On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 4:27 PM, Michael Siepmann
On 05/01/2016 10:11 PM, Aaron Wolf wrote:
So, I learned from in research in traditional fundraising this
This pertains to fundraisers wanting to get people to sign up as
members where they donate monthly or annually (no matching in these
traditional cases, of course — nobody has built the Snowdrift.coop
yet). If they include an opt-in checkbox for "one-time only
what would otherwise assume that everyone signing up is going to be a
sustaining member… then the mere presence of that opt-in choice
in *more* people becoming sustaining members!
In other words, when people feel they aren't forced into being
sustaining donors but have a choice to do one-time-only, they end up
feeling more comfortable with going ahead and becoming sustaining
members after all.
So, we could use this idea in our design. We'd provide an opt-in
to participate only once for just the next month's pay period. We'd
it up so that we don't encourage people to choose that. But maybe
would end up helping more people accept the normal sustaining pledge
that we want everyone to go with…
This makes sense to me. Offering a few options rather than just one
can change people's decision frame from "shall I do this?" (yes vs.
no) to "how shall I do this?" (option 1 vs. option 2. vs none of the
above). Offering a one-time option can allow people to try engaging
without making more of a commitment than they feel ready for. Of
course it would be good to include an option to receive occasional
communications as a result of the one-time donation, but important
for that to be opt-in with a clear promise that you can unsubscribe
anytime. And it's certainly good to avoid making people feel at all
pressured or manipulated, which can threaten peoples' need for
autonomy and trigger psychological reactance (i.e. the motivation to
avoid doing what you feel pressured to do, even if you might have
chosen to do it on your own if you hadn't felt that someone was
I also think it may be helpful or even important to offer options for
fractional and multiple patronage. For example, if a project has a
lot of a patrons so the monthly amount per patron is high, and I'm
only an occasional user of what that project produces but would like
to support it, I could opt to be 1/4 of a patron. Or if a project I
use heavily and care a lot about doesn't yet have so many patrons, or
has plenty but I still want to give it extra support, I could opt to
be a double or triple patron, etc.
I think the concept of fractional patronage is confusing; I also think
too many options would be problematic. However, I like the idea of
offering 3 levels: One-time donation, Ongoing donation at normal level,
Ongoing donation at higher level. We could even incorporate elements of
the original formula, if the "higher level" is 4x and you get matched
like 2 patrons. I think we'd avoid the complexity of the original
formula that way too, because we don't need to explain the way patron
amount rises with the root of donation amount; we just say,
"Super-patrons count for 2 patrons and donate at 4x the normal level".
How do 1x pledges work at a technical level? Do they still need to
create an account? Do we just bill them once and eat the fees?
Maybe that's still too much complexity. If so, we can drop the
"higher-pledge-level-counts-as-multiple-patrons idea. Are either the
ideas of one-time pledges or super-patronage MVP?
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