sfuqua wrote:Did I miss a message about how to support the forum financially?
I wish I could do more, but all of my computer knowledge is 20 years out of date.
We definitely want to set something up soon!
I think the best form for this would be something similar to Patreon (or a competing site), where 15-20 people can each give US$5/month. This wouldn't be an obligation at all! We only need a small number of people to chip in and we're golden.
I know that a lot of people prefer the "one big donation" model! But that means we have to set up some way to store and manage larger funds. And in the end, we have to pay a bill every month, so it's convenient to have money coming in every month.
We will need to sort this out in the next couple of months—with the recent server and database upgrades, we've gone from $60 to $75 to over $75 per month. We've tried running on cheaper setups in the past, but we basically need a few processor cores permanently dedicated to us to keep the site online reliably. And we pay AWS to manage our database server, to make backups of the database, and to automatically restore everything with no human intervention if the server eats itself. (I'm perfectly capable of running a database server without their help. But the hard part is keeping your disaster recovery system working for 5-10 years with no catastrophic data loss along the way. AWS actually does that quite well.)
So I think we should target a strictly voluntary donation model with the goal of raising $75-100 every month. I think that's a good way to make the community self-sufficient without creating a big tax headache or leaving piles of money sitting around in an account somewhere.
(If that doesn't work for people, I might also consider a sponsorship from one or two companies selling good language learning resources, stuff that we actually like. And no animated ad garbage. But I'd strongly prefer to keep the funding within the community.)