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Increasing Warmshowers Income Through Annual Member Donations

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WS Member @wsadmin@'s picture
Thanks for the comment on donation status on profiles

I think you've mentioned this before, Chris, and I failed to reply, sorry.

I agree that the showing of donation status is edgy and can be controversial. However, a *lot* of people have sent me notes asking for it or applauding it. I think it's mostly hosts who would *really* like to know the level of investment of the potential guest. This is something that has been discussed for a really long time: How can guests be more invested, and how can a host tell a bit more about how invested the guest is. A $10 contribution might say a lot.

Right now, what shows is a simple block on the right side of the page showing a member's current status, whether they've contributed anything in the past year or not. It doesn't distinguish levels.

I'm open to different ways to present this, if you have ideas. But we've already had requests to make members searchable by donation status, because people would prefer guests (or maybe hosts?) who were more invested. So it cuts both ways.

-Randy Fay Webmaster and Executive Director

WS Member WS Member's picture
are you sure about that?

"people would prefer guests (or maybe hosts?) who were more invested." really Randy." Really?
for me I don't care at all. because I am not hotel to check the paid money.
I check the profiles , their website if it exists, the way they communicate, their comments and posts (if there is any), and their feedback ( both side : in and out). Am I ALONE IN this ? for me it is important who is going to accommodate in my home! who is my guest? knowing people is not easy but how much knowing about their donation does help?

I asked about a promised survey( post#32). I checked your answer (reply#33) several time and tried to persuade myself the you said that logically. unfortunately I couldn't. then you say you are "... open to different ways to present ..." . No! maybe you want to but you can not .

WS Member WS Member's picture

I agree with Christopher. Even though the idea of showing the extent of financial "commitment", I think it is misleading. I'd even be in favour of suppressing this information at all (it should be visible to the current user however).

WS Member @wsadmin@'s picture
Explain clearly to entire membership about the changes

One thing that I need to do is send an email to the whole membership explaining the changes that have happened and also the plan we've undertaken. This thread shows that there are a nontrivial number of people who don't know that we're a nonprofit corporation, that I'm an employee now instead of lead volunteer, or why we're doing it all.

I think I was going to try to include this type of info in our donation requests, but an email explaining this stuff should go out first, to prevent confusion. I'm always very leery of sending out too many emails, but in this case I haven't sent out enough.

-Randy Fay Webmaster and Executive Director

Unregistered anon_user's picture
I donated and I’m going to tell you why!

As some of you are aware I was adamantly opposed to any type of dues or donations collected. I recalled an old posting where Randy offered up his services for $80 an hour (this was a real thorn in my side). Many people believed and believe Randy owns this site. Whether or not he held ownership became a non-issue once WS became a non-profit organization. I had serious issues with making a donation to WS with Randy either in a leadership role, ownership or holder of a board position. There was an obvious conflict of interest and would throw up huge red flags at the IRS.

Our current Board of Directors (BOD) did a horrible job in communicating to the membership as a whole changes that have been made. Yes, it can be argued it was on a link on a website deep in some dark hole. Frankly, all of these changes should have been placed into a PDF and emailed out to each and every member.

I think Randy and I have gone back and forth on the issue of donations for weeks if not longer. Finally, there is a light at the end of this tunnel.

First, Randy is no longer on the BOD. He holds no ownership interest. He is Executive Officer/contract employee for his specific skill sets. This removes an apparent conflict. Unless you clicked on one of those many links you wouldn’t know this.

I also know WS has been around a while and has always been free. There are pros and cons and serious liability issue in running as an organization without legal protections. I am very happy to see the organization to seek and become a non-profit. As a non-profit there are changes/reporting requirements to satisfy the IRS. Someone has to file tax returns and that will cost money. Audits that are likely will cost money. Insurance to protect the organization and yes, you, the individual member from liability in lawsuits will cost money. Up grades in servers and the website will cost money. No body does work for free once it infringes upon their ability to make a living. I’ve done charity work in the past, but I could not take weeks or months off without pay to do charity work.

WS is like any other business. If it fails to grow it will die. There are many moneymaking ventures that must be undertaken in an aggressive manner. There must be clear communications between the BOD and membership. In the mean time I’m willing and have donated an amount of money to get things moving forward. If you are a host and only a host, I stand with you in not making a donation, you’ve made your donation many times over, but if you are a guest please step up and put a few bucks into this very worthy cause. One overnight stay will completely cover any donation. If you’ve got the money to jump on a bicycle and pedal around the world you’ve got enough for a minimum donation.


WS Member WS Member's picture
I miss BOD communication too.

I miss BOD communication too. but I think this is one of the reasons:

**Edit 1/23/2015: This budget was not accepted by the Board at the January annual meeting. It will be revisited at the board meeting in April. **

WS Member @wsadmin@'s picture
Please move conversation to new forum

Hi All -

Thanks for your input in so many ways. This is entirely the wrong place for it, though, and the comments have now gone to multiple pages where nobody will find them any more. It's also a proposal from November 2014 which was modified and accepted by the board in December, more than 2 months ago, and there's so much water under the bridge since then.

So I've created a new forum for this conversation and conversations like it, Donations, Memberships, Fundraising. Your posts there are welcome. Please try to keep one topic in one forum post, and when making comments, if youf comment does not pertain to the actual post, start a new one instead.

I'm going to lock this thread because I'm afraid everybody's input will be lost if it goes on any longer.

Again, please post followups in the new forum,



Topic locked