UPDATE (1:30 PM 3/7): We’ve raised $4020 so far!! We’re over 53% to the goal of $7500. I’m blown away. Thank you so, so much. Keep the donations coming! The goal of $7500 would mean a new server could be paid for, and a cushion would be available for any unexpected expenses. The site would be safe for the foreseeable future!
UPDATE (6:30 PM): Even though the site was down for a few hours today (which is why I need a new server!), we still are up to $2872 for the next six months (contingent on no cancellation of recurring monthly payments)! Thank you and please keep the donations coming. Goal is over 38% reached!) You can also follow progress through the widget at the top of the right sidebar.
UPDATE (11:00 AM): After three hours, we have raised $1,886 in donations for the next six months (contingent on no cancellation of recurring monthly payments)! Thank you and please keep the donations coming. Goal is over 25% reached!
UPDATE (9:53 AM): After just under two hours, we have raised $1,220 in donations for the next six months (contingent on no cancellation of recurring monthly payments)! Thank you and please keep the donations coming. Goal is over 16% reached!
Yesterday, I talked about how the expenses of running DW are going up, but the revenue is staying about the same, making the cost greater than the profit. I need a bigger server to accommodate increasing traffic, but I am not yet making the revenue to pay that expense. I am shopping around and pressing for discounts, and, so far, the best deal on a bigger server is about $8400 a year. I have other expenses — tech help/web development, a tiny marketing budget, and child care costs are the main expenses — which roughly run an additional $12,000-$15,000 a year. Last year without donations I grossed $15,000. It’s simple math: I need help keeping the site going.
One possible solution is that I get rid of the forums, which would potentially cut traffic in half, save bandwidth and save memory space. If I did that, I could maybe get away without upgrading to a larger server. But I know the forums are important to a lot of people. Many of us would miss them. People who have sought and received support during challenging times in their lives — breakups, divorces, deaths of loved ones, illnesses, and job losses just to name a few — would miss them. I’d miss them. I’d like to keep the forums if possible and I would very much like to keep the site going (even if it means getting rid of the forums). But I need your help. I need $7500 in donations every six months. That seems like a crazy amount and I don’t know if I’ll get anywhere close to that, but it’s worth a try. If you can help, please donate here through Paypal. What would especially, especially help is if you click the little box that says “Make this recurring (monthly).” If I can get 250 people to donate $5 a month, I would be set. (You can cancel at any time!). The server fees would be covered. A big chunk of child care would be covered (I employ a part-time nanny 12 hours a week so I can work on the site). And the ad revenue I earn each year ($15,000 last year) could cover taxes, remaining child care costs, and other random expenses that pop up.
So, if you like this site — if it provides entertainment for you or emotional support or a way to just kill a little time during the long hours at your office job, and if you feel inclined, please consider donating here. Any amount helps — a one-time donation of $5 or a recurring $1 donation or a suggested monthly $5 donation all add help to make a big difference. I know that for a lot of people this site is more than just a blog — it’s a community. It’s where you come to share good news or find support when things are shitty. Many of you have met in person, you’ve formed friendships both online and off, and I know when the site is down, even for an hour, you miss it. If that describes you — if you find value in visiting this site and can spare a few bucks, please consider showing your support and investing in the future of DW. Your donation will help keep the site going — it will help buy a better server that will speed up load times and cut way down on glitches (like when the site crashes because it can’t handle the traffic).
As a thank you to everyone who donates any amount, I will send an email within 48 hours with an original, unique virtual DW fortune cookie. Oh yes. Did you know I’m a little psychic? I am! So, I will send you your fortune, which you can apply to your love life, career, fantasy world, or “in bed,” as the saying goes. And if you would like to be included on the 2014 thank you list, please include the name you’d like me to publish when you send your donation. Finally, every month I will select (at random) a small number of members to send a postcard to through old-fashioned snail mail. If you’re selected, I’ll email you and ask for your mailing address, which you can share with me or decline as you wish. Beyond that, there may be additional awards throughout the year given to select members — either chosen at random or for their especially generous donations. So, get in on the fun and donate.
Thank you so much for your generosity. I will keep this drive going for one week and update as I get closer to my goal of $1250 a month (or $7500 total for the next six months). Of course, you can donate at any time, but this is the week when all the donations can really add up. It’s also the week I need to make some decisions about the future of the site — specifically, whether to keep the forums and upgrade to a larger server — and your donations will help me a great deal! Thank you.