Gourd Art Enthusiasts

Dedicated to Gourd Crafters, Artists and Gourd Art Fans

Ning has recently announced that their fees will be jumping quite a bit higher. A site our size will cost $49 a MONTH. Right now, I am absorbing the cost of the site as a service to the gourd community. We do get a small amount of revenue from google ads and from book purchases.

  • We can do a few things - cut our membership, eliminating those who never sign in and never post (I don't want to do that), ask for donations, or ask for more support through purchases from our Amazon links.

Please post your feedback here.

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Hi Bonnie, why not an annual fee for use. I've paid fees for job related chat rooms and I'd be happy to pay them here. It would eliminate those who just signed in out of curiosity but aren't really interested. I know of a lady who signed in trying to locate me because I knew a friend of hers from 60 years ago. It would also help prevent spammers.  Vickie

Maybe ask for voluntary monthly donations if people are able? See what happens? $5 a month from  just 100 members, payable thru PAYPAL would cover it. Many are having a hard time making ends meet but many are doing OK and wouldn't see it as a burden. Even a $1 a month from 500 of the 4000 might work depending on PAYPAL's cut? Plus what comes in from Amazon? You shouldn't have to donate so much on your own to keep the site going. And we all receive benefits from it. I'd not like to see members eliminated either. I'd also NOT like to see the site go away.

Another thought. How about a 'button' on the Main Page for site donations, explaining the need for donations to keep the site going.

Love Bonnie Adam's suggestion of a Donation Button on the Main Page. We need reminded that this site costs money. I'm guilty of forgetting that cost to you, Bonnie G, and a button would help me remember.

this is a great site!  You do so much for the gourd community and you certainly shouldn't have  to pay for the site.  I've used the amazon link when I've purchased books, I think that is a great way to keep funds coming in.  Our local paper is free but each year they send an envelope with a suggested donation to keep the paper going, maybe a suggested donation per member would work, not as a requirement, but it gives each member an idea how much they should give.  Send an annual email as a reminder?  Maybe we should have to sign up each year too?  Though I know the goal is not to get rid of members, this might eliminate those who signed up and then forgot about it or lost interest (or get us active again).  Thanks for all you do! 

Why not use a free Board. One I have had great success with is PHPBB. Yes we would have to start over but $50 a month is pretty steep. 

It would definitely mean starting over though :(

Dani, Something that is free doesn't always stay free. Both this site and my original Arizona Gourds site started out as "free".  Free is not sustainable in the long run. Eventually they end up charging you.  It would be difficult to replicate this site and it's features anywhere else.


I would be happy to donate and have bought Amazon books through this site. I enjoy looking at the site several times a day and have learn a lot from it. No you should not have to pay for it all by yourself, Bonnie. Let me know what is decided. Thanks for all you do,

Debbie Wilson/Visions in Wood

I agree that it would be hard to replicate this site, You have done an amazing job but I will disagree with Free not always being Free.

PHPBB is open source. That means that the license is open to anyone wanting to use it.  It takes some maintenance to keep it updated and such but it will forever more be free. 

I vote YES for annual fee or a Donations button - I don't sign in often or comment often, but I view the site a lot when I get "writer's block" - very inspirational website and I am one of many willing to pay an annual fee just to see everyone's great art and to learn from all the discussion categories...and if you view the site frequently, you can watch fellow artists tecniques improve over time right in front of your eyes!!!

I would gladly pay a fee for this site. It is the reason I got into Gourd Art. (well this and Bonnie's AZ Gourds). I do buy all my Amazon purchases through Bonnie's site and do not feel she should bear the burden of this one. Please add a "donate"  or "fee" button. 

Bonnie, You do so much for the gourd community already, no way you should have to pay the fees. I love this site and find it very helpful. Can't tell you how many times I've run into a problem and found help in the forum.
I like the idea of a donation button but am very willing to pay dues or anything you think will work. Thanks for all you do for all of us!


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