BSA-style donate/projects/volunteering page on website

Complementing the proposal @zetto.plus made (be sure to read it), I’ve made a starter list of criteria for the page. This is a lightweight way to clarify the intended functionality and design.

Note: I’ve created this as a new topic so that anyone can edit it. Please add directly to the list of criteria below.

Criteria

  • Each donation goal has a title
  • Each donation goal has a description
  • Each donation goal has a sought amount displayed
  • Each donation goal displays how much has been donated to it
  • Each donation goal displays how many individual donations it has received
  • User can set up recurring donation
  • Has CTA to become Listener Member; link to website co-op page
  • Introduces worker membership expectations and rewards at the co-op
  • Has link to worker membership handbook page [page needed]
  • CTA for volunteers to introduce themselves in Needs section of forum
  • Each Kielest Goal has a corresponding donation goal, if using Kielest framework
  • Has link to Pilot Board, if using Kielest framework
  • Has link to public version of Product Backlog
  • User is informed via email when a donation goal is reached
  • User is informed via email when a donation goal is 3/4 done
  • Has rotating photos or avatars of 3 current worker members
  • Any elaborated context for the page as a whole is ornamental from a design standpoint
  • User is not routed to a new tab when donating
  • User is not redirected to a new website when donating
  • Donation goals can be reordered with <10 mins effort by a dev

I have reservations around donation goals for specific projects.

They aren’t much more articulated than “admin work ends up not getting funded because it’s often not sexy”. I’m not sure how these buckets would actually allocate money internally within our accounting.

I’m also wary of falling into the “people with money get to decide what to fund” trap by making the fundraising so tied to goals.

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I have some reservations about it too, but don’t have any alternatives in mind yet. Any ideas?

What’s wrong with just a normal donation page? We can do specific drives to get people to fundraise, but I feel like the money should all go into one bucket.

I’m not sure what is meant by “articulated” here, but admin work can actually be prioritized in grassroots donations and funding for organizations that have cultivated real energy, community, and trust around their work (I know and understand this from the personal experience of having fundraised hundreds of thousands of dollars for such work over the course of years, and in much more challenging organizational contexts than the one Resonate is in).

Regarding accounting, it’s virtually a non-issue, as we are legally a for-profit entity, and the “buckets” would be pooling resources into the same bank account(s).

The point of this approach to receiving donations and support is to give a wider range of supporters a better (and more organized) sense of what is going on, and a sense that they can more directly impact/stimulate activity in an area of interest for/to them. It also allows us to more concretely establish and communicate what kind of resources we need for different areas, and to more directly incentivize more support for said areas in meeting different goals through the use of these resources.

On top of all of this, people (in general) value more transparency (rather than less) and, I think, will be more likely to give when/if they feel there is an even clearer sense of how their donations are going to be used (especially with for-profit entities).

At the end of the day, the co-op is (ideally) making the decisions (democratically) about what to do with resources, and with the interests of broader communities taken into account. The fundraising and project goals can (and, in my view, should) be prioritized according to what we feel is most important, and I think we can/should make our case for that, while also understanding and centering what is going to be of most interest for the communities we are actually serving (and want to serve). This could be done via a simple fundraising roadmap in which each completed fundraising “goal” (with a progress meter of some sort) opens up access to another fundraising goal and/or stage, for example.

A normal donation page is vague and can make people feel like they’re throwing money into the ether a little bit, in my experience. Especially when there is so much going on under one organization. (People can end up wondering, “How is my money even having an impact? Is it having an impact? Is it worth it?”) People (in my experience) also like feeling like they can more closely track what is going on over time, and how this relates to the support they (and others) have given (this can actually serve as a conscious and subconscious incentive for people to donate, or keep donating). Lastly, folks will have their own respective interests in donating to Resonate, and it helps to communicate an awareness of what these various interests are (or could be) upfront, while also explaining how these interests can’t be addressed without us receiving certain support (which we articulate in clear and accessible terms) in certain areas. All of this conveys awareness and stimulates deeper trust in the effort(s) amongst donors (or potential donors).

On the back end, the money is ultimately going into one “bucket,” and that “bucket” is our bank account (in my understanding).

I’d like to (for anyone else who finds themselves here) echo @Hakanto’s original suggestion that folks please check out (and actually wrestle with) some of the points made in this post if there are questions or issues around this topic and the communicated approach.

While I certainly don’t know everything, and am not always right, I have fundraised a lot of money for years now (more than anything Resonate has been able to bring in in the last few years, and honestly off of much less than what Resonate is actually in a position to offer as a for-profit business entity), and have also watched (and learned from) people who have fundraised much more than me (millions). Everyone can (obviously) take what I’m offering here or leave it, though.

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Thanks for the thorough responses and background!!

I just meant that my reservations weren’t more than the questions I raised. My main reservation was the buckets and allocation of funding based on what gets given to. But if all goes into one pot anyway I guess that’s void!

For what it’s worth, with our current Stripe integration, I don’t think this would be a lot of work to set up. I don’t have much experience with it though. It might make sense to integrate this into the Beam UI right away rather than integrating it into the current website (which as a static site doesn’t have an API back-end) and then releasing the two alongside each other, as the plan is to merge the static website into the Beam UI eventually anyway. If we want to keep it all in Open Collective (which sounds like it might not be ideal integration into the rest of the platform-wise), I do think it’s probably possible to pull data to make visualizations out of the Open Collective page using OC Projects and their API.

Some questions/thoughts generally:

  • Would supporting via this page confer membership? How does it tie into share purchasing?
  • I kind of have the same question about our Open Collective page.
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All of this sounds amazing to me, @psi.

And I echo your same questions (and put them towards the rest of the co-op for thoughts and suggestions). My instincts are saying that there are lots of cool possibilities on this front (maybe people have the option to decide whether or not they’d like their donations to go towards membership or some other “perks” further down the line)?

Really excited to check out updates with the Beam app!!! And appreciate the work you and @piper (and any others?) have been holding down there.

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