It has been a very rough past 12 months for Osgrid. We have experienced many ups and downs but have managed to keep the doors open and see our community flourish and do many really wonderful things. We really do appreciate all of the wonderful things that our community has created and developed over the past years. It truly is amazing to see what OSgrid and OpenSimulator have become! However OSgrid does not come without a lot of costs. Many hours, days and weeks spent by the hard working administrators to keep the servers updated, testing code, helping our users, reporting bugs and working directly with the Core Development team to make sure that we can try to knock out bugs as fast as we possibly can. These costs add up, for instance the Asset RAID failure many months ago. It was a very stressful time for all of us and of course it really put a big dent in to our yearly budget. Many of our Citizens came together in conjunction with many other wonderful OpenSimulator grids and we were able to raise enough funds to enact a full recover of the data and bring the grid back online with very minimal loss to data. Unfortunately even with these funds that were raised, the cost was high, not only for our Administration teams time but for the 4350.00$ USD we spent to pay for recovery services through Flashback Data recovery services.
On top of these costs for recovery OSgrid has its normal monthly operating costs which are not insignificant to the tune of 1058.00$ USD per month! (See breakdown of costs here > http://www.osgrid.org/index.php/donationusage) Please keep in mind that our administration and development team is a purely volunteer effort. Nearly 100% of your donations go towards maintaining the grid hardware that is required to keep things operating smoothly. In addition to our monthly hardware costs we have just had to pay out 850$ to move forward in our application for 501(c) status with the U.S. Federal Government to cover the application fee as well as our yearly tax budget. In the past 12 months OSgrid has spent 17,000$ USD to keep its doors open, as you can imagine this has put a significant dent on our yearly budget, and in the past few months donations have fell off considerably. We are currently not bringing in enough monthly donations to cover our costs. We need at a minimum right now approximately 1200$ per month to stay a float and as of today our total donation balance is approximately 1850.00$ USD. So my fellow OSgrid citizens, I am here to ring the alarm bells loudly and ask you all for your help to keep our doors open, we have not come this far to give up now! The Administration team can not do it alone, nor can it afford to cover the costs out of pocket, so we need your urgent help now!
The OSgrid website stats show a monthly active user base of roughly 3600+ community members. If 10% of people chose to donate 5$ per month we would easily exceed our monthly costs. Just imagine what we could do when we exceeded those monthly costs!! The current grid hardware is all relatively new hardware, but at some point in the near future is going to require upgrades. With any extra funds we can raise this would go a long way to not only keeping the doors open but allow us to expand and ensure that the grid can perform just as well or even better than it does today. OSgrid is coming up on its 8th birthday this July. We want to make sure that we can celebrate this achievement and not have to come back to you in a few months tell you that we could not continue with this great community. We can not do this without your help, so please, if you enjoy using the grid and call it your home, please do what you can to keep this great service going. If you can not afford to make a donation then you can do the next best thing and help spread the word not only about donating, but about how great a place OSgrid is and encourage others to get involved.
Finally, we really want to thank everyone who is already currently donating or has donated in the past, without you we would have had to close our doors long ago. I can not express enough how much gratitude not only I, but our entire administration team, as well as I am sure all of the great citizens of this grid do. We humbly thank you and hope that we can continue to provide an enjoyable experience for everyone. I know we can keep things going, after all of the hardships we have triumphed through I am certain that this is just another bump in the road. Thanks everyone for making OSgrid the awesome community that is. I and the entire administration team look forward to continuing to provide the best level of support that we can and thank you all for allowing us the opportunity to make OSgrid what it is!
For more information about what OSgrid donations go towards, please visit http://www.osgrid.org/index.php/donationusage and if you have any questions or need any assistance please visit us on IRC irc.freenode.net #osgrid or use the web chat here > http://www.osgrid.org/index.php/freenode
Thank You Everyone!
Michael Emory Cerquoni