Dearest Members and Visitors of our little Fountain Pen Nut House on the digital prairie,
As you all know, we are an entirely volunteer run site, and contrary to popular belief in some places , we really run on a shoestring budget. Donations, anonymous and otherwise, premium accounts and advertisements all have contributed to the extent that we haven't been making a loss the last few years, but beyond the real out-of-pocket costs, for hosting, software, taxes, banking, paypal, bookkeeping and accounting costs, there is not much left in the kitty to either extend FPN, or even think about hiring a professional, full or part time, to help out with running the site. We currently collect about $10,000 to $13,000 on an annual basis, and have a more or less constant buffer of about $3000 in the bank and/or with PayPal, on average anyway. Obviously it varies a bit when we have to make large payments, like paying for hosting or buying inks .
We are at breaking point by now, from a work point of view, as several of our volunteers spend a full day job or more timewise on keeping FPN running and ticking over. I also think our volunteers (moderators and admins) do an impressive job, because there rarely is a hiccup of any sort to affect any of us visiting here. However, with the size of FPN, the constant growth, and the enormous increase in time required to keep the site running smoothly, we have become so big now that we can't get around the fact that professional help is needed. We have been growing, since our inception almost 11 years ago, from nothing to a position of #34,000 right now in the worldwide website rankings according to Alexa, and are the second biggest (fountain) pen site worldwide as a result, with only Montblanc being bigger at position #29,000. A few years ago we had just passed #100,000, last year we were at #45,000, so we are still getting stronger by the day . And in the USA, we are even at position #10,000! Pageviews currently stand at 3.1 million per month according to Google, and 6.7 million according to AwStats. Considering there are more than 30 million websites worldwide currently, we are not doing too badly .
Anyway, after a lot of brainstorming, we decided to start showing our presence more, and start actively positioning and promoting FPN, all with a view to try and make a breakthrough in order to keep on growing and promoting fountain pens, inks and paraphernalia! And we need your help with that!
The first step in this process is to introduce two new FPN Supporter options. We renamed the Gold - Iridium donation option to Donor - Iridium, to distinguish it from the Gold Membership we have, and which stays the same otherwise. We created the FPN Supporter - Rhodium, and FPN Supporter - Platinum donation options, named obviously to keep things pen related and in the same vein . These FPN Supporter donation options are yearly donation subscriptions, as opposed to the half-yearly Iridium subscription, and are fixed annual donations rather than variable donations. Iridium donations start at $2 (lower limit due to PayPal costs) bi-annually, up to whatever you feel like giving , and Rhodium at $30, and Platinum at $60, both annually.
We will give you some extras in return, to thank you for your support. See the comparison chart at the bottom of this post .
Become an FPN Supporter or Donor!
In order to become an FPN Donor or Supporter, it is easiest to click on the new blue "Donors & Supporters" image which appears in the rotating FPN Advert at the top right of the board, or the one at the bottom left, and take things from there. See below .
Alternatively, you can click, on the Home/Forum Index page, in the FPN Quick Jumps section in the sidebar, on "FPN Donor & Supporter Options", or click the "Support FPN" tab at the top of the window, just underneath the header area, and next click on the image displayed above .
Or, click on FPN Donor and Supporter Options here .
BTW, for those of you who picked up on the ink discounts , there is a separate news topic on the subject of inks .
Thank you in advance for your support!
Warmest regards, Wim
On behalf of the Moderator and Admin Team