It's time for a brief update about our financial situation. We intend to release a larger update within a month, so keep an eye on the news section for further developments regarding the site's financial future, and your role in shaping it.
We'd like to thank everyone who has contributed in the form of a direct donation or store purchase since the time of the last announcement. This fundraiser has proven successful enough to keep the site running in the short term. The final two weeks of April were especially strong, and if this is indicative of a continuing trend, it would suggest that we're momentarily in the black as of the time of this post.
However, it is clear that funding What.CD is a challenge with more systemic problems (as is indicated by previous fundraisers). Without stimulating the user base with an occasional call for help, we eventually fall behind. As the site grows, our bills grow. With this comes the cost of server upgrades. Keep in mind that we own our servers, so fixed costs are a luxury we do not enjoy. As stated previously, the cost of one server breakdown can easily exceed many months of average operating costs.
For these reasons, it is difficult to fund the site primarily through the What.CD Online Store, although it helps. But the reality is that not everyone wants to purchase merchandise, nor is everyone willing (or able) to pay for costly international shipping. While the store will remain an effective way for users to show their support for the site, we understand that it isn't an absolute solution.
We also acknowledge that everyone would prefer additional options which allow closer to 100% of contributions to directly fund the site; something impossible to achieve when selling tangible products. Toward this end, we have been discussing the implementation of new donation incentives, as well as a more profitable utilization of the store. Changes beyond these are being discussed, but are nowhere ready for public hinting, much less public introduction.
Beyond keeping the site afloat, additional short-term goals include replenishing a safety net of emergency funds, and funding an overdue hardware upgrade. The longest-term and most important goal remains ensuring that each month's donations haul is at least large enough to cover monthly costs.
At this time, we encourage our users to be patient. Proper execution of our plans requires frequent discussion as a staff team, coordination with external partners, many developer hours, and time spent ensuring the security of everyone involved.
But, hey thanks to you, we're still here. Turn it to eleven and kick it.