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Make a donation

Discussion in 'How Do I...?' started by Mike, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Mike

    Mike
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    Well-Known Member

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    OK, here is one of those things I do without a second thought, but it has been suggested others might need help to understand how things work. And that is how to make a donation to help offset the site expenses.

    The procedure is actually very simple and I have prepared a brief tutorial, to walk you through the necessary steps.

    First off - we do use PayPal on this site. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we've all heard the nightmare stories about how PayPal is going to empty your bank account, rape your grandmother and steal your dog. A former member of this site loved to tell anyone within earshot he had only ever used PayPal twice and on both occasions, he ended up having to close down his credit card accounts, because there were all manner of fraudulent charges. OK, whatever. Here are my experiences with Paypal. I have been processing donation payments from this site for 6 years, with zero problems. Back when we were selling forum t-shirts, I had one member's bank squawk about a PayPal transaction. I filed a report with PayPal, to show the member had purchased a t-shirt, gave them the USPS tracking number for the shipment of the shirt to the member and I was paid within a couple days. I make monthly payments to the company who hosts this site, via PayPal. I make annual payments to the registrar, on all of the domains I currently own, via PayPal. I use their services for all online payments and that single problem is the only one I have ever experienced.

    People balk, because they do not have a PayPal account. You do not need to open an account with PayPal, to make a donation. I end up paying a transaction fee, to have PayPal process those kinds of payments, but that is all part of doing business. If someone donates $50.00 via a PayPal credit/debit card transaction, the transaction costs me $1.75. If someone with a PayPal account transfers funds from their PayPal balance, then I get the entire amount donated. Simply because every dime helps us keep the site alive, I keep the $5.00 donation option alive on the Donation Manager, but whereas the $50.00 donation costs me 3.5%, a $5.00 donation costs me 9%. So, if you do have a funded PayPal account, making a donation from your PayPal balance actually nets the site a bit more money.

    The bottom line is that you can process a credit/debit card payment on PayPal, without ever opening an account.

    Let's walk through the donations procedure.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, above, there are two different Donate links on the home page of the forums. One is up in the NavBar, under the logo image and the other is located in the right column. Let's click on the link in the NavBar, as it might be easier to everyone to understand.

    [​IMG]

    Clicking on that link will bring you to this page, where you can read a brief description on what donated funds are used for and how donations are progressing for the given month. If you want to proceed with making a donation, click the Donate button.

    [​IMG]

    This will open a menu, which will allow you to select a pre-set donation amount, or to donate a custom amount. If you want to donate $12.34, you would enter that as a custom amount. You can also enter a brief note that I will see upon notification of your donation. If you want to hide your identity from other forum members and make an anonymous donation, you can make that selection. Once you are satisfied with your selections, click Donate.

    [​IMG]

    The page will then show you the amount you have opted to donate, the goal you are donating toward (which will always be the current month's operating expenses) and whether or not you have opted to make an anonymous donation. Be aware, hiding your identity will only prevent other forum members from seeing who made an anonymous donation, I will still see your payment e-mail and forum username.

    Once you are certain everything is correct, click on Donate via PayPal.

    [​IMG]

    In order to keep the European Union happy, the script will advise you that you are about to be whisked off to an external site, in this case, the PayPal site. Once again, you can click on OK.

    [​IMG]

    And you will then see a PayPal page, like the one above. The information on your donation will be summarized in the left column and you can then select how you want to make your payment, either with an existing PayPal account, or by a debit/credit card. If you select to use your PayPal account, you will be asked to log into the account. If you don have and do not want to open a PayPal account, then you can just fill in your credit card details, in the appropriate fields.

    OK, let's start over and opt to make a donation via the sidebar module. Yes, those with sharp sharp eyes will see I have switched browsers. It's a long story, but I have a cookie preserved within Firefox and I am too lazy to wade through a log-in form a second time. As a result, Firefox wants to use my PayPal cookie and take me directly to my account log-in. So I jumped to another browser, to show you what you will see.

    [​IMG]

    Click on the Donate button in the sidebar module and the above is what you will see. I know, it's a pain, isn't it? But the Donation Manager is coded to use XenForo's default jQuery menus, rather than customized menus. If I re-code the DXF-Red menu to use another background color, then there are other menus that will not show. It's Catch 22, but there are two ways around the problem.

    [​IMG]

    The first cure involves hovering your mouse pointer in the upper-left corner of the menu window, holding down the left mouse button and dragging the pointer to the lower-right corner of the menu. That will highlight all the options, as shown above. Then you can see what is what and move forward from there. Make your selection on the amount you want to donate and click the Donate button.

    [​IMG]

    The menu will then change to show you your donation selections, just as you saw a few images above. If everything looks satisfactory, click Donate via PayPal and you'll be off and away to the PayPal site.

    [​IMG]

    If you are struggling with highlighting the menu, scroll down to the bottom-left corner of the page and click on the DXF-red link.

    [​IMG]

    That will open a jQuery menu, which will allow you to select the XenForo default style. (How many of you were unaware the site actually has three-different styles available for you to choose?)

    [​IMG]

    Once you select the Default Style, the page will reload, using XenForo's default styling templates (which I personally cannot stand). But everything will be in the same places as with the DXF-Red style, as shown above.

    [​IMG]

    And if you then click to donate in the right sidebar, you will be able to clearly see the donation menu, as above.

    If you are still convinced PayPal is an instrument of the devil and refuse to use it, drop me a Personal Conversation. I will send you a mailing address, where you can mail either a cashier's check, a certified money order or an electronic check from your bank. I do not accept personal checks. And there are no exceptions to that rule. I am not casting aspersions about anyone's checking balances, but I will say I have been stung, on several occasions, by members of this site. If someone sends me an NSF check for $10.00, my own bank will make two attempts to collect on the check. But they also charge me $10.00 for their efforts. So, even if the check will clear on the second attempt, there is no net gain. And if the check doesn't clear the second time, then I am out the $10.00 bank charge. I know, it sounds like a hard line, but I have over $250 worth of NSF personal checks laying here on my desk, from members of this site. I have an arrangement with the bank - I don't take personal checks and they don't operate forums. ;)

    If anyone is still confused after reading this, feel free to contact me and I will try to better explain your options.

    To all who have donated to help support this site, you deserve everyone's gratitude for your generosity. Without people like you, this site simply would not exist.
     

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