moderated Re: Paid vs free policy- request


Maria
 

On Tue, May 21, 2019 at 05:34 PM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
What changes would you propose?
Not Shal - but some thoughts and suggestions below:

Having now read the post in GMF that Ken K is referring to in his posts, and gotten over my initial annoyance with the tone of the original post in this topic - I find myself still struggling with:
 
- The fact that we are having this debate because two - yes two -  members of a current Yahoo group  (whose owner would like to transfer to Groups.io and who has stated he doesn’t personally care about what groups Groups.io upgrades for free) have some kind of delusion and distorted perception that revenue from premium groups is used to “finance the promotion of the left-wing political view”. I mean, I can’t even, 🙄. Not sure where to begin with that one, so will leave it right there. 
 
- That even if Groups.io didn’t explicitly state which groups are eligible for a free upgrade, those 2 people, I am sure,  would simply refuse anyway given who the company belongs to and the fact that Mark is transparent and open  about the causes and values he supports, and that Groups.io is crystal clear about those groups they will NOT host - as clearly stated in their terms.
 
Now that 2017 is 2 years ago - and Groups.io has grown globally, I would suggest the following :
 
For Groups.io to set up a “values” page:

Like Ben & Jerry's: https://www.benjerry.com/values
Like Twitter: https://about.twitter.com/en_us/values/twitter-for-good.html
Like T-Mobile: https://www.t-mobile.com/responsibility/community
Like AT&T: https://about.att.com/csr/home/issue-brief-builder/people/international-highlights.html
Like Microsoft: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/philanthropies
Like Eileen Fisher: https://www.eileenfisher.com/grants/grants-overview/
Like Whole Foods: https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/mission-values/caring-communities
And many more.
 
There are companies who show their support for causes through advertising. For example: Target/Ben&Jerry’s/Levis/Tide/JCPenney/Amazon/The Gap/Chobani and even Doritos and Budweiser all did ads in support of same sex marriages - for example. Or companies that have done ads in support of women’s rights, civil rights, against racism - etc. [Cause Marketing - ie: attach yourself to a cause to a) show support and b) gain clients by doing so - and maybe even lose some]
 
There are companies who show their support to causes through the establishment of foundations that give charitably -see above and:
https://www.verizon.com/about/responsibility/grant-requirements
http://fortune.com/2016/06/22/fortune-500-most-charitable-companies/
 
There are companies that directly fund politics/ politicians in the USA via PACS. It's all easily found online.
 
And there are companies who offer reduced/subsidized rates to groups, members of organizations, or categories of individuals. 
 
What I hear those who object to the current statement on the pricing page say is to take a don’t ask/don’t tell kind of approach. I find that distasteful, lacking in transparency, and much worse than the current mention of one progressive grassroots (diverse) coalition. 
 
This idea that groups.io is advertising for a group by merely mentioning which groups are eligible for a free upgrade or is somehow rubbing something in people's faces is countered by all the links above. For exanple: is Twitter advertising for all these orgs too then?: https://about.twitter.com/en_us/values/twitter-for-good/twitter-for-good-partners.html
 
I completely respect Mark for being willing if anything to compromise profits to stand by his values and being honest and transparent in all aspects of Groups.io.
If the way Groups.io can contribute to groups/causes/orgs, it feels will make the world a better place is by comping their upgrade fee - then it makes sense for that to be on the pricing page, and my suggestions is for it to now be with a link to a Values page. 
 
Whether it’s a specific list of identified groups that qualify based on the company’s values, or a general statement with specific criteria required in order to qualify - I don’t think it matters. But I prefer transparency and specific lists like you see on twitters partnerships and on public releases of recipients of grants like this:
https://benandjerrysfoundation.org/grantees/


Either way, I can guarantee that the 2 members that one group owner is struggling with won’t like it anyway. To that Group owner who is wondering what to do about those two members who have somehow taken something, distorted it, and blown it way out of proportion - and created essentially a conspiracy theory - and are using it to manipulate you - it sounds like you have bigger fish to fry with those folks,oh - and make sure you don't serve Ben & Jerry's then at your next in person meeting, cause that might not go down well either.
 
I don’t think I have anything else to add that hasn’t already been said. 
 
Maria

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