[Foundation-l] fundraising idea
tstarling at wikimedia.org
Sun Nov 18 08:42:54 UTC 2007
Colin Maroney wrote:
> 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.
At a rate of $0.01 per page view, it would take 2500 page views to match
your $25 donation. Surely most of our readers would take years to rack up
such a figure.
If you had signed up for micropayments, would you still have given that
$25? Or would your guilt have been assuaged, content that you are paying
your fair share?
My basic concern is that such a system would reduce the average annual
donation made by motivated donors such as yourself, and that this won't be
balanced out by an increase in the number of donors.
> How many articles do you serve a day? a buck a hundred will add up fast.
Compulsory micropayments, say paid by the ISP and passed on to the
customer, would presumably lead to a very low cost per page view for a
low-cost, volunteer-based website like Wikipedia. But that's an idle
fantasy. With opt-in micropayments, you have to rely on that same finite
resource of generosity that we are tapping into with the current
It could work, I think, but only if the price was high enough to bring the
average annual donation for a typical donor back to around where it is
now, or higher. I don't have figures for typical number of page views per
year per person, but I suspect a workable price would be closer to $0.10
than $0.01 -- closer to what a person is willing to give, rather than what
a single page view actually costs. In an opt-in system, the vast majority
of page views will be served to non-donors, and the donors must subsidise
-- Tim Starling
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