As we have hinted several times, the staff and I have been working behind the scenes to make Retro Game Boards as cool as possible. And today, we are excited to share everything with all of you. In this post, we will share our plans for funding, charity work, management transparency, as well as our overall legal structure. It is a simple setup that I hope you will all support.
First, Retrogameboards.com will remain ad-free. We have no plans to change this and hope to keep it this way, permanently.
Second, Retrogameboards.com will continue to have open registration and be free to use for everyone. Again, we have no plans to change this and hope to keep it this way, permanently.
Third, Retrogameboards.com is owned by a Delaware charitable corporation whose 501( c)(3) status is pending, called Retro Game Boards Inc. The directors of this entity are our moderators, Btails, D.Lo, Peagles, and Socksfelloff, and I sit as the President and CEO.
Our charity’s purpose is to solicit donations to (1) to keep our forum online, and (2) to provide arcade machines and other video games to children’s hospitals - as well as children’s wings in general hospitals - all over the world.
You may not have been expecting to read that, so let me explain:
Starting today, we will have an ongoing campaign to which you can donate to keep the site alive. Nothing about the content of the site will change. We will still discuss video games like we always have. All funds we raised in excess of our server costs will be used to provide video game hardware and software to children’s hospitals all over the world so that sick kids can play.
If you’re like me, you often play retro video games to feel like a kid again. Our goal is to spread that feeling of joy to kids who are robbed of their childhood by illness and are now hospitalized. If we can make these children actually feel like children through video games – even if it’s just a means of escape for a few minutes per day – I will consider our mission successful. We will be sharing the very same thing we love to talk about with those who need it most. And we will continue having this awesome place to discuss our beloved hobby and spread the joy even further.
Here’s how this will work:
Everyone donates however much they want, whether it’s zero dollars per month or $100 per month. There is no minimum or maximum. It’s up to you.
Subject to the laws of each donor’s country, all donations will be tax-deductible where possible. After our 501(c )(3) application is approved, all eligible donations will be tax-deductible on a retroactive basis, so feel free to start donating today. As of now, donors will not receive any special perks on the forum. But you will have my respect and genuine appreciation.
The charity is structured to benefit children in hospitals internationally on a roughly pro-rata basis by country. In other words, if we receive a lot of donations from Canada, we will be certain to use a proportional amount of funds to benefit Canadian hospitals. The same will be true for each country from which the funds originate. To start, however, we will be focusing on hospitals in my general area so that we can gain experience in dealing with logistics of our plans before going abroad. We will, of course, need to raise a critical mass of funds from a particular country, however, before we direct our efforts there. This will be a judgment call of the charity’s directors and an ongoing management determination. All of our efforts, however, will be publicly disclosed to you.
If you want to donate, thank you – you are amazing. Please see our Patreon link at the top/bottom of this post. If don’t want to donate and just want to post the same way you always have, that’s also cool. Our intent is not to change the content of the forum in any way. By just being a member of the website and engaging in the conversation, you make this forum a better place and indirectly contribute to our greater charitable cause – and I appreciate it. But please do consider donating eventually. The more we raise, the better.
So far, the mod staff and I have been donating our own personal money and time to establish the charity and keep the servers alive. We will continue donating to this cause and are passionate about spreading the joy of our hobby to those who need it most. None of us will be accepting a salary from our role on the site or charity. This website belongs to everyone, equally. It is a community effort in the truest sense and an entity belonging to the public in full (both figuratively and literally). We want all of the funds to go to the purposes outlined above.
By law, we will be required to transparently publish all of our financial information, and we all will personally answer any questions you have about how your funds will be used. If you have questions about this, please post them in this thread or send them to me in a PM and we will do our best to answer them.
Whether or not RetroGameBoards.com survives and how much good can come from it will be based on how much we want it to as a community. I hope you can all agree with this direction and can see how this will separate us from other online forums where only a few owners financially benefit from the cool content of its vast user base. We are not going to do that and I would feel guilty accepting any money derived from the awesome content posted here. As far as I’m concerned, it does not belong to me. It belongs to us.
So, let’s do something new and be something different. Let’s actually contribute to the lives of those who are less fortunate. Let’s raise some money and enable sick kids to actually feel like kids again through our hobby. I hope you consider donating and look forward to continuing the discussion of retro gaming as we have always done.
And as always, I could not be prouder to be a member of this community. We are one of the most civil and cordial gaming communities on the Internet. Now, let’s be an even greater source of pride and create something special together. Let’s share our joy with those who need it most.