There has been much discussion about the facilities provided by the SOTA Management Team and the availability of these services to everybody free of any direct charge. It may come as a surprise to some that these IT facilities do cost a great deal of money to provide.
Currently we supply and actively support the following:
SOTA spotting and alerting facility
SOTA mapping project
SOTA shopping site
Mobile phone spotting
and much much more that is not immediately obvious.
Supporting these facilities are a small number of professional IT personnel who provide their services free of charge, just because they enjoy SOTA. These facilities have to be supported on professional, and therefore costly, servers and these are funded by the Awards scheme, merchandise sales and donations.
Over the years we have managed to build a small surplus from Award and merchandise sales ( based on our exclusive use of our Copyright and Trademark logo - something that seems to escape the notice of certain bodies who recently have pirated the logo for their own commercial ends) and the very generous donations made by a few participants. That surplus is now being eroded by the need to utilise increasingly expensive servers around the World and provide redundancy as necessary to support the demands made on the IT facilities.
We do not wish, and have no intention, of charging for the SOTA services so now I am appealing to the greater community to help support the Summits on the Air awards scheme. You may not collect Awards and have no great interest in the merchandise but it would help us all if you were to find it in your ability to make a small donation towards the ongoing costs.
Relevant pages can be found at the following URL’s:
Okay…I went to that link and it starts with amount, from, and message. When I donate I’m used to seeing options for payment. Paypal, credit card, etc. If I enter amount, from and message info will it bring me to a page that details more?
I started SOTA at the end of 2013. I’m among those not having much interest in awards, trophies and merchandise, as we all own too many things in these days and there’s little room left in our homes for more, but I soon got into the habit of making a small donation twice a year, one at around Christmas and the other one during my summer holidays.
There are thousands of hams enjoying SOTA so a small regular donation from each and all of us would surely contribute to cover all or most of those IT services costs.
This is my advise to all SOTAris.
Sorry, I used the link above,started the process, used the “check out” buttons (not the via PayPal button) and was forced to the PayPal page every time. I did not found a way to donate by bank transfer. What should I do for bank transfer?
I swear my boss called me unprofessional just the other week
To put a bit of scale on this, SOTA infrastructure uses about 2TB of data each month. The API2 instances handle nearly 75,000 requests an hour. About 1500 unique class C networks have accessed www.sotadata.org.uk since March 1, and a similar amount to www.sotawatch.org.
To put a physical size to that… the English language version of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” is about 3.2MB. It’s considered a big book. This means 2TB is the same as about 655360 copies of “War and Peace”. I found a website that says a hardback copy weighs 3lb 14oz. So out 655360 copies would weigh about 1134 long tons or 1152 tonnes.
I don’t think setting up a 501 corporation is likely given we don’t have an entity in the US. However a lot of corporate matching programs are outsourced and match for non US charities (not that SOTA would count)
We have a similar incentive in the UK called Gift Aid. However to claim an extra 25% of the donation the organisation has to be a registered charity which SOTA is not. Many Community Sports Clubs are registered for Gift Aid. SOTA is not a club as such so I think it would be quite difficult to qualify for the extra benefit of UK Gift Aid
73 Phil G4OBK
PS (Edit) And of course this would only apply to UK taxpayers, SOTA has been truly an international success story for most of the 18 years so Gift Aid would hardly be beneficial.