Moving to GetTogether

We have found an event management platform that is both libre and gratis. As such, our group on Meetup.com is changing to a paid subscription today.

More details follow in the full post.

When and why are we changing to a paid Meetup group?

Beginning May 5, Fort Wayne Linux Users Group will begin charging a small yearly fee of $12 to belong to our Meetup Group. We remain committed to never charging members to participate in regular group activities. But Meetup is not core to our group’s mission, and in fact we have been working for some time to provide our own alternative to Meetup. Paying the fees associated with this platform has been the single-largest expense for our group for the past several years, paid by voluntary contributions from a succession of highly committed members. We have other purposes for which this money would be better spent. Meetup remains a useful tool for keeping in touch with some of our members and recruiting new ones, but not to such a degree that it is worth upwards of $240 annually, the lion’s share of our annual budget (the next highest expenditure is approximately 2% of that number).

What is my alternative to learn about upcoming Fort Wayne LUG events?

We are excited to announce our participation on GetTogether (gettogether.community), a free online community for event sharing whose code is open-source. Please join our “team” on GetTogether at gettogether.community/fort-wayne-linux-users-group. There you will find information about all our latest events, totally for free. Even better, you can inspect the code that powers GetTogether and help contribute improvements. Check out this link if you would like to help: github.com/GetTogetherComm/GetTogether

What will you do with the money you save?

Well, first of all, our donors will keep more of their money. One of the reasons that the Meetup cost burden keeps getting passed from one member to another is that it is a considerable expense for one person to bear, and no one so far has committed to doing it forever. Currently, we do not have tax-exempt status, so contributors cannot even deduct the money they spend on our group from their taxes. Other than the volunteers who have stepped up to pay for our Meetup, our only other funding comes from the sale of donated used computer equipment, which one of the members of our leadership team has been selling on eBay. When the sale of all equipment is completed, we intend to partially reimburse our Meetup payers since August 2017 onward, and the member who has been selling the equipment (for his shipping costs). This reimbursement will be partial and will not exceed 50% of the total money raised. The remaining money will be used to pay for domain name renewals, future cloud services, and a small monthly contribution to the GetTogether project.

If I choose to remain in the Meetup group, how will that money be spent?

Even though we have made the decision to charge for Meetup to help defray the not-strictly-necessary expense of maintaining our group there, we still want to keep the amount charged as low as possible. We arrived at the amount we are charging for continued group membership by guessing at the number of people who would choose to remain versus leave the Meetup group, divided by the semi-annual amount we are billed for Meetup. If our projections are wrong, we may need to raise the amount that we charge, or we may be able to reduce it. If there is any small amount of money left over after paying Meetup and we are able to collect it, it will go into the group’s PayPal for meeting future expenses. If it is possible to refund it to members, we will do so. If it can only be applied as credit for a continued Meetup subscription, we will do that. What we will not do is use Meetup as a major revenue-generating tool. We regard Meetup as an ancillary tool for communicating with group members who are on Meetup and prefer to use it to stay in touch with us for whatever reason, and are willing to pay for it.

I don’t want to pay for Meetup, but I would like to contribute to the Fort Wayne Linux Users Group directly.

  • BitCoin: 354V7T5ADuiQADFQ19XPPNAsqngbGDYpfg
  • Monero: 44Ufw3Rj39VJoWYvud4HHqhqsNJ8FTsmHXVmcSbUTb4o9HLH42mLTaz1kdQsg1tDHReYCqZGbarg2dDYv9tH9CXgQwYQhD3
  • We will have PayPal as an available donation method soon.
  • If you wish to contribute in another manner (e.g. equipment, meeting space, etc), please email us: contact@fortwaynelinux.org
Written on May 5, 2019