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THE Santa Claus's avatar

Jolly Giver

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Resources and Advice for New Charity Owners

This thread will hopefully provide a place for people to turn to for ideas for setting up new charities and maybe getting advice to help make them successful. Good luck!

Post 1: Introduction and Navigation

Post 2: Some Hints for Making a Successful Charity

Post 3: MAKING GOLD ON GAIA

Post 4: Interesting Things You Can Do With Text

Post 5: Donating Directly to Quests

Post 6: Helpful Gaians

Post 7: Banners and Artwork Mall

Post 8: Other Links of Interest

Post 9: Codes and banners to link to this thread.

Post 10: Other Hints and Quotable Quotes.

Post 11: Help Wanted Ads.
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Post 2: Some Hints for Making a Successful Charity:

1. Have it thought out before your first post.
*** What will you donate to each person?
*** How will you pick the people to donate to?
*** Will you use special rules to make sure they read the rules?
*** Will you use a mule account that can be shared by co-owners?
*** How will you handle the gold? In a mule account? Offline records?
*** How will you acquire the stuff to donate? Larger donations are cool but harder to finance. If you don't think you can pretty much fund the charity with just you and the staff you have on board, you may wish to rethink the idea. Staff may, as part of working on the thread, donate regularly to the charity, but that needs to be clarified up front. Few people not affiliated with charities actually donate significant amounts to charities regularly.

2. Plan your thread in an offline word processor post by post. You may want to reserve all 15 posts of the first page so no one can stretch the page or otherwise mar your presentation. Or you can delete posts on the first page, making the first page fewer posts long. You'll probably want the following posts: Introduction, Rules, List of People who donated to your charity, List of people that the charity has helped, Staff members if any, Bumpers/Regulars, story of the charity, Contests if any, Affiliates links, and banners with links to your charity for others to use to advertise your thread. You may want at least one banner small enough for folks to add to their signatures while leaving them room for other things there, too. The order of posts isn't really important. Many charities include a Table of Contents on the first post for Navigation purposes.

3. Collect a good-sized "pot" to start with before opening your charity (at least 10 times the amount you plan to give each donation). Make sure you have a plan for maintaining it that does not depend on donations from strangers.

4. To make the thread, click NEW TOPIC, cut and paste your first post and set the title to something uninteresting (I use some dashes or dots) so others will leave you in peace to set up. Sometimes the forum moves quickly. Use "Find your own posts" to find your new thread, and subscribe to it. Then add each post until you have cut and pasted all the posts you want (sometimes I even add a 16th post to reserve the top of the second page for stuff no one but me needs to read). When you have made all your posts, or at least reserved them, go back to the first post, add a poll to attract folks, and change your title (if you change the title first and then add the poll, the title goes back to the old one, so make the poll at the bottom of your first post, and THEN change the title).

5. Look over your thread. Make sure it isn't stretched. Many folks won't bother to read over stretched pages. I find it's often codes that stretch my posts (like when you give a code for a banner), but spaces can be put in codes harmlessly (between the url and the image codes works well for me) and then they'll look like they are on two lines in the post, but they'll work just fine when used. Check things like spelling and grammar if that is important to you. Make sure your rules make sense as you read them as if for the first time. Beautify your charity with artwork that goes with your charity's theme, but try to keep images small so they load faster, especially for our dial-up friends. See Post 4: Interesting Things You Can Do With Text and Post 7: Banners and Artwork Mall for other tips for making your thread even more inviting.

6. You might wish to hold a Bumping contest to get your thread rolling. If you hold a lotto you might want to check out this thread of rules about that. Changing your poll regularly will encourage folks to return to you charity for the extra gold. Just edit the first post and click OVERWRITE POLL to simply change (or even just clear the votes for the same) poll. Or click REMOVE POLL to make a new one. Someone from staff should visit the thread every day or at least every week (if you wait a week or more between times you visit the thread, it's nice to tell folks that somewhere on the first page so they know not to worry or feel ignored).

7. Consider advertising your charity. You can put a link to it in your signature and post all over the place. You can ask folks to do so who ask you for donations. Don't forget to get added to THE List of Charities after your charity has been giving for at least a month.

8. Set a time limit for evaluation (say 3 months). Then evaluate: Is it working? What works best? Where are the problems? Should you change? Stop? Is there enough advertising? Are there different rules you want to implement? If you make major changes to your rules (or find you need to close or move your thread) please let me know in THE List of Charities so I can update your listing.
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Post 3: MAKING GOLD ON GAIA
Since the hardest part of running a charity is keeping up with the need for funds, here are some hints on making gold on Gaia:

JoyRose
EARN GOLD QUICKLY! lists the easiest and quickest ways to earn gold on Gaia, including posting, voting in polls, getting Daily Chance, finishing jigsaw puzzles, selling items, shaking trees in Towns, sending a PM and commenting on a profile.


Another way to make gold is to buy and sell things at the marketplace. You can find directions in The Gaia Market Place (How ToFAQGuidelines). If you know the cost of things, you can spot a good deal when you see it, buy low and resell at a small profit. Below are some price guides that might help you. Remember, just because people ask a high "Buy Now" price doesn't mean that is what it is worth. The "Buy Now" prices you see are the ones no one has bought. Look at the bidding on those with open bids to see what people are really willing to pay for items. This is a fantastic guide to making gold on the Marketplace: How to Make Your First 100k without Begging or Bumping.

Tektek.org Item List

Fishing Ubersticky is a comprehensive description of how to fish and how to turn your fish into gold.

Mini Shops Rules and Regulations tells how to turn your artistic talents into gold on Gaia.

Another way to earn gold is to DONATE REAL MONEY TO GAIA and sell the donation items you receive. At least one of the items usually takes a small jump in price just after its sealed envelope is opened that month. Frequently the items appreciate in value over the next 6 months or so, too, if you can afford the investment time.
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Post 4: Interesting Things You Can Do With Text:
Presentation of your charity will help attract people to it. Here are some hints for making text more fun.

BBCode shows how to format text on Gaia. The only codes I didn't see there were align and code. Align lets you put the text in the center or justified to the right, like this:
Centered
Code lets you display coding without executing it. So I can show you the above code for align using
[align=center]Centered[/align]


Use "code" this way:
[code] coding you want displayed [/ code] (no spaces)


Tek-Ni-Color Gradient/Rainbow Text Creator

Colors of text by name
#EEA9B8 (rose), pink, lightpink, palevioletred, hotpink, deeppink,
red, crimson, firebrick, indianred,
darkred, maroon, brown, sienna, saddlebrown, rosybrown, tan, burlywood,
chocolate, peru,
darkgoldenrod, darkkhaki,
lightcoral, coral, lightsalmon, salmon, tomato,darksalmon,
orangered, darkorange, orange, goldenrod, sandybrown, khaki, peachpuff, gold, yellow,
greenyellow, lightgreen, lawngreen, chartreuse,
lime, springgreen, mediumspringgreen, yellowgreen, limegreen,
green, seagreen, mediumaquamarine, mediumseagreen, darkseagreen, olive, olivedrab,
darkolivegreen, forestgreen, darkgreen,
aquamarine, cyan, aqua, turquoise, mediumturquoise, darkturquoise,
lightseagreen, teal, darkcyan
powderblue, lightblue, lightsteelblue, skyblue, lightskyblue,
deepskyblue, dodgerblue, cornflowerblue, mediumblue,
cadetblue, steelblue, slateblue, mediumslateblue,
blue, royalblue, midnightblue, darkblue , navy, darkslateblue, indigo,
blueviolet, mediumpurple, mediumorchid, #BF3EFF (bright orchid), darkviolet, darkorchid,
thistle, plum, violet, orchid, magenta, fuchsia, mediumvioletred, darkmagenta, purple

black, darkslategray, dimgray, gray, slategray, lightslategray, darkgray, silver


Hex Color Codes!

Use the [Alt] key with these number codes to make these symbols:
1 2
☺☻
3 4 5 6
♥♦♣♠
789
•◘○
11-12-13-14-15
♂♀♪♫☼
16-17-18-19-20
►◄↕‼¶
21-22-23-24-25
§▬↨↑↓
26-27-28-29-30
→←∟↔▲
THE Santa Claus's avatar

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Post 5: Donating Directly to Quests

Would you like to donate to quests? This may be an easier way to help Gaians as you have funds without going to the trouble of running a charity or trusting a charity you're unfamiliar with to pass on the donation you give to them: look at the threads in this forum. Many are quest threads.

If you see someone to whom you think you'd like to donate, but can not view their profile, use this link to find their post history:
gaiaonline.com/forum/searchposts/#####/
and this one to find their journal:
gaiaonline.com/journal/?u=#####
Where it has #####, you need their user number. Click on their avatar, and it will take you to their profile and the url will end with their user number even if the rest of the profile is unhelpful.
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Post 6: Helpful Gaians

If you have a question, feel free to post it in this thread and we'll try to answer it helpfully. Or you could send a PM to a person linked below. But please do not PM these nice folks to ask for donations. They are only here to help answer questions.

If you would like to field questions from people just starting out as charity owners via PMs, let me know and I'll include your name and a link to your profile here.

[ Future Gohan ]

Le-Charity-Whore

THE Santa Claus
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Post 7: Banners and Artwork Mall

Banners and artwork do lovely things for a charity's presentation. And most shop owners would dearly love to earn gold for a quest or charity of their own, so you can count it as a working donation, too. smile

If you would like your shop where you sell banners and artwork listed here please either post in this thread or PM me. Thank you.

User Image

User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show.

User Image

User Image

[M.a.N.a][H.e.R.o] is willing to make one free banner for each new charity that asks!
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Post 8: OTHER LINKS OF INTEREST

TriskDaemon
[INFO] - Community Resources
A very comprehensive list of links to all kinds of helpful and useful threads!




Gaia Items List

Lord-of-the-flies
[Simple tutorial] PHP-free SIG MAPS shows how to make an image map for your sig so each part of your graphic will link to a different place.


User Image User Image User Image User Image

Dream Avatar Creator is one site where you can make those dream avatars.

Tiny Url is a wonderful little site to make those long urls in your sig for both threads/sites and images small enough not to trip the evil 255 character limit!
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Post 9 -- If you want to link this thread somewhere, please feel free to use this code :

These banners were given to me by JoyRose:

User Image
[url=gaiaonline.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11567410] [IMG]http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e150/SantaClausTHE/Resources88.jpg[/IMG][/url]


User Image

[url=gaiaonline.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11567410] [IMG]http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e150/SantaClausTHE/Resources.png[/IMG][/url]


User Image

[url=gaiaonline.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11567410] [IMG]http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e150/SantaClausTHE/RnAb1.gif[/IMG][/url]


User Image

[url=gaiaonline.com/forum/t.11567410][img]http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i255/2JR/Resources.png[/img][/url]
THE Santa Claus's avatar

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Post 10 - Other Hints and quotable quotes:

magicheide
There is a "test thread" area and the mods are very helpful about moving threads from there to where they belong, so that might be a good 'building area'. My friend did his there, but I just plowed ahead in the main Forum. Don't know but that you might want to mention testing.
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Post 11 - Help Wanted Ads.

Rules: For 1g per day, I will post a Help Wanted ad for you here. I charge so you won't just leave it up forever. If you fill the position early you can ask for a refund for any days not used. Please post in this thread or PM me the following form, then start the trade. You may link the owner name to the PM screen if you like.

Charity url and name:
Charity Owner:
Job and Description:
Dates of Ad:


Example of Help Wanted Ad:
THE Santa Claus
Charity url and name: Every Day is Christmas
Charity Owner: THE Santa Claus
Job and Description: Elf = Greet visitors to thread, bump thread, be Nice.
Dates of Ad: December 20-25 (6 days, sending trade for 6 gold).
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Post 12 -- Hints to Running Contests

1. Decide on what prize(s) you can offer. I highly suggest you either offer a percentage of the proceeds collected from those who enter the contest (75% to 90% is customary) or an amount/item you already have on hand. You would hate to offer a prize you couldn't pay because not enough folks entered to cover it.

2. Decide on how folks enter the contest. Do they need to PM you an entry in the form of a tek-tek avatar, artwork, or something written, answers to questions, etc.? Do they need to post something in a certain thread? And how you will accept payment if any is asked (trade with a certain mule or with a certain title or for a certain amount, confirmed before a certain time).

3. Decide how winner(s) will be decided. If bumps/posts will be counted, who will count them? If entries must be judged, on what criteria and by whom? If you let a poll decide the winner(s), be aware that there is no way to tell if a person used mules or advertising to get extra votes (unless you happen across the advertising or someone brings it to your attention). I like to randomly generate a number from one to the number of entries I have and let the person with that number win.

4. Clearly set rules in writing offline and re-read them to make sure all of the rules you want are detailed. If you wish to limit winners (only one prize per person, no mules, no staff, etc.) make sure that is listed clearly up front.

5. Helpers/staff are invaluable to running a big contest (or multiple contests). Treat them well!

To tell if someone is a mule, compare the suspected mule with the suspected main account. Do they sign on and off one right after the other? Does only one have an active quest? Do they have similiar typing styles? Some folks feel the use of mules in contests is cheating, giving the person using the mules an advantage over other folks. I feel that if a mule pays the same price as the others to enter, it should have an equal chance to win.
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Post 13 - Reserved -- unless I think of any other hints or something else to add. rofl
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Post 14 -- Almost done.
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Post 15 -- I like the top of the second page post too, just in case I find something I don't want to scroll down the whole page for (my links are great on the second page. No one sees it after that page is full, but it's easy for me to access).

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