OK.... so all conversation about this topic is now being moved to this thread. We're going to get this sorted out once and for all, and we're going to do it right here.
We took donations in the early days of the site. People donated, and that is absolutely amazing. We will never forget that.
After the site sold, we decided that it wasn't fair to take money from hard working people. We stopped taking donations, and instead said we'd just give stickers for free.
Everyone got angry. They wanted to give us money.
So we decided fine, we'll take donations but because we don't want to give your money to a big corporation, we'll give you stickers in return. Everone was happy, and gave us money for stickers.
Then we decided "man... lets give people more in return, and instead of giving cash in an envelope, lets take paypal and give them really good stuff in return." The whole idea that everyone needs to really focus on here is this:
THERE IS DONATION MONEY TACKED ON TO THE PRICE OF EACH PURCHASE.
So if someone buys a $45 Tall-T, $5 was just given to the cause of Newschoolers. Since its part of the store, we can keep it there and invest it further. The idea was that in this case they would only get a green money sign, symboling that they gave $5 to NS. If they bought another shirt, they'd get upgraded to the $10 symbol and so on.
This way, yes they got something in return, but contributed the exact same amount in the end, though they did it for someting in return.
Someone posted the analogy of donating to a hospital, or taking part in one of those draws - both equally help out the hostpital, but people are more receptive to giving money when they get something in return.
So our initial idea was to lump everyone together, but those who have donated feel that they deserve credit for supporting the site in the early days don't want to be lumped in with the store people.
NOW I couldn't agree more that its amazing that people donated, and everyone around here knows how awesome what you did was. I would be more than happy to make a new symbol for store purchasers...
BUT the way the world works is that someone would see the sign and want it, and we would have to once again take money for absoslutely nothing in return (other than a little symbol) and give it to a big corporation.
We here at NS were just trying to get away from that, and give back to the community that gave us so much throughout the years.
Anyways... when we opened the store we had "contributions" built right into it (the word donation had to be changed because of legal reasons... its reserved for real charities). So the people who bought have contributed cash to the Newschoolers cause, and by every right deserve recognition for it. I had hoped we could all just get along and give mad props to the old school donators who are the OG's that made this shit happen. Moving forwards though we wouldn't segregate further.
I want to take a public vote on this, and hear everyone's opinions on the matter, as there's only a few ways we can go....
-We can eliminate money symbols all together. Current contributors would have credit in their profile, or be put into history in some other way.
-We agree to get along, stop taking contributions for nothing and buying in the store has small credit from every purchase that goes towards getting your bling.
-We create a second tier of symbols, which signify store "investors". The catch here is that if we keep the original symbols, we will have to allow contributing for nothing again. We have a place where you can simply paypal money to us and get a sign based on the old system. We'll keep the items in the store so that we can lump the cash together and use it to invest back in the store actions.
Personally I feel dirty about the last option, but if we're to keep the OG donators as is, people will want that and we clearly can't stop taking people's hard-earned money.
Whaddya guys think?