Funding/Donating to the OSGrid Project

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Funding/Donating to the OSGrid Project

Len W. Brown
Hi!

     I've been wanting to make a monthly donation to OSGrid.org but for the last several months (as far back as I can recall) the site has shown a static "Funding at 58% of Target" and not changed whatsoever.  I find that extremely hard to believe.  Is OSGrid simply lying and maintaining that 58% donation figure for months on end to compel people to donate?  for all I know at this point, they may be receiving thousands in donations per month, but of course, without transparency, that is impossible to identify.

    I regularly donate money to open source projects I have an interest in, but only when their donation requests are transparent and clear.  On OSGrid's donation page, they state their target is $250.00 per month.  I just find it very hard to believe that, with the thousands of users and connected regions they are still only getting about $150 per month without any changes in that contribution level all through the summer and fall.

     I have the suspicion that others who would like to donate as well are turned off by the seemingly forever static contribution coverage percentage.  If I saw even a little fluctuation I'd at least know there is some variability in contributions and I'd not hesitate to offer a monthly contribution via PayPal.

     Heck, even if they said that contributions were at 100% but that they could always make use of more money, even if for personal compensation to those working on the project, I'd not have the slightest problem with that.  I have no reservations about making a donation that the recipient pockets - as long as they are actively contributing to the project in some manner.

     But for now I'm donating my money to other groups while OSGrid.org maintains their contributions as only 58% of their meager $250/month goal...

- Len W. brown
     [hidden email]

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Re: Funding/Donating to the OSGrid Project

Len W. Brown
I just noticed this on their donations page:

"Current Status: $50.00/mo pledged. (Last updated: 11:36PM PST, Monday 20th July 2009)"

That is quite interesting as well.  I don't see how they come to the conclusion that a $50 donation pledge is "58% of Target" which is $250.

:)

- Len

On Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 12:12 AM, Len Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi!

     I've been wanting to make a monthly donation to OSGrid.org but for the last several months (as far back as I can recall) the site has shown a static "Funding at 58% of Target" and not changed whatsoever.  I find that extremely hard to believe.  Is OSGrid simply lying and maintaining that 58% donation figure for months on end to compel people to donate?  for all I know at this point, they may be receiving thousands in donations per month, but of course, without transparency, that is impossible to identify.

    I regularly donate money to open source projects I have an interest in, but only when their donation requests are transparent and clear.  On OSGrid's donation page, they state their target is $250.00 per month.  I just find it very hard to believe that, with the thousands of users and connected regions they are still only getting about $150 per month without any changes in that contribution level all through the summer and fall.

     I have the suspicion that others who would like to donate as well are turned off by the seemingly forever static contribution coverage percentage.  If I saw even a little fluctuation I'd at least know there is some variability in contributions and I'd not hesitate to offer a monthly contribution via PayPal.

     Heck, even if they said that contributions were at 100% but that they could always make use of more money, even if for personal compensation to those working on the project, I'd not have the slightest problem with that.  I have no reservations about making a donation that the recipient pockets - as long as they are actively contributing to the project in some manner.

     But for now I'm donating my money to other groups while OSGrid.org maintains their contributions as only 58% of their meager $250/month goal...

- Len W. brown
     [hidden email]


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Re: Funding/Donating to the OSGrid Project

Frisby, Adam

Sorry about this – we switched it (or should have) recently over to a fixed message on the screen (may not have been put on the live site yet, I believe Dave was supposed to be doing that?), since tracking the donations turned out to require a manual count of the subscriptions every time it needed to be updated (which naturally resulted in it not getting done after a few months), and it needs to be updated in about fifteen different places on the site’s code.

 

That said, I do think it is still a little shy of the target right now, but we’re ahead of our costs which is good – I would like to prod Ckrinke (*prod prod*) to do some kind of news piece on the site with just a quick update on where the fundraising efforts are going, and what the current donation levels are – we’re trying to hit a target of having about years operational fees in balance (which should be described on that page) which gives us a bit of long-term security.

 

If you are curious about what it’s being spent on – right now, I believe (and don’t quote me here, I’m not doing the books) we’re slightly ahead of our current costs which are entirely consumed by server lease fees. We also had a couple of one-off expenses this year with paperwork filing fees in CA to get the registered organisation wrapped up (and we’re formally applying for federal tax exempt status this week – long process). If I had to guess based on the balance in the bank account; we’re taking in about $250/mo right now, and our target is $300 (so 80% or thereabouts).

 

We do also get a couple of one-off payments which we don’t count towards the regular monthly commitments; we’ve had a couple of very generous persons who have donated $100+ at a time; which we’re putting into a rainy day fund that will be used to cover shortfalls in other months (ie; if we have a month where donations is less than our costs, as has happened occasionally), or may be used in the future to purchase new hardware (we are eyeballing replacing the current asset server with something more purpose built for the task.)

 

Costs remain right now at $160/mo + one-offs; so the donations are still much appreciated – once we hit that magic $300/mo, we want to go ahead and buy a second UGIM server to act as a hot-backup to the current systems (since right now our regular backup is in Nebadon’s basement – and not really ideal if we ever need to do a big restore like in January.) – this is non-essential for the grid operations, but we do want to insure ourselves against catastrophic hardware failure and has been a priority to setup hopefully sometime this year.

 

In addition to the donations, there are also the sponsors – OSgrid is sponsored to a fairly considerable tune by people who have donated dedicated servers to the grid. The electric sheep company provides our central database & UGIM server right now, Dave Coyle/Knifejaw Systems provide a fairly powerful box that hosts LBSA Plaza & others; DeepThink (disclaimer, I’m part of D.T.) donates two boxes which host the remaining plazas (inc. Wright) [which deepthink recently just upgraded].

 

As mentioned on the site – OSgrid is a registered nonprofit, and while the above may paint a somewhat rosy position; in absolute terms it is still only ~$250 per month; and we desperately want to both; a) have savings for a rainy day (e.g.; a critical machine fails & needs replacing), and b) purchase some new equipment from time to time to expand our services when possible; which means that every donation is very-much appreciated – and it can be assured we’re doing our best to keep our costs down & not wasting any funds we receive.

 

With all the above said, the opensim-users list isn’t really the place for osgrid specific discussion (#osgrid on freenode is probably the proper place) – but I hope I answered any questions or concerns you might have about the donations & where they go.

 

Regards,

 

Adam

(OSgrid Vice President)

 

From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Len Brown
Sent: Saturday, 7 November 2009 10:52 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Opensim-users] Funding/Donating to the OSGrid Project

 

I just noticed this on their donations page:

"Current Status: $50.00/mo pledged. (Last updated: 11:36PM PST, Monday 20th July 2009)"

That is quite interesting as well.  I don't see how they come to the conclusion that a $50 donation pledge is "58% of Target" which is $250.

:)

- Len

On Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 12:12 AM, Len Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi!

     I've been wanting to make a monthly donation to OSGrid.org but for the last several months (as far back as I can recall) the site has shown a static "Funding at 58% of Target" and not changed whatsoever.  I find that extremely hard to believe.  Is OSGrid simply lying and maintaining that 58% donation figure for months on end to compel people to donate?  for all I know at this point, they may be receiving thousands in donations per month, but of course, without transparency, that is impossible to identify.

    I regularly donate money to open source projects I have an interest in, but only when their donation requests are transparent and clear.  On OSGrid's donation page, they state their target is $250.00 per month.  I just find it very hard to believe that, with the thousands of users and connected regions they are still only getting about $150 per month without any changes in that contribution level all through the summer and fall.

     I have the suspicion that others who would like to donate as well are turned off by the seemingly forever static contribution coverage percentage.  If I saw even a little fluctuation I'd at least know there is some variability in contributions and I'd not hesitate to offer a monthly contribution via PayPal.

     Heck, even if they said that contributions were at 100% but that they could always make use of more money, even if for personal compensation to those working on the project, I'd not have the slightest problem with that.  I have no reservations about making a donation that the recipient pockets - as long as they are actively contributing to the project in some manner.

     But for now I'm donating my money to other groups while OSGrid.org maintains their contributions as only 58% of their meager $250/month goal...

- Len W. brown
     [hidden email]

 


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Re: Funding/Donating to the OSGrid Project

Len W. Brown
Thank you so much Adam!  I really appreicate you taking the time to detail these things for me.

     What brought the contribution issue to mind especially is that until recently I had been paying Linden Lab for a full private region in Second Life.  And you may know those regions go for $295 per month (even "light use" regions are $195 a month). That's a hefty chunk of change.  Of course, now I use OpenSim almost exclusively and would be far more willing now to pay a monthly contribution to this project rather than continuing to breastfeed the Linden Lords.  :)

Last I heard they have around 300,000 regions they are feeding off of now.

Thanks again and I'll be very happy to initiate a decent monthly contribution soon if the contribution portion of the site gets updated and more properly managed.

BTW, you mentioned having to change the stats in several places on the site.  Is it not running on PHP or similar?  Even if it still had to be manually entered into the database, surely drawing the stats for contributions from a single database field would simplify matters.

I had a non-profit site for a few years and had a small bar meter graph in the header (on every page)  that relied on a field in the database.  Once a week I entered that week's donations and expenses in and the bar graph updated to reflect it.  It made sense because on that same day I also spent donated money for hosting, supplies, etc so it was a fairly simplistic process.  I then displayed what purchases I made as a simple pop up when the donation meter was clicked on.

I had a disclaimer, as you do, that I had authority to determine in what ways the donation was to be used, but by also displaying what I used it for then there was little question coming from donors.  I even had a "back-pat allowance" that I openly said was pocketed money for personal enjoyment (generally 10-15% of the total donation amount monthly).  I never had a single complaint, but I believe that was because I was crystal clear from the start - if you disagreed with my use of donations then you had the simple choice - not to donate.

Thanks again Adam!

- Len


On Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 2:07 AM, Frisby, Adam <[hidden email]> wrote:

Sorry about this – we switched it (or should have) recently over to a fixed message on the screen (may not have been put on the live site yet, I believe Dave was supposed to be doing that?), since tracking the donations turned out to require a manual count of the subscriptions every time it needed to be updated (which naturally resulted in it not getting done after a few months), and it needs to be updated in about fifteen different places on the site’s code.

 

That said, I do think it is still a little shy of the target right now, but we’re ahead of our costs which is good – I would like to prod Ckrinke (*prod prod*) to do some kind of news piece on the site with just a quick update on where the fundraising efforts are going, and what the current donation levels are – we’re trying to hit a target of having about years operational fees in balance (which should be described on that page) which gives us a bit of long-term security.

 

If you are curious about what it’s being spent on – right now, I believe (and don’t quote me here, I’m not doing the books) we’re slightly ahead of our current costs which are entirely consumed by server lease fees. We also had a couple of one-off expenses this year with paperwork filing fees in CA to get the registered organisation wrapped up (and we’re formally applying for federal tax exempt status this week – long process). If I had to guess based on the balance in the bank account; we’re taking in about $250/mo right now, and our target is $300 (so 80% or thereabouts).

 

We do also get a couple of one-off payments which we don’t count towards the regular monthly commitments; we’ve had a couple of very generous persons who have donated $100+ at a time; which we’re putting into a rainy day fund that will be used to cover shortfalls in other months (ie; if we have a month where donations is less than our costs, as has happened occasionally), or may be used in the future to purchase new hardware (we are eyeballing replacing the current asset server with something more purpose built for the task.)

 

Costs remain right now at $160/mo + one-offs; so the donations are still much appreciated – once we hit that magic $300/mo, we want to go ahead and buy a second UGIM server to act as a hot-backup to the current systems (since right now our regular backup is in Nebadon’s basement – and not really ideal if we ever need to do a big restore like in January.) – this is non-essential for the grid operations, but we do want to insure ourselves against catastrophic hardware failure and has been a priority to setup hopefully sometime this year.

 

In addition to the donations, there are also the sponsors – OSgrid is sponsored to a fairly considerable tune by people who have donated dedicated servers to the grid. The electric sheep company provides our central database & UGIM server right now, Dave Coyle/Knifejaw Systems provide a fairly powerful box that hosts LBSA Plaza & others; DeepThink (disclaimer, I’m part of D.T.) donates two boxes which host the remaining plazas (inc. Wright) [which deepthink recently just upgraded].

 

As mentioned on the site – OSgrid is a registered nonprofit, and while the above may paint a somewhat rosy position; in absolute terms it is still only ~$250 per month; and we desperately want to both; a) have savings for a rainy day (e.g.; a critical machine fails & needs replacing), and b) purchase some new equipment from time to time to expand our services when possible; which means that every donation is very-much appreciated – and it can be assured we’re doing our best to keep our costs down & not wasting any funds we receive.

 

With all the above said, the opensim-users list isn’t really the place for osgrid specific discussion (#osgrid on freenode is probably the proper place) – but I hope I answered any questions or concerns you might have about the donations & where they go.

 

Regards,

 

Adam

(OSgrid Vice President)

 

From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Len Brown
Sent: Saturday, 7 November 2009 10:52 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Opensim-users] Funding/Donating to the OSGrid Project

 

I just noticed this on their donations page:

"Current Status: $50.00/mo pledged. (Last updated: 11:36PM PST, Monday 20th July 2009)"

That is quite interesting as well.  I don't see how they come to the conclusion that a $50 donation pledge is "58% of Target" which is $250.

:)

- Len

On Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 12:12 AM, Len Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi!

     I've been wanting to make a monthly donation to OSGrid.org but for the last several months (as far back as I can recall) the site has shown a static "Funding at 58% of Target" and not changed whatsoever.  I find that extremely hard to believe.  Is OSGrid simply lying and maintaining that 58% donation figure for months on end to compel people to donate?  for all I know at this point, they may be receiving thousands in donations per month, but of course, without transparency, that is impossible to identify.

    I regularly donate money to open source projects I have an interest in, but only when their donation requests are transparent and clear.  On OSGrid's donation page, they state their target is $250.00 per month.  I just find it very hard to believe that, with the thousands of users and connected regions they are still only getting about $150 per month without any changes in that contribution level all through the summer and fall.

     I have the suspicion that others who would like to donate as well are turned off by the seemingly forever static contribution coverage percentage.  If I saw even a little fluctuation I'd at least know there is some variability in contributions and I'd not hesitate to offer a monthly contribution via PayPal.

     Heck, even if they said that contributions were at 100% but that they could always make use of more money, even if for personal compensation to those working on the project, I'd not have the slightest problem with that.  I have no reservations about making a donation that the recipient pockets - as long as they are actively contributing to the project in some manner.

     But for now I'm donating my money to other groups while OSGrid.org maintains their contributions as only 58% of their meager $250/month goal...

- Len W. brown
     [hidden email]

 


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[hidden email]
https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users



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Re: Funding/Donating to the OSGrid Project

Diva Canto
+1 to donating to OSGrid.

Just want to make sure that there is no confusion here, as this thread
is in *opensim*-users. The OpenSim project and OSGrid are two separate
and independent things. OpenSim is... well OpenSim. OSgrid is an
OpenSim-based grid run by Adam, Nebadon, Charles and a few other
volunteers. The people behind OSGrid are instrumental in testing the
bleeding edge OpenSim, they are the frontline of large-scale OpenSim
testing; but they are not the only testers.

The OpenSim project itself also takes donations, but we don't really
value that kind of contribution. We value people's time best. You can
find info about it in this obscure page:
http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Donations

Personal note: at this point, what I would value most coming from people
who aren't programmers but who want to donate something to the OpenSim
project would be free content -- avatars, clothes, etc.

Len Brown wrote:

> Thank you so much Adam!  I really appreicate you taking the time to
> detail these things for me.
>
>      What brought the contribution issue to mind especially is that
> until recently I had been paying Linden Lab for a full private region in
> Second Life.  And you may know those regions go for $295 per month (even
> "light use" regions are $195 a month). That's a hefty chunk of change.  
> Of course, now I use OpenSim almost exclusively and would be far more
> willing now to pay a monthly contribution to this project rather than
> continuing to breastfeed the Linden Lords.  :)
>
> Last I heard they have around 300,000 regions they are feeding off of now.
>
> Thanks again and I'll be very happy to initiate a decent monthly
> contribution soon if the contribution portion of the site gets updated
> and more properly managed.
>
> BTW, you mentioned having to change the stats in several places on the
> site.  Is it not running on PHP or similar?  Even if it still had to be
> manually entered into the database, surely drawing the stats for
> contributions from a single database field would simplify matters.
>
> I had a non-profit site for a few years and had a small bar meter graph
> in the header (on every page)  that relied on a field in the database.  
> Once a week I entered that week's donations and expenses in and the bar
> graph updated to reflect it.  It made sense because on that same day I
> also spent donated money for hosting, supplies, etc so it was a fairly
> simplistic process.  I then displayed what purchases I made as a simple
> pop up when the donation meter was clicked on.
>
> I had a disclaimer, as you do, that I had authority to determine in what
> ways the donation was to be used, but by also displaying what I used it
> for then there was little question coming from donors.  I even had a
> "back-pat allowance" that I openly said was pocketed money for personal
> enjoyment (generally 10-15% of the total donation amount monthly).  I
> never had a single complaint, but I believe that was because I was
> crystal clear from the start - if you disagreed with my use of donations
> then you had the simple choice - not to donate.
>
> Thanks again Adam!
>
> - Len
>
>
> On Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 2:07 AM, Frisby, Adam <[hidden email]
> <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>     Sorry about this – we switched it (or should have) recently over to
>     a fixed message on the screen (may not have been put on the live
>     site yet, I believe Dave was supposed to be doing that?), since
>     tracking the donations turned out to require a manual count of the
>     subscriptions every time it needed to be updated (which naturally
>     resulted in it not getting done after a few months), and it needs to
>     be updated in about fifteen different places on the site’s code.
>
>      
>
>     That said, I do think it is still a little shy of the target right
>     now, but we’re ahead of our costs which is good – I would like to
>     prod Ckrinke (*prod prod*) to do some kind of news piece on the site
>     with just a quick update on where the fundraising efforts are going,
>     and what the current donation levels are – we’re trying to hit a
>     target of having about years operational fees in balance (which
>     should be described on that page) which gives us a bit of long-term
>     security.
>
>      
>
>     If you are curious about what it’s being spent on – right now, I
>     believe (and don’t quote me here, I’m not doing the books) we’re
>     slightly ahead of our current costs which are entirely consumed by
>     server lease fees. We also had a couple of one-off expenses this
>     year with paperwork filing fees in CA to get the registered
>     organisation wrapped up (and we’re formally applying for federal tax
>     exempt status this week – long process). If I had to guess based on
>     the balance in the bank account; we’re taking in about $250/mo right
>     now, and our target is $300 (so 80% or thereabouts).
>
>      
>
>     We do also get a couple of one-off payments which we don’t count
>     towards the regular monthly commitments; we’ve had a couple of very
>     generous persons who have donated $100+ at a time; which we’re
>     putting into a rainy day fund that will be used to cover shortfalls
>     in other months (ie; if we have a month where donations is less than
>     our costs, as has happened occasionally), or may be used in the
>     future to purchase new hardware (we are eyeballing replacing the
>     current asset server with something more purpose built for the task.)
>
>      
>
>     Costs remain right now at $160/mo + one-offs; so the donations are
>     still much appreciated – once we hit that magic $300/mo, we want to
>     go ahead and buy a second UGIM server to act as a hot-backup to the
>     current systems (since right now our regular backup is in Nebadon’s
>     basement – and not really ideal if we ever need to do a big restore
>     like in January.) – this is non-essential for the grid operations,
>     but we do want to insure ourselves against catastrophic hardware
>     failure and has been a priority to setup hopefully sometime this year.
>
>      
>
>     In addition to the donations, there are also the sponsors – OSgrid
>     is sponsored to a fairly considerable tune by people who have
>     donated dedicated servers to the grid. The electric sheep company
>     provides our central database & UGIM server right now, Dave
>     Coyle/Knifejaw Systems provide a fairly powerful box that hosts LBSA
>     Plaza & others; DeepThink (disclaimer, I’m part of D.T.) donates two
>     boxes which host the remaining plazas (inc. Wright) [which deepthink
>     recently just upgraded].
>
>      
>
>     As mentioned on the site – OSgrid is a registered nonprofit, and
>     while the above may paint a somewhat rosy position; in absolute
>     terms it is still only ~$250 per month; and we desperately want to
>     both; a) have savings for a rainy day (e.g.; a critical machine
>     fails & needs replacing), and b) purchase some new equipment from
>     time to time to expand our services when possible; which means that
>     every donation is very-much appreciated – and it can be assured
>     we’re doing our best to keep our costs down & not wasting any funds
>     we receive.
>
>      
>
>     With all the above said, the opensim-users list isn’t really the
>     place for osgrid specific discussion (#osgrid on freenode is
>     probably the proper place) – but I hope I answered any questions or
>     concerns you might have about the donations & where they go.
>
>      
>
>     Regards,
>
>      
>
>     Adam
>
>     (OSgrid Vice President)
>
>      
>
>     *From:* [hidden email]
>     <mailto:[hidden email]>
>     [mailto:[hidden email]
>     <mailto:[hidden email]>] *On Behalf Of *Len
>     Brown
>     *Sent:* Saturday, 7 November 2009 10:52 PM
>     *To:* [hidden email]
>     <mailto:[hidden email]>
>     *Subject:* Re: [Opensim-users] Funding/Donating to the OSGrid Project
>
>      
>
>     I just noticed this on their donations page:
>
>     "*Current Status:* $50.00/mo pledged. (Last updated: 11:36PM PST,
>     Monday 20th July 2009)"
>
>     That is quite interesting as well.  I don't see how they come to the
>     conclusion that a $50 donation pledge is "58% of Target" which is $250.
>
>     :)
>
>     - Len
>
>     On Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 12:12 AM, Len Brown <[hidden email]
>     <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>     Hi!
>
>          I've been wanting to make a monthly donation to OSGrid.org but
>     for the last several months (as far back as I can recall) the site
>     has shown a static "Funding at 58% of Target" and not changed
>     whatsoever.  I find that extremely hard to believe.  Is OSGrid
>     simply lying and maintaining that 58% donation figure for months on
>     end to compel people to donate?  for all I know at this point, they
>     may be receiving thousands in donations per month, but of course,
>     without transparency, that is impossible to identify.
>
>         I regularly donate money to open source projects I have an
>     interest in, but only when their donation requests are transparent
>     and clear.  On OSGrid's donation page, they state their target is
>     $250.00 per month.  I just find it very hard to believe that, with
>     the thousands of users and connected regions they are still only
>     getting about $150 per month without any changes in that
>     contribution level all through the summer and fall.
>
>          I have the suspicion that others who would like to donate as
>     well are turned off by the seemingly forever static contribution
>     coverage percentage.  If I saw even a little fluctuation I'd at
>     least know there is some variability in contributions and I'd not
>     hesitate to offer a monthly contribution via PayPal.
>
>          Heck, even if they said that contributions were at 100% but
>     that they could always make use of more money, even if for personal
>     compensation to those working on the project, I'd not have the
>     slightest problem with that.  I have no reservations about making a
>     donation that the recipient pockets - as long as they are actively
>     contributing to the project in some manner.
>
>          But for now I'm donating my money to other groups while
>     OSGrid.org maintains their contributions as only 58% of their meager
>     $250/month goal...
>
>     - Len W. brown
>          [hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>
>
>      
>
>
>     _______________________________________________
>     Opensim-users mailing list
>     [hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>
>     https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> _______________________________________________
> Opensim-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
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Re: Funding/Donating to the OSGrid Project

Robert Klein
+1 to what Diva says about contributing time and free stuff!!

Diva Canto wrote
+1 to donating to OSGrid.

Just want to make sure that there is no confusion here, as this thread
is in *opensim*-users. The OpenSim project and OSGrid are two separate
and independent things. OpenSim is... well OpenSim. OSgrid is an
OpenSim-based grid run by Adam, Nebadon, Charles and a few other
volunteers. The people behind OSGrid are instrumental in testing the
bleeding edge OpenSim, they are the frontline of large-scale OpenSim
testing; but they are not the only testers.

The OpenSim project itself also takes donations, but we don't really
value that kind of contribution. We value people's time best. You can
find info about it in this obscure page:
http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Donations

Personal note: at this point, what I would value most coming from people
who aren't programmers but who want to donate something to the OpenSim
project would be free content -- avatars, clothes, etc.

Len Brown wrote:
> Thank you so much Adam!  I really appreicate you taking the time to
> detail these things for me.
>
>      What brought the contribution issue to mind especially is that
> until recently I had been paying Linden Lab for a full private region in
> Second Life.  And you may know those regions go for $295 per month (even
> "light use" regions are $195 a month). That's a hefty chunk of change.  
> Of course, now I use OpenSim almost exclusively and would be far more
> willing now to pay a monthly contribution to this project rather than
> continuing to breastfeed the Linden Lords.  :)
>
> Last I heard they have around 300,000 regions they are feeding off of now.
>
> Thanks again and I'll be very happy to initiate a decent monthly
> contribution soon if the contribution portion of the site gets updated
> and more properly managed.
>
> BTW, you mentioned having to change the stats in several places on the
> site.  Is it not running on PHP or similar?  Even if it still had to be
> manually entered into the database, surely drawing the stats for
> contributions from a single database field would simplify matters.
>
> I had a non-profit site for a few years and had a small bar meter graph
> in the header (on every page)  that relied on a field in the database.  
> Once a week I entered that week's donations and expenses in and the bar
> graph updated to reflect it.  It made sense because on that same day I
> also spent donated money for hosting, supplies, etc so it was a fairly
> simplistic process.  I then displayed what purchases I made as a simple
> pop up when the donation meter was clicked on.
>
> I had a disclaimer, as you do, that I had authority to determine in what
> ways the donation was to be used, but by also displaying what I used it
> for then there was little question coming from donors.  I even had a
> "back-pat allowance" that I openly said was pocketed money for personal
> enjoyment (generally 10-15% of the total donation amount monthly).  I
> never had a single complaint, but I believe that was because I was
> crystal clear from the start - if you disagreed with my use of donations
> then you had the simple choice - not to donate.
>
> Thanks again Adam!
>
> - Len
>
>
> On Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 2:07 AM, Frisby, Adam <adam@deepthink.com.au
> <mailto:adam@deepthink.com.au>> wrote:
>
>     Sorry about this – we switched it (or should have) recently over to
>     a fixed message on the screen (may not have been put on the live
>     site yet, I believe Dave was supposed to be doing that?), since
>     tracking the donations turned out to require a manual count of the
>     subscriptions every time it needed to be updated (which naturally
>     resulted in it not getting done after a few months), and it needs to
>     be updated in about fifteen different places on the site’s code.
>
>      
>
>     That said, I do think it is still a little shy of the target right
>     now, but we’re ahead of our costs which is good – I would like to
>     prod Ckrinke (*prod prod*) to do some kind of news piece on the site
>     with just a quick update on where the fundraising efforts are going,
>     and what the current donation levels are – we’re trying to hit a
>     target of having about years operational fees in balance (which
>     should be described on that page) which gives us a bit of long-term
>     security.
>
>      
>
>     If you are curious about what it’s being spent on – right now, I
>     believe (and don’t quote me here, I’m not doing the books) we’re
>     slightly ahead of our current costs which are entirely consumed by
>     server lease fees. We also had a couple of one-off expenses this
>     year with paperwork filing fees in CA to get the registered
>     organisation wrapped up (and we’re formally applying for federal tax
>     exempt status this week – long process). If I had to guess based on
>     the balance in the bank account; we’re taking in about $250/mo right
>     now, and our target is $300 (so 80% or thereabouts).
>
>      
>
>     We do also get a couple of one-off payments which we don’t count
>     towards the regular monthly commitments; we’ve had a couple of very
>     generous persons who have donated $100+ at a time; which we’re
>     putting into a rainy day fund that will be used to cover shortfalls
>     in other months (ie; if we have a month where donations is less than
>     our costs, as has happened occasionally), or may be used in the
>     future to purchase new hardware (we are eyeballing replacing the
>     current asset server with something more purpose built for the task.)
>
>      
>
>     Costs remain right now at $160/mo + one-offs; so the donations are
>     still much appreciated – once we hit that magic $300/mo, we want to
>     go ahead and buy a second UGIM server to act as a hot-backup to the
>     current systems (since right now our regular backup is in Nebadon’s
>     basement – and not really ideal if we ever need to do a big restore
>     like in January.) – this is non-essential for the grid operations,
>     but we do want to insure ourselves against catastrophic hardware
>     failure and has been a priority to setup hopefully sometime this year.
>
>      
>
>     In addition to the donations, there are also the sponsors – OSgrid
>     is sponsored to a fairly considerable tune by people who have
>     donated dedicated servers to the grid. The electric sheep company
>     provides our central database & UGIM server right now, Dave
>     Coyle/Knifejaw Systems provide a fairly powerful box that hosts LBSA
>     Plaza & others; DeepThink (disclaimer, I’m part of D.T.) donates two
>     boxes which host the remaining plazas (inc. Wright) [which deepthink
>     recently just upgraded].
>
>      
>
>     As mentioned on the site – OSgrid is a registered nonprofit, and
>     while the above may paint a somewhat rosy position; in absolute
>     terms it is still only ~$250 per month; and we desperately want to
>     both; a) have savings for a rainy day (e.g.; a critical machine
>     fails & needs replacing), and b) purchase some new equipment from
>     time to time to expand our services when possible; which means that
>     every donation is very-much appreciated – and it can be assured
>     we’re doing our best to keep our costs down & not wasting any funds
>     we receive.
>
>      
>
>     With all the above said, the opensim-users list isn’t really the
>     place for osgrid specific discussion (#osgrid on freenode is
>     probably the proper place) – but I hope I answered any questions or
>     concerns you might have about the donations & where they go.
>
>      
>
>     Regards,
>
>      
>
>     Adam
>
>     (OSgrid Vice President)
>
>      
>
>     *From:* opensim-users-bounces@lists.berlios.de
>     <mailto:opensim-users-bounces@lists.berlios.de>
>     [mailto:opensim-users-bounces@lists.berlios.de
>     <mailto:opensim-users-bounces@lists.berlios.de>] *On Behalf Of *Len
>     Brown
>     *Sent:* Saturday, 7 November 2009 10:52 PM
>     *To:* opensim-users@lists.berlios.de
>     <mailto:opensim-users@lists.berlios.de>
>     *Subject:* Re: [Opensim-users] Funding/Donating to the OSGrid Project
>
>      
>
>     I just noticed this on their donations page:
>
>     "*Current Status:* $50.00/mo pledged. (Last updated: 11:36PM PST,
>     Monday 20th July 2009)"
>
>     That is quite interesting as well.  I don't see how they come to the
>     conclusion that a $50 donation pledge is "58% of Target" which is $250.
>
>     :)
>
>     - Len
>
>     On Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 12:12 AM, Len Brown <lenwbrown@gmail.com
>     <mailto:lenwbrown@gmail.com>> wrote:
>
>     Hi!
>
>          I've been wanting to make a monthly donation to OSGrid.org but
>     for the last several months (as far back as I can recall) the site
>     has shown a static "Funding at 58% of Target" and not changed
>     whatsoever.  I find that extremely hard to believe.  Is OSGrid
>     simply lying and maintaining that 58% donation figure for months on
>     end to compel people to donate?  for all I know at this point, they
>     may be receiving thousands in donations per month, but of course,
>     without transparency, that is impossible to identify.
>
>         I regularly donate money to open source projects I have an
>     interest in, but only when their donation requests are transparent
>     and clear.  On OSGrid's donation page, they state their target is
>     $250.00 per month.  I just find it very hard to believe that, with
>     the thousands of users and connected regions they are still only
>     getting about $150 per month without any changes in that
>     contribution level all through the summer and fall.
>
>          I have the suspicion that others who would like to donate as
>     well are turned off by the seemingly forever static contribution
>     coverage percentage.  If I saw even a little fluctuation I'd at
>     least know there is some variability in contributions and I'd not
>     hesitate to offer a monthly contribution via PayPal.
>
>          Heck, even if they said that contributions were at 100% but
>     that they could always make use of more money, even if for personal
>     compensation to those working on the project, I'd not have the
>     slightest problem with that.  I have no reservations about making a
>     donation that the recipient pockets - as long as they are actively
>     contributing to the project in some manner.
>
>          But for now I'm donating my money to other groups while
>     OSGrid.org maintains their contributions as only 58% of their meager
>     $250/month goal...
>
>     - Len W. brown
>          lenwbrown@gmail.com <mailto:lenwbrown@gmail.com>
>
>      
>
>
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