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BenzoBuddies is now Accepting Donations


[Co...]

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[Co...]

Hi all,

As you may have already noticed, we are now accepting donations.

BenzoBuddies opened very nearly 20 years ago, in all that time it has never requested donations (or accepted them when offered). Nor have we ever run adverts to generate income. But since we migrated to Invision last July, expenses have have risen dramatically.

For reliability, we now operate a fully hosted forum solution, with a much improved feature set. The previous software was virtually unusable on phones; whereas now, two-thirds of page impressions are via a mobile device. This means that we are reaching many more people in need.

Many years ago (15+, I guess), I developed a withdrawal spreadsheet to generate taper schedules for members, which I would then covert to HTML and attach to posts. It was a bit of a Heath Robinson / Rube Goldberg affair, too complicated, and was time consuming. But it worked. I am now developing alternative utilities to help members generate (and store) personalized taper plans based upon their own input parameters so that they can better plan and manage their tapers. This will take time and involve significant development costs.

The are now links on most forum pages to our PayPal donations page (credit and debit cards are also accepted). You can pay whatever sum you feel you can reasonably manage, and for it to be recurring if you wish. If now is not a good time for you consider making a donation (most of us have been there - I know I have), please do not feel under any obligation to donate. Perhaps, one day, when you are feeling better and are in a more settled situation, you might make a donation then.

Thank you.

Donate with PayPal button

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[An...]

Never mind, I see the link now on the side. It works. Thanks--

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[Co...]
7 minutes ago, [[A...] said:

I clicked on the link and got this.

image.thumb.png.7188b894793142a61f426e37eac6542b.png

Yeah. There is a bug with the text editor here. I had lot of trouble getting the donation button to work. If I edit the block (or post), it breaks. It also occurs if I reopen post/block without saving any edits. It even occurs if I back out without resaving.

Text editors can introduce invisible artefacts to code, but this is ridiculous. It is a PITA.

Anyway, I tried something else - evidently, it did not work. I might try again in a while. There is a donate button om most of our pages anyway.

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[Co...]

Hi @[An...]

Genuine question: what's the barrier to using PayPal?

I will definitely investigate other payment options, but the problem with CashApp (and Zelle) is that they are US-based. As it happens, it might be possible to me to set up something using Zelle (but not CassApp). It would be phone-to-bank or bank-to-bank (but not to phone to phone).

Is there much call from US members to use Zelle (phone-to-bank / or bank-to-bank)?

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[pi...]
12 minutes ago, [[C...] said:

Hi @[An...]

Genuine question: what's the barrier to using PayPal?

I will definitely investigate other payment options, but the problem with CashApp (and Zelle) is that they are US-based. As it happens, it might be possible to me to set up something using Zelle (but not CassApp). It would be phone-to-bank or bank-to-bank (but not to phone to phone).

Is there much call from US members to use Zelle (phone-to-bank / or bank-to-bank)?

I use Zelle a lot for my business, as well as personal use.

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[Co...]

As I understand it, you can send money via Zelle using an email address or phone number associated with a (US) bank account. Is this correct?

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[st...]

 

If benzobuddies contacted benzo makers, asking if they’d like to make a donation, two things might happen:

- They would know more about us and could not claim willful ignorance to the size and depth of the problem. Maybe they could even learn exactly what their drug does to people and try to correct it.

- Their profits would finally help those who their drugs have badly wronged. I and many others have been a vegetable for years, unable to work, loosing life savings, loosing time and many other things.

I think giving them that choice, to make a donation to benzobuddies, at the very least, would be a great moral experiment. If they do ignore the question, it would still say a great deal about them. I’m not being facetious at all, just think there needs to be a dialogue between us and them, instead of any tension, and this might be one way to start.

 

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[or...]

@[Co...] my vote is still for PayPal. I take PayPal payments exclusively on my website and have yet to encounter anyone who doesn't have an account. And all of the merchants I visit online offer PayPal as a payment method. Zelle? CashAp? Nope. It's PayPal or a credit card they want. Just my 2 cents' worth. :classic_smile:

Katz

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[Co...]
15 minutes ago, [[o...] said:

@[Co...] my vote is still for PayPal. I take PayPal payments exclusively on my website and have yet to encounter anyone who doesn't have an account. And all of the merchants I visit online offer PayPal as a payment method. Zelle? CashAp? Nope. It's PayPal or a credit card they want. Just my 2 cents' worth. :classic_smile:

Katz

Thank you for the feedback, @[or...].

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[Ti...]
4 hours ago, [[C...] said:

As I understand it, you can send money via Zelle using an email address or phone number associated with a (US) bank account. Is this correct?

Yes, this is correct. 

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[Co...]

I wrote the following to another thread about donations. This described my thinking on the matter, but I am interested in hearing from members on this subject.

21 hours ago, [[C...] said:

I missed this before.

Well, I was not anticipating doing so. As presently set up, I do not know which accounts have made donations. And although there is information made available to me from PayPal which might allow me to determine which member has made a donation in some cases, I do not plan to try. I would only do this in case of a problem of some kind.

Additionally, I wish to avoid the appearance of turning donations into a competition or a two-tier membership.

There is scope for different types of membership, based upon purchase of additional services.* But I wish to avoid this with donations. Besides, many donors probably will prefer to not advertise their donation status (both those who have donated and those who have not).

* I am looking at a few ideas for raising additional funds. But rest assured, core BB withdrawal support (what members have now) always will be free.

I actually feel members do deserve to have their contribution acknowledged. But I expect some would prefer no acknowledgement (or no public acknowledgment at least). Maybe I could investigate adding an alternative route, where there is acknowledgement (a badge of some kind), but leave in place the option to make a (more) anonymous donation. What are your thoughts on this?

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank members for their generosity - the donation button has been up for less than three days and there are already a good number of donations which will make a real difference.

Your donations are greatly appreciated.

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[An...]
On 27/06/2024 at 16:51, [[C...] said:

Hi @[An...]

Genuine question: what's the barrier to using PayPal?

I will definitely investigate other payment options, but the problem with CashApp (and Zelle) is that they are US-based. As it happens, it might be possible to me to set up something using Zelle (but not CassApp). It would be phone-to-bank or bank-to-bank (but not to phone to phone).

Is there much call from US members to use Zelle (phone-to-bank / or bank-to-bank)?

Instead of a business (website accepting donations), why can't I just CashApp you a personal small payment? I trust you. You could then use it to help defray costs for running the website. Would there be any legal ramifications for doing this? I CashApp my nephew from time to time small amouts just to help him out since he is trying to live on his own now.

I like the anonymity of CashApp.

**Cash App is primarily intended for domestic transactions within the US and UK

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[An...]
28 minutes ago, [[C...] said:

I wrote the following to another thread about donations. This described my thinking on the matter, but I am interested in hearing from members on this subject.

I actually feel members do deserve to have their contribution acknowledged. But I expect some would prefer no acknowledgement (or no public acknowledgment at least). Maybe I could investigate adding an alternative route, where their is acknowledgement (a badge of some kind), but leave in place the option to make a (more) anonymous donation. What are your thoughts on this?

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank members for their generosity - the donation button has been up for less than three days and there are already a good number of donations which will make a real difference.

Your donations are greatly appreciated.

If I am not mistaken, donors can attach a note with their PayPal donations. You could for example say "from your BB screenname" if you'd like your donation acknowledged.

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[Co...]
2 hours ago, [[A...] said:

If I am not mistaken, donors can attach a note with their PayPal donations. You could for example say "from your BB screenname" if you'd like your donation acknowledged.

Yes. But I will not necessarily know who they are at BB. A note does not necessarily mean that they wish their donation acknowledged publicly or privately. I wish to avoid any confusion.

It is also conceivable (even if very unlikely) that someone could use/add the username of another member. Or, more plausibly, shorthand their username so that it matches another member (there are numerous cases of distinct members with similar usernames). Or they use their real name. I think it needs to be automated in some manner.

My preferred route (I think) would be to have a supplementary payment method, which automatically (and publicly) acknowledges their support. The most obvious route would be to use some inbuilt systems here to add them to a group which which will display badge of some kind.

If any members would prefer to contact me privately with their thoughts, they are welcome to do this too.

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[An...]
1 hour ago, [[C...] said:

Yes. But I will not necessarily know who they are at BB. A note does not necessarily mean that they wish their donation acknowledged publicly or privately. I wish to avoid any confusion.

It is also conceivable (even if very unlikely) that someone could use/add the username of another member. Or, more plausibly, shorthand their username so that it matches another member (there are numerous cases of distinct members with similar usernames). Or they use their real name. I think it needs to be automated in some manner.

My preferred route (I think) would be to have a supplementary payment method, which automatically (and publicly) acknowledges their support. The most obvious route would be to use some inbuilt systems here to add them to a group which which will display badge of some kind.

If any members would prefer top contact me privately with their thoughts, they are welcome to do this too.

You always make good points Colin about things to consider.

I don't know why anyone would make a donation and then credit it to someone else's screenname but you are correct in what you said.

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Hi all,

I've updated the HTML for the donation blocks so that it is more standards compliant - it might make difference in reliability in edge cases. Please let me know if you experience any problems when attempting to make a donation.

I'd like to again thank you all for your donations. They are greatly appreciated. And, frankly, they are needed to keep BenzoBuddies operational.

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Without the knowledge I found on Benzobuddies I would have never come off these drugs. Donated 🙂

Edited by [Sn...]
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Colin -- I use PayPal for transactions not Zelle or Venmo etc. I am wondering how secure the BB Website is for making donations to you through it. Are you able to provide any reassurances on that score.

Thanks and many many thanks for building this lifesaving website!

 

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Hi @[Ca...]

BB actually just links to the BB payment portal - the transaction is 100% handled by PayPal. No payment information is entered or stored at BB.

If BB ever moves to a system where processing occurs here, rest assured that I will take all appropriate security measures. But as it stands, I have no plans to move in that direction.

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Hi colin

I very much appreciate benzobuddies and I am very greatful for your precious work! Thanks a lot!

I would like to donate but I don’t get through at the moment. I was going to pay by credit card… the message is „please wait“ I am going to try again in a few days. 🍀

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Hi @[sh...]

Thank you so much for your (attempted) donation. I did check out the PayPal - there is no reported problems with the account. It must be a temporary glitch of some kind - I have received other donations.

If this still occurs again, please let me know and I will contact PayPal.

Again, thank you!

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Hi again @[sh...]

Another member reported a similar problem. I just checked the PM - it was the same message, 'please wait'. Are you using an iPad? If so, the solution, apparently, is to use a phone or a computer.

Please let me know if this resolves the matter for you.

Thank you.

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    Donations help fund our recurring webhosting and software licencing fees, and will aid the development of new withdrawal and taper utilities for our members.

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