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Donating to plant societies

9 posts in this topic

I am a member of the European Palm Society (EPS), and like many societies, they host a website. They also accept donations online to pay towards the upkeep and maintenance of their site. As a webmaster myself, I know how time consuming this can be. There are financial costs involved too.

One of the easiest ways to accept donations online, is through PayPal, and the EPS have a donate button on their homepage. If money is tight, members will sometimes offer seeds for sale in return for a donation. This has raised my interest lately, since I run a new website for advertisers to sell plant seeds worldwide. I recently added a feature whereby sellers can not only promote their society with a banner link, but offer seeds for sale with a donate button linking directly to their society's PayPal account.

This leads me to ask whether any other societies are interested in creating a PayPal donation button, or whether online donations are not something that they feel is appropriate. Perhaps your society has an agenda for raising funds through events, and prefers to "earn" it's keep.

You can see an example ad on my website, where a seller is offering seeds in return for a donation to his/her society here: http://www.freshpalm...php?siteid=1200

Used in this context, it's no different to buying merchandise at a society event, since the seller can only offer the donation button if they specify their society, and include a link to their society with a banner.

If the IPS, or any other affiliated plant society accepts donations, would they consider a PayPal donation button to be used in this way?

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I know it's biennial year, but I'd appreciate some comments from "the powers that be". Just to reiterate - PayPal donation buttons - good idea for the IPS or not? I'm trying to encourage fund-raising in the only way I know how, but it seems to be falling on deaf ears.

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John,

Anyone can make a donation to the IPS, and people certainly do this every now and then. Just add whatever amount to the membership fee when you pay. I don't see anything above and beyond this that the IPS would need for donations.

Since this is not strictly an IPS related issue, but more a general issue, I will move this thread to the main forum after I know you've had the opportunity to read it.

Bo-Göran

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John,

Anyone can make a donation to the IPS, and people certainly do this every now and then. Just add whatever amount to the membership fee when you pay. I don't see anything above and beyond this that the IPS would need for donations.

Since this is not strictly an IPS related issue, but more a general issue, I will move this thread to the main forum after I know you've had the opportunity to read it.

Bo-Göran

Thanks Bo. You've probably answered my question. If donations through fund raising are not necessary, then the IPS won't need a PayPal donate button! Yes, it would be interesting to hear how other societies manage financially, and whether any are interested in commercial vendors promoting their name through banner advertising, and donation sales. Perhaps donate buttons look too much like charity? My suggestion was focused on using them in conjunction with the sale of plants and seeds, so in that respect it's not "tin rattling". I haven't as yet made a donation to the EPS (despite them linking my websites, for which they expect some sort of donation) but that's because I'm unable to. I do own lots of palms however, and I'm very enterprising so this is how the idea of using a PayPal donate button came about.

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John,

Anyone can make a donation to the IPS, and people certainly do this every now and then. Just add whatever amount to the membership fee when you pay. I don't see anything above and beyond this that the IPS would need for donations.

Since this is not strictly an IPS related issue, but more a general issue, I will move this thread to the main forum after I know you've had the opportunity to read it.

Bo-Göran

Thanks Bo. You've probably answered my question. If donations through fund raising are not necessary, then the IPS won't need a PayPal donate button! Yes, it would be interesting to hear how other societies manage financially, and whether any are interested in commercial vendors promoting their name through banner advertising, and donation sales. Perhaps donate buttons look too much like charity? My suggestion was focused on using them in conjunction with the sale of plants and seeds, so in that respect it's not "tin rattling". I haven't as yet made a donation to the EPS (despite them linking my websites, for which they expect some sort of donation) but that's because I'm unable to. I do own lots of palms however, and I'm very enterprising so this is how the idea of using a PayPal donate button came about.

Hello Bo

Did i read this correctly, the society does not need more funds than the membership fees. Does that mean the Society has enough money to fund palm research when people apply for grants?

regards

colin

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Colin,

I did not say that the Society would not appreciate donations. I specifically said that "Anyone can make a donation to the IPS". And people do this. If you inferred that we don't need donations you misunderstood me. We have a special fund specifically to give grants for palm research and every year the IPS gives approx. US$20,000 to various individuals who request a grant. This is about 5% of the principal in this account. The principal is never touched. If anyone wants to make a donation to the IPS and that person wants that money to go for a specific purpose, all they have to do is to request this. We are already stretched thin with manpower, since this is all done on a voluntary basis. If someone wants to volunteer and actively go out and seek donations for the IPS, we would be extremely grateful. Until that happens, we will have to be content with the status quo.

Bo-Göran

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John, what are the mechanics of the PayPal donation button in terms of necessary manpower? Is it an automated system of funds transfer, or does it require a person to receive and confirm payments?

If it is an automated system, I think this would be an excellent addition to the IPS web site, the reason being that the IPS could benefit from moments of spontaneous goodwill by means of a visual stimulus -- the "Donate Now" button. It seems worth exploring in more detail.

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John, what are the mechanics of the PayPal donation button in terms of necessary manpower? Is it an automated system of funds transfer, or does it require a person to receive and confirm payments?

If it is an automated system, I think this would be an excellent addition to the IPS web site, the reason being that the IPS could benefit from moments of spontaneous goodwill by means of a visual stimulus -- the "Donate Now" button. It seems worth exploring in more detail.

Kim,

There's really no difference between a donation button and the familiar, PayPal "Buy Now" buttons that online retailers use. It just allows for a custom payment page, tailored to the job of making a payment of "x" amount to "x" society. You do need a Business account to create donation buttons, but it's free to set up an account at PayPal, and there are no reoccurring fees. There are only minimal transaction fees per donation.

If you want to get really funky, there is also PayPal Widgets, which is really more for raising funds towards a single goal. It shows the amount raised, who donated etc. It has a nice little interface, and the code can be copied by anyone, to replicate the widget on other websites and spread the good deed. Here's PayPal's example: https://giving.paypa...enticate/review. As I mentioned, the widget is more for a specific cause and meeting a financial target, but worth remembering.

So to answer your question, yes, it's fully automated, once the account is set up. I have a PayPal Business account, and I can tell you it involves nothing more than confirming your email address. You then link you bank account to your PayPal account, and to do this, PayPal makes two, small payments to your bank account, which once you see on your statement you use to confirm your account. After that, moving funds from your PayPal account to your bank account is the same as online banking.

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There is no reason why it shouldn't be easy to give money to The IPS. I think having a paypal donation button somewhere on palms.org just makes sense.

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