1 Year's Funds on the Books!
This fund will stay open so long as the site stays up, but at this moment I encourage people to donate to another cause, such as Australian Wildfire Relief, Puerto Rico Earthquake Recovery, a creator's Patreon/Ko-Fi, etc.
The Science Fiction & Fantasy Community Blog, or The SFF Blog, originally started on Stack Exchange as a community-driven blog hosted on the platform. It had a long history of use, and small but dedicated team of contributors and readers. However, almost every other Stack Exchange provided blog had no traffic or no use.
So, Stack Exchange, Inc. discontinued the Blog Overflow domain and stopped hosting blogs for individual Stack Exchange Network sites. A small team of users took over handling the blog, including Jack B. Nimble who had effectively been the Lead Editor for years.
We were provided all the original assets for official blog, which was a WordPress.org site, and launched the migrated blog around November, 2016.
In order to continue operating the blog with minimal impact to its functionality, access to its previous content, and its appearance, it was necessary to continue using a privately-hosted installation of WordPress. Since Jack B. Nimble had been doing all the hard work of creating content and organizing contributor content, I didn't think it fair for him to also have to pay for it, so I volunteered.
Since then, I have been privately funding the entire cost of the blog, as well as maintaining the server configuration and WordPress installation. To date, that's added up to over $256*.
Currently, the web hosting is $131.88 USD every year, so about $11/month. The next bill will be due in late January 2020.
The domain (thesffblog.com) costs $13.16 USD every year. This is standard ICANN pricing.
I'm asking for up to $150/year in order to cover the annual costs ($145.04). The extra $5 roughly covers the transaction fees that are processed from each donation.** I will also be investigating hosting alternatives, or possible discounts, to stretch funds as best as possible.
Once the initial round of fundraising to cover the 2020 year completed, I set up a separate interest-bearing savings account to hold the donations. This way, it will be easy to maintain transparency with the community and donors. My goal is to be able to provide bank statements that can map withdrawals to expense receipts and deposits to donations. The account will only be used to hold the donations or withdraw them for specific expenses related to hosting the blog. In the event of dissolution of the blog at some future time, remaining funds will donated to some other SFF project.
* Hosting fees were pre-paid through the start of 2018, so the only expenses incurred were domain registration, SSL, and WhoIs protection. When I transferred hosts, the first year was heavily discounted, so 2019 was the first full bill. My registrar now offers free WhoIs protection, and the current host didn't charge for SSL activation. Also, the current host is not actually more expensive than the old host, it turns out I was also on promotional pricing would have ended when my pre-paid time was over.
**The amount varies based on the number donations. GFM keeps an industry standard amount of 2.9% + $0.30 USD of each donation to cover the transaction fees of processing the initial donation. Unlike other fundraising platforms, there is no platform fee or withdrawal/payout fee.
By contrast, Patreon charges the same processing fees to cover costs, but they also keep an a minimum of 5% of each donation for themselves, and charge $0.25 to 1% per withdrawal, and require a minimum of $10 to access the funds. So, for the $150 raised in the initial campaign among 8 donations, GoFundMe kept $6.77. Most other platforms are similar to Patreon, and would have kept $14.50+.