copied from here.

"As of now, if it wasn't for the $150 bucks we get from Google ads, we would only get about $35 bucks from monthly donations. All of this from a site that gets over 200,000 unique monthly visitors, almost 1,000,000 monthly page views, and is in the top 75,000 most visited sites on the Internet."

What? You gotta be fucking kidding? I felt guilty about the $15.00 monthly that I started via pay pal this summer. This is not tooting my nown horn, I think I should be paying more too. That means that the other 10,000 members are paying a collective fucking $20.00 a month? If every member paid 10 cents a month, it would be $100.00 monthly. If 100 members paid $25 a month, it would be $2,500 monthly.

I realize that incomes are highly variable, and some members don't have a pot to piss in, and everyone has some sort of financial challenge. But is A|N really that unimportant?

OK, Br. Richard, I know you'll be reading this. Time for you to get off your ass, too, and work on how to make this pay. Does Ning not allow pay? That might be an issue. But how about some form of paid membership. Voluntary, so there would still be unpaid membership, because the financially strapped members do contribute in a meaningful way. But some 'bonus' for paid membership. Alternatively, similar bonus for nonpaid roles such as moderator or website development, organizing, outreach. What is the bonus? I'm not sure. Even a fucking A|N coffee cup, A|N button, personal thong verified as worn by Br. Richard, stratified for "silver member" "gold member", "Platinum member", or whatever you want to call it, is better than the special place we get in heaven for "giving" a contribution. The T-shirts are great - but that's selling T-shirts, and doesn't have the same feel as contributing to A|N. Be that as it may, a $365.oo annual membership, $1.00 per day might warrant the Tshirt plus the thong.....

A PBS / NPR -style over-the-internet fundraiser, while annoying, would be an option. Say, a moving banner, or some other function, that briefly describes the role / benefit of membership / contribution, and offering an easy way to do so?

It's not just a matter of paying Br. Richard. Having paid membershipswould allow for functions that would improve the site, advertise, put up cool billboards like other Atheist groups are doing... whatever.

I'm not stuck on any of these ideas. With many intelligent, devoted, active members, we should be able to support the important role of A|N and further the cause of atheism. I want to see Br. Richard drive up in his pink Rolls Royce and a carnation in his lapel, but it would be a start if we at least gave him a dandelion in a coffee cup.

Come on, godless heathens - earn a silver lining for your clouds in heaven. Lets work on getting some dollars flowing.

Tags: Brother Richard, membership

Views: 17

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Replies to This Discussion

@Kristy-
"members be given 3 months free membership so they can get to know the site and assess whether it is worth it for them to pay to continue.
I also suggest that a welcome committee be appointed to work with new members, show them what groups might suit their interests and start them off with some friends."

These are excellent ideas. In an informal way, a number of people welcome new members and point them toward groups. A more organized approach might indeed be a way to keep new members fired up with enthusiasm.

In addition, as Sydni points out, the largest part of A|N, probably by a huge, huge majority, is quiescent (although the # of hits to the site is mind-boggling, as BR. Richard points out). So, should there be a way to get quiescent members re-fired up with enthusiasm? Again, maybe someone to point quiescent members toward groups, which are more accessible and personal. Or develop interest groups or local startups like AIR in Atlanta?

(Now I have to take my shower and head off to work. Have a great day all! I'll be checking on A|N later).
1)promote membership by listing the members who have donated. Add a link to the list of names and donation levels. This is common for other non-profits. Depending on the donation level you are labled such as a silver member or a gold member (no jokes please).

Once again, the "virtuous" haves get to buy their way to the top of the donation list. In my world, it's the widow's mite that is truly priceless.

2) and 3) Maybe this is a cultural thing. My feeling is you do what you can do, and just go about it quietly. Needing gold stars or names on some special list seems tied in with that whole "the rich are made virtuous by gawd" thing.

4) This has already been discussed. One of the big limiting factors has been money.
I wouldn't like to see a hierarchy either. The other site I'm on has members and premium members. The only visible distinction between them is that premium members get an icon but non premium members only have their name displayed on posts. Actually, this works pretty well because if you get to know and like someone, it's easy to tell they're non-premium, so you can arrange a gift membership for them.
Welcome committee: Great idea if it is appropriate welcoming. I saw someone once "greet" a new member who owns guns with a "No guns!" message. It won't happen again, since I'm banning spammers, I scan the new members every day. I'll be having words with people that leave innapropriate messages for new members.

Ahem. As I have time, I am already pointing people to groups, the discussion forum, journal posts, etc.... Crafting personal messages, and pointing out groups based on an individual's interests is time consuming.

Local interest groups should be grass-roots, and organic. People who join from those areas should create those groups as they see fit.
I really don't want to see the site end up being a pay site. Yes, Richard should be supported. However, I would have been one of the people who wouldn't have stuck around beyond the three months, for various reasons that I won't get into here.
Is PayPal not an option in Romania, Mihai?
Anyone willing to make a one time donation of at least $25 dollars (say by Oct 15th), I will match up to a total of $750 among all donations. I'll use the honor system. Just tell me you donated and I'll match it.

May reason light the world.
Louis, you're an atheist angel - is there such a thing? If not, you've just invented it. My $25 just went in:

Confirmation number: 1H641246PH735154H
Donation amount: $25.00 USD
Total: $25.00 USD
Purpose: The Nexus Group
Conf: 94B71329FF196311E
USD25 :)

Go Brother Richard!
Louis Davout,
You are absolutely great!
I will meet you on this. In other words, for every one time donation of at least $25, but Oct 15th, I will also match up to $750 among all donations. Louis, if you will keep track, that will help tremendously.
This includes Kristy's donation.
There, that just added $75 to A|N's coffers. Not so painful, huh?

Reality moment - Kristy is one of the archangels of A|N already. Once beyond a truly dedicated cadre, most of whom are who make this site what it is and contribute tremendously with heart, time, and effort, it may get much tougher. Or not - I don't know how far this could go.

I have a question - does paypal take some off the top, or does the whole amount go into A|N? In addition, is there an A|N account, and if contributing money, is this specifically pay for Br. RIchard, or does the board decide on how money is distributed? This is also a reality moment. And finally, does Ning object to pay for A|N administrators or Ning social networks?
Daniel Pio Apostata, if you can afford $750 for Atheist Nexus, you can afford a plane ticket to the Atheist Convention in Melbourne next year so I can give you a great big hug and a kiss in person. Get your ass on a plane, kiddo - that's an order!
I might (actually, will) get into trouble with my other half for doing this, but I can handle that. There went my new computer. As for Melbourne, if I can plan a year ahead, my other half loves to travel and would probably be happy to go. I've always wanted to see Australia in general, as a monument to evolutionary biology and the human diaspora.

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