[Foundation-l] fundraising idea

Colin Maroney cjmaroney01 at gmail.com
Sun Nov 18 07:48:45 UTC 2007

Hi.  I have just this minute subscribed to the list and read about your
fundraising difficulties, discussed in early Nov.  I came after having
thrown $25 your way, the average donation i see.  I have an idea as to how
you guys could make money ethically, unobtrusively, wiithout alienating
customers, and it's cheap to implement.

Micropayments.  Ask people to voluntarily become subscribers to a
micropayment system.  They give you $5 up front.  You charge them .01 a
page, or maybe .05 tops.  I like $.01 better, because it is literally the
least you can ask.  Charge their account, you don't need to ask for a credit
card each time, you have $5, just take it out of that until it's gone.

You can embellish the program a bit.  Don't charge for contributions or
edits or other "giving" activities, only for article views.  In fact giving
activities could earn you a credit, although there are "cheating" issues
with that.  Make sure you remind them that they just donated a penny, and
hey, thanks for that, we appreciate it.

When they use up the $5, which will probably take a while, it's 500
articles, but they will use it up eventually, and then you start  by
emailing them a reminder and then nagging them at the bottom of the article
that they need to refill their account.  DO NOT STOP SERVING THEM PAGES.
Anyone can still see Wikipedia for free, but you should make your point that
hey, it costs money, and you're asking for a friggin penny a hit, so come

How many articles do you serve a day?  a buck a hundred will add up fast.
And it is an ongoing source of funding, permanent really, as long as people
are willing to do it.  So you have to sell them on it, but i think it could
work.  It's technically easy to implement, i would think, you'd need a login
and then just track session hits.  You'd want to make real sure to avoid
double-charges or other BS that could piss people off, and you'd need to be
careful that people couldn't get in and force payments from the wrong
account, although there's not much incentive to do that, since you can still
see if free if you want to.

what do you all think?

== -- == -- == -- == -- ==
Colin Maroney
cjmaroney01 at gmail.com
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