Earlier today, a Bluelight member made a donation to Erowid and, at the same time, suggested that other Bluelight members/readers might also become Erowid members if only they knew that we needed your support.
Now, I really don't mean to start some sort of controversial flame-war by asking people to donate to Erowid. Although it seems like that's often what happens. But we do need the support of those who use Erowid, find it a useful resource, and want to see it continue to be maintained and developed. Donations of any size are valuable to us, whether it's a $10 paypal donation, a $25 student membership, or a larger amount.
The main reason to donate is to help provide the resources (money) needed to support the research, writing, editing, transcribing, publishing, machine maintenance, software, and office supplies needed to keep this site in the air. It's a big project. It's run on a shoe-string budget. But there's 2.75 full-time crew working round the clock to develop it, and that takes funding.
We do ok...so far the rent gets paid...but finances are often tight and right now is one of those times.
To encourage people to join we've set up the Erowid membership system like the public radio/tv model. We offer membership gifts (Erowid mugs, t-shirts, books, etc) to those who contribute. We have a members' newsletter, published twice a year, that includes information about Erowid and articles about psychoactive plants and chemicals. The new issue, coming back from the printer this week, is 28 pages long and includes an article about the results of the eight LSD surveys we conducted last fall, an article about the value and challenges of collecting experience reports, info about Albert Hofmann's 100th birthday celebration in Basel, legal updates, and several other articles.
So...if you're an Erowid user, and you can afford it, and you think the project is worth supporting...become a member! If you don't feel like contributing, we're still happy to provide the free service to you. There are certainly many ways to contribute to the community....becoming an Erowid member is only one...but it's one we could really use right now.