I recently read an article that talked about Wikipedia's plea for more donations even though they are far from being in need for additional funding.
This and some of the comments I read about this article made me contemplate how ACC accepts donations (we have for most of the site's existence), and whether or not we -- or I -- really need your money. (P.S. The title of the original article, link now removed, is "Wikipedia doesn't need your money." Hence the title of this post.)
The truth is, I don't. Of course, I do have hosting costs I have to cover on a monthly basis, plus a fee
I pay Github for me and the developers to manage the source code.
But I also have Google ads
to help support these costs, and in reality, these have always exceeded any monthly costs I incur, such that the donations are just additional funds.
So what do I do with the leftover funds? For the most part, I save them. In the past, I have used the funds to purchase software & hardware for ACC and other side projects I work on. And at one point, I used some excess funds for personal purchases, some big, most small.
Currently I "pay myself" from these funds on a monthly basis, but this is now a fixed amount (about 5-10% of total revenue from ads/donations), and someday plan to not pay myself at all (while I am employed full-time).
But I want to be clear about something. I am trying to start a business from my various online projects such that it becomes my full-time and primary source of income -- currently I'm employed full-time with a company doing web development, so this is just side income. Once I'm able to do that, this will become my primary source of income, and I will pay myself a salary from this income -- this is typical with how people earn their living from online startups.
ACC will continue to accept donations for now, but since we don't really "need" the support from donations, and it is more a matter of funding a business, we are looking at soon replacing donations with ACC Bucks, which is just an ACC currency that will be used to "purchase" the same perks that are given when donating (and the exchange rate will be the same between dollars spent and perks earned), along with new perks we are working on.
And no, this is nothing innovative or new, as many games and websites implement something similar. But again, this is in the interest of helping me achieve my professional goals for my business and career.
The point of this post, though, was to make it clear to those that are donating for the sole purpose of keeping the site up and running -- your donations are not needed. If you love the site, and want to donate as a way to say "thanks" to me (a tip jar, so to speak), then please feel free to donate. If you simply want the perks that we offer in exchange for donating, then please feel free to donate.
However, if you are simply afraid the site will shut down without your donations, then there is no need for you to donate -- the site will operate just fine without your donation.
If you have any questions/comments about this, post them here