Donations System Revived

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Donations System Revived

Post by sinbad » Fri Jun 08, 2007 7:17 pm

As of today we're accepting donations for OGRE again, after a little time with them in 'stealth mode'. Hopefully all your questions about how donations will be handled are answered there. There are a couple of differences from the previous donation system:

:arrow: If you provide your forum account name when donating, you'll get a modification to your forum account recognising the donation (a rank badge, or if you already have one, modified text), and an entry in the donator list. Previously donators were only recognised on the Sourceforge page. Ranks are updated manually by yours truly right now (no time to write something smarter) so bear in mind it might take a day or two.

:arrow: The donations system is now done directly rather than via Sourceforge, which gives us a little more control and more of the donations goes directly to us instead. I figure if people wanted to give their money to Sourceforge, they'd donate to them directly :)

You might be wondering why I went down this route rather than the 'Memberships' system I floated a couple of months ago (whereby fixed yearly amounts got you tiered benefits). Well, there a few main reasons.

Firstly, simplicity. Many people seemed to be interested in the memberships system just because they wanted a forum badge, or just because they wanted to help with our overheads. Therefore the extras in the membership system weren't that important to many, and the extra time involved in managing them (particularly the physical items, but also potentially in admin support for email or blog hosting problems) was an issue. Time is always short anyway, and I didn't think most people would want me wasting time on admin stuff like that when I could be spending it improving Ogre.

Secondly, I got over my uneasiness about accepting donations when I do commercial work for Ogre full-time now. That's a result of helpful comments from some in the community (of the form - offer it anyway, people know what you do and if that puts them off donating, then fine), and also me realising that my commercial work has been quite separate anyway, so the conflict of interest I was concerned about hasn't really happened. Any funds the Ogre website has earned has not gotten tangled in my commercial work - in fact, I've erred on the side of caution so much my commercial work has subsidised Ogre a little too much than makes good business sense, when examined in the cold light of day.

Lastly, unlike when we first had the donations system in 2005 to pay for the first (much cheaper!) server, donations aren't the only source of revenue we have - our ads are doing better now. Thus, they will become more of a 'top up' for our normal expenses and also can go towards more strategic, interesting goals like hardware and conference trips. This makes donators actually feel like they're contributing to something identifiable rather than just covering dull day-to-day hosting expenses (although that will still be a part of it).

I'm still keeping the merchandising ideas in my back pocket - at some later date if I can find a time-efficient way to organise stuff like that (beyond CafePress) I certainly will look into it, so I can satisfy all of you yearning for Ogre plushies (and I count myself in that camp). But I'll keep that separate from donations.

I've done a lot of soul-searching over the last couple of months on this but I feel comfortable with it now, hope the community does too. If you don't, well donating is entirely optional anyway :)
Last edited by sinbad on Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Wolfmanfx » Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:34 pm

Very nice idea :) and the payment options are great..MasterCard :D so i had to donate something ;) hope other Ogre user will give something back to our global hero Steve.

Keep on working & i hope i can donate again :)
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Post by danharibo » Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:26 pm

I'd like to donate, but being so young i'm going to have to scrape some money off of my parents :P

Also, the gold badge looks more green than gold. :wink:
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Post by sinbad » Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:20 am

Thanks for the feedback. That's the second time someone's mentioned the green tinge, I'll have to sort that out :)

Donating is only for people that a) want to and b) can afford to so no need to feel bad if you're not in one or other of those camps. Also bear in mind the most valuable contribution you can ever make to Ogre is your time, contributing patches, helping others in the community through the forums and the wiki or otherwise. Financial contributions are very welcome because costs are a fact of life, but it's only one way to contribute.
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Post by ajs15822 » Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:41 am

Quick run through photoshop smoothed the green out:

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Post by sinbad » Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:53 am

Ah, thanks :)
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Post by tau » Mon Jun 11, 2007 3:27 pm

I feel kinda proud to have the donation badge :) I dont care much about some extra features, or prizes, however - that small icon gives me an idea that I was helpful somehow to the Ogre project.
Now, when I have a new job, I eventually make into Silver, and then into Gold level. :lol:

Sinbad, please dont feel bad about the donations - Ogre is an open sourced project, you put your soul in it, and you give it out for free... Ogre deserved the donations ;) Besides, if most of the people (at least 10% of the 12623 registered users) donate $5 monthly (which is not that much - one movie ticket), it will help to cover hosting and part of your time, thus everybody benefits when Ogre gets the development boost (esp. bug fixes).
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Post by Frenetic » Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:47 am

I feel really bad for complaining, but is the big square Google ad at the top right of all the Wiki content pages really necessary? :(
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Post by tau » Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:31 am

Frenetic wrote:I feel really bad for complaining, but is the big square Google ad at the top right of all the Wiki content pages really necessary? :(
I dont see any problems with that... it's not covering the content - content flows around it...

Besides, it's a good location to spot it :D

But that's just my opinion.
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Post by Frenetic » Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:41 am

tau wrote:I dont see any problems with that...
I find it rather distracting, a big screen-dominating square, and I kind of thought that wasn't the idea when it comes to Google ads. But maybe its just me, and anyways, if it pays the bills, I don't really have any right to complain. I was just wondering if it wouldn't hurt to rethink that particular ad. The other ones are nicely unobtrusive.
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Post by sinbad » Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:11 pm

The choice of ad shapes is somewhat limited in terms of fitting them into the wiki - that's the best one I could find since the wiki styles don't cope well with right-aligned vertical bars. I made sure the ad box only appears on pages with a 'contents' box so most of the time it's in what was just wasted blank space unless people move the 'contents' box ;) But it was necessary because the ads on the wiki were underperforming.

Hosting costs are much higher now ogre3d.org is on a more powerful, 24/7 supported box. This gives us extra speed & reliability but the ads had to be beefed up to support the additional cost (which is about it 6-7 times the cost of the previous host, and 20 times what I pay for my personal hosting :)). I'm reviewing the situation always but it's a balancing act.
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Post by Frenetic » Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:56 pm

Thanks for the reply, sinbad!

Either I'm getting used to them, or the ads have improved now (they seem to be smaller and fit in better now with a grey background). So no worries. :)
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Post by Aladrin » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:24 am

I still want the Ogre head plushie. ;)
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Post by sinbad » Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:57 pm

I'm still working on that :)

Thankyou to everyone who has donated so far (10 people since last Friday - I also added people to the list who have donated over the last 12 months). We're already a little way towards one of the funding goals...
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Post by irrdev » Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:01 am

This looks nice! I definitely like this option for open-source projects. :wink:
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Post by SpannerMan » Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:15 pm

Ive got a great fund-raising idea!

Until Ogre gets enough donations to top some target, the showcase forum will have a new thread called 'Sinbad: Wrong in a thong'. This will consist of pictures of Steve dressed only in the Ogre thong.

However, in order to avoid this atrocity we have this monetary target to be met via donations. Once the target is reached before a certain deadline, the thread will be cancelled.

Who's got a digital camera?
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Post by Wolfmanfx » Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:24 pm

LOL are you serious :D
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Post by sinbad » Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:58 pm

Good idea!

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Post by SpannerMan » Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:45 pm

:shock:

You know, all that typing really shows in your pecs.
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Post by Funcracker » Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:04 pm

:lol:

Btw, I ordered the green military Ogre T-shirt this evening! Good stuff!
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Post by sinbad » Sat Jun 23, 2007 6:45 pm

Just a quick update to let you know how things are going:

In the 2 weeks since the donations were reactivated, 16 people have donated a total of US$991, which is awesome. The donators list includes a couple more people too, who donated through the old system over the last year, but we've spent that already (and then some) on the new server ;)

After ongoing server costs that goes a fair way towards being able to get an OSX machine (+Vista). Could be as early as the end of next month depending on whether we get any more donations, and depending on how much I can save (and beg from relatives for my birthday next month ;)). The Linux build / distro box will probably have to wait a while longer, we'll see how it goes.

Big thanks to everyone who has donated!
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Post by GameProducer » Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:27 pm

How about adding a system that donators would get ad-free forums/wiki in use? Like if you donate at least $$, then you would get to browse the forums without ads. (Make them separate usergroup or something, and give them a badge too ;))

That would seriously motivate me to donate :roll:
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Post by jjp » Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:00 pm

I don't really like that proposal, it does not fit the idea of donations.
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Post by sinbad » Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:37 pm

I agree, that's more of a subscription system. Donations are entirely voluntary - if using Ogre isn't motivation enough for you, then don't donate. ;)
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Is anyway to donate trough moneybookers??

Post by idhan » Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:34 pm

Hi,

I am very new on ogre, but I see the future on it and I'll very happy to donate (although not a lot because I am still student :P), but I only have a Moneybookers account (the Europe version of paypal).

Is there anyway I can donate though my Moneybookers account??
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