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The Donation Station is a section of the NaNoWriMo Store where Wrimos and supporters can donate to the NaNoWriMo non-profit. Wrimos have been asked to donate to NaNoWriMo's efforts since 2001, five years before the Office of Letters and Light existed as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. During these years, Media Alliance served as NaNoWriMo's nonprofit fiscal sponsor. While the early years have consisted of simple email requests and a donation link on the NaNoWriMo website, the web team eventually built an entire store on the NaNoWriMo website only open during the NaNoWriMo season. Because of requests for the ability to donate year-round and the formation of the non-profit, the current Donation Station was built.
Donors can choose from a variety of donor levels. Each level comes with a halo (or golden ticket in the case of Script Frenzy) and donor gifts. The donor gifts vary by level, and donors can choose not to receive them if they wish for their entire donation to go to NaNoWriMo. They may also choose whether they want to wear the halo or golden ticket next to their name. Donor gifts ship as immediately as possible for in-season donations, in October for off-season NaNoWriMo donations, and in March for Camp NaNoWriMo (and formerly Script Frenzy) donations.
Supporters can also donate by mail via a check written in US dollars. Checks written in foreign currency are unfortunately not accepted. Donors should indicate which event they want to receive donor gifts for (if they want gifts), their username, along with other requested information that varies by donor level. Donating directly by PayPal is also an option for those who cannot donate the minimum amount of $10 in the Donation Station or want to bypass the Donation Station checkout. However, donating directly through PayPal also means not getting the donor goodies, if applicable.
In 2012 NaNoWriMo added two more ways to donate: Extra Noveling Karma and NaNoWriMo Monthly Donation. The latter comes with a profile badge showing that the donor supports NaNoWriMo's programs as a monthly donor.
During Camp NaNoWriMo 2013 the store added camp-themed donor levels. These camp-themed donor levels have remained in the store since then. 2015 saw the introduction of a new camp donation level: the $30 Committed Adventurers Level. This level encouraged Wrimos to donate a dollar for every day of the event, totalling $30, even in July. This donation level was named Committed Contributors for the main NaNoWriMo event.
In 2015, NaNo also introduced a $20 "Support a Classroom" donor level. This donation level helps NaNoWriMo increase their reach in creating and shipping 500 more (compared to the 2000 kits regularly made and shipped) Young Writers Program classroom kits at no cost to educators. Donors may donate to support 1, 5, 25, 125, or 250 classrooms with one donation. Donors at this level receive a halo and good karma, knowing they've touched the lives of young novelists around the world. This donor level was removed with the store move to Shopify in 2017.
NaNoWriMo 2016 introduced an easier way to gift a halo to another Wrimo, with fewer boxes to check and fill out compared to the standard method of donating at the $10 level. This feature was phased out when the NaNoWriMo store moved to Shopify.
February 2017 arrived with the monthly donor level being renamed Patrons of Prose. Monthly donors also receive a paper crown where a halo would normally appear.
Donor levels and goodies
While the exact donor goodies change each year, a few have become donation mainstays.
- $10: Cherished Friends (Cherished Cabin Mates)
- Cherished friends receive a halo (or golden ticket for Script Frenzy), a thank you email, and excellent noveling karma.
- $25: Extraordinary Helpers (Extraordinary Campers, no equivalent level in April 2017)
- Extraordinary Helpers receive a halo or golden ticket, a thank you email, excellent noveling karma, and some sort of thank you note from the NaNo staff in the mail.
- $30: Committed Contributors (Committed Adventurers)
- Beginning in 2015, the $30 camp-exclusive Committed Adventurers receive a halo, a thank you email, some sort of thank you note, a small temporary literary tattoo, and excellent noveling karma. For the main NaNo event, donors at this level also received an erasable word count calendar in 2015 and 2016.
- $50: Celebrated Benefactors (Celebrated Scouts, $60 in April 2017)
- All levels at or above this one receive all of the above and other goodies that change at every NaNoWriMo event. The standard Camp NaNoWriMo thank-you goodie at this level is an iron-on donor patch.
- $100: Beloved Partners (Beloved Guides, $90 in April 2017)
- Donors at this level generally receive the NaNoWriMo poster for that year if they donate for NaNoWriMo. Posters from previous years are usually for sale at the NaNo store.
- $250: Mighty Catalysts for Literary Righteousness (Mighty Catalysts of Campsite Creativity)
- Donors at this level and above can link to a site of their choice on the Brought To You By page, among other goodies. In 2012 NaNo added a Mighty Catalyst Bookstore that donors at this level and above can opt to have their books included in. While the Mighty Catalyst Bookstore was phased out in 2017, donors at this level can also choose to feature their book on NaNoWriMo's Instagram page.
- $500: Office of Letters and Light Superheroes (Camp NaNoWriMo Trailblazers)
- Donors at this level get to have pie with Tim Kim and Grant Faulkner (previously Rebecca Stern and Grant, Chris Angotti and Grant, and before that, tacos with Chris Baty). While the donor has to come to Berkeley to redeem this goodie, the coupon is fully transferable.
- $1000: Movers of Mountains & Shapers of Worlds (Camp Lighters of Campfires, Builders of Cabins)
- Donors at this level receive a December phone call from Grant Faulkner (previously Chris Baty) about their novel and general mental health. The Camp NaNoWriMo equivalent was named "Lighters of Campfires, Builders of Cabins, Paddlers of Canoes" until 2017. The NaNoWriMo name was "Bringers of Life, Movers of Mountains, Shapers of Worlds" until 2017.
- $2500: Happily-Ever-Afters (no equivalent Camp NaNoWriMo level)
- Donors at this level receive all of the above, a Viking helmet with the donor's name on it, and options for story consultation and revision.
- $5000: Omnipotent Narrator (no equivalent Camp NaNoWriMo level)
- NaNoWriMo added this donation level in 2014. The donor receives all of the above plus a December TGIO pizza party with Grant Faulkner in their region. Only one pizza party is available at this level.
- Any amount: Extra Noveling Karma (Camp Noveling Karma)
- Donors at this level don't get a halo or donor goodies, but they do get extra noveling karma. Those questions are good for something!
- Patrons of Prose (monthly: $10, $25, $50, $100, or $250)
- Wrimos can donate one of the selected amounts every month for twelve months. They receive the donor goodies for the highest donor level of the total amount, a special profile badge showing their monthly donor support, and a paper crown in place of a halo.