Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Donate Buttons

As I said in earlier post, I've layed back on the posting a bit this month. Will get back to it. I miss it :D I've had an idea floating in the back of my mind since I saw a random twitter comment last month. Once in a while, it would float to the top but I wasn't hearing it. Today, I'm hearing it.

In recent times, there has been so many tragedies and we're all trying to help. That's great. Awesome. Keep it up. No really, keep it up. That's a seperate category, although it does overlap a little with the bit I'm going on about.

The Random Twitter Comment:

I don't like seeing a donate button on an author's website.

I was taken aback and tried to figure out why. The only reason I can come up with is this person didn't like someone asking for money, as if they're a beggar. It's possible someone really is just begging. They may have set up a pretty blog then added the donate buuton and ignored it--no new blogs, no new freebie shorts, no helpful hints, etc. It's possible.

However, I don't believe it's likely. From what I've seen, the people with a donate button were reluctant to put it up but had to do it. Examples:

1. @CJRedwine She put a donate button up asking for help in covering the enormous cost of adopting. In her case it was overseas. Before you get into a hoorah about adopting outside of the country when they're are so many in need here, go online, find your congressman or representative and complain to him. Many agencie make it nearly impossible for people to adopt for so many reasons--gay couple, too old, too young, interracial, etc. The list goes on and the process is arduous before you're even given a chance to see a child. There ar exceptions and there are private adoptions, but keep your soap box away from this issue. She has my full support and this is my blog :D

Anyways, the process keeps getting more and more complicated. And the costs are astronomical. These costs went up for CJ's family. I don't know how much for sure, but I know that it was a taxing load for them. She added a donate button so her family and friends could help out. How's that a bad thing? It's not. It's perfect. She doesn't have to beg, she keeps giving information, providing funny blogs, unique intervies, etc and those who found her story touching or appreciated her things could donate. Perfect in my mind.

The next person who's added a donate button in the course of time I've followed them is @AuthoressAnon.

She is wonderful. She's set up all kinds of contests, submissions for auctions etc. It was on one big auction for an agent that she finally added the donate button. And she waited until she was sure no one thought they had to donate to participate even though she would have had more exposure by putting the button up earlier.

She puts in literally hundreds of hours reading slush piles, making judgment calls that could get her hated, or unfollowed. She went to a lot of work organizing that huge one and it was a fantastic success. She's providing a service and giving up large quantities of time and emotional energy. She provides an avenue that's unique and allows author's voices to be heard who might otherwise have been missed. She's providing a service.

So, rather than charge people to enter, she's asked for donations. The amount of time she puts in, it wouldn't have been unreasonable to charge a small fee to enter. But I think something in the contest and the way she likes to do things would've been lost. And how she likes to do things works. She's proven it. Again, I'm not seeing the problem with the donate button.

The next example is @RCMurphy.

Now her button was up when I first went to her site, but she tells her stories on line and offers them up for free. It's beautiful and her stories are wonderful. I don't know all the details of her life, but I do know she has a kid and she tries to work from home. She's providing entertainment and she doesn't ask for particular payment. She has a donate button on the side, quietly saying, "Hey, if you like it, help keep it coming!"

She's a writer. And, as most of my followers are writers or friends with one, they'd agree that getting paid to write is a good thing. so again, no seeing the problem with the donate button.

If you're out their cruising blogs, before you make a broad sweeping judgment, maybe you should really think about the big picture. Who is the site holder hurting? no one. Are they scamming you? no. Are they providing somethign? Yes.

Think before you say things that might come back and haunt you. And please, if you enjoy their sites and have an extra dollar or two give. Especially since there are so many of us who can't. Help keep people like them doing their services for free.

After all, we don't want everyone ending up like the NYT do we? :P


  1. Thank you for this. Putting that button up was a tough decision, but even creative people need help sometimes.

  2. Totally agree. It's hard to put that donate button up. When hubs and I hit a rough patch (which we're still in) I cut the price of my editing services and put up a paypal button so people could get those services. We needed help and I've spent a lot of time helping others freely so a friend suggested I put one up so I did. It helped a little. (and yes my site was bigger then than it is now - I'm redoing the whole thing)

    Writers need to eat and pay bills too. If readers find our writing helpful or interesting, isn't it a nice thing to be able to support that writer? I think it is. Even some of the bigger, established writers accept donations. I think it's awesome to be able to help someone out and to support all the great writers who aren't making a huge living for their work...if they're making anything at all. A lot of work freely for years before we get a dime from anything.

    So yeah, someone should design a button Help a Writer Today.

    Well written and good points. Thanks.

  3. U.S. adoptions ARE tough. My parents once tried to adopt a Vietnamese American child and they were turned down because A: my father was military and B: We live in Northern Idaho and are thus assumed to be Aryan Nations even though when we had those freaks here it was a tiny group that was a laughingstock.

    Apparently people from Northern Idaho denied from appearing on Fear Factor as well, though I don't know if the reason was the same.

  4. *hugs* well spoken, hun. not something I have experience with, but you really brought it to light simply. going to try and catch up on the site, kk?

  5. @R.C. Murphy You're welcome. I know how hard you work on the stories you put up on your site :D

    @Wulfie I hadn't realized you edited for a living (Possibly because of how we met? LOL)When I get rich, you can be my personal editor :P Seriously, I miss things when it's my own work. I've noticed an increase since my prescription glasses broke. Reading glasses have helped but I still have errors no matter how many times I read it!

    @CJ Redwine LOL You're very welcome. You're one of my writing heroes. And I ended up putting you in Wednesday's blog as well. It wasn't the plan but then you had to go and sic Rachel Vincent and the Spork of Doom on the masses :D

    @Brooklyn Ann I'm sorry to hear that. I get sick of prejudices in all their forms. So many good people are denied things because of it. In your family's case, it also denied a child the chance at a better upbringing :(

    @Fishy *hugs* Thanks and good luck catching up on the site. :D Good to hear from you!