Author Topic: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources  (Read 63144 times)

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Online Susan

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Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« on: July 22, 2013, 11:00:53 pm »
I hate to do it, but as I announced back in July 2012 the time has come to ask for your help in continuing to provide life saving support to the transgender community.  I have single-handedly financed the operations of Susan's Place since 1996 with very little outside support.  I did this by putting every nickle and dime I earned into the web site. It is and will remain a labor of love for me.

I have done this using income from my job, help from my boss, and of course maxing out some really good credit cards. In that time I figure that I have spent roughly $174,000 myself over the last 17 years and I eventually need to get some of that back.  The figure includes my time, hardware, software, server maintenance costs, and bandwidth. However my personal finances have been at the maxed out point for several years as my costs to provide this website have steadily risen while the income from my job has remained flatlined. 

Those expenses will continue to go up some as we make some much needed changes which will modernize this web site and also expand the offerings that we provide.

In the last year this site has served 2,288,142 Visits from 1,335,349 Visitors accounting for 13,022,777 page views. Since I started keeping stats using Google analytics in November 2006, we had 9,159,286 visits from 5,038,423 visitors accounting for 58,504,050 page views.  Between 1996 until now I have had several hundred people spontaneously contact me to tell me how this web site has saved their lives, so we are doing good works; and I want to continue to do so.

I have thought long and hard how to spread the costs of providing lifesaving peer support for the Transgender Community, here is what I have come up with.

First off everything that is freely available to you today on this web site, will remain free with one exception, the private Just for us forums are going to become subscriber only.

I am adding the ability to make donations or you may chose to setup a reoccurring subscription to the site.

We are going to allow people who wish to help with the monthly costs to do so by establishing a monthly subscription option for $10.00 or $20.00 per month for those who want to help support the site.

First, I want to first make absolutely clear that if you choose to make a donation or subscribe to the site, there are no refunds! We also do not offer any guarantees of any kind. We reserve the right to add, change or remove any products and services which are part of any packages at any time.

Second, and perhaps most importantly I want to make very clear that by supporting this web site you will not receive special treatment in regards to violations of the rules.

The primary difference between a donor and a subscriber is:
  • Donors give to support the site and do not generally expect to receive any benefits for doing so.  Donors also choose how much and how often they wish to donate. Donors can choose to be publicly recognized for their donation.
  • Subscribers choose to give a fixed amount on a set schedule. Most of your subscription goes to help pay for the services provided. Subscribers do not receive special recognition.
For those who are still in the closet I have come up with a way to so that the subscription or donation can be identified as a reoccurring donation to a non-transgender foundation, so if you need to explain the charge.  This will be explained in the Supporter News forum you gain access to as a donor or subscriber.

Minimum donation
As donations are processed by paypal and we are charged a transaction fee for each donation, we would request that you consider making a minimum donation of $5.00, however any amount over $1.00 is accepted. There is no maximum donation.

Recognition
Donors can chose to be publicly recognized for their donation, or not. If they choose to be publicly recognized for their donation they will be listed on a web page or forum post with their forum name, and the total amount donated.This is a choice you will have to make, I will be happy to recognize any of my donors. (To be publicly recognized for your donation you must have, and be logged into the forum account when you make your donation. )

Subscribers
I am hoping for 1,000 to subscribe.  This will bring in $10,000 per month.

Future Plans
After covering operating costs, I want to pay for a new professional design for the site from the ground up. I also want to recruit some world renown gender professionals to come here to provide some guidance and services to members and supporters.  Anything over 1,000 subscribers would be simply amazing. After that we will continue to invest a portion of the profits back into providing more and more services for members and supporters. I don't expect this to happen in a year, if it does that would be awesome but I am patient. In the mean time I will keep paying the costs until the site is able to support its self.

I also need to reimburse my costs in supporting the site over the years.

Staff may also eventually receive a small stipend, starting with administrators and as we are able to the moderators and other staff. Don't plan on that any time soon however.

We may also offer username@members.susans.org email addresses to subscribers. If enough revenue is generated we will be looking at adding a slew of other members only benefits such as moderated chats with experts and personalities of interest to the transgender community, informative articles, tips, tutorials etc.

Another advantage of this will be that I will be able to dedicated more time to Susan's Place.

Thank you for your support!

I hope that many of you will choose to help do your part. Thanks for you time, support, and attention.

How to subscribe or donate
To make a donation visit our donations page (To be publicly recognized for your donation you must have, and be logged into a forum account when you make your donation. )

To Subscribe you must be logged in on a forum account, then visit https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php?action=profile;area=subscriptions

How to cancel a subscription
To stop a subscription you go to your paypal account, click history at the top of the page. Locate the subscription to this site on that page, and click details. Then click the cancel subscription button. When your current subscription runs out, it will not be renewed.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2016, 12:33:41 pm by Susan »
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Donna Elvira

Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2013, 12:02:21 am »
Hi Susan,
No issue with the principle which is very understandable and the approach seems clear. The only information that seems to be lacking in your presentation is how a subscription is stopped. Do you simply uncheck the "make this a recurring payment" case on the subscription form?
Also, thank you for bringing this place into existance and making it such a vibrant and well managed forum!
Warm regards.
Donna

Online Susan

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Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2013, 12:17:00 am »
To stop a subscription you go to your profile page on this site and visit actions at the top of your profile, and click on paid subscriptions. You can unsubscribe there. When your subscription runs out it will not be renewed.
Help support this website by Donating or Subscribing! You can also view the donor wall of fame.

Online Susan

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Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2013, 12:36:37 am »
I am not saying that won't ever happen, but if it does subscribers will be able to choose to disable ads.
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Offline Pia Bianca

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Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2013, 01:30:11 am »
For those who are still in the closet I have come up with a way to so that the subscription or donation can be identified as a reoccurring donation to a non-transgender foundation, so if you need to explain the charge.  This will be explained in the Supporter News forum you gain access to as a donor or subscriber.

Isn't it very counterproductive to have the information on hidden payments in the forum wich is gained access by giving a payment? How to do the first payment?

On the other hand, explaining it in a public forum would spread the news through google and other search engines.

Online Susan

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Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2013, 01:54:02 am »
Isn't it very counterproductive to have the information on hidden payments in the forum wich is gained access by giving a payment? How to do the first payment?

On the other hand, explaining it in a public forum would spread the news through google and other search engines.

The information in the hidden forum explains how to account for the donation if you are asked by someone who does not yet know you are transgender; a wife, parent, etc.

The information on how to is in the original message.

Quote
How to subscribe or donate
To make a donation you must be logged in on a forum account. Once logged in visit our donations page

To Subscribe visit https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php?action=profile;area=subscriptions

How to cancel a subscription
To stop a subscription you go to your profile page on this site and visit actions at the top of your profile, and click on paid subscriptions. You can unsubscribe there. When your subscription runs out it will not be renewed.
Help support this website by Donating or Subscribing! You can also view the donor wall of fame.

Offline Pia Bianca

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Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2013, 03:05:44 am »
The information in the hidden forum explains how to account for the donation if you are asked by someone who does not yet know you are transgender; a wife, parent, etc.

The information on how to is in the original message.

Ah! Now I got it. The payment is the same but there is a different explanation. That makes sense.

Offline LordKAT

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Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2013, 03:09:56 am »
Is there anyway to set up a subscription without paypal?

Offline Joelene9

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Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2013, 04:40:27 am »
Susan,

  You got my support!  Donation made. 

  Joelene

Online Cindy

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Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2013, 04:52:04 am »
Good on ya!

Offline Lesley_Roberta

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Helping Susan (twas buried rather deep Susan)
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2013, 07:29:00 am »
https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,145185.0.html

I logged in today, and found the ole Just for Us was just gone.

No explanation in announcements that I could find without a lot of digging.

I like the reorganization, but I rarely dislike it when a forum is trying to improve.

But Susan, you need to get out a thread titled more in your face obvious, as  lot of us are likely wondering 'where did my section go?' and the only reason I am currently aware of the link, and the specific request for Just For Us is becoming subscriber only and requiring a donation, is I am inherently a scrounge at heart.

I by the way, am likely going to be offer up the support, so you are on your way to getting +1, my pay pal is currently in need of some funds, or I would have already started.

I have in the past, growled, and complained and bitched and chewed about a lot of things, but, I can also be called the sort of person willing to put her money where her mouth is :)

The site is indeed worth some help from me, regardless of what I have said while pissed off in the past.

But you probably should have been a little louder about the changes in a more visible link.

Just saying it here so those that might not be quite the digger that I am can find their way to the link.
Well being TG is no treat, but becoming separated has sure caused me more trouble that being TG ever will be. So if I post, consider it me trying to distract myself from being lonely, not my needing to discuss being TG. I don't want to be separated a lot more than not wanting to be male looking.

Antonia J

Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2013, 07:46:42 am »
Is there a way I can just pay a lump sum via credit card for a year?

Online Devlyn Marie

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Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2013, 08:53:11 am »
I just subscribed! Glad to be able to help. Hugs, Devlyn
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Offline HelenW

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Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2013, 09:57:27 am »
I'm pleased that Susan will finally be reimbursed for the expenses she has incurred making this one of the best TG support sites in the English speaking world.  Brava!

I think we should get a lot more than 1,000 subscribers, though.  The site is definitely worth it as it is and as more subscribers sign up the more we'll be able to add features and benefits.

Congrats on the milestone, Susan!  Wishing you success and continued prosperity!

hugs & smiles
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Offline ZoeM

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Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2013, 10:39:28 am »
PayPal's saying this feature is only available to business and premier accounts. :(


I can't sign up - not sure why.
Don't lose who you are along the path to who you want to be.









Online Devlyn Marie

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Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2013, 10:44:28 am »
I had that, too, unselect the recurring payment option and it will go through.
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Offline Joe.

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Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2013, 10:54:49 am »
I think this is a good idea. This website is amazing and Susan deserves something back. However I am a bit concerned about a couple of things. How likely is it that other areas of the sites will become subscriber only? I'm really low on income and can't afford to subscribe and get the just for us section. I'm going to be pretty poor for the next 3 years because I'm a student and I'm worried I won't be able to access the site anymore. I'd love to subscribe, I just don't have the money. The moment I get a stable job I will be subscribing right away. I like the idea of paying a lump sum for the year, is that going to be possible?

Offline Ltl89

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Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2013, 01:11:16 pm »
I wish I was in the position to donate something, but I currently have no means to do so.  However, once or if I ever get into good financial shape, I would be willing to give what I can to help expand this site.  I have found this to be a great resource and hope it will continue to helpful for others who are need of the support.  I can't overstate my appreciation for everything you have done.

I do, however, have a question about the subscriber option.  It seems that at this current point the only benefit to becoming a subscriber is gaining access to the "just for us" forum.  If that is the case, I think the $10-20 rate will be a little higher than what most would be willing to spend.  Don't get me wrong; this is a great site and hope for this to be successful, but it's a steep price for premium service that is limited in it's benefits.  Subscriptions are generally different from donations in that they provide the subscriber some perk or additional features for doing so.  I think many of the casual or less wealthy forum members may find it too costly to pay $10 a month for one subforum.  Most who subscribe at this point are likely doing so because they want to help and have the means to do so.  That's great.  However, if you want to expand it and have a large body of subscribers in the future, you will likely need to make the subscription option more attractive for casual users before they may be willing to spend that kind of a monthly fee.  It seems like you have plans to do so, but the initial post was a little vague and there was no real guarantee about what will be added for subscribers; therefore, I'm a bit concerned about whether this will be the successful venture you are hoping for.
 
Nonetheless, I really hope this works out.  This is a great resource and I think the expansion of this site could accomplish great things.  I just wanted to give some feedback because I want it to be successful.  Therefore, please understand my constructive criticism on the current subscriber model (or what I interpreted it to be) comes only with the goal of helping you realize your future vision of the site.

Online Susan

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Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2013, 01:14:45 pm »
I think this is a good idea. This website is amazing and Susan deserves something back. However I am a bit concerned about a couple of things. How likely is it that other areas of the sites will become subscriber only? I'm really low on income and can't afford to subscribe and get the just for us section. I'm going to be pretty poor for the next 3 years because I'm a student and I'm worried I won't be able to access the site anymore. I'd love to subscribe, I just don't have the money. The moment I get a stable job I will be subscribing right away. I like the idea of paying a lump sum for the year, is that going to be possible?

None of the currently public areas other than the Just for Us forum will ever become subscriber only. I am going to be adding some new features to the site, and some of them will give subscribers early access. One of the neatest things I have in mind is the equivalent of a web based transgender magazine with news, features, etc. Subscribers will gain access to its content 6 months before it is made publicly available. I would like to have enough coming in through donations to be able to give a small payment to thank the creators of the content for that.

All that will come sometime after the redesign of the site which is the first and most important project. We are running a 1996 look, and we need to fix that.

If you don't have the money to subscribe or donate, consider volunteering on the site. While we won't make a job out of thin air for you, there are areas of the site that need help. check the announcements forum for more information!

I do, however, have a question about the subscriber option.  It seems that at this current point the only benefit to becoming a subscriber is gaining access to the "just for us" forum.  If that is the case, I think the $10-20 rate will be a little higher than what most would be willing to spend.  Don't get me wrong; this is a great site and hope for this to be successful, but it's a steep price for premium service that is limited in it's benefits.

As you can see from what I wrote Joey, the just for us forum is just a start. Give us some time. Consider your subscription to be a investment in the future of Susan's Place! It will eventually pay dividends.
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Jamie D

Re: Help support Susan's Place Transgender Resources
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2013, 01:20:29 pm »
I am reasonably sure there will be other ways, in the future, to make donations.

It is a worthwhile cause.  We will get the kinks worked out in time.

Thank you all for helping make the world a better place.