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Date: 2011/06/23 18:06:58, Link
Author: KenFair
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 23 2011,08:06)
We've got two out of three of the TalkOrigins Archive Foundation on board with making a bid, but we haven't heard back from the treasurer yet, who will be a critical participant on the final day of bidding.

We're on.


Date: 2011/06/23 18:29:37, Link
Author: KenFair
The TalkOrigins Foundation, Inc. (a Texas non-profit corporation) is accepting donations towards this project.  The Foundation's donation link is here.

A few notes about these donations:

(1) The Foundation's board of directors has authorized an expenditure from the Foundation's funds to acquire Expelled, should the Foundation be the winning bidder. The Foundation's bid is limited by the funds the Foundation currently has available. The board may decide to increase the Foundation's maximum bid based upon additional funds donated to the Foundation's Paypal account.

(2) The auction has an 10% fee due from the buyer at the auction's close, which would be on top of the Foundation's bid amount (should the Foundation have the winning bid). The Foundation will also need funds to transport and store whatever physical property is associated with the motion picture. Thus, the Foundation's top bid will be somewhat less than the full authorized expenditure.

(3) Although the current bid for Expelled is (at the time of this posting) less than the amount authorized to be expended, and the Foundation hopes to be successful in acquiring the motion picture, the Foundation cannot predict what the highest bid will be when the auction closes on June 28, 2011.  In addition, there is an undisclosed reserve price on the auction, which may be higher than any amount the Foundation is willing or able to bid.

(4) As a practical matter, the Foundation will be unable to return any donations made to the donors, even if the Foundation is unsuccessful in bidding for Expelled, or the Foundation is successful and the amount donated is greater than the bid.

We are therefore simply asking potential donors to make contributions (which are tax-deductible in the United States) to the TalkOrigins Foundation. Although the Foundation would like to use those funds towards the purchase of Expelled, given the constraints facing the Foundation, THE FOUNDATION CANNOT MAKE ANY GUARANTEE OR PROMISE CONCERNING THE EXPENDITURE OF THE DONATED FUNDS. Funds not used to acquire Expelled will be used for other purposes consistent with the Foundation's non-profit purposes. Due to the time constraints, the Foundation can only attempt to bid with the funds it has on hand and those donated to its Paypal account as of Monday, June 27, 2011.

Our thanks to everyone who has contributed to the Foundation in the past, and to those who contribute now to the Foundation.

Kenneth Fair
Secretary/Treasurer, TalkOrigins Foundation, Inc.

Date: 2011/06/24 10:23:22, Link
Author: KenFair
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 23 2011,20:19)
I get reimbursed for payments to the TOA hosting providers, domain name registration, and I got reimbursed once for a set of Drupal books. The monthly ISP gets paid for this server, which hosts TalkDesign. We bought this server back in 2005, IIRC, and the one Reed Cartwright has just begun hosting PT on. As far as payments to principals, there aren't any. It's in our by-laws that people associated with the TOAF are unpaid. We can get reimbursed for expenses associated with running the site (as mentioned above), but there's nothing beyond that. Current annual expenses are (by my guess) in the $1,600 ballpark for the technical end of things, with the purchase every few years of a machine at somewhere upwards of $3,000. Maybe we can call it about $2,600 per year, with the hardware costs spread out over three years. There may be some financial fees that we get hit with that I don't know about. Is the above helpful?

I'm reluctant to try to do a totalizer on current donations -- that's information that we don't really want others to know before the close of the auction. Likewise the number of years of operating costs at the ~$2,600 figure above... that would let another bidder know too much. If there were to be a totalizer, it would be up to Ken. I don't have access to the PayPal numbers.

I haven't added up the costs over the years, but Wesley's estimates sound about right. The only significant expenses we've had have been the server purchases and the annual costs of hosting the various websites (T.O Archive, Panda's Thumb, etc.).

The Foundation gets a very small amount of revenue (a few dollars per month) from people buying books through our Amazon links. We get occasional donations from people. We haven't needed to do much in the way of fundraising; between these two sources, we've generally made enough to cover the expenses Wesley listed.

Like Wesley, I'm reluctant to give donation totals in the interim, for the reason Wesley states. I will say that we've gotten a few thousand dollars in donations over the past 24 hours. I will provide a total once this process is complete.

Regarding returning donations: The Foundation's directors discussed whether this would be possible or feasible before I posted the donation request. You must understand that this possibility/opportunity of bidding on Expelled only came to our attention very recently (I only learned of it yesterday morning). If we had more time, we might have come up a different way to fund this project.

It may actually be possible to return donations if our bid is unsuccessful, and we will investigate that possibility. But we are not sure at this point that we will be able to return donations, and we did not want to make a promise we could not fulfill. Thus the disclaimer that we could not guarantee how the donated funds would be used. I don't want anyone feeling misled about what they're doing, and by all means, if you have any such concerns, I would rather that you did not donate.