381 Donating Members out of 7924 Members...just under 5%
That just boggles my mind, JJ. Really an unexpected number.
I thought it'd be under 1% donating.
Just kidding! Donation is very easy, by Paypal or mail, and as Tnut states, so truly inexpensive. Once I knew I'd be on this site for more than a month, and knowing the donation was less than the cost of a magazine subscription or two, it became a no-brainer. Very shocking that the number is so very low; those who take the time and a few dollars to help the site.
I'm sure people sit around with visions of the site moderators/owners puffing Cuban cigars from brand new Warbonnets, stoking their titanium wood stoves and cashing yet another member's check to get some Grizz Beaks, but I would wager in reality, it's not that way.
The real question is how to increase the number of donators to this great site. On the most visible and trafficked paddling (kayak and canoes, not S&M) website, they have a higher donation rate by giving away some items (kayak tie-down straps, a t-shirt with the logo of the website, discounts on retailers items) for $35 yearly. Sure, they have to mail out a couple things, but they get people wearing their t-shirts.
HF could have similar donation "gifts", even forgetting the t-shirt and kayak straps--simply work a discount with the cottage retailers on here, each of whom is really getting some premium online space on HF--for instance, donating members and only donating members get 10% off everything from Warbonnet. The neat thing is, each retailer could work out their own discount and you could post it in a PDF file sent to donating members. The retailer would know who is donating (since we all have that icon under our names), so that part is easy. For instance, Paul Gibson might say he'd give a free box of those nutty fruity bars for every donating member's order over $200, whereas 2QZQ might say they'd give free return shipping on any paid HH mods for donating members. Something like that. Let them compete for our attention and dollars with those member's only discounts.
The cottage industries gain overall sales, the website gains cash, and the the donators get back their annual donation in spades, and no one loses. Something to consider.
Thank you, from new member and donator.