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How You Can Help Erowid
by the Erowid Crew
Nov 2006
Citation:   Erowid Crew. "How You Can Help". Erowid Extracts. Nov 2006;11:12-13.
Erowid enjoys its reputation as a trusted source of information in large part because of its contributors. But contribution can mean many things and there are numerous ways to help Erowid succeed. Through direct and indirect financial donations, spreading the word, and adding to the site's content, there are many ways to support your favorite digital psychoactive library.
Support Takes Many Forms: A Little Goes A Long Way
Donate $$$ #
Visitor contributions pay the bills. Whether you donate $25 or $1,000, we need and appreciate your financial support. Monetary donations are used to: pay for staff time to research, create, edit, and correct content; manage volunteers; maintain the systems the site runs on; purchase necessary hardware and software, office supplies, and reference materials; and to allow Erowid to participate in important conferences.

Give a Gift Membership #
Offering a gift membership to a friend or colleague is a great way to help Erowid. Members are part of an interdisciplinary, cross-generational community that attempts to engage the complex relationship between society and psychoactive substances with informed discourse, careful examination of data, and the spirit of inquiry. Erowid members are critical thinkers, impassioned seekers, curious skeptics, concerned caregivers, enlightened educators, science lovers, plant freaks, drug geeks, and creative individuals.

Shop Through our Amazon and AbeBooks Portals #
Erowid gets referral fees for any product purchased from Amazon or AbeBooks through our referral service. Qualifying purchases result in a percentage of the sale (4–10%) credited to Erowid. This is particularly valuable if you plan to purchase higher price items such as electronics or cameras. All you need to do is start your Amazon or AbeBooks shopping by visiting the URL below. If you already know what you want to buy from Amazon, you can enter the Amazon URL into the form and click through to buy the item. It's that simple.

Erowid.org/donations/donations_help.php (Bookmark it!)

Donate Books to Erowid's Library #
Books, journals, and other printed reference materials are important resources in our mission to provide reliable information to visitors. Our current physical collection is documented online in the Library Vault (Erowid.org/library/books/). If you have books about psychoactives and related topics that you are thinking of passing on, please consider donating them to Erowid. Duplicate copies of books that are already in our library will go into our pool of membership gifts or to reviewers writing for The Erowid Review. Email donations at erowid.org.

Erowid also maintains an Erowid Library Wish List at Amazon that anyone can browse. It includes titles like Emperors of Dreams: Drugs in the Nineteenth Century, Neurobiology of Addiction, Pissing on Demand: Workplace Drug Testing and the Rise of the Detox Industry, and Abridged Greek-English Lexicon. Help us by ordering a book you'd like to see in our library.

Erowid.org/donations/amazon_wishlist/

Consider Planned Giving #
Have you benefited from Erowid in your personal or professional life? Consider examining your salary or business profits and asking yourself what percentage you are willing to set aside for philanthropic gifts. It's like a modern, secular form of the tithe -- the portion of income traditionally levied by churches in some traditions and epochs. While it might sound out of the ordinary, it is becoming increasingly common and acceptable to openly refer to Erowid and appreciate it for what it is: a library of information that benefits a wide variety of people. Doesn't such a library deserve a place among your charities?

Will You? #
One common method of planned giving is to make a bequest through your will. While it never seems like the right time to plan for one's death, a will is the best way to express your wishes for the disposition of your property. Plan ahead and speak to a lawyer. You can donate a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of your estate to organizations you support, like Erowid.

Come Together Right Now #
Pooling resources with friends can be a great way to maximize your contribution. Donors or donor groups who request it are acknowledged on our Erowid Contributors page in the Donations section of the site. If you would like to see your group of friends or professional associates acknowledged for supporting Erowid, consider a combined donation.

Raise Awareness: Spread the Word
Link to Erowid #
Erowid's online prominence depends in part on our ranking in major search engines. Members, visitors, and supporters can help improve our search engine ranking by linking to Erowid from their personal or professional websites. We especially appreciate links from sites outside of the typical Erowid demographic--the broader our network of links, the better.
  • Link to Erowid from your website or blog.
  • "Deep link” to specific articles and information rather than linking solely to the front page of Erowid.
  • Display our What's New RSS feed on your site.
  • Include Erowid in relevant entries on Digg.com, Wikipedia, Slashdot, community forums, etc.
  • Bookmark your ten favorite Erowid pages in del.icio.us.
If You Use the Site, Cite #
If you use Erowid as a resource when writing articles, research papers, websites, presentations, or other academic or educational materials, remember to cite your source. Some articles on Erowid even include a suggested citation format. If you download a photo for your academic work, please make sure you display our photographer and copyright information. And if you've written an article or paper that discusses Erowid, please send a copy of it to submissions@erowid.org--we'd love to see what you have to say!

Download and Distribute Flyers #
Download and print flyers to distribute at concerts, festivals, conferences, local stores and libraries, etc. Or, help us design a new one if you have a specific audience in mind.

Erowid.org/general/erowid_graphics/erowid_flyers.shtml

Improve Our Banner Ad Presence #
Think Erowid banner ads are a good idea? Have up-to-date web skills and a good sense of design? Check out our Graphics & Banners page and consider designing a new one. We need banners targeting psychoactive users, psychedelic websites, and various professionals including doctors, lawyers, educators, and librarians. Our current selection is a bit stale, and their dimensions may not be consistent with today's trends in banner design. Ecstasydata.org is also in need of banners.

Erowid.org/general/erowid_graphics/

Talk, Talk, and More Talk #
Tell people about the site. Describe it as a digital library for information about psychoactive plants and chemicals; emphasize why this is a more fitting, modern description than the word "drugs”. Also express that Erowid strives to be a true library, not a promoter of any specific ideology. Explain that, as sensible as it may seem, Erowid is a little too controversial for most grants, particularly the government funding for which traditional libraries are typically eligible. Erowid is made possible largely by visitor donations, much like a public radio or television station. Further inform yourself about the philosophy behind Erowid by reading the About Erowid pages and related links to articles about the site.

Erowid.org/general/about/

Volunteer: Increase and Improve the Site's Content
Sign up as a Volunteer #
Filling out the volunteer form is a good way to introduce yourself no matter what your interests and area of expertise. We have needs for many types of volunteers, for both complex and simple tasks. One easier way to volunteer, if you like to read experience reports and have time, is to become a Triager, to help us sort and prepare experience reports for publication.

http://www.erowid.org/volunteer

We Love Corrections #
Another simple way to help is to send us an email if you see a broken link or a typo on a page. (Experience reports are treated a little differently; some bad grammar and spelling are not corrected to preserve a sense of the writer. See "The Value of Experience” in Erowid Extracts issue 10.) The best way to inform us of an error is to describe it in detail, including a specific URL and the error's placement on the page. On many pages of Erowid, an "About this Document” link and menu appear in the bottom left corner to make it easier to submit corrections. On older pages, sending an email with details to corrections at erowid.org will make sure the correction gets attention.

Use Your Imagination #
Erowid is a community -- everything that happens here emerges from the combined efforts of many people. Have some bright ideas? Let us know! Or take action yourself, and contribute in your own way to creating a culture savvy about psychoactives. If you don't do it, who will?