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Free Republic 2nd Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $22,048
25%  
Woo hoo!! And the first 25% is IN!! Thank you all very much!! God bless.


Alternatives to donor based, ie, freepathon business model?
Click here if you wish to continue the donor based business model and free participation for all ^ | April 19, 2012 | Jim Robinson

Posted on 04/19/2012 1:22:35 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

I've checked with an ad agency. We can probably raise the funds we need to operate FR at our current level and at the current market price for online advertising if we run a banner ad at the top of every page and at least one rectangular ad in the above the fold body of the page and a couple rectangular ads in the sidebar. If that doesn't generate enough revenue, we can also run pop ups or pop unders and we can even run audio and video ads if need be. But of course, if we go full bore commercial, we'd have to insure strict copyright compliance with very brief excerpting of all articles to avoid lawsuits. And the agency would require that we install a filter to censor out any bad or unacceptable words in our posts.

Or, of course, there's always the membership model. We could setup a members only system where paying members get full access and non-paying members get throttled back, etc.

I don't like either of the above models and think we'd soon lose a lot of our readers and participants. Of course that may happen anyway if we can't fund it and if we cannot get our equipment problem under control, or if my refusal to vote for or support an abortionist/homosexualist/statist who has plans to install ObamaCare, er, I mean RomneyCare into all 50 states runs everyone off.

The donation model has served us very well since 1997 when we first started using it. It's very clean, uncomplicated and we attract participants who perhaps can't afford membership dues but do want to join the discussion and join our rallies, protests, prayer sessions, etc. And the advertising model would probably bring in the revenue, but it comes with strings attached.

I'm sure there are other ways and ways to combine features of various models, sell books, cds, gear, etc, offer no ads for paid subscribers, etc, even ISP services, but all of these also complicate matters.

I'm an old dog and I like to avoid new tricks, new complications, additional overhead, additional accounting, additional rules and regulations, etc, wherever possible. I like to stick to simplicity and with what works.

Thank you all very much for your continuing participation and support.


TOPICS: Free Republic; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: advertising; commercial; dues; fr; freepathon; freerepublic; jimrobinson; memberships; merchandising; noncommercial; zot
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To: Keith in Iowa; Jim Robinson
28 posted on Thu Apr 19 2012 15:59:47 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time) by Keith in Iowa: “How ‘bout Ads, with an option to pony up a subscription for Ad-Free...”

That sounds like a reasonable compromise, while providing a funding cushion for Free Republic.

A few comments:

1. Obviously it's Jim Robinson's property and anything he wants to do is his call.

2. The likely nomination of Mitt Romney is going to cause serious problems for Free Republic. I agree with Jim Robinson that Romney is unacceptable. He's doing the right thing. Long-term, I believe Robinson will be proven right if Romney is elected, and he'll be viewed as an early warning of major problems. Unfortunately, that could have short-term financial consequences and maybe ad revenue is a good way to bridge that gap.

3. Including a tag of “donor,” “subscriber” or whatever on posts would be a good idea and could increase the number of smaller contributors. The only caution is that some people, for various reasons, prefer donations to be anonymous and the absence of a “donor” tag does not necessarily indicate nonsupport.

4. Requiring a subscription fee to access news websites has been proven not to work; people simply will not pay for online access and even a minimal payment requirement will kill a news website if it's a requirement to access all articles. (Paying extra for archive access to old articles is a little different, but that's not what's being considered here.) The only significant exception is the Wall Street Journal. I think it's pretty clear that the reason the WSJ online subscriptions work is that their readers are willing to pay a fee for access to premium content that has direct value to their business (and which often can be deducted as a business expense).

5. As long as Jim Robinson is careful to make **VERY** clear that advertisers don't dictate content, I believe this website could generate considerable revenue from ads. The key is making expectations clear up front to advertisers.

161 posted on 04/19/2012 4:53:14 PM PDT by darrellmaurina
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To: fml; Jim Robinson

Well Mr FreeRider, maybe instead of complaining on this thread, perhaps you should be thanking the posters here that are carrying your load for you. This is a privately owned conservative forumn and socialist and socialist sympathizers are not welcome here. If you fit in then you are welcome here, if you do not fit in here, your stay will be short.


162 posted on 04/19/2012 4:53:14 PM PDT by rightly_dividing (Newt 2012)
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To: Jim Robinson
Uh, excuse me, but I have not zotted every Romney supporter.

No, Jim, you haven't. Many of them got fed up with the hostility and groupthink that has engulfed this place, turning it into an angry echo-chamber, and left on their own.

The sad part is, most of them weren't even Romney supporters.

They're people who saw the candidacy of a stalwart conservative like Rick Perry and his supporters savaged mercilessly on this forum because Governor Perry was perceived as a threat to the non-candidacy of Sarah Palin. They're people who saw Newt Gingrich run a piss-poor, undisciplined campaign that has left him with virtually no chance of winning the primary and they know that if they post as much, they'll be tarnished as "RINOs" and see your name pinged to every thread where they don't toe the line. "Jim! Look here! This guy has no faith in Newt. He's not conservative! He needs to be zotted!" And they're people who want to see the most destructive, America-hating Marxist president that has ever sullied the White House voted out of office and know that the only way to do that is to vote for the guy with the (R) after his name and then, once again, these good Freepers get attacked despairingly as "RomneyBots", RINOs, pro-"abortion," "pro-homo" and on and on. And when a long-time contributing Freeper gets zotted, we have the childish display of "zot ping list" posters arriving to dance on the thread.

Jim, You've had a lot of good people leave (some voluntarily, some not) and take their money with them. And you have some good people remaining who are frustrated and keeping their money in their wallets. Free Republic isn't the only show in town anymore. There are other conservative forums where people behave like adults and treat each other with respect, --a place this forum used to be. This is the truth the way I see it. I hope you don't zot me for saying so but if you do, you do.

163 posted on 04/19/2012 5:00:31 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: Ron C.; Jim Robinson; TheOldLady; RedMDer; trisham; The Cajun; upchuck; glock rocks; ...
Ron C wrote:

While I'm at it, add another one that will pay $10 for new monthly donations over $30 per month - anytime throughout the year, not just during FReepathons.

I don't want to see FR have to move to paid membership (pay to post) - just the software to handle that would give John fits. Neither do I want to see ads come here.

Maybe we should consider a more obvious and permanent reminder that this is a user supported site - automatically on every thread created.



OH MY GOODNESS!

GOD BLESS YOU, DEAREST Ron C!!!

YOUR GENEROSITY AND GOOD WILL TAKES MY BREATH AWAY, HOWEVER,

I'M NOT SURPRISED, BECAUSE YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN STEADFAST AND LOYAL IN YOUR SUPPORT OF JIM AND FREE REPUBLIC

AS WELL AS A GOOD AND WONDERFUL FRIEND TO EVERYONE HERE!!!


THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!! YOU ROCK!!!!



164 posted on 04/19/2012 5:02:26 PM PDT by onyx (SUPPORT FREE REPUBLIC, DONATE MONTHLY. If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, let me know.)
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To: Jim Robinson

My 2 cents is that going for advertisers would leave this site vulnerable. One of the things that makes FR special is that it is beholden to no one. Fox News makes money- as long as they please certain people (the name Romney comes to mind.) If you let the big money in, they’ll want to call the tune, and they will dance to the left. Speaking as someone who has raised money for charitable causes a lot, the state of the economy has been pretty bad and it makes everything tougher, including Freepathons. I think maybe if there are equipment needs, you just simply name the equipment and then see what turns up- a donation of a machine or something like that would be worth as much as money. FReepers may have access to some of that stuff- they may work for a corporation that tossed out something, or the like. Anyway, thanks for the great job you do!


165 posted on 04/19/2012 5:11:41 PM PDT by GenXteacher (You have chosen dishonor to avoid war; you shall have war also.)
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To: Jim Robinson

I like the idea of a Free Republic webstore or even conservative merchandise that fellow Freepers would like to sell and the proceeds go to FR.


166 posted on 04/19/2012 5:14:56 PM PDT by windcliff
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To: Jim Robinson

OK, you’ve convinced ME anyway. I’ll send more money now!

One thing I LOVE about this site is the no ads.

But some kind of tiered membership might not be a bad idea. I’m sure I’d be in the lowest tier, so I don’t know how it could work. But like the other poster suggested, some kind of “gold star” or something might encourage people to send more.

Or, how about this, you could do like churches do and have a special fundraising drive for particular needs as well as the regular ones for operating expenses.

I honestly promise I will send as much money as possible to FR as soon as I sort out my $$ this weekend.

I sincerely would never begrudge you or this site any money because of your, er, let’s just say “lack of enthusiasm” for Mitt Romney.


167 posted on 04/19/2012 5:16:18 PM PDT by jocon307
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius

Keep your crap away from my name!

If you want to see who donates go to the doner page and look it up!

How much i donate or if i do is none of your damn business!


168 posted on 04/19/2012 5:20:15 PM PDT by dalereed
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All contributions are for the Current Quarter Expenses.



Every time a Freeper or Lurker signs up to be a New Monthly Donor

A generous Freeper donates $10!!

Please sign up now!

169 posted on 04/19/2012 5:23:29 PM PDT by RedMDer (https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/default.aspx?tsid=93)
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To: Jim Robinson
Jim, do whatever you decide you have to do, but I'm with you on keeping the site the same.

FR is, unlike any other site I have visited, is clean, clear, concise, and consistent.

John has considered the thread readers and organized thread visibility to maximize readability while minimizing clutter and distractions.

Unlike other forums, there is no need to constantly jump around trying to read FR.

FR has been my homepage since I discovered it and signed up way back then. I wouldn't consider using any other page as my homepage.

Nowhere else can I get the breadth and depth of information and truthful analysis of what's going on in the U.S. and around the world.

Please adjust my monthly contribution upward by $10 a month (let me know if I need to do something different for you to satisfy this request), as this forum is too important to let it die.

We are, and will be living in dangerous times, and FR is the one place where the leftists fear to tread, and hate with all their being.

If my (increased) monthly donation carries the load for some who aren't paying, so be it.

For those who legitimately can't pay right now, I say keep participating, and pay when you can.

For those who can, but won't pay, I say ..... well, I won't say it because you know in your heart you're doing wrong. Maybe you'll come to your senses, maybe not, but FR will survive.

170 posted on 04/19/2012 5:26:26 PM PDT by Col Freeper (FR is a smorgasbord of Conservative thoughts and ideas - dig in and enjoy it to its fullest!)
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To: onyx; Ron C.
"I don't want to see FR have to move to paid membership (pay to post) - just the software to handle that would give John fits. Neither do I want to see ads come here."

"Maybe we should consider a more obvious and permanent reminder that this is a user supported site - automatically on every thread created."

Now there's a great idea and easily implemented. Thanks!

171 posted on 04/19/2012 5:27:05 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (There's no crying in rebellion!!)
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To: Col Freeper

Thank you very much, Col Freeper!!


172 posted on 04/19/2012 5:29:02 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (There's no crying in rebellion!!)
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To: Drew68; Jim Robinson; onyx
Many of them got fed up with the hostility and groupthink that has engulfed this place, turning it into an angry echo-chamber, and left on their own.

Drew, I find it amazing that you have proof of the "many who have left". Is there a sign-up sheet floating around the interweb entitled "disgruntled former FReepers"? Or a phone tree? Are you all on FaceBook? How do you know they were FR donors that "took their money with them"?

How about a list of these "many" so that we can mourn their passing?

173 posted on 04/19/2012 5:29:42 PM PDT by greyfoxx39 (I do not expect the (FR) house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided-Jim Robinson)
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To: dalereed; Anitius Severinus Boethius
>> How much i donate or if i do is none of your damn business!<<

Oh yes it is! If you want us to think you’re a conservative but ride here free on other peoples donations I want to know how seriously to take your comments. If you, or any one else, mooch off others donations that keep this place running I’m not going to take you seriously as a conservative who pays his own way.

174 posted on 04/19/2012 5:30:34 PM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: Drew68
"Many of them got fed up with the hostility and groupthink that has engulfed this place, turning it into an angry echo-chamber, and left on their own."

I've got news for you. In every election since this place first came along it has ALWAYS been an echo-chamber, for MANY different viewpoints and candidates. It still is, and it will always be. We have posters here today that support (STILL) just about every candidate that ran in the current election. But, they don't get the boot - and there's a big reason for that.

The ones that HAVE gotten the boot let their anger run away with them, they got nasty, and THAT got them the boot 98% of the time. They start it, they get the boot, and that has happened to supporters of EVERY candidate on the ballot so far this election.

The rules here are rather simple. The biggest rule, keep it CIVIL... and it is violation of that rule that usually results in being evicted, not the candidate that you support.

Jim has said he won't allow this website to be used to support or push for the election of Romney. Those that chose to violate those wishes will likely get the boot, yet there are still many hundreds of folks here that support Romney, they wisely just don't push it.

175 posted on 04/19/2012 5:31:49 PM PDT by Ron C.
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To: Jim Robinson

I would like to have a FR store to buy some things to show where my news comes from. Mugs, hats, shirts, bumperstickers, that sort of stuff.


176 posted on 04/19/2012 5:32:03 PM PDT by rightly_dividing (Newt 2012)
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To: Jim Robinson; Ron C.
"I don't want to see FR have to move to paid membership (pay to post) - just the software to handle that would give John fits. Neither do I want to see ads come here."

"Maybe we should consider a more obvious and permanent reminder that this is a user supported site - automatically on every thread created."

Now there's a great idea and easily implemented. Thanks!



PREFECT ©

177 posted on 04/19/2012 5:32:03 PM PDT by onyx (SUPPORT FREE REPUBLIC, DONATE MONTHLY. If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, let me know.)
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To: GenXteacher
BTTT!



178 posted on 04/19/2012 5:32:33 PM PDT by RedMDer (https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/default.aspx?tsid=93)
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To: Jim Robinson; onyx; trisham; RedMDer; TheOldLady; JoeProBono

Dearest Boss, when FR starts to look like all the other cluttered sites I would leave. FR is streamlined and sleek. The donor base model works. In this economy it may work a little slower but it WORKS. And you have control of the site, no one else. That is what makes Free Republic FREE.


179 posted on 04/19/2012 5:34:35 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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To: Drew68

What a well stated post. No, excellent...

‘Many’ are standing up and applauding (don’t have the graphic handy lol!)


180 posted on 04/19/2012 5:35:23 PM PDT by Outlaw Woman (The biggest Hate group in America is located in the White House, Congress & DOJ)
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