My original idea, back in 1998, was to write a book and sell it for $15 to $20. But I wanted the information more readily available to more people. The Internet allows me to do that and also make frequent updates to the information. In developing this site, the user was always my primary focus. Many features of this site are there to make things easier for you, the user. Since ads, banners, and pop-ups were annoying to users, I chose an inexpensive company to host my site. The instructions are written (hopefully) so that someone unfamiliar with crafts could complete the projects without much difficulty.
I would like to recover some of the expenses incurred in keeping the site up and running (about $70 per year). I will also donate a portion of the proceeds to my district, pack, and troop. My goal is NOT to make money, but to advance the cause of teaching our youth, especially in Scouting.
For the first year of Exciting Scout Crafts, I tried getting people to mail checks to a Post Office Box. That year I did not get a single donation. The next year (2002) I tried to make it more convenient by using an on-line credit card service, still no donations.
It amazes me that cyber beggars and e-panhandlers have raised thousands of dollars through their web sites for things like paying off their personal debt. My site provides much more content and value to you, the user, but in almost 3 years and over 100,000 visitors, I have yet to receive a single donation. This is especially discouraging considering the character and morals that Scout leaders should have.
If you make use of this site like a book, why not pay for it like you would a book. A lot of time, effort, thought, and resources have gone into creating this site and updating it. Isn't it worth a few dollars?
In 2007, after 6 years and over 1,000,000 visitors and only a couple of donations, I finally decided to put advertisements on the site. Looking at the various options, it appeared that Google's AdSense tm was the best solution. Their software looks at the contents of each page and chooses the ads that would be most appropriate for that page. They have many advertisers that are Scout and craft related, so it looked like a good match. They also offered text ads which would load faster - one of my primary goals since the site was originally developed.
But I still accept donations, in the form of money, resources, or supplies. I've had people give me leather, film canisters, and paint and try to find sponsors for my site. All these were very much appreciated.
The Internet credit card service that I use is PayPal. They charge a fixed rate and a percentage for each transaction. Over 2,200,000 businesses and 12,000,000 customers on the Internet use PayPal services. They are widely used for on-line auctions. I checked them out and found them to have a good reputation especially when it comes to security. I have even used them to purchase items on-line without any problems. Their on-line help is very clear and informative.
To make a donation, click on the button below. You will be taken to a screen to enter the amount you wish to donate. Next, you are asked to enter your e-mail address and PayPal password. If you have never used PayPal, you can easily set up an account that will allow you to quickly do business with any PayPal business on the Internet. After you have entered all the information, you are given a final opportunity to cancel the process. You will receive a confirmation e-mail of your donation to keep for your records. The whole process takes about 5 minutes.
Or, if you are uncomfortable with using your credit card on-line, e-mail me and I will send you my snail mail address.