Hi jimmybay, thanks for asking this -- I use subscriptions to help cover the cost of the servers, bandwidth, space, off-site backups (I use a cloud solution for this, but pay for the storage), and most of the technical pieces. I also pay to have additional technical help (the site's big, and complex; it has dedicated servers to it!). I really appreciate anyone who wants to help out, especially my great mods and admins who dedicate their time everyday, night, weekend, coffee deprived like me, and help me with AO.
I'm really happy to hear that you're getting great help from the site, great advice, that's why we're here; it's why I wanted to get involved with AO in the first place, to help people, and nothing makes me happier than hearing that you arrived, found yourself surrounded by great friends, who were there to help you. Welcome to AO, thanks for joining us, and I'm really glad we can be here for you.
Originally Posted by jimmybay
Forgive a rather blunt question, but if I sign up to a full membership, where does my money go? Who benefits from the subscription? I realise I get a "welcome pack", whatever that may be, and some additional privileges on the site, but who administers and reinvests the money.
I am a little confused as there only seems to be one level of membership other than free. Since I have already had some great advice and assistance from other members in the few short weeks I have been using the site, I would like to put something back, but would be more comfortable if I knew how the funds are distributed.