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.

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Thanks for your contribution.

He also said it was better to be feared than loved. Machiavelli can kiss my butt :)

Macchiavelli wa right on that, of course. On the other hand, he was far from the world of 'grass roots' movements. In fact, he was a more 'top down' kind of guy, hence "The Prince".

A|N is a grass roots movement, as is atheism and humanism. A grassroots movement needs transparency to survive and flourish. The real contribution is that of the many people who volunteer with their time and heart, thinking of ways to make the site run better, thinking of improvements, moderating, guiding discussion groups and forum topics, which build as comunity and act as "think tanks' and ongoing education for all of us. Money is like compost - it's not pretty, sometimes it's stinky, and it gets your hands dirty, but you can't grow really good tomatoes without it.

This topic is started out of a sincere effort to help keep the A|N commnity vital, and continue its mission. No one is bragging - it's an example, and I hope an inspiration, to see that others are contributing. Obviously, people want to have a role, they just need a way to make that happen. I hope it's a snowball effect. However, for anyone who does feel more virtuous, or wants to protect their privacy (equally important), how about if you post on Louis' comment wall? He could then remove the post and credit your contribution for matching funds.

And thank you so much. It really does mean a lot.
Or you could just send me a message.
Any time you make a donation and brag about it it then it is more like advertising.

Worth repeating.
I haven't had time to read all of the replies. Sorry if I'm repeating - I'm one of those without a pot to piss in but I'll get $25 together. I think Jesus will help if I pray real hard. OK, just kidding.
Would a small fee per posting be feasible? and then payable when the member's number of posts accumulate enough to be worth the trouble of paying? I wouldn't want to pay $1 but when it adds up to 10 or 20 I wouldn't mind. At any rate, those of us using the site more would pay more. I think the money could be sent to a set-up account/foundation/ whatever...
Thank you very much. Meanwhile, I read that tomatoes thrive when given some urine, so wait into darkk when the neighbors aren't watching, then head for the garden.
At any rate, those of us using the site more would pay more.

This is why I won't have anything to do with Meet-up. I worked my butt off organizing a group, and advertised it (and Meet-up) out of my own pocket. So, Meet-up then decides that group organizers were going to have to pay for their groups. Uh... no.

I know at least a few people who don't have spare cash who contribute a lot to this site with their posts and participation. I don't want to see them charged.
The idea of donations seems to be a good one. But all I know is that when people donate money they usually want something in return, generally not something big but just something to know that their money was appreciated. Maybe different levels of membership would be a practical and just idea but the idea of having features some members enjoy above all others might create a caste system which I think would be horrible. Starting a new job tomorrow so hopefully I'll be able to donate something sometime next month to the cause.
Your point is important, and needs to be addressed. Kristy had an excellent comment elsewhere in this thread that might be helpful. Also, we always have to remember that the $$, while necessary, are by far not the main contribution that so many people make.
$25 Done - 20N85547GA680883N

It is something I should have done some time ago.
Thank you
Ok, my $0.02:

- Not crazy about the paid-membership idea for many of the reasons already stated. It tends to scare people away. But on the other hand BR and company should definitely be compensated for this site.

- I wonder how much this post and its branch posts will help? Do let us know Brother Richard. I will gladly participate in an every-couple-of-months or so fundraising post like this, using my learned Xian skills to guilt people urging folks to show that Atheists give out of the kindness of their hearts, not out of fear of hell. (But if any of you don't give I'll kneecap you. j/k)

- T-shirts; Truth be told, I haven't bought the single, lone A/N shirt because I'm just not that blown away by the design. It's ok, but lacks some of the in-your-face elements of the kinds of t-shirts I normally wear (e.g.; "Caution: Do not stare into laser with remaining eye"). Perhaps some of the more creative types here can help design some Atheist-themed apparel where the A/N logo can be displayed prominently next to it? I'm sure I could come up with some bumper sticker slogans and things like evil bible verses aren't copyrighted, so I wouldn't feel guilty buying one from here instead of just from Landover Baptist.

However it is achieved, I've found a fabulous community here at A/N and will happily chip in (however unstable my bank account from month to month) to keep its awesomeness intact!



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