OK Folks, Time To Think Outside The Box

LaurAnge, with all due respect, I think that idea sucks and it will never, ever happen at a dopefest I host.

Parties are NOT supposed to be for fundraising, whether it’s in the form of an admission fee or passing the hat. I think it’s RUDE to invite people to a party and then ask them for a contribution when they show up. And the passing the hat idea is so outrageous, I can’t even begin to describe how disgusting I think it is. Do you really want to make people feel bad if they don’t want to, or simply can’t afford to, put money in a hat when there are people watching them as the hat enters their hands?


On the other hand, if you want to host a fundraiser, and bill it as such, then by all means, do so. But to turn dopefests into a “pass the hat” party is just - well, I’ve already said it - disgusting.

I gotta agree with Shayna on this one. I posted about it in another thread in ATMB when someone else suggested cashing in on the Dopefests.

My points were:

  1. Dopefests are not a SD/CR sponsored event, they don’t have any right to charge a fee or use them as a fundraiser.

  2. If they did, they would possibly be legally liable for what happened at said 'Fests, and I can’t see them opening themselves up to that.

  3. A lot of the smaller gatherings are held in someone’s private residence. You don’t ask guests in your home for an entrance fee. Contrary to what some may think, Dopefests aren’t raves :smiley:

Jumping snakes, man, calm down!

No one is suggesting sticking a Chicago Reader representative at your doorstep to demand money from any dopers that enter.

I can see, however, occasional regional doper conventions, nominally orginized by the Reader, that charge an admission fee. The understanding would be that these conventions are fundraisers, with the admission fees going towards the costs of running the SDMB.

I don’t really see it happening, but maybe. Plenty of other conventions are able to operate at a profit.

I’ll let the LIONsob speak for himself. I thought it might be a workable idea not because he’s my husband, he knows I disagree with him on lots of things.

I thought it was a good idea because it would keep the boards free. It would allow new members to come in and provide us with fresh ideas, thoughts and personalities.

His idea had nothing to do with charging a fee, more of a put a hat/bucket whatever in the middle of the table and if someone wanted to throw in a few bucks they could if they can’t/won’t that’s great too.

SDMB has turned down offers of donations so this wouldn’t be looked at as a donation to the boards or the reader but as selling ads.

I’ve been trying to come up with a proper term to describe why I think that idea is so terrible, and it just came to me.

Emotional blackmail.

Scenario: Person comes to a party to meet new people, catch up with friends, hang out and have a good time. There’s a bucket in the middle of the table for “voluntary” donations. He or she doesn’t have any extra cash to throw in and leaves the party feeling guilty that everyone else contributed and he/she didn’t.

Scenario: Person comes to a party to meet new people, catch up with friends, hang out and have a good time. There’s a bucket in the middle of the table for “voluntary” donations. He or she is willing to throw a buck in there, walks up and sees a bunch of fives and tens in the bucket. Now he/she feels like a cheap bastard.

Donations of any sort should be done privately on an individual basis so that nobody feels bad about giving or not giving, or the level at which they’re comfortable giving at all, if they do.

I totally agree with the concept of buying a vanity ad, and checked out the rates yesterday.

I certainly wouldn’t pass the hat at a dopefest, but if this is a feasible way to do it, I wouldn’t have a problem starting a thread and offering to organize it if people want to send money.

My question about all of this is, how much do they need to raise in ad revenue? If buying an $800 banner quarterly will do a significant amount to help, I’m all for it, and I will start the thread tomorrow. If it’s not going to be a drop in the bucket, then there’s no point. I asked the question already in ATMB, but it got buried in the thread. Maybe I’ll go start a new one.

[God, I hate that Outside the Box line. What happened to Pushing the Envelope ? Or the old Take A Step Back?]

OK kids, I started a new thread in ATMB and emailed Dan Kaplan, the online advertising manager with a few questions I had about rates.

Sorry you dislike the idea.
I don’t know how it is at other Dopefest but at the HouDopes the plan is meet at a club/bar/etc,setup 1 or 2 tables and start the party.
People leaving the party early leave enough money on a pile in the center of the table to cover their share of the bill and a tip for our server.
At the end of the night whoever is still there pays the bill out of the pile of money and their pocket(most times the server gets a BIG tip so that no member makes a profit on the night).
My idea is that those that can afford it leave an extra $1,$5,$10,what ever they can afford on the table and that money be used to buy an ad.
I am NOT advocating an admission fee to the dopefest.
I can’t see how that would be seen as emotional blackmail.
Just trying to find a way to keep the board free and alive.

<phone rings> ring ring…ring ring …

[TubaDiva] “Yep, it’s all cool. We’re going to pass the hat round at Dope Fests and people will put in what they feel is appropriate”

[The Reader’s Accounts Dep’t] Timberrrrrr…Kaboom…Splat.

[TubaDiva} Hello, anyone there…?
With all due respect, it’s a frggin corporation not a knitting circle. They need a Plan that will be approved by suits with muscles not something more akin to a half-baked hippie commune-day-at-the-beach BBQ chill fest solution. That’s the way business works.

Where are all you people from: California !! :smiley: :wink:

Thanks London_Calling for your accurate remarks.

From Ed’s announcement:


Here are the options as we see them:

(1) Continue as we have and hope advertising picks up.

(2) Shut down the site.

(3) Charge a fee.

We appreciate the offers of donations but don’t feel this is a long term solution.


That’s pretty plain. Either The Reader starts getting some bucks or they pull the plug. Bake sales won’t cut it.

IMO, if posters have something they just have to say, they should say it in a hurry.

I believe Something Awful charges about 10 bucks for a custom title, or something like that. You’d be surprised how many go for it.

And 20 bucks to change somebody else’s title.

People do this all the time. They are called “cover charges”.

So every cathedral, and every free museum, I’ve ever been to is engaged in “emotional blackmail”? Prominently displayed in the entrances of all of these places are donation boxes, often with a suggested donation amount posted.


Suits? No barbecue?!?! I thought that the Reader was alternative press!

Personally, I like the vanity ad idea. I’ve seen other MBs successfully pay for themselves with recursive ads (ads requesting that people pay for adspace for the ad.) Admittedly, these boards use no where near as much bandwidth as the SDMB, but the bandwidth per subscriber should be roughly the same, and it works for them.

I can appreciate the Reader wanting to make a profit (hey, I’m a big-hearted guy), and I don’t mind chipping in to help keep this board going, but a pay to post setup will drive people away. I understand the argument that the SDMB cannot accept donations, but there has to be a workaround. I don’t think that it will be fun to hang around here if we get billed for wasting our time.

A group of die hard dopers can get together, purchase the software, get a ISP to host and run the board as it is right now with the exception of using a supporting member incentive to help pay for the costs. I know of one board that does this and it has at least 5 times as much bandwith as this board.

You know, the Chicago Reader already has a Classifieds section.

Which means they have the infrastructure already in place to set up a classified section for the Straight Dope.

Would you buy an ad? Help wanted? Car for sale? Dopefest? Personal ad?

It would be a national classified board, with a built-in user base already in place.

Might make a tidy sum of cash.

Mr. V, that’s the best idea I’ve heard yet. Would you mind emailing it along to Tuba?

They are, Sua. The entire concept of ‘suggested’ donations strikes me the same as the ‘suggested’ amount that should be spent on an engagement ring.

And don’t get me started on that Ad Council campaign several years ago that tried to say that “10% is America’s ‘standard of giving’”. That’s all marketing crap (which I know full well).

Or, as has been said in the hallowed halls of K Street downtown:

“Non-Profits ARE”

“Alternative Press isn’t”