To donate click a button below. PayPal accepts cards even if you have no PayPal account (except MasterCard use this page). Click 'Donate' below then scroll down to 'Don't have PayPal account?' then click 'Continue' to enter card. If you can afford 1.00 a month please select 'Monthly' (monthly option only available if using PC) cancel anytime. Our PayPal email / phone is; email@example.com / +44(0)7908240934. Thanks - Ed.
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Please make payable to 'Fusion101' and post to; Box 3, Compass Point, The Esplanade, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO21 1NX, UK (write username on reverse). PLEASE NOTE: it costs me approx £10 to cash checks from outside UK - eg. if you send a $13 check I get $3 - not complaining just letting you know as I hate wasting money:)
How I fund 101 Christian Singles
I have run and paid for 101 (with occasional IT help) for 15 years. I paid for it in different ways - with full and part time work since 1999. Whilst it's been far more difficult than anticipated (ignorance is bliss I guess:) it's been my pleasure, as I know single Christians all over the planet have a hard time meeting people as churches often do not have time or means to address the issue.
Why not charge for membership?
I could charge - members and even my 'competition' have asked me to. Charging is not wrong, I've just never felt right about charging singles, and prefer paying for fusion myself working along side it. In any case, fusion was not set up to make me $$$ but to serve what I see as a very serious need in the church, plus many can't afford the high fees of some sites.
I opted for automatically generated ads from Google to generate revenue (I cannot choose these - and they require lots of time to control which I don't have - and why I occasioanlly get chastised from members, unaware that I do not do any deals with the advertisers (Google do it), and when 'off' ads sudenly pop up, I have to scramble to find where they came from and manually remove them (so far I've blocked 500+ unsuitable ads and will continue to do so as they change every few minutes).
I get 10 -15 donations a month that average around £5/$6, plus I have several regular supporters (thanks Andrea, Bola, John and Shaun and others). Till 2016, I haven't offered an easy way to donate (I just added a 'pay monthly' option as recurring donations - even £1/$1 are preferable as it builds a more steady income for me to work with (less stress:). Any small contribution - one-off or monthly is very welcome as it allows me to focus on running / improving the site rather than my part time work which makes progress on fusion embarassingly slow! Though Fusion has over 300,000 members worldwide (if you wonder where they are I had to hide 98% profiles until I get a larger server to deal with extra load), I've never asked for donations directly or via email, preferring just to have donation links and leave it to members to decide if Fusion as worth supporting. I also just added a donation link at the bottom of email alerts from the site.
Until 2014 Fusion costs has become astromomical (see historical costs below). The original fusion site (you are on now) cost around 20K to build (excluding monthly server hosting). Current running costs are; IT/server/domains £200 per month. Programmer fees; £375/$465 per 5 days (needed 2-3 months a year and less each year from 2104 on). From any Fusion revenue I take no more than 8K to live and allow me to work on the site along side my other work.
Fusion always needs funds for hosting. But aside from that you will have noticed Fusion is slowing down and has quite a few bugs that were intriduced when we updated ot to work on mobile. Here are the current needs you would be funding with a donation;
- Upsized Server; needed to make it faster and allow me to show the 1000's hidden profiles + larger and more member photos (I limit it to 3 small ones). Fortunately upgrading the server is 1-click but costs an extra £60-70 per month.
- Site Improvements; distance searching and a load of other features ten years overdue.
- Bug fixes; many - some old some new will make it 10x better for members (they can't even re-reply to sent mail, retrieve passwords or get alerts when somene replies to mail) plus it will vastly reduce the admin I have to do which gives me the migraines.
- Newsletter - I've paid for 3 but discarded them all as useless. Fortunately there now exists several off-the-shelf ones I can purchase (amd many other off-the-shelf solutions for websites like mine).
- Software Updating; this is quite complex and expensive for a non-techie but needs to be done.
- Mobile App; may be expensive so I will leave till last.
- There's more but I can't think if it right now:)
I will update this section as taks are complete.
Historical costs & history of Fusion
During 2000-2014 I spent 150K on Fusion (actually not fusion - please read on). How was this even possible? In 2003 the site crashed as it became too busy (same problem hapened again in 2006 and like a fool I made the same mistake twice) and both times I was talked by both freelance web programmers agasint my better judgement, into building a 'new replecement platform' (glorified website) for Fusion - both having denied my request to simply update the orginal site for a few hundred pounds. With fusion stagnated and unable to get to my server I even tried to get another company to build me a new site for more $1000's more and ended up by 2014 spending over £150K on these never finished, now discarded sites. Of course the invoices were never late.
The web is one industry when as programmers work remotely, there is little accountability as there is no one to complain to if work is not satisfactory or incomplete. The lesson I learned? I should have a) stuck to my guns and modified the orginal site quickly and cheaply and b) gone to a company, not individuals who were struggling with their own finances. But with Fusion offline for 2-3 weeks and not willing to pay the then £2-300 daily company programmer fees, I paniced and took the freelancers on. The irony is I was trying to save money - and ended up paying 10 x as much. It's been a very painful experience.
Almost no site improvements from 2000-2014
The upshot was 14 years of no site improvements, having my hands tied creatively and and even being bullied to 'hand over' 50-51% of Fsuion to continue with these 'platforms', casuing untold stress and eventually all kinds of physical health problems; shingles, diveticulitis, hiatus hernia, excruciating migraines stuck to the computer all day and night and once hosptalised for minor blood poisoning and put in an isolation ward for a week. If you think I'm laying it on thick, I suppose I am, but I'm not trying to gain sympathy as I blame myself totally - it's just what happened. And of course, during time there was absolutley no time (or strength) to look for a wife myself (good news - that may now be happening:).
It all ended in 2014 when the money dried up and fusion was in such a mess (having not changed with technology in over 10 years and expensive unecessary servers all over place), with my health shot I realised I had nothing to lose. Although I had regained control of my server, I was almost back to square one. In any case, I found a fantastic Indian developer (actually my girlfriend found him) at half the standard daily rate and quickly updated the old site making it mobile freindly for £3K two months work! By God's grace, I didn't go into the red during any of this. Now I make sure ALL my revenue and donations go directly into Fusion!
I blame myself entirely
Why?.. for not having the guts to follow my instincts, stand up to bullies and get people to do what I ask. Frankly I am very embarrased I allowed it to happen - but it's the truth. Perhaps someone else can learn from my mistakes too. Ether way I will not complain as I have far more than most in the world - roof - family - food - work - friends - thank you God!
Free at last!
The positive of all this is, having learned some hard lessons (like don't give all your money away:) I now have 1 good and reliable developer (who is accountable to the company he works for), speeding things up and who frankly saved me from having a coronary. Thank you Nikhil! And as of 2107, with my health much better, I'm free to develop Fusion at last!
So - enough whining - how did I even get onto that?! Suffice to say, if you think fusion is a worthy cause and want to help me complete it's 13 year overdue update into the modern world (this mobile-friendly page is an example:) please consider any small donation to help me pay for it or - may I ask you to consider a donation to one of the causes I like below, or any struggling Christian cause that you feel needs help. God bless you and please don't forget tp tell all your church friends - single or not to spread the word about Fusion's free service - God bless you - Edward:)
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