[quote="fredrikw"]I think donations and activity on the board should be kept separate. Donating to VF is a way to support the community and helping pay for the servers, not a way to buy yourself upgrades. Also, donations should be on a volountary basis, and not something you feel the need to do to be taken seriously or get a specific status.
And as Rodolfo says, since it can become an issue I don't see any reason why we all of a sudden need to add a monetary differentiation system between members.
^I 100% agree with this statement.
I think that "perks" should be kept separate. All folks with the same size PM box, access to fonts, or names in bold, or size of avatar, etc. I have been on two boards that have done different degrees of perks for those that donated (different from the "perks" of being a mod/admin). Perks included things like increasing size of PM box, to not having banner ads show up, to changes in how their name was displayed to everyone else, etc. Those differentiations did lead to real differences in the board. In the worst case, the board ended up giving more "voice" to those that had paid. It was quite subtle at first, but even eventually, board policy was then decided by those that paid. That resulted in crappy decisions, and a really crappy board. When I finally had $$ to pay, I certainly wasn't going to use it there.
I would be happy to give without any "perks", and I'm sure so would most of those willing to pay.
"The worker has the right to leave his boss, but can she do it? And if she does quit him, is it in order to lead a free life; where she will have no master but herself? No, she leaves to sell herself to another employer. She's driven by the same hunger. Thus the worker's liberty is only a theoretical freedom, lacking any means of realization; an utter falsehood."