"Everyone I've spoken to about it loves this service, and I say 'put your money where your heart is' then. This young fellow is trying to make a living out of providing us with hyper local weather forecasting, and raise a family! That takes dedication and that takes risk and an undeniable love of what you do.
A monthly donation is my way of saying, 'you got this' and have my trust."
- Michael C., Monthly Donor
Finger Lakes Weather's public forecasting started in 2012 as a Facebook Page. Six years ago this month, on October 13, 2014, FLXweather.com was launched as a small blog featuring a weather map and a couple of paragraphs of text.
Today, Finger Lakes Weather is a full-service weather website with alerts, zip-code forecasts, and detailed blog posts and graphics. Even more, though, Finger Lakes Weather aims to serve the people of the Finger Lakes with useful information they need.
Now, Finger Lakes Weather is ready to continue making it easier than ever to get accurate, honest, and accessible weather information.
Finger Lakes Weather is modeled as a viewer-supported service, much like public radio or television, just without the aid of government funding and grants those services count on. Relying first and foremost on contributions from those that use Finger Lakes Weather allows me to focus primarily on my users. Without the distractions of another job, a handful of clients, or a comprehensive and invasive advertising platform, I can and will continue to tailor Finger Lakes Weather to your needs.
Over the last few years, I have come to you with organized fund drives out of necessity to continue Finger Lakes Weather and push it forward. Your generosity has allowed me to quit my non-weather job (2018) and continue my services when my funds were halved after losing my largest client due to their own budget shortfalls (2019).
Since early 2018, I have increased my services and availability greatly, but Finger Lakes Weather is not yet fulfilling the dream I have for it, nor the full expectations of you, my donors and daily users. This Fund Drive aims to get closer to that ideal by addressing three areas of need.
"There's no way my contributions are equal to what I get from FLX Weather's forecasts! This makes my chaotic life so much easier, and there's no dollar amount for that."
- Marlo C., Monthly donor
Click or tap each blue section header to expand the information about that goal.
For years, I have been asked over and over to produce a mobile app. As early as 2016, I seriously explored the idea but was not able to financially support a well-done, functional app. Over the last 18 months, I have been working with a new, local start-up to produce an app. We are awaiting approval from the app stores, will have a brief testing period in November, and should have the app ready for download by December.
One of the biggest questions I had in developing an app was whether or not to make the app free. Through past surveys, the overwhelming response from you has been a willingness to pay for the app. That runs counter to my core value of accessibility, so the app will be listed on all app stores as a free download.
Still, the app has been costly to produce, and more than once, work was paused due to a lack of funds. Your donations in this fund drive are greatly appreciated in recouping some of those costs and allowing me to keep the app listed for free.
I offer advertising to local businesses as another way to fund my business and to help support other local businesses and organizations. These ads are win-win situations and will remain on FLXweather.com and in the app.
However, there are many other, non-local ads that show on FLXweather.com. These are served by Google and have also been an important piece of funding over the years.
These ads are also intrusive, break the layout of the website, and despite my best efforts to control the content of the ads, occasionally have been questionable or offensive. Being chained to Google and having limited control of the ads is far from ideal and I am more than ready to break that chain.
In order for that to happen though, I absolutely need to replace those funds with new monthly donations.
Originally, this Fund Drive was scheduled for April 2020. Then COVID-19 hit.
Early on in the pandemic, I pledged to continue providing you my services uninterrupted. It was important to me to provide a source of normalcy amidst the chaos.
My resolve to provide honest, hype-free, and reliable weather information was also strengthened. As the pandemic grew, I personally had to grapple with fearful uncertainties as I struggled to find accurate, honest information on COVID-19. It was an experience that I quickly realized many have every time a significant weather event threatens. I do not want anyone to feel about the weather how I felt about COVID-19.
The economic impacts of the pandemic have been catastrophic to many local businesses and working families. My heart goes out to them and I again strongly encourage you to help your neighbors and support your local businesses as much as possible.
The impacts on Finger Lakes Weather have been much less than others. Nonetheless, there has been a noticeable drop in monthly donations. Local advertisers have had to delay or stop payments. Clients that I have worked with for years have had to cancel contracts. As a result, for the past several months, I have been operating below my budget and have been using my reserves to continue full operations.
It is my hope that this Fund Drive will help recover the revenue lost from COVID-19 and get Finger Lakes Weather back where it needs to be financially long before any serious problems arise.
"It's easy for me to donate automatically each month — no need to write a check and mail it, and the amount per month is such that I don't miss it."
- Chey M., Monthly donor
New or increased monthly donations from just 100 people would achieve these goals and reduce the need for future Fund Drives!
Donating is fast, easy, and secure. Using either PayPal or Stripe credit card processing, you can be assured your information is safe while having your contributions withdrawn automatically each month.
Existing donors have a couple of options for increasing their donation amount.
The easiest option is to simply set up a second donation using the form at the bottom of this page.
If you would rather condense your donations into a single payment, you can cancel your old subscription and sign up for a new one below. If you have problems canceling, just let me know!
Hundreds of your friends and neighbors in the Finger Lakes are already donating!
Here are what just a few of them say about their donation experience:
"I find myself checking FLX Weather whenever I need to know the weather, and *always* to counter other forecasts with an often-needed dose of detail and realism, so it only seems fair that I chip in a little bit toward that valuable service."
- Allison M., Monthly donor
"I have found FLX Weather to be the most accurate and relevant source of weather and felt it was time to contribute."
- Adam T., Monthly donor
"If you value something sufficiently, you should pay something for it. Monthly donations make it easy to remember and help provide a stable future for this service."
- Rus H., Monthly donor
"If we don't support things like this they disappear."
- Marlo C., Monthly Donor
"I donate because this site is very accurate and because I want to support local initiatives."
- Mary W., Monthly donor
"My donation is definitely a good bargain. It is worth it to have a more personalized and local perspective."
- Suzanne C., Monthly donor
"Even though I'm not able to donate a lot, I feel I am getting way more than what my money is worth."
- Sharon W., Monthly donor
Are you ready to make your contribution to an even better experience with Finger Lakes Weather?
Every bit helps and together, we can continue to build something great. Whatever you can give, even just $5/month, is greatly appreciated!
One more thing....can you share this with other FLX Weather users?