Questions about \"membership dues\" to

Posted on: Fri, 05/02/2003 - 12:51am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

In another thread (My Mother's Day gift to myself)~ [url=""][/url]
some very good questions were raised about our membership dues here at I'm sure there are lots more that I hope members will take the time to add/post.

Here's a start:

1. When we buy products from this site (chocolates, t-shirts, etc) does any portion go to

2. What percentage of members pay dues?

3. Are dues required?

4. How is the money used?

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited May 04, 2003).]

Posted on: Fri, 05/02/2003 - 1:44am
DebO's picture
Joined: 03/15/1999 - 09:00

If dues are going to be "required" then this site would have to be password protected to ensure that memberships expire and people who don't pay don't have access. I would expect it to be closed to lurkers as well since the majority of people come here for information and not to post. Why should the people who are sharing info have to pay and not the people who come for advice or the benefits of our experience?
As in any website, the quality of the experience varies. Would you be willing to participate in a discussion board with little moderation like the boards are here if you paid a membership fee? What about the people who leave because of the negative tone of the boards or because of a personal conflict? Will they get a refund?
Most sites that require paid memberships are not successful - unless they are porn sites. Personally, I avoid any site that requires me to pay money in order to visit or participate, although I am willing to make a donation to a site if the experience proves to be worthwhile.
In my opinion it would be more effective to generate funds by soliciting sponsorship or receiving benefits from purchases of the products shown on the site.
take care

Posted on: Fri, 05/02/2003 - 2:12am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

great points... great questions. thanks for contributing to the discussion deb.
Quote:Originally posted by DebO:
[b] In my opinion it would be more effective to generate funds by soliciting sponsorship or receiving benefits from purchases of the products shown on the site.
More questions:
5. What are the pros and cons of sponsorships? Can this site remain "pure" from any influence of it's sponsors? (For example, I don't think any of us would probably want the support of the National Peanut Board and are cautious of FAAN because their relationship. Could this become an issue w/ other sponsors, say drug companies?) Just asking. Just thinking out loud...
6. What benefit does this site receive from sales of the products advertized here? I've purchased books directly from without going through I regret it, and if I'd known the benefit to this site, I might have remembered....
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited May 02, 2003).]

Posted on: Fri, 05/02/2003 - 2:46am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Chris once in a while asks for topics for a newsletter. I never saw a newsletter and I am a member. Is there one?

Posted on: Fri, 05/02/2003 - 3:36am
river's picture
Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

How about making membership more internationally friendly? Having to pay in U.S. dollars can be discouraging to people looking for a simple, easy and secure way to contribute. Canadians would be paying more for membership plus conversion fees.

Posted on: Fri, 05/02/2003 - 6:06am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

wow, river... I never would have thought about that. Do you have any suggestions?
More questions to add to the list:
7. What's the status of the newsletter?
8. Can membership fees be more internationally friendly? (river's post)

Posted on: Fri, 05/02/2003 - 7:27am
mom2cuties's picture
Joined: 02/21/2002 - 09:00

I am glad someone mentioned the US-Canadian conversion issue. I am sure there would be more Canadians paying if that wasn't the case. [img][/img]

Posted on: Fri, 05/02/2003 - 7:50am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Oaky... just thinking out loud again. Don't know if I like this idea or not, but:
Do you see just next here to the left that there is some information about me? It says my user name (Gail W) and "member" under it, then "Posts: 600" (I suppose that means I've posted 600 times) and then "Registered: Dec 2001".
What would you think about adding something about whether or not a member has paid? Maybe where it says "member"? It could state something like, "Current", "Expired" or even "Charter Member" ?
Again, just thinking out loud. Please don't bash me if it's a bad idea. Remember, I'm just trying to brainstorm ways to increase awareness of membership fee/dues to support this site...

Posted on: Fri, 05/02/2003 - 1:22pm
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Gail, this is a problem we have found with our pto, if someone really has a need for help but cannot afford to pay, do you want to announce it and embarass them? My other thought is if this person posted a question would it be answered differently or not answered at all because someone was mad that they paid and this person didnt?
It is a touchy issue, and in one way I kind of think that either all pay or none pay, but if its all pay, you hate to exclude someone who really needs help. The economy and unemployment problems right now are an issue.
I do think if its not a mandatory pay site that people shouldnt be distinguished by whether they pay or not.

Posted on: Fri, 05/02/2003 - 2:16pm
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Touchy is right! We talk about birth control, our husband's vasectomy's, our cars, cleaning habits, potty training, etc, etc. But this seems to be a topic that not too many want to discuss...
Thanks for engaging in this discussion w/ me, momma2boys. I really appreciate it. I agree w/ you. There will always be exceptions, and I think that they would be worked out (w/ Chris).
It's my hunch that the reason the vast majority of people here don't pay [i]isn't because [/i]of job loss or other financial issue (tho certainly that is the situation for some). My guess is that most of us here can afford to pay, but don't because it isn't brought up and don't really think about it.
But that's just my hunch...
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited May 03, 2003).]

Posted on: Fri, 05/02/2003 - 11:45pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Gail W., wow, you picked an *issue* with this one, didn't you? [img][/img]
I really think that must have an okay amount of money flowing in or the website wouldn't be here. Chris is also able to e-mail every person that has ever registered on this website should a financial crisis occur (or just for fundraising purposes - like on PBS TV) and request money. I have never seen that done. I do see how you can click on now and become a member instantly and pay instantly and I think that's great. It makes things easier for people that do have the money.
The other thing that I'll bring up, even though people don't like to hear it (and I'm actually one of them because is the *best* place I've ever found re PA) is that is that - a .com - a company. It is not an organization like FAAN (and we see how questionable organizations can use monies they receive). It is a company. So, in paying membership fees to a company, I believe members may (or may not) want some accounting of how their membership fees are spent.
If you cannot afford a membership with, Chris is extremely understanding and also extremely approachable about this, unlike say FAAN. You e-mail him, explain your situation, hope that your situation will change and that you'll be able to pay your years of back-dues and you're still a member. Chris is understanding and compassionate.
I am not a paid member due to financial reasons. In my memory (which is like an elephant's), I know that I owe Chris three years worth of membership fees should I come into some cash.
I've just posted that here, in this thread, but I certainly would be horrified if it said under my name and my number of posts that I was an un-paid member.
I like to think that I support the site in other ways other than cash and I'm sure there are a lot of other people that feel the same way.
Best wishes! [img][/img]


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