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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Sydni,
I like this idea.
I think we need to give it some time, see what the barriers might be - Ning might not allow it, or there may be other things in the works. Ultimately, Richard would need to approve or delegate, or the board would. My goal here is to light a fire and get more people involved so that we can pool talents and see if people want to create a funded system. You're right, I don't know anyone either! Bake sale time!
Art is art. Food is food. Food art is food art. No obscenity at all. If topped with candles, they'll be extra special.

One molded after my breasts, however, would be obscene, not art. Did I just say that?

Unfortunately, no likelihood of rhubarb pie molded after anything but rhubarb pie. But it's sublime, nonetheless.
I would like to purchase these cupcakes. I'll make my own frosting --

On a more serious note; I'm studying so I'm not sure how much I can spare. I didn't know the traffic load for the site before so I'll put myself on one of the lower monthlies for now.

Apart from my ACLU membership, this is the only membership I'm in that's worth paying for.
Breasts are not obscene. I'll buy a dozen.
I've actually thought of this before. An Ebay account people can donate junk to for re-sale. We all have junk. Old sewing machines, cd's, books, whatever.
How about selling old Bibles?
How about annotated bibles :)? "To see contradiction of this verse read Gumpy 3:16" whatever.
A++++ comment. I'm Méabh, and I approve this idea.
Auction: Good idea. Ebay would work. Bro. Richard could add that I-Pod to the auction.too

NPR Idea: Bad idea. I hate it when the more money people donate, the "better" premium they get. Creates a hierarchy.
If we can get a new platform, surely we can provide non-paying members with limited access and paying members with full access.

I'm thinking non-paying members can read the whole site, but post only in the forums (not post blogs or comment on them). There might be a limit on the number of groups they can join - maybe none, maybe one or two.

If you're happy with that level of access, fine - the site is free. If you want more, you pay.

So as the groups don't lose all their members from this, perhaps there could be a 6 month amnesty for members registered prior to the payment rule being brought in. That is, all existing members get six months initial free membership.

Honestly, I agree it would be great if the site could remain completely free and be supported by those who could afford it - but we've tried that system for over 12 months and it's just not working.
Hey all, thanks for the suggestions. I hesitated to answer, but Daniel called me out. To be honest, I think my religious past has kept me from doing this type of thing already. However, I must admit that as great as this past year has been, my family has tremendously suffered financially. I won't go into details, but something must change soon. I need to let you guys push me beyond my "false humility" and begin to take Nexus to the next level.

I like the idea of different levels of membership, and I think you all have had some great ideas. What I think needs to happen, is we have an initial fundraising drive to bring in some money so that I, or someone else, can begin the slow transition to getting off Ning. If you guys are interested in being a part of this "team," please contact me.

Thanks so much for post and the comments. It has given me an oasis of hope.

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