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  #1  
Old 05-19-2005, 09:44 PM
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Exclamation Need PTO member input about a very important issue

Dear PTO Members,

There is something that I have been putting off dealing with for some time and now it is coming to a head and I need to discuss it with all of you. PTO is becoming a victim of her own success.

I am sure many of you (especially with higher speed connections) have noticed that the site has been running slower for the last month or so and it is not getting any better. Our server managers and I just completed an optimization and an audit of our server and the results are not good, though we may (or may not) have alleviated some of the congestion. We are running at near maximum capacity from approximately 7 in the morning until after midnight during the week and close to that on the weekends. There is nothing else that can really be done to the server we upgraded to less than 6 months ago and we now must decide what we are going to do for future hosting needs.

When we did the upgrade I was aware that the new server wouldn’t be able to handle PTO’s growing loads forever.. It is a more powerful system than we were using before, however I was informed that PTO would need to move to multiple dedicated servers sometime in the near future and I guess I was hoping that would still be a ways down the road.

So, why not go to dual load balanced servers? The problem is that we do not bring in enough money with advertising and donations to cover the server and server manager/admin that we already have.. I’ve maxed all my credit cards out in the past and have now really dinged the heck out of Sherry’s credit card trying to keep everything on the rails. I hate to say it but neither of us are in the financial position to keep doing this. I actually like Ramen soup but not enough to eat it 3 squares out in the world.. haha

In this thread I am coming to all of you for ideas and feedback on how we can make PTO support itself. I am NOT going to shut down PTO (over my dead body), however unless we come up with some alternatives that bring in at least enough money to cover our current server, and hopefully enough to get on a load balanced (dual server) system, we will have to limit how many people can access the forums during high use times, possibly sooner than later.

So, let’s hear everyone’s ideas.

Thanks,
David
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2005, 09:48 PM
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Fundraiser,fundraiser,fundraiser!

I don't know what but I know I'll donate as well as many others I am sure.I know you don't like asking for money but sometimes you gotta do it and it will benefit us all! I am on DSL and notice a much slower connection like you said
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:49 PM
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Do you have any examples of options to start the ideas rolling?
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:53 PM
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David, I will match my donation from last year that I made and bump it up a little bit if that helps!

I say we need a fundraiser also!
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:55 PM
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Ideas..... Now mind you they may not fly at all because they may be hard to pull off but I'm just thinking here

Auction: Auction of stuff that gets sent to one or a few designated staffers and all the $ goes to PTO

Garage sale type thread: Post what you have for sale and pics if possible and when you sell it (or again some designated people in charge of it) send the $ straight to PTO

Online Store: Create one of those stores online(cant think of the name right now) with PTO merch with proceeds going to PTO (Not sure how feasable this is as I dont know what it costs etc.)

Just straight up ask for donations (Yah I am blunt LOL ) I'll send a check tomorrow
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:00 PM
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I say lets have another PTO fundraiser! PTO is only going to continue to grow, I really don't see any other options, not only do our members need support, but we also have to support you as well on any decesions that need to be made concerning PTO. I really don't want to have limited access, and I'm sure alot of other members will agree. I think everyone enjoyed the fundraiser last year! And by the way....I'm still waiting on my star!


Mel

Last edited by melbo; 05-19-2005 at 10:01 PM..
  #7  
Old 05-19-2005, 10:00 PM
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For a fundraiser, what about having some *auctions*?

Anyone have an ebay account? We can donate things and services and etc and all profits go to PTO?

We can post a thread about the item and refer folks to the profile on ebay and let it go from there. Who ever donates it can ship it?

Sometimes folks are more willing to donate stuff than straight $$. And I know I can con a client or two out of something instead of coming up with a few extra $$ myself.

I'll keep thinking.
Jenn
  #8  
Old 05-19-2005, 10:07 PM
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David -

We need to have another fundraiser, and it needs to be more than $2!!! I know we all cry broke, but I think we should do a $10 or more fundraiser. $10 being the minimum. Come on people, that is eliminating 2 packs of cigarettes!! (for those of us who smoke, just an example)
Or two coffees from Starbucks!!!!

If you repost your address, I will also double my donation from the last fundraiser. Now if everyone does this, then maybe this will be of some assistance.

Also, you should keep a sticky, with a PO box address, or wherever, at the top of the forums for donations. There shouldn't be a set date, there should be a donation request set up all the time.

I am as broke as the rest, but I am still able to smoke a pack a day, so I guess I am not that broke. We can all come together and help a little. PTO is a free support site and I cannot even begin to imagine how much this costs to keep up and running!!!

I see no reason why we cannot all help. Even if someone sends a dollar a month in an envelope or $10. We can all do something.

Again, I will double my donation from last fundraiser. Just let me know where to send the check!
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  #9  
Old 05-19-2005, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsBenji
For a fundraiser, what about having some *auctions*?

Anyone have an ebay account? We can donate things and services and etc and all profits go to PTO?

We can post a thread about the item and refer folks to the profile on ebay and let it go from there. Who ever donates it can ship it?

Sometimes folks are more willing to donate stuff than straight $$. And I know I can con a client or two out of something instead of coming up with a few extra $$ myself.

I'll keep thinking.
Jenn
That is a wonderful idea!!!

I also like the idea of the store. cafepress.com is one of them.
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  #10  
Old 05-19-2005, 10:13 PM
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Here is what I think

I hate to say this but maybe there needs to be a membership fee for all members. I think all of us could come up with an agreeable amount to charge everyone. Not sure how much money you would need to keep upgrading as more and more members are joining. Maybe only allow one non member on here at a time if that is a possibility to block. Well everyone don't get upset by what I mentioned. It might have to be done, he can't afford to keep things up alone. Those noodles are nasty I am sure 3 times a day !
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:17 PM
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I agree with the others, a fundraiser sounds great! I would love to make a donation, just need the address and the checks in the mail! Seriously, I know how much we all love and depend on PTO and I think the majority of us would be more than happy to do whatever we can! David, we'd love for you to be able to cut back on those Ramon Noodles! HA!
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:22 PM
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LMAO


HMMM... How much for the trophy in the window?

Ok, seriously.. sitting here thinking, why not have a contest here at PTO, possibly either at a Forum level or a State level, sorda like teams & have a set amount of time for the fundraiser and see which forum or state can bring in the most donations. And the winning team can all have a lovely little siggy stating they are the #1 Fundraising Team, something with a little competition! Of course there would be no obligation, but it could be fun! Just a thought...


Mel

Last edited by melbo; 05-19-2005 at 10:33 PM..
  #13  
Old 05-19-2005, 10:28 PM
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I think a fundraiser is a great idea.. but i think it should be a nationwide fundraiser .. liike every state gets either a bake sale or garage sale or even a car wash and donate what the proceeds towards PTO..

What yall think? Just an idea.
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:31 PM
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Could you give us some ball park figure as to how much you are needing each month, so we would know what we are looking at in the way of fundraisers?

I know that your thoughts are/were to have a free site here for everyone 24/7. However, what if all of our members were to send 25.00 per year? What would that do? Would that be enough? Maybe not make it mandatory, just optional, but I would be willing to bet most people would come through with it.

As far as limited access, that sounds terrible. I can hardly stay away from it now. It is terrible when I have to work the weekend and can't get here. I go through withdrawal. I am sure our members would much rather dish out money than to have limited access.

Just let us know what you are up against. I haven't the vaguest what something like this cost.

Hopefully all of our members will rally around here and we can see what will bring in the money the fastest and without many hassles.

Good luck and do keep us informed.
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  #15  
Old 05-19-2005, 10:34 PM
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I think the fund raiser is a great idea. I also like the idea of an online store if it was feesable. Like Prisontalk T-shirts or hats or key chains! I'd like one! People who visit this site come from all walks of life and hold all types of jobs, maybe we could get some of the materials donated? I'll rack my brain some more...LOL
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:38 PM
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Are there any other sponsors that we can get for PTO by doing a proposal to show them the traffic that we have here and how many would see their ad by being on here alone
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:39 PM
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a fundraiser is a great idea. I know that walmart will match some money taken in on a car wash and they will even supply the water. Given enough time ahead maybe we could plan this with each state and talk to walmart about donating to our cause..
Last year the woman at my job had a car wash and we brought in over 600.00 in just a couple of hours.

Just a thought
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:40 PM
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Prizes....

Since we cant offer great trips for you and 4 friends we can offer

1st place---One free subscription of CTN for you and 4 friends
2nd place --One free subscription of CTN for you and 3 friends
3rd place---One free subcreiption of CTN for you and 2 friends
4th place---one free subscription of CTN for you
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:46 PM
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Well.. here's my

Have a $5 donation drive... use the money to upgrade.

Take any $$ left over and have PTO Tshirts, Hats and Pens made.. sell them for a small profit that will pay for future upgrades.
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:46 PM
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I really like the idea of the online store--you could sell PTO-related items or even items we could purchase thru PTO and have sent to some of are guys!!
I'm sure there are loads of ideas out there so will be checking back to see how things are going!!
Goood luck!!

Bonnie
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:49 PM
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Hey some non profit org. get grants is that possible for us or have yall done this already
can do things like set up kiosks in parking lots to advertise their cause, go door to door with flyers, send email or make phone calls to people they already have a business relationship with, and things like that.

Last edited by Jillian; 05-19-2005 at 10:54 PM..
  #22  
Old 05-19-2005, 10:50 PM
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Default i will donate

just let me know how much and i would rather send you the money. I dont mind paying 25.00 a year. heck i just can't eat out for a couple of days and no dr. pepper for a but a week but i guess i would live. What if you charged like 2.00 a month. I know a lot of people cannot afford to pay . Someone said on here have it to where the ones can afford donate or something like that. if we keep it feasible i think everyone would be able to afford it. I think let people maybe have a free 30 day trial and set uit up where they can pay through paypal or send in money orders. ibut i would definately be willing to pay
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:53 PM
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One suggestion is perhaps some of our inmates may contribute drawings cards etc and we could ebay them for the site. I've done similar fundraisers for my local not for profit. Another option is amazon will partner with different fundraisers and offer a percent of all procedes purchased through linking to them back to the organization. Alot of us shop at amazon and would be willing to help that way.

Just a couple suggestions. I'll be glad to help. Fundraisers is my specialty.
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:57 PM
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how about a calendar or is that just stupid ?
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Old 05-19-2005, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e_wife03
how about a calendar or is that just stupid ?
Maybe a calendar made up of differant inmate artwork. I dont think it costs much to get the equipment to bind the calendars together
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