Expanding the MIROFOSS Database

$100,000 goal

Campaign created 9 months ago
The MIROFOSS (Mineral, Rock, Organic, Fossil, Sand, and Silt) foundation is a non-profit organization that was created April 03, 2013 to promote the study and interest in Earth Science; in the fields of Geology, Paleontology, Mineralogy, Petrology, Botany, and Mycology. MIROFOSS is currently building an extensive article based web page, in conjunction with various social media outlets to engage the public interest in the natural world around them. It is the mission of MIROFOSS to:

"To promote Earth Science and awareness to all people through the Internet and social media; and to do what we can to assist those who may not have the means to pursue education in Earth Science."

We currently have an average of 10,000 new and returning visitors to our website with a total of 393,281 visitors from April 03, 2013 to July 15, 2017.

http://www.mirofoss.com

How did it all begin?
We started working on the idea of the MIROFOSS project back in late 2010. At the time it was not called MIROFOSS, rather it was just an idea that we should start taking images of our mineral, rock, and botanical samples and placing them online for people to view. In the process of taking photos and looking up information for the various samples in our collection, we realized there is not very many consolidated reference sites online which someone can go to and get quick facts about minerals and plants. There are web sites for history, web sites for charts and tables of data, web sites with images, and web sites with 'holistic' properties of natural items. However, a site which had everything; and is formatted in easy to read sections, was a very rare site to find. So we decided to start building a web page to help people find information easily with images to help along the way. The MIROFOSS site has seen many changes since it first came online in 2013, many additions were made, graphics were greatly improved, searching the site was improved using search topics, and CSS was introduced to allow search engines to find the articles From 2013 to today, we continually improve MIROFOSS by tweaking the articles, adding new functions, and of course adding new articles.

We are a small team!
As a non-profit organization; we are a very small team with a novice level of computer experience. Some computer experts have criticized us and made comments such as "you don't know how to professionally code", or "get off the web!" although we appreciate any productive advice, we don't have professional degrees in web programming. Our goal is to make MIROFOSS easy to use on most computer systems. Our team consists of only five people: two photographers, a geologist, a botanist, and an administrator who tries to keep everything running. We have been building the MIROFOSS database volunteering our time, knowledge, and money to create something unique for all to enjoy.

Why are we asking for help?
MIROFOSS is like a small child; when you have a child you need to provide for that child so they can grow up to be healthy and strong. We currently fund all of our expenses out of pocket to keep MIROFOSS running. We pay for web domain registration, web hosting, internet access, and everything from paper and pens to expensive software to develop the articles and process the images. We are asking for help, so we can continue to develop MIROFOSS into a healthy and strong resource for anyone around the world to be able to use. Our current model for finances is not sustainable for continued growth and only allows us to keep MIROFOSS in a "state of good repair," We are looking at expanding our finances without the use of selling advertisement space and ruining the principles of what MIROFOSS has been built on. Right now MIROFOSS costs approximately $500.00 CND per year to operate; however, we have future plans to develop and expand MIROFOSS and these things unfortunately cost money. Our core expansion projects include:

--SHORT TERM GOALS--

- Payment of website hosting and web address fees which include a secure url ($55.62 per month)

-Hiring a social media manager to expand our presence on various social media outlets and assist with marketing the MIROFOSS brand to engage the public using various methods. (Approx $4,211 per month)

- Contracting a web developer to assist in updating our mobile pages to work more smoothly on handheld devices; as well as working in concert with the new social media manager to create more exposure for MIROFOSS. (Approx $4,400 per month)

- Procurement of various materials such as office stationary, colour printing, internet access costs, and media supplies (Approx $1,600 per month)

-Update our computer hardware and software to provide four networked machines to easily work on articles and provide better response to visitor inquires (Approx $8,500 flat cost)

--MID TERM GOALS--

- Creating an "App Development Team" to design and build a functioning smart phone and tablet app to allow users to access MIROFOSS articles in a more fluid and streamlined fashion. (Approx $6,890 per month)

- Contract a plant biologist, as well as an educational advisor, to create a framework to expand the MIROFOSS database to include lessons on identification of plant species and create a botany curriculum which can be used in schools. (Approx $6,000 per month)

- Work with a student geologist to identify unknown mineral samples in our various collections and plan future ways in which MIROFOSS can grow in the field of geology. (Approx $6,000 per month)

-Integrate a method of photo uploads for users to showcase their images on the MIROFOSS website (Current cost unknown)

-Create interactive videos for users on visitor requested topics within the MIROFOSS fields. (Current cost unknown)

--LONG TERM GOALS-- (Initial Costs Unknown)

- Develop a scholarship program to assist future students who wish to pursue an education in Earth Science, as well as the study of plants and fungi.

- Develop workshops for young adults, as well as adults, in the field of botany and mycology; as well as creating interactive touch tables and displays for geological samples.

-Migrate MIROFOSS to a dedicated server for faster response time for visitors.

--Conclusion--
To run MIROFOSS in full swing will cost us over $24,000 per month (or $288,000 and we really do not have that type of cash flow!) We raise money with our eBay store to try to cover some costs but it is simply not enough! Right now our two computers we use to build our articles are over 10 years old and are on the verge of dying. Our printer can only print in blue ink and we have a complete backlog of mineral samples and organic samples we want to publish online for everyone to have access to and we simply do not have the combined time to complete these projects. We are truly trying to avoid placing direct advertisements within MIROFOSS and we want to keep our information and services free for everyone of the world to enjoy.

We want MIROFOSS to develop and grow and we cannot do it without help! Please join us and become a part of place where anyone can learn about them in an unbiased enivornment. A place where knowledge is free and you can find what you came looking for.
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$100,000 goal

Campaign created 9 months ago
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