Leave it to the Hivemind and the Sponsors to decide if there will be an official server. Wait at least a week, perhaps two, before taking action. If they decide not:
- Do not rent a private one, it runs the risk of being empty all the time (c.f. RPS BF2) even if you use the standard RPS passwords.
- Make sure people are willing to sit around on the server and wait for others to join, or it will be empty all the time anyway (c.f. RPS Brink, RO2, to a lesser extent TF2).
- Rent from a good provider (like Killer Creation), especially if they'll let you upgrade the server at any time if demand increases. Start with 32 slots or less.
- DICE require that you rent from a partner. This is not cheap, and precludes the Arma box from being used. Sorry, guys.
- Have a dozen or so good admins who play every day.
On money matters:
- Donations tend to be an unreliable business, and you need to keep them above board.
- This means regularly posting the funding status. A self updating image can work well, but is contingent upon either careful book-keeping or the use of an independent paypal account.
- Two servers (EU, US) will be beyond what you'll be able to afford until you've got a steady supply of dosh. BF3 is expensive. I'd probably recommend making them entirely separate entities to avoid any timezone issues.
- Remember that you're riding on the coattails of the RPS community, so don't expect huge amounts of help from the hivemind. They might give you some front page posts to advertise the server if they don't have their own plans for one.
- Play down the donations thing; the last thing anyone wants is for someone to drop £200 on the server and then never use it.
E: Don't spend extra on VOIP. Use the RPS Community Mumble Server. All users should be able to make temporary channels, and we already have a couple of permanent ones for BF.