WE NEED YOUR HELP !!!!
CareCalendar is a free service provided by the Bortel family . The items listed below are just some of the expenses we are facing. We are hoping that the users of CareCalendar will recognize the benefits of this service and help us with these expenses. Any help you can provide, whether a cash donation of any amount or in-kind services, is greatly appreciated.
Non-profit 501(c)(3) Tax-exempt status
We are looking into the possibility of becoming a 501(c)(3) Non-profit organization. If you have experience with this process, we would love to hear from you. Also, if you could tell us about the benefits (and burdens) from your own experience operating as a non-profit organization, we would like to hear about it.
Some of the major expenses we are facing can be dramatically reduced by obtaining an official non-profit tax-exempt status. We are also hoping that individuals and organizations will be more willing to donate so we can pay for these services.
Email "Trusted Sender" certification
-- and $500 - $5,000 per year depending on email volume and non-profit status
Email reminders are one of the most mentioned "favorite feature" of CareCalendar. Email is also required for setting up and coordinating a calendar.
Unfortunately, due to aggressive email "SPAM" filtering, many of our email messages never reach their intended destinations. One way to overcome this problem is to become certified as a "trusted sender".
These certifications are recognized by most major Email Service Providers (Yahoo!, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.) and Internet Service Providers (AOL, Roadrunner, Earthlink, ComCast, etc.) and should increase the delivery rate for the email messages we send, including verifications, reminders, and announcements.
If we can get non-profit tax-exempt status, we may qualify for discounted rates or a waver of recurring annual fees, but we will still have to pay the application/setup fees.
Due to some technical issues, we will need to have the new servers (listed above) operational before we can apply for these email "trusted sender" certifications.
CareCalendar will soon outgrow the current production server environment that has been used for the past several years. In order to continue providing this service, we will need to obtain servers that can handle a high volume of site traffic, database activity, and email. We run custom software and need servers that can be configured to meet our specific needs.
We also need at least one test/development server that mirrors the production servers so we can thoroughly test all changes before implementing them.
The servers will need to have current releases of Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP (LAMP). Our preference is MANAGED dedicated servers or MANAGED VPS with full root access. These servers must be housed in a secure data center with a redundant high-speed data network, emergency power generators, and around-the-clock on-site tech support staff.
Due to some technical issues, we will need to have these new servers operational before we can apply for the email certifications.
UPDATE - 14 Nov 08 - We have the first new production server operational. We still need at least one more production server and a test/development server. The two production servers will be housed at different physical locations and are necessary to ensure that CareCalendar will be available even if one of the servers has a problem.
Estimated cost: $500-$2000 per month
There is a considerable amount of time spent in the day-to-day operation of CareCalendar. Some of the things we do are:
- monitor the overall health of the web site and server(s)
- ensure the database and files are backed up
- troubleshoot email non-delivery
- paying bills
- respond to requests for information about our services
- provide help to those users that need it
As CareCalendar usage increases, these administrative duties require more of our time and resources. Based on the trend we have seen, administrative duties could soon keep a person busy full-time. Donations given toward administration costs will allow us to devote more time to CareCalendar and still be able to provide for our family.
Web site redesign
Estimated cost: $2,000
We would like to give CareCalendar a fresh new look. Since I'm neither a graphic artist nor a web designer, we'll need to farm this out to someone that knows how to build a design that will integrate with the custom programming.
Estimated cost: open
We still have a long (and growing) list of new features waiting to be developed, but not able to work on them due to some minor distractions (like ensuring our family's needs are met).
Donations given toward programming will help us to provide for our family and allow me to devote more time to CareCalendar.