Do you feel a moral obligation to send money to all the organizations that send you "free" address labels or do you throw away those labels? Do you send money to/buy products from companies that send free detergent and shampoo samples that you never asked for? If not, then I don't see a need to send money to this website - it's a marketing/advertising tool; all those businesses sending out free samples and such are also trying to get your money to pay overhead expenses. I would, however, re-consider being there if the overall tone/environment was generally snarky and not in keeping with my own opinions (unless I went there to debate or to be deliberately challenged in my opinions, either posted publicly or just from reading other posts) - is it worth my mental energy and time to spend the few hours per week I might have available hanging out in an uncomfortable place or would I rather hang out someplace I can chat and gain information that I find useful?
This is not a charitable organization...so no tax write-offs.
I think it reflects well on you that you're taking the time to consider whether or not you owe something.
You've said that this is a business, and that this is not a charitable organization so there is no tax write-off.
You are being asked to "donate".
there is NO site out there that I would pay to access. Even though I have been on ivillage for years, I wouldn't pay to be be here ;-)
Take a break for a while and see if you still want to belong to that community. Snarky moderators would put me off though, and I wouldn't appreciate anyone trying to make me feel guilty.
good luck with your decision.
You said that there were negative posts about those who don't send money- are the posts aimed directly at those who don't donate to make them fee guilty? Or are they just offhand comments?
My past experience has been that when there is a lot of talk about donations, and a lot of guilt being aimed at those who don't "contribute", the board is often on the rocks. This has happened at several boards I frequented that were supported by member donations. The first couple of years everything was hunky-dory, then the board owner would get resentful sounding about all the time and money they put into the proposition. Eventually, the board crumbles. If there is enough money and interest to support the board, generally there aren't a lot of whiners. So no, I wouldn't give money unless it's a board close to my heart and I don't want to lose it.
Thank you everyone for your responses!