moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion


We run a non-profit organization which provides socialization opportunities for people with a secret alternative lifestyle. You could think of this as a secret society for those who are not "out" yet to the world. Our members consist of both people who are totally "out", partially "out" and totally in the closet. We raise money through donations and memberships to fund the organization. Most of our members are in the totally "out" or partially "out" category. Some of our members cannot use credit card transactions for fear of being outed. For us, the paid levels of service for the entire group is almost a requirement so that people who need total privacy can join the group with only a secondary email address to protect their real identity. A number of our members start out totally in the closet and then over time progress towards being totally out. Some always stay where they started in the privacy ladder.  I understand that existing groups might be "grandfathered in", which is great, but that also provides a slippery slope for future changes as we loose people who were part of the decision making and made promises to user groups.

I'm not sure how we would manage the free vs. paid members of our group so that we had sufficient free memberships for those that need it. We would need to be able to convert the free users, who progress to lower levels of privacy management, to paid users to maintain a sufficient pool of free user slots. I think we can overcome this from an admin side but we would need some tools to monitor the number of remaining free slots and we would need to send messages to free users so that we can encourage some to be converted to paid members when the pool gets low. Having our totally "out" members pay their existing organization membership fee and then a fee would "double tap" these people for money. I know it's a very little amount but it does create two things to occur. Maybe our organization would have a way to pay the fee for our paid members using the membership money we collect.

Right now, our paid memberships and fundraisers generate enough revenue to cover the costs of the Premium membership level. I know that every group is different and accommodating all these various use cases is difficult. I'm just trying to provide some insight to this particular use case.



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