Ah, the prickly subject of money. I’ll be honest here, doing a fundraising drive doesn’t sit comfortably with me. I always cringe when I see people asking for donations, but the reality is, sometimes it is a necessity and my old-school values are pretty much redundant in the modern age, because if we don’t ask for donations, you can be sure someone else will.

AFTN was 25 years old in August 2014, in it’s various forms. I’d love to see it going for another 25 years, whether we make money out of it or not. Money is not why I started it and that’s not why I’d stop it.

When AFTN started as a fanzine in Scotland in 1989, we made the decision never to run paid ads in it and we ran it as a completely non-profit making publication. In reality, it didn’t even break even with our costs, but everyone has a hobby that cost money and that was ours.

Moving on to the technology age, AFTN has never ran paid ads or had sponsorship on any of our websites and blogs. We’ve probably been idiotic to take that stance to be honest! The time has probably come to address that and on this new AFTN.ca website, we will run some appropriate ads going forward, but not to the detriment of your enjoyment or the navigation of the site. We will also be looking for a main site sponsor. If any business or any person is interested, shoot us an email at aftncanada @ hotmail.com and we can chat about terms.

We are also looking at raising money for the podcast. Ideally we are looking for a title sponsor and maybe a couple of other ads in the show to raise money for new equipment, hosting costs and other production expenses. Again, if you’re interested, shoot us an email at the address above.

None of the writers currently make any money out of AFTN right now. We do it for the love of the game and not the financial reward. You get a better product at the end of it all that way in my opinion, but at a cost to those providing it.

Bringing you the coverage and content we do comes at ever increasing costs. Whether that be the few hundred dollars a year we spend on hosting our podcast and website or all the money spent of gas and parking travelling around the lower mainland and beyond to bring you action and reports from the Whitecaps to BC’s Provincial Cup and college scene. No-one’s asking us to do that, I know!

The great thing about our site is that there is no pressure for anyone to write anything. I want my team to write when they have the feel and the passion to do so. If a whole month or more goes by without an article from one of them, then that’s fine by me. Why would you not want people only writing when they actually want to write or have something to say? I don’t want stuff just churned out for the sake of it. We will never do articles for clicks or to chase page views or just regurgitate press releases and make a pointless post repeating every little thing the Whitecaps announce.

We’ve never set any minimum standards of article numbers per week. Whether we raise money or not, we’ll continue to bring you the same quality coverage that we currently do, which is pretty substantial and puts many sites with big names, backing and bucks behind them to shame if we’re being brutally honest. There’s nothing wrong with blowing your own trumpet when it’s deserved!

And so we come to the fundraising pitch.

We are not setting any firm monetary goals. Any contributions towards our costs and expenses help. If we’re talking pipe dreams, then ideally we’d like to raise at least $2400 for the year, which will work out at $200 per month. If it’s more, fantastic. If it’s less, still fantastic. We appreciate all support.

Ultimately, after the bills have been paid, I’d love to be able to give some money to my team for their expenses, not to keep them in beer and pizza. If down the line this site started to make some regular money, then the dream goal is to deservedly pay my writers for their work.

So all that said, if you would like to donate, then it would be very much appreciated and certainly put to good use.

There are four ways you can donate:

1) EMT money transfer to [EMAIL=”mcmccoll@hotmail.com”]mcmccoll @ hotmail.com[/EMAIL] (make password AFTNdonation)
2) PayPal donation to [EMAIL=”aftncanada@hotmail.com”]aftncanada @ hotmail.com[/EMAIL]
3) PayPal donation by clicking the ‘Donate’ button on the homepage
4) A mailed cheque (email me at [EMAIL=”aftncanada@hotmail.com]aftncanada @ hotmail.com[/EMAIL] for address)

In terms of what’s an appropriate donation, that’s up to you. No amount is too small and anything you choose to donate will be more than gratefully received and put to good use, you can be sure of that.

Anyway, thanks for reading this far and supporting AFTN over the years. We plan to be around for a long, long time to come and continue to grow our coverage season, upon season.

Michael

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