Apologies in advance for what will be bit of a
There are two very significant things about GADC that you may, or may not, know:
- Since its inception, over four years ago, GADC has been bank rolled entirely from my own personal pocket
- The GADC and Drone Scene running costs are approaching £3,000 per year and, in line with the number of members, still growing
Significant amongst these costs are (in no particular order):
- Challenge prizes - that over the years have been in the form of: Drones, Hobby Mounts and Heliguy gift vouchers, and cash/monetary prizes more recently
- Platform hosting - for both GADC and Drone Scene websites
- Data Storage - for the many thousands of superb hi-res images that you all upload (which now totals several hundred gigabytes)
- Licence costs - not all data sets and services on Drone Scene are free
- Emails - We send over two thousand emails per day (forum notifications, activity summaries, etc)
Neither GADC or Drone Scene generate any income.
The club merchandise, sold via Spreadshirt, is also sold at “cost” price. I make quite literally £0.00 on every item sold - in order to keep things as cheap as possible for you, our members.
My personal loathing of website adverts and sponsor banners meant that I went out of my way to prevent you having to suffer them too. But in so doing I also therefore denied myself any means to subsidise the running costs of GADC.
Outside of the monetary aspects, is my personal-time consideration. Suffice to say the emails, the time spent on calls and meetings with partners for club discounts, suppliers of data and hosting agreements, are endless. Coupled with the hundreds of hours per year that I continuously sink in to development and improvement of Drone Scene . All this, when I could be spending this time with my beloved family.
It must be said that a large part of the success of GADC is of course also down to you, our members. The media and content you share, the advice you offer new members to the hobby, the time you invest in replying to technical questions with incredible amounts of detail, and more, have all helped to get us to where we are today.
The bottom line is that I now need to determine the best means to generate funds from GADC and Drone Scene to cover my personal expenditure whilst at the same time upsetting as few of you as possible! And most importantly, ensuring that both sites continue to grow and retain their many excellent qualities.
I’ve always been quite proud that GADC has never charged for membership and that it doesn’t depend on external sponsorship links and banners. It is also a very rare thing these days to see a web site that isn’t emblazoned with adverts.
However, much as I love you all, I just can’t keep bank rolling this gig forever as the costs are only ever going up. Never down.
Therefore, I have a plan.
This plan has been on my mind since around February of this year. It is by no means a knee jerk reaction and it’s something that I’ve pondered for a very, very, long time before speaking openly about it here today.
I am going to try and offset some of my monthly expenditure with the use of some adverts and some coffee!
Some members, not all members, will soon begin seeing adverts here on the forum. These adverts will be displayed to Guests (ie. people who are not logged in) and to TL0 Newbie Members and to TL1 Basic Members.
Those of you who are of Full Member status or Advanced Member status will NOT see any ads.
There is a second part to my plan
But first, a few questions
- Have you have enjoyed being a member of Grey Arrows Drone Club?
- Have you made new friends online or in real life following a meetup?
- Have you enjoyed the generous cash savings of any of the many, many discount schemes we have in place?
- Have you have bought or sold anything in the #for-sale-wanted category?
- Have you have modified and/or improved your drone after following a guide or some advice in #modifications ?
- Have you have enjoyed taking part in any of the #challenges we run?
- Have you uploaded and shared any photographs with others?
- Have you had a problem solved or a technical question answered?
And what about Drone Scene?
- Have you looked at the insurance comparison chart?
- Have you used Good 2 Go? Have you logged a flight report with NATS?
- Have you scanned the 1,000+ member-added locations to find somewhere nice to fly?
- Have you looked for Crown Estate land? Have you checked any airspace layers for restrictions?
- Have you checked the height of an area, or the distance between two things?
- Have you looked up the byelaw status of a local authority?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” and if you have a few quid to spare every now and then, would you mind buying me a coffee?
To buy me a coffee you can simply click the number of cups you wish to buy or if you’re particularly flush at the time of your caffeine support you can type any number you like in to the box on the end.
I’d really appreciate it and I’m hoping it’ll help keep the lights on a while longer