TO ALL STAMPORAMA MEMBERS
The Times, They Are a’Chaingin’
Stamporama will need to become an independent entity in order to continue. For legal and economic reasons, we can no longer ride Roy’s coattails. Anyone following the legal changes and challenges in the world of cyber connectivity will easily understand. This is an amicable parting, and our respect for the man and appreciation for his contributions is unabated.
Roy is, and always has been, an integral part of SOR. He became SOR’s second president upon the death of our founder, Jerry Abern, and lead us into the digital age. In addition to being a forward-looking man conversant and comfortable with technology, he has been, and continues to be, an agent for change. Much of our code is courtesy of Roy. The rest is Tim’s. Roy and Tim continue to cooperate on ways to manage and improve the site. In return for a spot advertising Roy’s stamp business on our site’s banner, Roy supplied us with server space (on most days, SOR represents the bulk of the activity and storage on Roy's server). That server space is going away, more from legalistic liability reasons than financial ones. Which brings us to now.
The Stamporama Management Team is proposing a different SOR model that will involve your financial support.
We’ve looked at the likely expenditures needed, and they are around $2,000 annually. This includes incorporation, server, email server, state filings, bank and merchant fees, and some other administrative stuff.
To cover this, we propose two membership categories: Member, and Enhanced Member. Members contribute $12 annually; Enhanced Members pay $18. These numbers are projections based on a percentage of current active members buying in. Enhanced membership allows selling. Enhanced Members can sell as much as they want. There are no additional seller fees.
We’re aiming for simplicity, hence the Member and Enhanced Member approach.
We will need to incorporate SOR. This will be done within the United States. The rules for incorporating require that SOR have a managing board, and official by-laws. The current Management Team will continue its role of overseeing operations of SOR, and will write the by-laws. There will be no election of officers, but the Management Team will continue to welcome those who want to contribute to SOR.
We will likely use Survey Monkey or some other platform to gauge member interest and participation. If it looks like we have enough participation to make this financially viable, we’ll continue to the next steps; if not, there will be no more next steps. In other words, Stamporama as we know it will have to be shut down.
If there is enough support to continue, the annual membership fee will be due by the end of the month after we implement the separate site. Membership fees may be paid through PayPal, or by check or money order to an address to be provided later after we set up the bank account. For those choosing to start with the regular $12 annual Membership, and then decide they want to sell, they can upgrade to the Enhanced Membership level by paying $6. This will be good for the remainder of the member's annual membership period. Those who do not pay the membership fee by the date due will be dropped from active membership status, but can reactivate their membership at any time by paying the membership fee.
We expect to keep everything else as is, so from the users’ perspective, there’ll be no change.
For the moment, we are NOT looking for ideas on how to do this or how to make a better SOR. This is a simple head count of current members and who is willing to support SOR as proposed. If we get enough people, we move forward; if not, we turn the lights off when we close the doors.
The Stamporama Management Team