Donation Drive Changes, Launches Next Week


The 2012 Donation Drive Has Launched!


We are launching our tenth annual donation drive next week, and while we have some exciting ideas in store for this year’s month-long effort, there are also going to have to be some changes. For a while now we have suspected that we would need to make a change to the way we are running our annual donation drives, and this year we finally need to go and do it.

The biggest immediate change long-time visitors will notice is that the giveaway prize drawings are gone. The fact of the matter is that these drawings put us and our site in an uncomfortable position of tying donations to our effort with a gambling-like drawing. Not only is this essentially prohibited by every money service we have access to, but there were countless jurisdictions where we have readers that have laws against this kind of activity. As the level of participation in the site and the drives have increased over the year, the likelihood that our drive, as well intentioned as it may have been, was going to end up creating a problem finally ratcheted up to the point where we are making this choice.

What we hope, and what many have told us, is that the reason people were donating was because they genuinely wanted to support this site and this community; not because of the giveaways. And, I hope that’s true, because when it comes right down to it, we don’t really think the donation drive has anything to do with Shawn or myself. It is about you investing in your community.

So the choice not to have a prize giveaway also represented for us an opportunity to change the way we were handling the donation drive in some other ways. And, though the loss of prizes is kind of a bummer, I think you might like some things about our new plan as well.

I have to admit, we entertained (if only for a moment) the idea of just doing a Kickstarter. That idea did not last very long. While Kickstarter is a terrific platform for funding a specific project, I think that using it as a tool for creating an ongoing support structure would be the proverbial round peg in the fourth-dimensional hypercube hole. But that doesn’t mean we couldn’t openly borrow some ideas from Kickstarter and do our own thing without venturing into some of the woodier hollows that made less sense.

First of all, for the first time in our decade-long history of running the drive, we will be keeping a user-visible running tally of donations along with some clear financial goals. We think the most fun thing about watching someone raise money for something they believe in is sharing that sense of progress with them. Even when we have efforts within the forums where someone is trying to raise a couple of hundred bucks, and you can see the effort of the community blow past that goal, it makes me feel good to be a part of that.

Additionally, while we will not be having raffles, we will still be setting goals and stretch goals, and associating some cool things we might do with those goals. Things like throwing parties, cool artwork or even a potential video series. That said, our focus again remains making the entire community part of whatever we do, so if we hit those goals as a group there won’t be gating or hidden files only for those who donated. We really want people to think as they are giving that they are making the site better for everyone, and as/if we hit those big goals, we also want that to be reflected in having benefits that span the entire community.

That said, we aren’t completely abandoning individual benefits either. A forum icon will still be awarded to anyone who contributes — the icon you get still depends on how many times you have donated to the site in the past. And for the extraordinary few, literally a handful of people, who will have donated for a tenth time to the site, we have a brand new 10-year icon, which is all the more special because we have decided this is the last one. Next year no new icon, so it feels fitting to us to have this final icon be something you can almost literally wear proudly for years to come.

Additionally, we have a few donation-level prizes that will offer individual benefits. They are pretty cool, we think, and so most of them are in limited quantities. If we see a high demand for them, we may offer some new, different individual benefits later in the drive. We’re playing it by ear.

I can’t say this isn’t a little unnerving for us. In a way, we are making a shift this year from saying “donate and maybe you’ll get some cool stuff,” to saying “donate to keep this thing running, because of that cool stuff.” This year’s prize is basically another year of GWJ for everyone, another year of the forum, of the podcasts, of the community and of articles.

We never built this site expecting to get rich from it, and we certainly haven’t been proven wrong in our expectation. Our big position is that the thing we can’t do is lose money on the effort. And every year to date we have gotten to where we needed to go from a funding standpoint and beyond, allowing us to continue to grow our writers, grow our content, grow the community and grow what we deliver. There are a lot of costs associated with the site: podcast hosting, server/bandwidth, travel and attendance at events, community functions, providing a cut to the host of people who support and provide content, equipment, and so on.

As we approach our official ten-year anniversary in early 2013, we are hoping we can count on you guys to continue supporting the site. Our base goal is not trivial — $15,000 — but you guys have come through time and time again. So, what do you say? How about another year?

Look for the drive to officially launch around September 4th!

Comments

*sets credit card on desk next to the computer*
*checks calendar*

Man, that tattoo of a dragon humping a car is gonna look rad on Elysium's arm. Rad.

Tanglebones wrote:
Garden Ninja wrote:
Article wrote:

the reason people were donating was because they genuinely wanted to support this site and this community; not because of the giveaways.

That's certainly what it is for me. The raffle was kind of neat in theory, but it was beside the point.

Also, might as well get this out there right away.

IMAGE(http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m8lqlwrrfE1r4zff2o2_500.jpg)

+1

+2

Isn't this the year the goodjer community got their very own castle?
How is that not the 10 year badge?

Also, for those of us that got late this wonderful house of crazies, could we still donate year after year to keep upgrading our icons?

Hobbes2099 wrote:

Isn't this the year the goodjer community got their very own castle?
How is that not the 10 year badge?

Also, for those of us that got late this wonderful house of crazies, could we still donate year after year to keep upgrading our icons?

I think his point was that you would still upgrade your badge year after year, but once you hit the 10th badge you wouldn't upgrade anymore. And yes, Goodjerhold needs to be the last badge.

The only problem with not having the prizes is I kind of used that as a handy fretmark as to how much I should donate. Before I knew I was "buying" 2 tickets for the meat raffle. Now I have to work out how much of "some money" I should pitch in.

I'm going to miss guessing the new icon each year.

I'll be sending some monies this way, too! I just wanted it to be like an NPR pledge drive. Who doesn't want a GWJ coffee mug?

jonfentyler wrote:

I'll be sending some monies this way, too! I just wanted it to be like an NPR pledge drive. Who doesn't want a GWJ coffee mug?

Hey yeah!

Can we get some swag back? I'll even pay the crazy high shipping to Australia this time... I promise

I'm OK with the lack of prizes and stuff. I value the community more than anything else. I don't love the stoppage to icons though. That was always fun and I don't quite see the rationale for discontinuing them.

Elysium wrote:

You're idea is bad and you should feel bad.

Genius if intentional, hilarious if not.
This should be a bumpersticker.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

I'll pitch in an extra five bucks if it means LobsterMobster has to act like Darksiders jokes are still funny.

Wait...They're not? Crap. I've been fake laughing this whole time to fit in

Honestly, though--while I'm still relatively new compared to a lot of you, I've got no problem tossing my money into the GWJ Community, prize or no prize. I've been a part of a few gaming communities over the years, but GWJ is easily one of the best.

The fact that it has been going so strong for 10 years without devolving into a snobbish clique type environment speaks volumes. Sure we have crappy in jokes but it doesn't take much to get caught up, just fake laugh along Like Domano

I'll be donating again, although with a wedding coming up in a few weeks money is tighter than usual. Still, I'm in.

Make the icons like any good 16-bit platformer; 10 different ones palette-shifted to become whole new icons!

So how much do we have to donate to have Rabbit serve as bartender in our home for a night?

Minarchist wrote:
Kurrelgyre wrote:

All I could find was the 2010 post.

Elysium wrote:

First time donors get a golden key. If this is your second year donating you get a gold watch. Three years earns the iconic weiner bomb, four years gets you a company car, five years a company jet, six years a fancy yacht. Seven years is your very own Corporate Companion Cube, and for the elite few who have been with us since day one and donated to the site for all eight drives ... well, let's just say our next icon is ready to really bind you to the site.

So what were 8 and 9?

8 was handcuffs. 9 is a parachute.

Now with pictures...

1 year - IMAGE(http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/sites/all/themes/gwj/images/ranks/officekey.gif)
2 years - IMAGE(http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/sites/all/themes/gwj/images/ranks/watchdonate.gif)
3 years - IMAGE(http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/sites/all/themes/gwj/images/ranks/goldweinerbomb.gif)
4 years - IMAGE(http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/sites/all/themes/gwj/images/ranks/donatecar.gif)
5 years - IMAGE(http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/sites/all/themes/gwj/images/ranks/goldenjet.gif)
6 years - IMAGE(http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/sites/all/themes/gwj/images/ranks/cruiseship.gif)
7 years - IMAGE(http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/sites/all/themes/gwj/images/ranks/companion-cube.gif)
8 years - IMAGE(http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/sites/all/themes/gwj/images/ranks/golden-handcuffs.gif)
9 years - IMAGE(http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/sites/all/themes/gwj/images/ranks/golden-parachute2011.gif)
10 years - ?

FYI -- we are hearing the feedback on icons. You are a convincing and strong-minded people.

Genius if intentional, hilarious if not.
This should be a bumpersticker.

Obviously its intentional. I mean, huh, geez. I'd never make a mistake like that. Right guys? Right? Huh?

3 pages and no one has posted this yet?

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/F8jtN.gif)

For shame.

nel e nel: You just broke my brain.

btw, I'm mostly excited because this will be my third year donating which means I get the wiener bomb!

Hobbes2099 wrote:

Also, for those of us that got late this wonderful house of crazies, could we still donate year after year to keep upgrading our icons?

If the "presitge" solution isn't to just add sparkles to the existing icon progression, I'm going to be disappointed.

I guess Elysium now knows the pain Blizzard had to go through for designing a real "end-game"

Another idea/suggestion regarding the donation icons: if you want to continue donating but keep the icon you have (weiner bomb!), I think it would be cool if you added some sort of visual difference to the icon to signify that the person has donated beyond the number of times that the icon represents. Perhaps something as simple as a small number beside the icon to show how many additional times the person has donated. For example, after I make my donation this year, add a small 1 next to my icon. Then change the 1 to a 2 after the next donation, and so on.

Prozac wrote:

The fact that it has been going so strong for 10 years without devolving into a snobbish ... .

Let me stop you right there.

Rezzy wrote:
Elysium wrote:

You're idea is bad and you should feel bad.

Genius if intentional, hilarious if not.
This should be a bumpersticker.

He does it to hurt me.

I believe I've donated twice (very very modest donation) over my almost 4 years membership and I have received much more in return. I look forward to the podcast every week and the site is my go to for most things gaming. I have really enjoyed being a part of the community and i'm definitely ready to provide another very, very, very modest donation

Hooray for spending money on things you enjoy! + Shawn sometimes too, I guess.

I have children to donate. They will work hard in your factories. Note, these are not my children.

Hobbes2099 wrote:

Isn't this the year the goodjer community got their very own castle?
How is that not the 10 year badge?

It very well could be. They haven't said what it is yet.

Elysium wrote:

FYI -- we are hearing the feedback on icons. You are a convincing and strong-minded people.

See?

Castle!
Castle!
Castle!
/continues chanting off screen...

Stele wrote:
Hobbes2099 wrote:

Isn't this the year the goodjer community got their very own castle?
How is that not the 10 year badge?

It very well could be. They haven't said what it is yet.

Elysium wrote:

FYI -- we are hearing the feedback on icons. You are a convincing and strong-minded people.

See?

Castle!
Castle!
Castle!
/continues chanting off screen...

Nikki Heat?

Tanglebones wrote:
Stele wrote:
Hobbes2099 wrote:

Isn't this the year the goodjer community got their very own castle?
How is that not the 10 year badge?

It very well could be. They haven't said what it is yet.

Elysium wrote:

FYI -- we are hearing the feedback on icons. You are a convincing and strong-minded people.

See?

Castle!
Castle!
Castle!
/continues chanting off screen...

Nikki Heat?

Goodjerhold!
Goodjerhold!
Goodjerhold!

lostlobster wrote:

nel e nel: You just broke my brain.