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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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.
People will buy junk? I have junk. Will people really pay money for it? And pay money to ship it?
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.
We don't agree on this topic. I know that it gets into basic personal philosophy, and that's one reason that I didn't bring it up.

Not necessarily that more dollars = a different premium, but I do think that more "something" = a different premium. The more "something" can be dollars, or effort as a moderator, or programming, or pure decorative value, or some other designated contribution.

This issue is why I waited, oh, 4 months of thinking about this before bring it up. I know there is going to be sincere disagreement. However, contributions during that time arent enough to buy one of Felch's old sewing machines. I really think that the reality is that a purely nonheirarchical, communitarian approach wont bring in enough of what's needed, from enough people, to keep A|N running long term. It doesn't mean that someone can buy atheist dispensations or godless sainthood.

If a "premium" does not detract from the site functionality, and is largely symbolic, but still acknowledges that some people give more "something", then it does give an incentive for people to contribute, and to contribute more than they otherwise might. Again, that "something" can be time, dollars, expertise, or less tangible '
"somethings". If there is some sort of acknowledgement that some people contribute, while others benefit passively, then I think that's a type of incentive as well as a source of support for the site. If there is an example of an anaolgous, completely nonheirarchical system that works, it would be great to learn from the details. I don't know that much about organizational theory to say much more about it.



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