Ok I really need everyone's help figuring out how we should handle this years fundraiser.
Those of you who have been around DC for a year or so may remember our last fundraiser, which was back in September of 2006.
Well 2007 is coming to a close and we haven't had a fundraiser yet.. So we need to have one in December, or not at all.
I have been thinking about it and I realized I can't make these decisions alone any more and they should be community decisions. So let me lay out the issues and get some feedback from you guys and gals.
Issue #1: Should we have a fundraiser in December, and how should we focus it?
1. I think it's important to have a yearly fundraiser on the site. It's a chance for us to reach out to people who might not otherwise consider donating, and a chance to reach out to people who have been readers and participants for a while and need a little extra reason to donate and join the site as a supporting member.
2. Normally one of the things I try to do during the fundraiser month is go all out and code and write stuff for the site to try to "earn" the fundraiser contributions. This time however, I'm personally so busy for the next couple of months that it's all I can do to keep up with my normal software updates, etc. So I feel a little uncomfortable asking for donations now of all months.
3. But on the other hand, what I'd love for us to do is take this as an opportunity to raise funds to help support additional programming projects on the site spearheaded by others, and to support others on the site who contribute to making it a great place. So I'm kind of thinking we should have a fundraiser this year in December, and focus it on the idea of raising funds for future projects.
4. Actually I have some very big plans for 2008, including some web services on DC and an extremely cool new review system. And I'd like us to get a more powerful member server so we can support giving out more web space for member projects. And I'd like to encourage people who donate to the fundraiser to give their credits to people on the site whose work they want to support.
Issue #2: Assuming we have a fundraiser (or whenever we next have one), should we make public money raised and have a specific goal?
The last time we had a fundraiser we didn't say anything about how much was raised. This is always an issue i get squirmy about in general because I know most websites don't talk about how much money they receive. It seems to never have a positive effect. Some people look and think what a failure of a project, and others look and think, they have enough they don't need my money. And i never know how much we should expect to raise.
However, i feel like because of the community nature of the site, and especially during the fundraiser, that we should publicly show how much money is being raised. Well at least like most things we do here, it's worth an experiment don't you think?
So i was thinking about one of those little thermometer fundraising things at the top of the DC pages for December showing how much money has been raised so far during the fundraiser.
Which brings us to the much harder question of: Should we have a goal amount to raise (i think so, just for fun if nothing else), and what should that amount be?
We don't want it to be too low as that is sad. We don't want it to be too high because then if we don't reach it, it looks even sadder.
Last year we raised $6000 i think. One idea would be to put like 2 markers on the thermometer towards the goal:
The first at $6,000 mark to reach last years amount, the second at our optimistic goal ($12,000).
What do you guys/gals think about that?
Issue #3: Do you have any ideas of things we could do for the December fundraiser that would help?
I'd love to hear ideas of things we could do -- especially if they are ideas that you would be willing to help out doing.
Whether you are a long term member of the site or a new visitor, I really look forward to hearing your ideas.
(you can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you don't want to post publicly).