[R] Supporting R/Membership

Spencer Graves spencer.graves at structuremonitoring.com
Sun Sep 25 20:07:26 CEST 2011

On 9/25/2011 9:57 AM, Berend Hasselman wrote:
> Joshua Wiley-2 wrote:
>> So we have at least three people interested, maybe not call for a
>> totally new system.  What about a PDF form that could be filled out
>> digitally, saved, encrypted using the R Foundation's public key, and
>> emailed?  GPG keys are free, and I can make a fillable PDF.  Is that
>> sufficiently secure?  Are there risks I am missing?  In fact, attached
>> is a sample of how the form could work.  For the overall signature,
>> you could just retype your name, but for the credit card, the field is
>> a digital signature.
>> I know what you mean about being uncomfortable sending credit card
>> details by mail---I'd almost just as well send it in plain text via
>> email as plain text via post.
>> Anymore thoughts?  I did check out Paypal again, even for a nonprofit,
>> there is a 2.2% transaction fee + additional fees for currency
>> conversion + international fees.

       Just brainstorming:

             1.  What are the charges for alternative methods of 
payment?  Josh said Paypal charges 2.2 percent.  What about various 
credit and debit card clearing services plus paper checks and electronic 
funds transfers?

             2.  In which locations and currencies does the R Project 
incur costs?

             3.  Answers to these two questions could help us design a 
system that makes it easy for people to contribute while also maximizing 
the portion of the money contributed that actually supports the R 
Project (minimizing losses to bank charges).  [Getting this information 
is not easy, because financial institutions have innovated to increase 
the complexity of the services they offer, because this makes it easy 
for them to charge higher fees then they could if consumers could more 
easily compare what are essentially commodity services.  See, e.g., 
Stiglitz 2010 Freefall, Norton, esp. ch. 6.]

       My biases are to avoid if possibly the large multinational banks, 
because the evidence I've seen (e.g., from Stiglitz and others) is that 
the largest banks are primary drivers of political corruption and 
instability in the global financial markets.  My biases tend toward 
credit unions, at least some and perhaps all of which are officially 
owned by their customers and are legally constrained in their lending 
practices to avoid the most risky and destabilizing types of 
investments.  However, those are issues largely independent of what the 
R Project can do to maximize revenue from contributions and ease of 
managing its finances while minimizing losses to bank charges.

       Best Wishes,

>> Josh
> I would also be interested.
> A similar pdf form for donations could also be considered.
> It's most likely I would want to transfer money directly into the R bank
> account.
> Berend
> --
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Spencer Graves, PE, PhD
President and Chief Technology Officer
Structure Inspection and Monitoring, Inc.
751 Emerson Ct.
San José, CA 95126
ph:  408-655-4567
web:  www.structuremonitoring.com

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