You're right, I don't have any idea whether this site makes a hundred million bucks a year or is several thousand in the hole. If this site isn't viable as a business then maybe the membership should rightfully all pitch in to support it and collectively own it. All I'm saying is that I don't buy anything I don't need or want. I'm not in the market for a photohosting account so I haven't bought one, from anyone. If I were in the market though I would buy it here because this is a great site.
As for "finding a way to pay for the site so I can use it, but not HAVE to pay for it...", point taken, I think that's the only reason there are so many members. I'm not complaining about it I'm just saying it's a little bit disingenuous to try to solicit donations by calling it something else. It would be entirely different if photo accounts were given away as part of an honest fundraising effort to contribute to a non-profit sort of club or community but when you are SELLING something you are a business; businesses aren't charitable organizations or groups that depend on their members to support them. Nobody donates to a business, they buy things from them; see the difference?
So what are we dealing with here, a club of herpers that all want to get together to keep things going, or is this a business that sells advertising to other businesses to access this audience and also sells photo accounts? I would consider donating to a club or non-profit community that I enjoy but I will NEVER give money away to a business.
I feel a little light headed... maybe you should drive...