- Green Gecko
- Joined in 2008
Post♡ Please support GRcade | Fundraising so far: ☆✦£487.89✵✶ of £625! (1yr operating costs)
by Green Gecko » Mon Sep 04, 2023 5:21 pm
Day 2 update - Wow! We're already almost 2/3rds towards the total costs for 1 year, that's amazing!! Thank you all! GRcade is blessed
10/09/23 Update - Thank you for the all the donations that have come through since (sorry I was away for a bit), we are very close to our target now but have enough to fund the server for around 8-9 months including domain names.
Hello denizens of GRcade,
Due to a particularly generous round of fundraising well over a year and a half ago(!), I am grateful not to have had to ask for any financial contributions towards the substantial cost of renting a private dedicated server to power GRcade for the many years we've persisted. I have however had to diligently spread those donations out and not accidentally spend it on gaems, or exchange them for millions of pounds. Just kidding.
Recently, we had some fun discussion around surpassing our 15th birthday (in Internet terms, this is an extremely long time) and how GRcade is considered notable enough that it doesn't get erased by Wikipedia editors, it's stored on The History of the Internet and has literally trained AIs that will eventually replace us.
And as what I still find to be one of the most consistently high performing (i.e. fast!) non-social-media, but better-than-social-media websites, I use daily, just like so many of you.
Every day, sometimes in the middle of the night, I think about how profoundly unique and special GRcade is to serve as common home on the Internet, a source of support and really just somewhere to hang out, to belong, share ideas, debate common themes, journal and (often) simply read goings-on, whilst free from the machinations of algorithmic feeds, maximum character counts, ads, ads and more ads, egomaniacal, alien billionaires/manchildren, and so many other things that, on their own, did a very good job of not only ruining the Internet but also - in time - distinguishing GRcade by simply not having done any of those things, because they were always shitty ideas. I will attest, this was a choice, and I still believe it is the right one.
Ordinarily (i.e. in the past) I would write an even more voluminously long post about how special this place really is and how we do ultimately depend on your support. That is without running an egregious programme of advertising - and there haven't been just one, but many approaches over the years (actually on an almost weekly basis) trying to convince me that we should do that. And maybe, in financial principle, they are right, but I am either very stubborn or very stupid, and usually spend a few seconds thinking if I am making an awful mistake by ignoring this, and then think, in brief, nah strawberry float that.
So as most of you have already heard that same story repeatedly, and that in itself self-evidences that we are not (i.e. never) going to do that, and diligently allocate your snoops solely to the necessary expenses for running a website like this (with almost 5 million posts, a stupidly massive database that any sane sysadmin would have culled in 2009), I will attempt (badly) to stick to the point (imagine that).**
Today, although we will be reshuffling our hosting arrangements (still dedicated hardware) in the near future, our server (besides domain names and other miscellaneous costs that of course count towards our overheads) costs £42.23 per month. Over years, this of course adds up to a fairly substantial amount for just one person who is, for lack of a more succinct phrase, poor.
As always, please find the up to date, public ledger for GRcade's income and expenses, which I have maintained since January 2015, here.
As we are now running into the red, and will continue to for every month that the deficit is not addressed (ideally reversed in the usual pattern), I would be infinitely grateful for any amount, however small, big or whatever is the middle of that (up to you), that can help us rest easy and know that GRcade will persist for future decades (yes decades!!).
Typically speaking, if everybody who regularly browsed and/or posted on GRcade donated just £1 or £2, we would be in the clear for a substantial stretch into the future.
I think it is really important to respect that, without your support posting and contributing and optionally sending us some snoops from time to time (i.e. every 18 months...), GRcade simply wouldn't exist, and every day I think about how magical that is. I understand not everybody can afford to make a financial contribution, but you likely already contributed today by just choosing to share with us, and connect with others in the community, or maybe hop into one of our numerous online game huddles. While our expenses are inherent and a consequence of supporting that, it is that where the true value lies, and it would be a massive shame to overlook this. Hence why we don't and never will "two tier" those with the financial ability to support the site and those who are happy as they are choosing to engage with our weird corner of the Internet however they like! (Preferably less nazis.)
There are a few ways to send us funds:
PayPal (fee free)
If you wish to pay via an unregulated and virtually untaxed fake bank financing the billionaires of this world with deceptive form designs (because in third world countries like the USA, you have to pay your bank to do just about anything, which is not the case in the UK, so I guess there that makes sense), please:
- Go to PayPal website or app
- Go to the Send Money tab/section
- Pop in my official GRcade email address (below)
- On the next screen, check the option FOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY*
* Not the default option - you aren't buying any goods or services and so you don't need to be potentially refunded for them - which is all that PayPal would charge US to effectively insure if you use the default option. Which is literally just giving a corporation that takes 26 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR your money, this exact same way, because of how they have designed this form, and for no other reason. So please don't do that. .
ONLY use the following e-mail address:
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Please if you somehow have no personal details associated with your PayPal account, include some initials in your donation notes, just so that I have a record of the funds coming from someone, somewhere, in case of legal queries. You can also do that if you just want to say hi!
This is my sole trading PayPal account, with a few emails associated with it, that will show up as BJUM, which is just my initials, and my personal brand alongside which GRcade's full accounts are submitted annually to HMRC (the way it works is I submit accounts for multiple "trading names" or "businesses" in my self-assessment tax return every year, so it's 100% square with the authorities). Also, if I don't do this (and as has happened before), for "money laundering" reasons, PayPal might randomly decide to axe the account and freeze the funds because they are suspicious of people receiving money for reasons they couldn't possibly understand, like paying for a website to exist because it doesn't run ads or indeed sell anything. This is a concept completely lost on late stage capitalism, where highly inflated, otherwise vacuous meat sacks of human beings make money by doing things with the money actually used/needed for something else. It is better to have an established business alongside GRcade, with identity established, so PayPal basically don't assume one day we are selling drugs or some other ridiculous gooseberry fool.
If you wish to donate via debit/credit card without having a PayPal account, you can also do that:
PayPal debit/credit card only (charges a fee)
Link for one-off or recurring card payments only: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=6C9QHSVR73BTJ
(This is the button on the main page, and it's the only way we can make a button using PayPal, because PayPal.)
However, if you do this, please consider checking the option to add the fee to your donation to offset the cost of processing the card payment (if you really think that paying PayPal over ONE THIRD of your donation, in this example, is reasonable to cover the work that PayPal does automatically processing millions of similar payments and getting fat on the profits, please consider the above or below options where you can pay no fee at all). If you think this is a stupid idea, please revert to the above or below methods.
You can also choose to donate the same amount every month, which would be lovely. But if you are going to do that, it would probably be better to set up a standing order / recurring payment with your bank, instead using one of the world's most well established and advanced banking infrastructures that completely negates the necessity of PayPal in the 1990s, or you are funding PayPal monthly as well. I'm sure they deserve that money.
Online Bank Transfer (Internet Banking, the same thing as PayPal but there exists a proper and free, regulated, secure and reliable banking infrastructure in the United Kingdom, that PayPal has done a very good job of convincing the world is a very bad idea and you should instead trust PayPal™, the only safe way to pay online, except for your own bank that you store money in and send money from every day. Amounting to a private, corporate tax on money itself)
Preferably, also due to the unnecessary accounting overhead that PayPal generates (3X multiplying what has to be done to sort out GRcade's statutory accounts every year), you can send a bank transfer. You are of course more than welcome to set up a regular payment or standing order as we do indeed have a few and they are very helpful. Use these details:
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You can normally submit this without a name, they are definitely correct! If you need that please PM me for my legal name (this is a public post).
Please if you send a bank transfer, PM me some initials, just so that I have a record of the payment coming from someone, somewhere, in case of legal queries. It may take 1 or 2 days to clear, but is usually instant, and I don't always get any info on the other end than the account number.
For a funding target, with over one payment in the red, and one due in 3 weeks, and to cover various domain name renewals in the coming 12 months, I would set a target around £625. But with times being especially tough these days, I'd be more than happy with just the amount I am personally financing right now cleared, which I cannot afford (for the same reasons). And maybe a few months of funding, while I figure out something more rewarding for you, or significantly cutting our operating costs.
Here are some brief footnotes:
- Patreon - Yes, but it is just as much of a rip-off in terms of aggregate fees over the course of a year as PayPal, except there is no method at all for avoiding these.
- Ko-fi - Yes, but there is no option for regularly collecting payments without again paying a monthly fee, or a platform from which we could outline and deliver rewards, without - again - paying more fees
- Our own custom payment portal, shop, or payment processor. Yes, the infrastructure exists for this already, including recurring charges to a securely stored card (via Braintree, part of PayPal but for proper businesses). I just need the funds to set that up as well, which will necessarily be charged to the GRcade ledger. I can't afford to develop this for free, which just brings us around in circles to the previous options - short term pain versus long term gain. I just checked, and thankfully, the plug-in needed for my payment processor doesn't cost anything anymore (it used to be about $100), but subscriptions functionality for the development platform I am familiar with does. These options all have pros and cons, but it's arguable whether anybody is going to actually use them versus something they are mostly always (about 90% of the time), going to want to use anyway - and that's PayPal. Just guess my feelings on that subject.
- Stripe - no. They are notorious for freezing funds for months at a time without any prior contact or any way to get in touch with them to sort it out. Basically robbing you.
- I am slightly embarrassed about the merch I was promising to be randomly raffled off to people who have donated in the past. This still stands, but I might have to add the actual costs of producing that to ledger so that I am not at a loss myself, which is why that is somewhat difficult. My business makes an annual loss, but I have procured everything I need besides the time to get it done anyway, so watch this space.
Thanking you in advance for your support for GRcade!
Ben AKA Green Gecko
Your Friendly Forum Overlord
Not that far from the sea, a short crossing from France, where GRcade is more technically located
* Wondering why this amount has increased over previous years? Simple;- our host OVH Groupe SAS t/a OVHcloud increased the cost of the server by approximately the same amount, together with domain names, rounded down by a few pounds/pence.
** And apologies for trying to explain why I would really rather prefer that you not send free money to billionaires as a by product of wanting to support a non-profit community project instead. And also failing spectacularly tens of thousands of times to use a normal volume of words to describe things, but I guess that's what social media is for, so - ha, haha, hahahahaha
❤ btw GRcade costs money and depends on donations - please support one of the UK's oldest video gaming forums → HOW TO DONATE ❤
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