July 1, 2013 at 12:04 PM
This will be our last post on our Annual Donation Drive, which we will wrap up on July 12 (the MLB draft signing deadline).
We’re asking for your help to help raise funds to help keep SoxProspects.com free for another year. We've kept the site 100% free to the public for just shy of ten years now, and we hope to do so for another year. As you may have also noticed, we continue to expand and improve our content, including new features, everyday coverage, first-hand analysis, improved layouts, and a new forum host. Unfortunately, costs continue to pile up with these expanded features. As we've done over the past five seasons, we're reaching out to the community for donations to help keep the site free for everyone. Donations help cover site costs in two primary areas: (1) first-hand coverage costs for scouting and player columns; and (2) web hosting fees (including forum hosting costs).
Your donations help us travel to Ft. Myers in the spring to cover spring training and in the fall to cover the Instructional League. They also help cover the costs of travelling to Pawtucket, Portland, Salem, Greenville, and Lowell games for scouting and first-hand coverage. In terms of web hosting costs, the site resides on four servers, each with their own set of annual fees. We anticipate that our costs in these two areas will exceed $15,000 in 2013. While we make limited funds from online advertising revenue, we simply don’t make enough to cover all of our costs.
In each of the last four years, several readers made donations ranging from $5 to $1,000 to help defray these costs. Thanks so much to everyone who chipped in!
One thing we’d like to note is that while we've remained free, other similar baseball sites charge for content. For example, Scout.com costs $90 per year, Baseball America charges $66 per year, and Baseball Prospectus costs $39.95 per year. I think those sites are great in their own right, and are absolutely worthy of subscriptions. I’d also like to think we’d be worthy of comparable rates if we ever decide to go that route, but we've decided that we want to keep the site free for as long as we can. Donations from regular readers go a long way towards making that happen.
Ultimately, through draft signing season, we are asking our readers to donate what they can to help keep SoxProspects.com free to the public. If you want to donate, first, we would like to thank you profusely – it’s truly appreciated. To donate, visit our DONATIONS PAGE. All payments are secured through PayPal, although you don’t need a PayPal account to contribute. All of the donations will go directly to our costs – none of the owners have taken out a dollar of profit out of the site's tills over the last six years (obviously we’re not doing this to get rich!).
Last, to any of our regular readers that are not members of the SoxProspects Forum, please sign up! We’d love to get some new members in on the discussion and some new ideas floated around during our peak season! And to all of our current forum members out there, don’t be afraid to start new discussion threads – especially threads on specific players. It would be great to get more player-centric discussion going on the board in addition to the other topics already being discussed.
As always, thanks to all of our readers for visiting the site and all of our forum members for posting!