UpdateThe original details of how the fundraiser was going to operate are no longer applicable. I realized that there was no way for anyone other than me to verify the total amount of donations. Now, using Give Forward, the total amount donated is plainly visible, along with a detailed list of the individual donations. For obvious reasons this is a much better way, and the slightly increased percentage of funds that cover Give Forward's operational costs is simply the price of transparency, accountability, and peace of mind for donors.
Thank you for understanding.
Original Fine Print Details
Why a "Buy Now" PayPal button??? What's going on??? Who are you???
These are all very good questions. Ones that ought to be asked when we are talking about money!
First, you can see from my profile that my name is Brent Long. I live in Japan and have other blogs (that really need editing . . . some day) that you can find through the profile link.
I am under brentbrentworship on Ebay.
I looked into several options for raising funds for this project. There are many ways to do it. I initially started a page at http://www.giveforward.com/ , but there were drawbacks to using that site. Namely, if the project were cancelled for some reason, issuing refunds (if that is what people wanted as opposed to allocating the donations for another purpose) would have been much more difficult. Additionally, they do take a little bit more from each donation over what simply using a PayPal account does. And finally, though the beneficiary of the fundraising is Will and Kerri Steele, in the case of this project the actual funds will go toward the photographers work and book production. Giveforward, however, wanted the details of the beneficiary, who they would simply forward the funds to.
So, there were just a lot of little things that made me decide that it would be better to simply use a regular PayPal account.
As for the "Buy Now" button instead of a "Donate" button, that is being worked on. PayPal says they have a donate button available, but I could not find it and plan to design a custom one in the next day or two.
As for transparency and security, I think PayPal is a pretty good bet. As a seller using PayPal it is sometimes frustrating because PayPal is very geared toward buyer protection. Any complaint on the buyer's part often gets them a no-questions-asked refund, even if they do not deserve one. For this photo book project, however, it is perfect as it should give those donating peace of mind that PayPal would quickly take steps to rectify any perceived problems.
I hope that any concerns about donating to this project in this way are allayed by the above information, but if not, please email with questions or concerns.
Love and Thanks!
Let's fight like runners!