I am against requiring membership to the forums for one reason. I feel the forums are a great source of information for cachers new and old and help promote better caching to some degree.
It takes a while for a new member to get accustomed to any site and to determining how valuable it is to that individual. If they were forced to pay up, even after a week's preview, they may not bother.
If it's possible for Rick to do so, letting only members submit photos to the gallery and submit articles might perhaps be an option.
I like the idea of adding a couple of bucks to the coin. If I remember directly even last years coin was still cheaper then you would buy online. I think if that coin was 10 or 11 dollars people would still buy it. How much was last years coin?? Everything thing else is going up in price, gas groceries and such why wouldnt a coin be the same? Just a thought but I think that this would be the way to go.
The other option is start the donations at 10 dollars with an option to go as high as twenty wouldnt hurt. I would like to think that us core users could raise that money with out trouble.
And the idea of an ammo can at events is a good one. I would drop money in at the events.
I agree 100% . . . if I had to pay to access this site when I was first starting out quite simply I wouldn't have paid . . . not knowing what the site was like, "geocaching friends" hadn't been made yet, I wasn't sure if I was even going to like geocaching, etc.
Originally Posted by brdad
In addition there is a real issue with mandatory membership in a hobby-forum like this one . . . the site can die a relatively quick death if the same 20 folks who have donated are the only folks who stay on . . . topics get pretty stale pretty quickly. On another forum I recently joined (all about cruise ships . . . yeah, I'm addicted Dubord and Darterkitfox :D) someone mentioned a camping BBS that died a few months after the owner decided to go with paid memberships . . . before that it was a very active site.
Some of the ideas discussed so far that I like include Brdad's suggestion that only donating members get to submit pics and perhaps avatars . . . non-members can view and post, but no submitted pics and avatars.
I also like the idea of boosting the cost of the coin by a trifling amount (i.e. 25 to 75 cents) . . . especially if it can help the site.
Finally, while I rarely attend events (in fact I never attend events unless it happens to be a Tread Lightly event or Maniac's birthday) I would have no issue with a donation can . . . the way I look at it . . . no one is forcing anyone to donate . . . it's just a nice gesture.
Holding an on-line auction or raffle might also be a suggestion . . . I'm sure we all have some services or junk . . . I mean valuable stuff hanging around the house that is too good to throw away or stick in a geocache, but is not something we want to keep anymore.
This isn't a half bad idea either . . . as memory serves me right now the only options offered when you sign up as a donated member is $5 or $10. I suspect if there was an option for $10, $15 or even $20 that many folks would step up to the plate and donate a bit more. Personally, I think my $10 donation "buys" me a lot more joy, knowledge and fun than the $10 I have donated to this site.
Originally Posted by dave1976
I like both of these ideas.
Originally Posted by firefighterjake
I think the last time the fund raising idea was presented, it was not for dedicated funds. I think the membership is very much in favor of raising money for the operation of the site, but much less in favor of raising money without a clear purpose.
I've been paying attention to this issue ever since the newsletter first mentioned it(yes Stef I do read it). As always in these type of situations everyones ideas have merit. This site to me is the most important part of geocaching, the reasons being are the the ability to stay in touch with one another, making this game so much more. The way we all can kid one another, discuss upcoming events, even get into somewhat heated discussions, makes us a family of sorts. The other groups I belong to don't have this means of communication and therefore our only contact is usually a yearly event, such as a bicycle rally.
My point being is that no matter what, we need to keep the site going. I personally don't like memberships, don't like the idea of a can at events, don't know about the coin idea, and would instead like to see any money that may be needed come from some sort of fund raising effort. Why not have a once a year yard sale in one of the more populated areas with donated junk( valuable items) from the members. Maybe we could make it a combined summer picnic, or a cleanup, and yard sale. Having fun in the sun , while making money.
Yard Sale. GREAT idea Vic !!! We all have junk and one man's junk ........
Here in Canaan ther is the Canaan Storage Units. It's on route 2. The owner has lots of picnic tables he rents for 3.00 a table. You come and get a table and put 3.00 in the can. There are people that have units there just for there yard sale avery week.
Adding a dollar to the coin sale is an idea, but it is halfway through April and no coin in the makes. And more than likely the $ backer of the coin, who ever it is is going to what their money investment back first. Which is understandable.
I again want to add,
If they don't want to give a donation, then they won't pay a membership.
If they'd agree to a membership, why not just donate $5.00.
Paid membership has been discussed many times, and has been shot down as unwanted.
Originally Posted by Opalsns
We want GCM.org to be open to EVERYONE, and a paid membership would scare off many people.
We have over 1,200 members, but Rick mentions only 27 are "Donating Members". (Sheesh!) Asking the core 30-40 members to fully support GCM.org would be hard.
Perhaps charging a $1 "suggested donation" at GCM.org caching events would be an idea. With upwards of 100 people at many of our events, we could probably come up with quite a bit. Most event sponsors are putting out significant $$ on door prizes and the like, or work REAL hard on getting nice donations, so that could be the incentive to donate...
I don't know if CHARGING and SUGGESTED DONATION can be used to mean the same thing. Can They ?? LOL!!!!
Originally Posted by WhereRWe?
If folks don't want to donate to the site directly , I don't think they would donate anywhere else.
Having some sort of fund raiser is a real good idea and I think Vicbiker hit it on the head. Yard Sale !!!!
Also, Ebay. Just log on to ebay and search Geocoins. Some of them go for decent money. That is where I got my 2007 Maine geocoins. One came from Georgia and came from Canada. My brother and I have our CACHIN' CROW SERIES coins in the making and I would be happy to donate a ...
COIN FOR THE CAUSE !!! And I'm already a donating member.
If the 2008 Maine coin EVER gets made, the next event after it's release could be the place to raffle off one.
Just some ideas,;)