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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Have you thought about making a membership card? Not something particularly useful, but something neat.

When I donated to the ACLU I got an ACLU card, I thought it was cute.
Official Atheist Nexus Member, because religion sucks!
I really like the idea of the membership card, that we can carry in our wallets. The idea of being a "card-carrying atheist" is so powerful, and at the same time so funny. Maybe I'll run one off from my printer, just because I can.
I support the idea of free access and membership to Atheist Nexus for those who can not afford it. Maybe someday after I buy a TV I'll see a commercial for A|N with a "Please Donate" request at the end or an invite to a pledge drive. Keep up the good work BR et al !

$25.00 USD Confirmation number: 4PB18361L1793004N
Thank you Drew.
Thank you very much!
There are several good ideas, and some not so great. That's the way it works. I think the more ideas the better. This way for every 10, 3 might be good, 6 might be crap, but one will be awesome.

Let's don't turn this discussion into an argument about these ideas. People can, and will, take something said here as "gospel" and run with it.

As I said earlier, I will be setting up a private group where we can hash things out. Then we can present them to the general membership for comments.
And how long will that take? How long have the new site guidelines been being thrashed out by a committee - and we still haven't seen them. If this is going to be another 'committee' thing, then there needs to be a firm, non-negotiable deadline set for something to be put to the members. Otherwise it will just go on endlessly and ultimately people will say 'too hard' and nothing will change. You have an impetus for change now, Richard, for FSM"s sake, grab it.
Believe me I am. I am talking to Daniel tomorrow on the phone about this very thing. I am going to ask him to help organize things.

I appreciate what you are saying, and it is true. The guideline thing has been delayed for several reasons. None of which I will go into here. But they are valid reasons which should be resolved now. I am just waiting on one member of the advisory board (He knows who he is).

What I was talking about earlier was that we should not allow this discussion to become nothing but an argument. This will do nothing but stifle creativity and kill the very inspiration this post has created within people. What made Daniel's post so powerful, was his speaking from the heart and taking action.

I will listen to everyone's ideas and suggestions, and to quote President Bush, "I will be the decider." I know not everyone will be happy. I also don't want to spend my time defending everything said here. I am not at liberty to say some of the things that I would like.

Keep up the good work everyone. Thank you, and keep inspiring others.
Just let us know how those tomatoes turn out!
I'm not arguing, I'm presenting a minority opinion.
I'm unemployed at the moment (there seem to be a lot of us in that boat--congrats to Dre for landing a job in this sucky economy), but I can afford $25 for the match. Considering how much time I spend jabbering on this site, how can I not chip in? My confirmation number is 6EG968484A688301T.

And I don't know about Daniel, but I think Louis can afford to match people because he once said he dresses just like his icon every day. If he can get away with that, he must be well off enough so that people call him eccentric.

I like the pledge drive idea. It works for public radio, it doesn't have to be obnoxious, and people who can't afford it don't have to pay to play. I also like the card-carrying Atheist Nexus member idea. Any premium should have purely trinket value, like an Ovaltine secret decoder ring. Not really the kind of status symbol that leads to haves-vs-have-nots friction.

And by all means, hype the Amazon search box. It's a teeny donation from Amazon for every purchase you make. If you're going to buy something there anyhow, you might as well. It doesn't cost you any more.



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