[Foundation-l] Alternative to paypal

Brad Patrick bradp.wmf at gmail.com
Thu Aug 16 03:10:53 UTC 2007

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Well put, Delphine.

Others will look at this again, but there are no zero-cost financial
collection systems.  Moving money costs money.  Period.

Other charitable organizations around the world are in awe of what WMF
has achieved.  We are leaders in the field.  Can it be better?  Sure.
Is there are way to build a consortium of non-profit philanthropic
organizations to get this lowest-cost financial system built?  I'd love
to see it.

But it will take that level of novelty to make a serious dent in costs.

Delphine Ménard wrote:
> On 8/13/07, Lars Aronsson <lars at aronsson.se> wrote:
>> I agree we should keep our eyes open for alternatives, but the
>> need doesn't seem to be urgent.
> I believe that there are way too many things to be taken into account
> to actually solve this issue (if issue it is) on a mailing list.
> Let me try and state what the Foundation would need to answer before
> finding the "perfect" fundraising tool.
> First, keep in mind that, unless I am mistaken, the Wikimedia
> Foundation is about the only organisation in the world achieving the
> success it achieves with online fundraising (ie. not sending emails or
> paper, but by just displaying a site notic on its websites), which in
> itself, whether or not paypal is the best way of doing it, is quite an
> achievement.
> Now, the things to be taken into consideration to find the best
> fundraising tool are:
> 1) who gives and how do they give?
> ie. are donors in the biggest donor pool comfortable giving with this
> or that way of giving? In that case, seeing that the Foundation is
> primarily addressing US donors since it is a registered charity in the
> US, is Paypal the best recognized system, or would another bring us
> more donors?
> 2) Financial efficiency of the fundraising tool
> Considering tool X is the right tool for our donors, do we get our
> money's worth thanks to this tool (ie. the fact that more people give
> is not offset by the fact taht we pay xxx fees on using that
> fundraising tool).
> 3) International efficiency of that fundraising tool
> Considering the Wikimedia Foundation is a US based organisation, but
> has a vocation to fundraise across the world, is tool X the right tool
> to make sure that donors across the world will give?
> ie. Canadians/Japanese probably being the next potential source of
> donations, do Canadians/Japanese trust/use tool X easily to donate?
> These are three questions that would help us choose the "better"
> fundraising tool.
> This said, the most important question to answer, in my opinion, would be:
> "Why do people give? (or not give, actually)"
> - Because it's easy to give (as in practical)
> - Because it's in their language
> - Because it's in their currency
> - Because it's tax-deductible (in their country)
> - Because they love us
> - Because they trust the organisation(s)
> - Because they wanted to give to something somewhere and that's the
> first thing that came to mind
> - Because their donation does make a difference
> - etc.
> - Some of those reasons combined
> - All of those reasons
> Answering all of those questions, would probably prevent debating
> whether Paypal or Amazon or Moneybookers is the "best" API, because it
> would become evident what is the best solution. Keeping in mind that
> "the best" does not mean "the best for each and everyone of us" but
> the best in an average kind of way. Nobody's ever going to be 100%
> happy about what tool we use anyway ;-)
> Delphine
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