This topic contains 8 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  marktreble 2 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #5063


    For DGC fundraising ideas

  • #5064


    I have a number of ideas for fundraising for DGC. One is an on-line merch store run entirely by the collective. Thinking T-shirts, Sweatshirts, Mugs. Other ideas are welcome.

    We will follow ctan’s lead on whether it is part of her website or not. Everything – building the page or website, maintaining it, ordering and paying for merchandise to be offered, shipping and billing, designs, etc – will be done by volunteers. I expect ctan to pay for nothing and to expend only such effort as she wishes for this.

    I may be able to capitalize this on my own, not sure. My most recent career was as a management consultant and I certainly know how to start and run businesses. I don’t expect to ask anybody else for money for the startup.

    We have web designers, web development folks, graphic artists, writers for content and probably every other needed skill represented in the collective. For now I’m just looking for ideas and for people who might be able to contribute time or skills to making this work. If you have a computer and internet access you can help. If you don’t have a computer and internet access, how are you reading this?

    My planned start date for making sure we have the skills and volunteers and ideas, and I have the money to capitalize this, is April 1. By then I should be through chemoradiation therapy for cancer. My planned go-live date with an online merch store with real offerings and real prices and the ability to accept orders and ship them is June 2016.

    I see this as a “sweat equity” alternative to contributing actual money, that results in greater cash flow for DGC.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Mark Treble/aka Bill Heath

  • #5092


    It sounds like you are setting up everything. What exactly do you need the rest of us to do? We’ve tossed around a bunch of ideas of DGC related merchandise we’d like to have. Should we list that here and try to get more ideas? Are you just looking for people to run the store once it’s up?

  • #5095


    I am not setting everything up. I have no visual skills and somebody (not me) needs to design a website. I have no coding skills. Somebody (not me) needs to code the website. We need somebody to maintain the website.

    I have no intention of sourcing everything, I’ll need some help unless we’re going to give away industrial supplies, or rocket fuel, or horse carts in the jungle, or other things I have actually sourced.

    We need someone to handle the accounting. I can do that but I don’t plan to do so. We need someone to write content. There are umpteen other writers in the collective, and it is guaranteed that every one of them is better than I. We need somebody to find a payment system, someone to find an order management system and somebody to integrate them into the website. We need somebody to cosign checks if I’m going to sign them, somebody to oversee fulfillment (if you don’t know what that is, you’re not qualified). Someone to handle customer service. I’ll try to get us a Skype phone number, but don’t expect me to answer it. My phone manners are execrable.

    We need somebody to design the logos or select the logos or whatever to go on the swag stuff. We need somebody to do a sanity check on the business plan, the business model and the operations model. Unless we’re doing drop shipping from the supplier, somebody has to keep or at least manage inventory.

    That’s the tip of the iceberg.

  • #5096


    Actually, there is something you can do as a frequent commenter. It appears you’re well-known in the collective and respected (or at least well-tolerated). You can from time to time remind people that this discussion is here. If you are the only one interested, then I’m not doing this.

  • #5099


    Gotcha. Well, ctan can vouch for my abysmal computer skills. I’m willing to help however I can but this is far beyond my realm of knowledge. I may be some use with the visual aspect but have no clue how to set up a website. I’ll gladly try to steer people here.

  • #5100


    This sounds like a massive amount of work. Would it not make more sense to use a company like sharkrobot or cafepresss to ‘run’ the store? Or is that not even worth it, price wise?

  • #5111



    Thanks for participating!

    Right question, wrong sequence in my opinion.

    What are we running? Yeah, an online merchant store for DGC stuff.

    Real simple questions such as what do we call it? Or what name should we reserve? The name can point to a cafepress URL if needed, but it would look better to be “DGCMERCHANDISE.COM” than

    What’s the logo? I might as well be blind. What are the best and worst case financials? I can run those. How do we market? What is our target market segment?

    What do we want to sell? Do we also serve as a low-cost source of Kickstarter swag? Do we take all leftover swag and pay ctan for it for resale? Do we provide design services for the swag? How do we handle whatever the relationship to official DGC is?

    If you want to outsource fulfillment that’s great. I know how to do that. My last job was as an exec for a company that did that to make about five percent of its revenue, or maybe 1.4 billion a year. Outsource design? Outsource sourcing? Outsource accounts payable and receivable? I know how to do all of these and have both sold and delivered them. I advise my business clients to outsource everything except sex with their significant others. But these people all have existing businesses, or well thought out business plans and a pile of cash.

    And, what’s “worth it” in price? If cafepress wants %X of our revenue, that’s fine. How much does it cost us to run it ourseves? We need a point of comparison to evaluate the price of running it through a turnkey outsourced solution.

    The other question is whether there’s anything other than pissing and moaning behind the people who say “I’d contribute a dollar but I don’t have any money.” How about contributing an hour a week answering e-mails? How about logging into the store’s Skype phone and returning phone calls? No money involved.

    There are three voices in this thread right now. I’m not starting work until April. I don’t know how many voices there are in the DGC community. I would say if we can’t get five percent of them at least offering suggestions, we’re probably not going to succeed.

  • #5562


    It seems that those who say they have no money to contribute aaren’t interested in contributing sweat equity, either. This was not the time for this idea.

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