When I started FamilyTreeCircles nearly a decade ago, I never imagined it would grow to nearly 100,000 members. It's humbling to be able to provide a resource that has brought so many people together in the common interest.
FamilyTreeCircles has always been a labor of love for me, but with the growing membership, usage, continuing to add new features, and fighting spammers, costs grow as well.
What you may not know about me is that as an entrepreneur, I actually run another web startup. This takes 60-80 hours of my time every week, and I have little left for much else. If you're interested, that's a web publishing platform called Shareist. I think it is a great resource for genealogists.
I would never have been able to even get this far without the patience and support of the people who use FamilyTreeCircles every day, and particularly those who volunteer to help moderate the activity. It's truly a wonderful community. I'd like to not only keep things running, but do even more.
For example, one thing that I've tried to start up several times, but have not been able to do so because of the costs is a periodic newsletter with great genealogy stories and content, as well as featuring fun stuff from FamilyTreeCircles members. But the cost of doing so has been prohibitive. I'd love to be able to do this as well as continue to add more features.
From the start, I promised that FamilyTreeCircles would be a free resource and I have no intentions of going back on that. Over the years, I have received generous offers from people that they would be more than willing to pay for this resource.
In response to that, I've finally added a way to do that, for those with the means to do so, while keeping the service free for the rest.
If you enjoy FamilyTreeCircles and want to see it continue on as a strong and independent genealogy resource, I hope you'll consider contributing even a small amount to its upkeep and further development. If you cannot, no hard feelings here.
Go here: FamilyTreeCircles Patronage
Thank you very much!