On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 4:27 PM, Michael Siepmann <m...@techdesignpsych.com> wrote:
On 05/01/2016 10:11 PM, Aaron Wolf wrote:
So, I learned from in research in traditional fundraising this
interesting bit:

This pertains to fundraisers wanting to get people to sign up as ongoing
members where they donate monthly or annually (no matching in these
traditional cases, of course — nobody has built the Snowdrift.coop model yet). If they include an opt-in checkbox for "one-time only donation" in
what would otherwise assume that everyone signing up is going to be a
sustaining member… then the mere presence of that opt-in choice results
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 choice to participate only once for just the next month's pay period. We'd set it up so that we don't encourage people to choose that. But maybe this
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 pressuring you).

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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