Firestorm in Need of Funding
The Phoenix Firestorm Project is now in its sixth year with a team of over 80 volunteers providing development, quality assurance, management, support in 10 languages and now marketing to bring new users into Second Life, increase the overall population and improve the new user experience. Only once in the past did we find ourselves in need of financial support, when we needed to cover some of our startup costs in the very beginning. Since then, we have managed to afford our ongoing operating expenses by way of Google Adsense and the Linden AdBuy program. We rent two servers for hosting our website, JIRA, wiki, and downloads, and we are responsible for various licensing expenses like digital certificate code signing, Kakadu software, etc.
We have practiced a rule of declining the countless generous offers of donations we have received from you, our users, over the years for many reasons. First, we’ve managed to stay in the black. Second, I have a personal aversion to accepting charity. Third, we’ve wanted to avoid sending the message that donating to the project would entitle the donor to any kind of special advantages from a support or development perspective; we consider all of our users and their needs to be equally important, and that will not change.
However, these operating expenses have, like everything monetary, increased over time, while Adsense revenue has decreased with less traffic to our site. What’s more, the exchange rate from US dollars to Canadian (where I live and pay our bills from) has taken a turn towards the horrendous. For quite a while now we have been operating in the red, and I’ve made up for it out-of-pocket in hopes that things might pick up again. Unfortunately, though, we are approaching the renewal for our Kakadu license, and though I’m not permitted to say how much it costs us, I can say that it is, by a very big margin, our largest annual expense. Kakadu, or KDU, helps improve rendering performance and reliability significantly enough that we feel it is worth the price (for those familiar with how a codec works for videos, it’s kind of like that). Last year we had the help of OnLive, which covered half that expense, but we don’t have that now. We also hope to raise some revenue to put towards marketing in hopes of attracting new users into Second Life and keeping them.
This project was founded on the principle of giving, not taking, but a time has come where we are in need of funds. We will be placing a small Google Adsense advertisement on our login splash screen. But more excitingly…!!!
Limited-edition Firestorm-branded his-and-hers leather jackets!
I have been busily trying to learn how to create a line of clothing we can offer our donors as a thank you for your donations. We are starting out with these jackets, though, which will be sold on SL Marketplace in tiers based on what you are willing or able to donate. In tiers of L$250, L$500 and L$1000 you will receive the Tier One Jacket with our logo on the back. Then there are Bronze, Silver and Gold Tier Jackets for backing levels of L$5,000, L$10,000 and L$25,000. I expect we won’t sell many of those, so the few who buy them will really stand out as our biggest supporters. The jackets are rigged mesh, have a color change HUD and come in all the standard sizes. You will be able to read more details and purchase them from our Marketplace store here.
For the sake of transparency I will be happy to provide a summary of our monthly revenue on request; just drop me an email. If you would rather provide a donation without a purchase, we have placed a tip jar in the Firestorm Gateway Event Space SLURL
On behalf of the Firestorm Team, thank you for your generous support!
The Phoenix Firestorm Project, Inc.