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Donations and Ongoing Projects

Discussion in 'Forum News & Updates' started by JmpMster, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    First let me say a huge thank you to all the member that have donated to help pay the expenses of keeping a site like this running and secure. We have had no successful site hacks, and no down periods due to our software or site errors in 18 months since moving to our own new server and secure site. The few issues we have are mostly inconveniences (like chat pm's because the chat platform is relatively new and still has a few bugs for the most part).
    We are getting over 500k visits a month to SF which takes up a lot of bandwidth and system resources. We literally would not be able to run at al on our old platform so thank you so much to all that have donated to keep us up and running.

    We have had questions about some things we wan to try and do and thta have been mentioned in the past. The most common is about the possibility of an mobile app for use on sf. So far as where we stand on that - the mobile app that was being developed for xenfor0 (our forum software platform) and we hoped to license ceased development. Therefore we have no way to simply licence that for use on our site. This means an app will need to be completely custom developed for us. In addition to the substantial costs of custom development is th eadditional monthly costs for bandwidth and any needed tech support/updates.

    We currently have a reasonable amount of money set aside for this project - aprox $1500 total as a balance for a big project and for any type of unforeseen emergency that may come up needing immediate attention. Ther ear e2 big thigs currently considering to help improve the site-

    1. The above mentioned mobile app - that is an unknown due to estimates of $5k-$7k for complete custom development and deployment on both Apple iOS and Android. In addition there is a lot of difference in what different peopel expect from it- from just notifications to click and go to site to read replies or private messages for example to basically a complete site in an app along with full chat function. Obviously the more that it does the more it cost and then we run the risk of too complicated for some and not working on older phones.

    2. Peer support training - I have been in contact with numerous peer support training centers to try to arrange to get peer support for site volunteers as Pros and senior staff. It would be really nice if we could offer io t to others as well - since what we are al on here for is peer support. The training may be able to help the site become safer and more beneficial to a greater number of people and even allow site members to learn some skills useful in or transferable to other areas of their life. One option open to us is having a complete peer support training program custom developed for SF - so it could be completely taken online and by having one made for us we can offer it to more people rather than paying per person to attend training. This while not as expensive as building the app is still substantial cost - probably in the $3500 range and once again will add to our monthly costs for maintenance and bandwidth.

    This is just to update all of the members here with things we are working on and to invite input on which of these or what different projects we should consider and if there is any ideas on ways to help make these or other projects more affordable. While my avatar says "forum owner" that means I am ultimately responsible for the bills, but I truly believe the site belongs to each and every member here and appreciate any and all input on ideas for ways to make SF a better resource for all of our members.

    Thanks all that support SF - with donations or perhaps more importantly by just being here for other members when they need a kind person to listen and care.

    - Ben
  2. Walker

    Walker Everything Zen Staff Member Safety & Support SF Social Media SF Supporter

    Thanks for all you guys do.
  3. Lulabelle

    Lulabelle Forum Pro SF Supporter


    Is it possible to donate with PayPal?
  4. Citizen Insane

    Citizen Insane Staff Member Safety & Support SF Author SF Supporter

    Yes @Lulabelle - Paypal I actually the only option I think that you could use to donate. :eek: I have donated before with paypal :)
    Lulabelle likes this.
  5. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    Yes, Paypal is currently our only method to donate. It will show as FCD Digital / First Class Digital on any statements. We changed it because people were concerned about it listing Suicide Forum on their bank or card statements.

    You do not need a PayPal acct to donate- you can use any credit/debit card or checking acct to donate via Paypal without setting up an acct of your own as well. There ar eno fees charged to you when you donate regardless - just the amount of the donation.
    Lulabelle likes this.
  6. Lulabelle

    Lulabelle Forum Pro SF Supporter

  7. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    So many new people donating - thank you all so much! I think September was the most different individuals we ever had donate and with so many members it is so much easier when lots of people donate to keep the burden smaller on all. Thank you to the 20 or so people that donated and the 10 that donated for the first time last month. With that we will be able to look into more features for the site.

    There are some attempts to donate that do not go through every month also. If you run into a technical issue donating please feel free to let me know if you need assistance. Thanks all that have donated. Please remember to only donate when you can do so comfortably, and an amount that will not cause you any difficulties. $2, $5, $10 are all fine too- you do not need to donate $20 or $50 or more to help, so do not stretch your budget trying to donate more than is comfortable. There are other ways to support the site- volunteering for staff positions, just replying to posts and offering support to others, or if you would like to help with social media accounts for the site or with producing videos or pictures, etc. All are important and all help SF get better. Thanks to all our members , all helping to make SF a safe and supportive environment.
  8. Badger

    Badger SF Supporter

    I'm a bit of an idiot and have issues with paranoia.

    If I click on the yellow donate button at the bottom of the home screen... is that the best way to donate? Is it secure? Or is there a better way to do it? I don't have paypal.

    And how does it work if my home currency is not USD?

    Many thanks. X
  9. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN SF Author

    It is completely secure - we use Paypal because they are regulated in exactly the same way as a bank with the same rules and checks and processes to make sure that your money is safe. You do not have to 'have' paypal - there is an option to just put in card details and pay that way - it just means that nobody on this site sees or has access to your card information this way - paypal works as a 'gateway' to protect that.

    Your home currency not being USD isn't a problem. It is set up for dollars but if you just google the conversion for the amount you are comfortable donating and pop that in, in dollars, paypal will take care of the exchange in currency.

    The name on your bank statement for where the money went to will say FCD Digital which is nothing other than something Ben created so that nobody ever had a situation where Suicide Forum appears on a financial statement for anyone who donates.

    It is all completely secure and safe :)
    Dawn and Badger like this.
  10. Badger

    Badger SF Supporter

    Thanks @Freya that is very helpful :)

    So I just click the donate button?
  11. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN SF Author

    Yep - it will take you through to paypal and give you the option to pay by card :)
    Badger likes this.
  12. Badger

    Badger SF Supporter

    Thank you :)
  13. nobodyknows71

    nobodyknows71 Forum Pro SF Supporter


    Just wanted to add that although a paypal donation doesn't show up on your bank statements as suicide forum, it does on both your paypal account transactions and also your email receipt from them.

    Just thought it might be worth mentioning.

    @NYJmpMaster @Freya not sure if you know this.
  14. Supernova

    Supernova SF Supporter

    same here and....as I now saw it is also mentioning my username....oops.
  15. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN SF Author

    Ah - I see it. It is when you click into the details of the transaction. I have popped it over to Ben. I think we can fix that - just need to change the settings in paypal I think :) bear with us!
    nobodyknows71 and Supernova like this.
  16. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    @nobodyknows71 Thank you for this update!
    The transaction screen if you open the full transactions detail receipt it now does say Suicide Forum

    pp receipt.png

    It did not used to be like that - after looking into it further they have changed the way the receipt/transaction pulls and it takes the information from the website URL that a donation link originated from and adds that to the receipt via the API key used to integrate with Paypal. I am not sure when they changed but they made this change to make it clear exactly where a donation was at to make it more difficult for fraud/scammers to produce the phishing type site that might say "Donate to Red Cross/Hurricane Irma" but then the donation never goes to the red cross... By making this change it clarified the who ultimately received the donation so far as Paypal can verify. While it is all factual and true, and a good security measure to make people safer in donating online, in our case it will list that as the donation if you use the donate button.

    If it is of concern to you that it shows "Suicide Forum" on the receipt now you can still donate using these steps -

    1. Instead of using the donate button on here , go to https://www.paypal.com

    2. On the screen (it may look a little different- the cookies in my computer make it obvious that have an account so it says welcome back instead of welcome to Paypal , but the layout should be close) click the "send" option (if you do not have account with paypal- if you have an account log in and then go to "send money" .

    paypal home screen.JPG

    3. Go through the process of entering the required information - You can send money from a checking account, or any credit or debit card. Yopu can send in any currency you wish and it will be automatically converted to USD $ by paypal. Any fees are taken from recipient amount so there is no cost to you to donate like this- a $10 donation will be a $10 debit from your payment method ( or £ or whatever currency you use). For recipient email use
    (that is the account i set up to avoid the "Suicide Forum" being listed as a payee on Paypal transactions due to requests by members to make it less obvious where money was being sent). The receipt will then simply say FCD Digital / First Class Digital since it is not being sent through this website. In type of payment you can choose goods/services ( a very small fee is charged to us). While choosing "family and friends" has no fees to us at all, it is clearly a business/professional Paypal account and I am not concerned about a few cents if it keeps us in good standing with Paypal.

    4. In the remarks/notes please leave a message about how you want the donation applied (for example "for mobile app" ) and if you leave your member name then we can put an SF Supporter banner on for you if you wish (or at least send a thank you Pm). If you wish to remain completely anonymous then leave off member name and even we will not be able to tell who donated as it will just be a name which we do not collect on the site and the email address you choose to use in sending money.

    5. We will manually add the donation amount to the tracking tools to the total so it is included in monthly goals.

    6. You do not need to have nor to make a permanent Paypal account to send money like this. We also have a special discount so we we pay lower than normal fees with Paypal due to the number of monthly transactions, our fees are only a couple cents on the dollar.

    7. Remember If you do not mind if in the details of the transaction it says Suicide Forum then just click the donate buttons and all of our information is already pre-filled in. It is actually a lot easier to donate than this silly wall of text makes it seem to be....
    dugga and Supernova like this.
  17. Supernova

    Supernova SF Supporter

    this sounds confusing to me...
    I was just surprised that they also show user name and SF at all but I do not care too much about this so I think I will use the old way for transactions
    thank you for checking all these things and keeping us updated.
    you are great!
  18. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN SF Author

    It does seem confusing :) it's one of those things that is dead simple until you try to explain it lol

    What it boils down to is:
    • If you are okay with the thing in paypal saying "donated to suicide forum" then use the donate button.
    • If it is important to you that nobody knows you did a charity donation to SF and for it to only say "paid FCD digital" then log into paypal from https://www.paypal.com and send the donation to fcddigital@gmail.com and it will ping to SF via that email address
    Only exactly the amount of money you ask to be sent will be sent. SF never gets your information or your real name or anything to do with your payment information (paypal protects it). Everything is safe and secure :)
  19. Supernova

    Supernova SF Supporter

    @Freya this made me smile. Thank you! ;)
  20. Kira

    Kira SF Gelfling Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Thanks for getting this conversation going!! I just recently set up PayPal so that I could donate here. Having never done it before made me put it off (I'm a procrastinater with things I'm unfamiliar with) but this thread has helped a lot.
    I'm not bothered by SF showing up on the receipt as I'm the only one with access to my PayPal account (and it's no one's business anyway!)
    Anyway, I did it and it was really simple. Which basically means a 5 yr old could do it! ;)
    Badger, Freya and JmpMster like this.