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Information about S4GRU Sponsorship levels and how to become a Sponsor


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S4GRU Membership Groups

S4GRU Sponsor. For members who donate money through PayPal to S4GRU to help fund the costs of Sprint 4G Rollout Updates, you get the S4GRU Sponsor title for six months from your last donation.

 

S4GRU Sponsors get:

  • Access to the S4GRU Sponsors Forum (contents subject to change)
  • Allow profile customizations
  • Larger profile photos (up to 250x250)
  • Can edit forum posts up to six hours after posting (incognito)
  • No limitations on auto signatures
  • Not subject to flood control timeouts
  • Store up to 250 Private Messages
  • No daily limit on Private Messages
  • Up to 10 People allowed in a Personal Message
  • Can view who gave you reputation points
  • Unlimited inline notifications

S4GRU Premier Sponsor. S4GRU Sponsors who donate $100 or more in total, get to keep the title indefinitely and you also get in addition to the benefits of the S4GRU Sponsor above:

  • Access to the S4GRU Premier Sponsor Forum (contents subject to change)
  • Bypass word filters
  • Can post HTML in posts
  • No limit to number of people allowed in a Personal Message
  • Unlimited PM storage
  • Allow attachments in PM's
  • Allow unlimited amounts of reputation points to be given
  • Larger profile photos (up to 250x400)
  • Can edit forum posts at any time (incognito)
  • Can soft delete own posts
  • Avoids any moderation queues

NOTE: You can CLICK HERE to make a donation or go to the Main Forums page, and click on the Donate button at the upper right hand corner.

 

 

 

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ANOTHER NOTE: For a speedier upgrade, please put your S4GRU screen name in the comments section of your PayPal donation.

 

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After donation: Most donations result in an automatic upgrade within minutes. If you click on your profile and see that your Group now says S4GRU Sponsor or Premier Sponsor, then your account upgrade has taken effect. 90% of accounts are upgraded very quickly. Sometimes I am out of cell range and cannot sign in to upgrade your account, this may result in a delay for a few hours. Once your account is upgraded, you no longer need a password to access Sponsor forums, but you may have to sign out and back in, depending on your browser and its settings.

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Just donated a lil something, wasnt much, but there will be more to come. Appreciate all the work you guys have so my donations will be the least I can do.

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Robert, I have noted several new Premier Sponsors recently. I continue to be impressed with the outpouring of support within our community. As you did a few months ago, could you give us an update on our membership and finances? Think of it as a State of S4GRU address.

 

AJ

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Robert, I have noted several new Premier Sponsors recently. I continue to be impressed with the outpouring of support within our community. As you did a few months ago, could you give us an update on our membership and finances? Think of it as a State of S4GRU address.

 

AJ

 

It was actually starting to get dire. We dropped below the three month expense projection window in May. The amount of one dollar donations (and even a few sub one-dollar donations) was really starting to impact our cash flow. Just when I was starting to feel uncomfortable, we have had about a half dozen new Premier Sponsors the past week or so. We are now just above our three month expense projection window with cash on hand.

 

There seems to be a direct connection with article writing and donations. So any articles you can contribute is like cash in the bank to support S4GRU. ;)

 

I think we will plan a Sponsor chat soon and go over more specifics.

 

Robert

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It was actually starting to get dire. We dropped below the three month expense projection window in May. The amount of one dollar donations (and even a few sub one-dollar donations) was really starting to impact our cash flow. Just when I was starting to feel uncomfortable, we have had about a half dozen new Premier Sponsors the past week or so. We are now just above our three month expense projection window with cash on hand.

 

There seems to be a direct connection with article writing and donations. So any articles you can contribute is like cash in the bank to support S4GRU. ;)

 

That is all good to know. I think transparency is key. And I can certainly try to contribute more on both sides of the equation.

 

AJ

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That is all good to know. I think transparency is key. And I can certainly try to contribute more on both sides of the equation.

 

AJ

 

Thanks. And thank you for latest donation. The articles really dived off in May. I was really busy at work, and our writers also got really busy. I think donators are sending a message. They really like our articles. :tu:

 

Robert

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+100

 

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaassssssssssssse, let be earlier than 11pm eastern.

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So from a non sponsored perspective I have a question:

 

If $1.00 donations were impacting the site then why not up the minimum donation to $5.00? Since you have placed a money amount on the Premier sponsorship it makes sense to set a price floor for the normal sponsorship. For most people $5.00 is truly trivial amount (less than eating at subway) and the difference between $1 and $5 should not drive people away from donating.

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We may be able to do a chat earlier on a few occasions. But I will not be able to consistently do chats in the early evening. I have a deal with my wife that evenings belong to the family. As long as I abide by that' date=' she doesn't complain about my S4GRU time. Kids go to bed at 9 PM. So I typically start to become active around S4GRU around then.

 

Robert[/quote']

 

I understand completely, I have the same rules :)

 

Sent from my CM9 Epic 4g Touch using Forum Runner

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So from a non sponsored perspective I have a question:

 

If $1.00 donations were impacting the site then why not up the minimum donation to $5.00? Since you have placed a money amount on the Premier sponsorship it makes sense to set a price floor for the normal sponsorship. For most people $5.00 is truly trivial amount (less than eating at subway) and the difference between $1 and $5 should not drive people away from donating.

 

I have thought about this before and I think its a pretty good idea. Now go and donate, :)

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I have thought about this before and I think its a pretty good idea. Now go and donate, :)

 

I don't plan to buy an LTE phone for at least a year. I come here mainly to view the broad strokes of Sprint's progress and thus I don't feel I gain from the sponsorship benefits. However, I am not opposed to having ads for non sponsored members (I don't run adblock).

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I don't plan to buy an LTE phone for at least a year. I come here mainly to view the broad strokes of Sprint's progress and thus I don't feel I gain from the sponsorship benefits. However, I am not opposed to having ads for non sponsored members (I don't run adblock).

This is like PBS NPR etc. No ads, no profit. Sprint might get upset if it appeared as though the website was making money off their internal documents.

 

Sent from my CM9 Toro

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If $1.00 donations were impacting the site then why not up the minimum donation to $5.00?

 

I will offer a counterargument: a true "donation" should never have a set minimum. Sponsors -- new and old, at any level -- should not get the impression that they are paying for content or access, rather they are supporting the site. And, as a contributing author, I may be biased, but I think that our content speaks for itself and that sponsors will do what it takes to keep the site healthy.

 

AJ

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So from a non sponsored perspective I have a question:

 

If $1.00 donations were impacting the site then why not up the minimum donation to $5.00? Since you have placed a money amount on the Premier sponsorship it makes sense to set a price floor for the normal sponsorship. For most people $5.00 is truly trivial amount (less than eating at subway) and the difference between $1 and $5 should not drive people away from donating.

 

I don't want to place a minimum. For a few reasons. We have a lot of college students and unemployed who are members. With this economy, I feel uncomfortable placing a minimum donation amount.

 

Another big reason, I believe establishing a minimum will actually reduce donations. If I come across S4GRU and consider making a donation, I really have no idea how much to give. I think many people who don't know how much they should give and feel like they have to come up with an amount on their own, give $20 to $25 (as long as they can afford it). However, if we publish a minimum amount, a lot of these $20 to $25 givers would likely only give $5. If we ever set a minimum donation amount, givers would likely feel that is the amount we are looking from them.

 

In reality, we need approximately $10 to $15 from every donator to meet our expenses, at the rate we are receiving donations. So we need those $20 to $25 donors very much. They help offset the $1 donors. Although, I reject donations less than a dollar as they do not even cover the PayPal fees.

 

However, I am not opposed to having ads for non sponsored members (I don't run adblock).

 

By my estimates, to equal the amount in ad revenue to the amount of sponsor donations we have now, we would have to quadruple our traffic. However, increasing our traffic quadruple increases our expenses. So we are nowhere near getting that to work out for us.

 

Also, not being beholden to advertisers and ad clicks creates a much better forum. I think some of the other sites (like Sprint Users) feel like they have to kiss the butts of people they wouldn't really want around their forums because they need to keep the traffic counts up and ad revenue. So their site quality suffers mightily as a result.

 

We focus on having a good environment for our members. And so far, our members have always stepped up to the plate and made sure we are financially solvent. The fact that I was nervous probably is more of an issue of my ultra conservative cash flow management style than it was a symptom of an actual problem.

 

Robert

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I don't plan to buy an LTE phone for at least a year. I come here mainly to view the broad strokes of Sprint's progress and thus I don't feel I gain from the sponsorship benefits. However, I am not opposed to having ads for non sponsored members (I don't run adblock).

 

I understand what you are saying but that would take us back to the point that a minimum sponsor amount really wouldn't be a good idea in the long run. I am sure its pretty obvious to Robert who the real supporters are versus the ones just wanting donate a dollar just to get a little extra info. I have said this before and I will say it again, I can't speak for any other sponsor when I say this but I donate to s4gru not because of whatever benefits I might get but because of the value of the service that Robert and s4gru's small staff is providing and doing on their free time. The purpose of a donation is to help support a cause, donating just so you can get something in return is not really donating in my humble opinion. We all value things differently which causes us to donate different amounts or not donate at all. As far as adds I can tell you from now that isn't going happen anytime soon if ever.

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snip of very reasonable text for sake of not creating a wall of text

Robert
Thanks for the reply. I agree with your points about the minimum people will give could realistically be higher than the minimum. I didn't think about it that way but it makes sense. I have no idea what this site costs to run but have you considered hosting it elsewhere that has lower costs? Perhaps this could be something to look into? I love the site and may consider donating in the future. I'll try not to hit refresh to many times to keep my bandwidth drain low until then :)
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Robert

Thanks for the reply. I agree with your points about the minimum people will give could realistically be higher than the minimum. I didn't think about it that way but it makes sense. I have no idea what this site costs to run but have you considered hosting it elsewhere that has lower costs? I used to run free (donation supported) Ultima Online servers and was amazed at the variance in cost between the different hosting services for essentially the same service. Perhaps this could be something to look into? I love the site and may consider donating in the future. I'll try not to hit refresh to many times to keep my bandwidth drain low until then :)

 

I have considered it. But using IP Board gives us a great amount of support. I have a full time job outside of S4GRU, one that actually makes me money. Using IP Board to host the site allows them to manage my servers and network. They provide excellent server management, run interference with attacks and security, etc. They back up all our data for us. They install the software upgrades and provide me with live technical support 24 hours a day. We get our own dedicated server, and we get a redundant backup server.

 

Even though there are some very inexpensive hosting solutions, they do not meet our needs at this time, within the dynamics of the resources we have to manage them. We used another company before IP Board, and our older members can attest to the very slow performance and server issues we consistently had. It turned people off from using S4GRU at peak times. And I was always having to monitor bandwidth usage. IP Board, it's unlimited because we pay a per average user cost. Other than just the cost aspect, IP Board has been an excellent move for us to date.

 

I do thank you for the suggestion. It is something we may have to consider in the future if costs get out of line with what we can afford. But right now, I believe we are getting what we pay for out of IP Board and we all experience the benefits of it.

 

Robert

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I can vouch for the fact that s4gru.com would surely not have taken off the way it has if it was still on the old host. It was brutal.

 

Sent from my CM9 Toro

 

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When will S4GRU auto-pay become available for effortless monthly contributions?

 

Are you being serious or facetious?

 

Robert

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When will S4GRU auto-pay become available for effortless monthly contributions?

 

Good idea. We have set up an auto debit system. When you receive an e-mail from Barrister James Mbakwe of Nigeria, simply give him your bank account and routing numbers. He will take care of everything else.

 

AJ

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When will S4GRU auto-pay become available for effortless monthly contributions?

 

Well, a little bit of both. I try to make a contribution on the 15th-ish of every month.. so was thinking it would be convenient if it existed.

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  • 3 weeks later...

When will S4GRU auto-pay become available for effortless monthly contributions?

 

I would really love an option such as this. If I can support various PAC's that rally outside of the local post office I certainly can help out in places that actually matter to me on other personal levels.

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