In the last couple of weeks we’ve asked for donations during the episode. Some listeners requested more information about how we use the money we raise. Here’s a little history of the money we’ve raised so far and what we plan for the future.
Due to the generosity of a small percentage of our listeners, we’ve been able to cover our physical costs for the last 12 months. The majority of the money goes to covering server costs. Peter Wilson (who makes the servers dance to his merry tune) does not charge Boxcutters any fee for his work – only the costs associated with hosting the podcast and website are passed on. He will also be coding the new Boxcutters site, free of charge, and our business, Soupgiant, donated the cost of the new design.
For the first time ever we have a little bit left over to pass on to 3RRR, acknowledging the use of their studios. I also have a 3RRR subscription plus an annual donation paid out of my own pocket. That’s the least I can do given their generosity to Boxcutters over 5 years. Brett has been a volunteer at 3RRR for over 15 years as well as a subscriber for all that time. John also subscribes to the station.
We hope that at some stage in the near future there might even be a little money for each of the Boxcutters team to help offset the time and costs associated with making the show.
We work very hard at providing good content every week, dedicating over 20 hours per week to research, planning, interviews and reviewing. Unfortunately our personal circumstances have changed recently and it’s become more difficult to justify the time spent on Boxcutters when there are other demands on our attention.
One way to deal with these demands is to cut down the number of episodes we produce every year. This year we’ll have only 32 regular episodes plus some specials. In the past we’ve produced 50 per year.
If everybody who listened to Boxcutters donated just $1 per episode, that would be plenty to cover our costs, pass some money on to 3RRR and take a small stipend for ourselves.
We hope that, if Boxcutters is important to you, you will agree that donating is an easy way to keep it going. Unfortunately, the alternative is no Boxcutters, and nobody in their right mind wants to live in that world.
If you would prefer to use methods other than Paypal, we can try to work something out there too. Feel free to get in touch if you want to ask us more questions.
Adam D(oxcutter) says:
If this has come from David Boxcutter’s request for information about where the money goes, and if DaBo is concerned that you guys might be keeping some of the money for yourselves, I feel the need to reply.
I donate to Boxcutters and have done since the links appeared. Why? Because it’s the single best podcast going in this country. Do I care if the guys get to keep some of the money? Do I bollocks. I consider it a small reward for an excellent service. They can spend my contribution on beer and pretzels for all I care.
To be clear: I never discuss my donations or charity support but in this instance I couldn’t stay silent.
alex boxcutter says:
well said Adam D!
Donate because you support the podcast, doesn’t matter 2 hoots what the boys use the money for.
Go buy a coffee for all I care!
David Boxcutter says:
The problem is that this is a very fine line.
Firstly, I’m very glad that you addressed the 3RRR issue, because that was my foremost concern. I was worried that you might be using studios run by volunteer labour and funded by donations for personal gain.
Saying that you subscribe to 3RRR is not much of a consolation, as any decent human with a heartbeat should be a 3RRR subscriber. That you kick back extra to to 3RRR is great.
But it really becomes a problem if this ends up paying for personal expenses. You need to decide if you’re a volunteer-driven charity or a business. If you’re a charity, then you need to keep all of that money out of your pockets, and exist for the good of the community. If you’re a business, then you can take advertising, and charge subscription fees and make a profit on the work that you do.
So, what’s the status of donations that end up being a “stipend” for yourselves. Do you pay income tax on that? If we are making donations, are they tax deductable?
All I’m asking for is more transparency. Whenever we make cash transactions, the least we expect is a receipt. But for the vast majority of transactions we make, there are much more rigorous rules and expectations.
David – don’t donate if you have concerns about it! However, I think a bit of generosity towards the Boxcutters is warranted, since they do spend quite a bit of time and money on a podcast that we all enjoy. If it means the money goes towards personal expenses, who cares, if it ensures the podcast continues?
I don’t think the solution is to make Boxcutters subscription based, as listeners should be able to hear episodes for free to get a taste of the content and decide if they want to support it or not. As for advertising.. I’m undecided, but I will admit that I like the idea of the Boxcutters having the freedom to only have to answer to themselves.
But, David, you were (literally) the first person to complain about the IceTV sponsorship last year in the comments of Ep 238. (http://boxcutters.net/2010/08/23/ep-238-claire-hooper-the-election-the-mole/)
“I can’t say I’m thrilled about the new IceTV sponsorship…The IceTV sponsorship is just lame advertising.”
So… what do you suggest they do? I say that without judgment, I’m genuinely interested.
Eleanor (undeadgoat) says:
If it’s the asking for money that offends you, you must be offended all over the internet, because there are donation buttons all over the place. If you want three guys on the internet to have the same accounting practices that a public or community radio station with full-time or volunteer accountants would you are going to be disappointed. If you don’t think that clicking on a “Donate” button is a good use of your money, by all means don’t click it, but you seem to be disappointed that content that you love can’t be produced without the involvement of filthy lucre, which is insanely unrealistic. If you feel the constant need to call any possible revenue stream into question, maybe you shouldn’t listen. That will definitely relieve pressure on the servers, and those of us that occasionally operate in a trust-based person-to-person economic space on the internet will continue to do so without having to listen to someone natter on about how no one should ask for money without a lawyer and an accountant involved.
David Boxcutter says:
Clare and Eleanor, it’s not the idea of supporting Boxcutters, or advertising itself that I have a problem with. I never complained about the Crumpler sponsorship, because it was useful and entertaining. I complained about the IceTV ads on aesthetic grounds – that the ads were lame and wooden.
The main problem is being attached to such a brilliant organisation that is very accountable and transparent, and not doing the same.
Just because there are lots of dodgy “donation” buttons on the internet doesn’t make it OK. Dodgy is still dodgy, no matter how prevalent it is. It’s also still dodgy, no matter the amount of money involved. You might say “who cares, they’re only getting $5”. But what if they were an overnight hit, and were suddenly getting $5 million? Would you feel the same way?
I listen to podcasts that are both volunteer labours of love, and those that are commercial businesses. The labours of love are all clear that they only use the money for expenses strictly related to the show. The businesses are all clear that they are trying to make a buck. The problem with Boxcutters is that the waters have been muddied with this “stipend” issue, which goes beyond the usual paying for bandwidth, etc. And Boxcutters have an advantage over others, because they have free access to an excellent studio, rather than having to buy their own equipment.
Daniel B says:
You must be the life of every party David, can we hang out, shoot some pool, knock back a few beers?
Seriously Davie, you are being pedantic, simple as that, I hear what you are saying, but you are completely wrong.
And if you honestly believe that the “labor of love” podcasts only use their donation money for podcast related expenses, I really would like to life in your fantasy land champion.
I honestly don’t know why you even listen to the show, all you seem to do is whinge and complain about everything, all the while hiding behind the guise of “constructive criticism”
You’ve asked for what the money will/does go towards and you have it in the form of the post above, and even opened the door for a conversation on the process of donating.
These guys have done this podcast for years, out of their own pocket, more or less, and I don’t know about you, but I look forward to every tuesday morning so I can get the next episode and if that isn’t worth donating a few bucks every now and again, I don’t know what is, and there is a legal difference between a charity donation and sending a few bucks to a Podcast.
You are most likely lurking on the site as I write this, waiting for someone to post, so you can write a long winded reply possibly about the semantics of various Podcast donation models, but no one cares, when you do reply, I certainly won’t.
Hang on… could you be… a Troll??!
Paul Boxcutter says:
I donate so that I can openly complain about Brett when he gets out the crack pipe. 😉
Other than that, I’m happy to spend some cash (and I’ll admit, it’s a small donation a month, but better than nothing) on Boxcutters, ’cause *I’m part of the family*, and it’s a way I can help out. I cannot wrangle servers and I’m no audio magician, and although I do yell some ‘trotters’ type corrections at the ‘cast from the car, it doesn’t’ really count, so donations is how I help my family out.
I also am a 3RRR subscriber, and I don’t ask them how they spend their money either, and if they chose to support a podcast by letting them record there, then that is their prerogative. If I don’t like it, I won’t subscribe (but it’ll take a lot for that to happen).
Josh,Brett, John, Toby, and all. I can’t work out how to type it, please don’t take this attitude to heart, I think the majority of this love what you do, and look forward to our Boxcutters and appreciate what you do…. and whoever can donate, is doing so because they can and they want to, revel in that. Please.
Adam D(oxcutter) says:
You might say “who cares, they’re only getting $5?. But what if they were an overnight hit, and were suddenly getting $5 million? Would you feel the same way?
What if they were getting $500 billion? What if they became invisible? What if they turned into chickens?
alex boxcutter says:
“who cares, they’re only getting $5?. But what if they were an overnight hit, and were suddenly getting $5 million? Would you feel the same way?”
I would say well done boys, well deserved!
And can I please have a loan?
David Boxcutter says:
“I honestly don’t know why you even listen to the show, all you seem to do is whinge and complain about everything, all the while hiding behind the guise of “constructive criticism””
Because I love the show. Aren’t we the most critical about the things we love? And if all I seem to do is complain, it’s probably because I don’t really feel the need to say anything about the bits I enjoy, I just enjoy them.
“Hang on… could you be… a Troll??!”
Only if you have a very twisted definition of what “troll” means. But I guess that’s true for many people on today’s internet, who seem to believe that anyone who questions or disagrees is a troll. That’s not what the word means. Do you think I’m somehow not being earnest in my comments? That I’m deliberately trying to provoke? That’s absolutely not the case.
I don’t understand this mob mentality to get out the torches and pitchforks, and “burn the heretic” just because somebody raises a few questions. It’s really immature.
And it’s such a simple thing! If this is all above-board, then the Boxcutters should have no problem explaining what these “research costs” are exactly, and perhaps releasing a quarterly income/expense statement.
alex boxcutter says:
“Boxcutters should have no problem explaining what these “research costs” are exactly, and perhaps releasing a quarterly income/expense statement.”
*Now* you’re trolling.
I think if we actually saw how much of their own money the boys have put into this podcast over the years we’d all donate a *lot* more.
But to ask for that is just trolling mate, you’ve said your piece, just donate or not and enjoy the show.
Daniel B says:
I was being sarcastic about being a Troll, genius.
(See what I did there?)
It’s a goddamn Podcast with a paypal account, not the Red Cross.
They do a great job and people a chuck them a few bucks over Paypal to help with the costs and maybe a little extra for themselves because they enjoy the show, I would assume knowing that some of it would end up in their pockets, which is fine with most people, but I honestly do know why you are asking the questions that you are but they are unfounded.
We’ve been getting great content over the years, and obviously they wouldn’t be pushing this if they didn’t need/want too.
People are getting all “mob” like on you is because you come off a bit of a ponce, if you are asking, and you scream immaturity when someone disagrees with you, which some might say is quite ironic
Have a great day David!
PS. You didn’t get back to me about my invatation to hang out!?
Peter Wilson says:
Thanks everyone for your kind words. It’s getting a bit hot in here so we’ll shut the comments for the time being.