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moderated Re: Group Sponsorships #update

Joseph Hudson
 

Oh thanks Mark, I think that this will be a definite good deal.

On Jan 13, 2021, at 12:05 PM, Mark Fletcher <markf@corp.groups.io> wrote:

Hi All,

I have just pushed a new group sponsorship feature, based on Shal's and Samuel's proposals. Here are the details:

• In Group Settings, there's a new Allow Sponsorships checkbox, with the help text Allow members to sponsor the Groups.io fees for the group.
• If a group allows sponsorships, a new Sponsor This Group button appears on the group home page.
• Clicking that button brings you to a page to enter an amount (of at least $5.00USD) and a credit card, if we don't have one on file for you. The text is By sponsoring this group, you are helping pay the Groups.io hosting fees. Any amount you sponsor will be held by Groups.io and used to pay hosting fees as needed. Sponsorships are non-refundable.
• You do not need to be a member to sponsor a group but you do need to have a Groups.io account.
• Free/Basic groups can allow sponsorships. Converting from Free/Basic to a Premium group still requires a credit card to be on file when you do it, but you can delete the credit card after you've upgraded the group, relying only on sponsorship reserves to pay for premium.
• To see how much money is in a group's sponsorship reserve, go to the Billing/Upgrade tab under Admin. It will appear as a line like There is $23.00 in reserve to pay hosting fees.
• Group sponsorships are logged in the activity log and a moderator notification is sent out as well.
• Any group sponsorships that you have paid are listed in your Account on the Billing page.
• If a fee is paid solely by sponsorship reserves, you will not be sent a payment receipt, but you will still get an email notification.
Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. Thanks to Shal and Samuel for the idea.

Thanks,
Mark


moderated #suggestion Moderators should be able to Reply to or Forward a message of 'importance' and tag it "Special Interest" in the process #suggestion

 

A message created by anyone but a Moderator cannot be sent as "Special Notice". And, in many Groups, some members only want to receive/know about Special Notices - they aren't really interested in daily drivel.

I proposed a modification that would allow a Moderator - with permission, be given the opportunity to recognize an item that should be a Special Notice - and be able to Reply or Forward (to the Group) any item that comes through.

Currently, the only way to do this is to 'hijack', then Copy the original message and create a new message from the Moderators own address, then Paste the original message into a New Message and send it on. Credit to the Originator is lost this way - if nothing else.

This would apparently take a programming change.


moderated Re: Group Sponsorships #update

ro-esp
 

On Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 07:05 PM, Mark Fletcher wrote:


- If a group allows sponsorships, a new `Sponsor This Group` button appears on
the group home page.
- Clicking that button brings you to a page to enter an amount (of at least
$5.00USD) and a credit card,
It would be nice if people without a credit-card could contribute as well. For instance by "Ideal"

- If a fee is paid solely by sponsorship reserves, you will not be sent a
payment receipt, but you will still get an email notification.
as in sent to nameofthegroup+owner@groups.io ?

groetjes/ĝis, Ronaldo


moderated Re: Group Sponsorships #update

monamouroui
 

Mark, 

Thanks. I like your solution. It is a well thought-out and useful feature. I have no issues. I think it will help influence some of us on the fence to convert from a Free/Basic Group to Premium. 

Also, it's great we can toggle the sponsorship message off when it's reached the amount needed to help pay for that years access fee. For me it offers a little more transparency so my members won't have doubts or feel a constant pressure to pay.

Sara


On Wed, Jan 13, 2021, 1:05 PM Mark Fletcher <markf@corp.groups.io> wrote:

Hi All,

I have just pushed a new group sponsorship feature, based on Shal's and Samuel's proposals. Here are the details:

  • In Group Settings, there's a new Allow Sponsorships checkbox, with the help text Allow members to sponsor the Groups.io fees for the group.


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...>
 

We don't know that group owners will be informed in any way by GIO if a member of their group is a paid GIO account holder or not. Everyone seems to be assuming that group owners and members will be able to somehow figure it out. This isn't necessarily true.

Just as no one knows which groups are paying groups and which groups do not pay, the same applies to GIO account holders. No one, except GIO management and the account holder needs to know. 

Here's how that would work:
A Basic tier group has 104 members. Someone applies. The owner accepts them. Nothing requires the owner to know if the new member is a paid account holder or a free account holder. The owner has no need to know which members are paid account holders and which aren't. The owner just knows they have approved a new member. There is no reason for the owner to know anything other than they have 22 "free" (available) slots and can invite 22 people to join. Or not. 

Let's say, time goes by and that same basic tier owner now has 35 slots. Yet they still have 105 members. What happened? Well some of the members decided to get a paid GIO account. Which means more free slots have been released back to the group from GIO.

Now it's a week later and that same owner logs in and sees there are 16 available slots. They still have 105 members. What happened? Some members opted to return to a non paid (free) GIO account. The group owner doesn't need to know which members converted. All the owner needs to know is he/she can send invitations to 16 people to join the group. 

On the GIO side of things, if a member opted not to retain their paid account, GIO would notify them that they will be removed from groups X,Y, Z because those groups are over their capped limit. No disgruntlement between members and group owners. The communication is soley between GIO and the account holder. The account holder deals with the consequences of not renewing their paid membership. Just like any other member that leaves a group, the owner need not know why they left. The member can request at a later time to rejoin. 

In other words the 100 slots of a capped basic tier group are on the GIO side of things and not the owner side of things. If the owner has zero slots, they can upgrade to Premium, essentially "buying" 300 more slots from GIO and the ability to direct add members and have more features.

For a Premium owner their concern is direct adding. They start a group with 399 available slots. As the group fills, those slots decrease. But the Premium group owner will not know which are filled by paid account owners and which are filled by free members. The group owner's concern is how many slots are left to direct add members. Regardless of whether or not Samuels proposal is implemented, the owner is only looking at how many vacant slots are available for direct adding and for sending invitations. 

Now suppose someone with a free basic account applied to join a basic group with 100 members. Their request is denied by GIO system letting them know their application was unsuccessful because the group is full. (ThIs will happen after Jan 18 regardless of whether or Samuels Proposal will be implemented). 

Ditto for a Premium group with 400 members who does not want to pay the additional per member charge. The owner need not be made aware of who in their group holds a paid or unpaid GIO membership. Their concern remains focused on the number of unfilled slots that can be filled if they choose to fill them. 

If Samuels proposal goes through, GIO will need to manage the back end of requests to join capped groups. GIO will need to manage account holders moving between free and paid accounts. GIO will need to decide if there is a need to inform group owners, whether or not they have paid account holders in their groups. 

--
Sandi Dickenson


moderated Re: Pricing change date change #update

 

Mark,


... as well as all the craziness going on in the USA right now impacting my productivity, ...


You and the Apple Growers, eh?

Shal


moderated Re: Group Sponsorships #update

Andy Wedge
 

On Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 06:05 PM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
a moderator notification is sent out as well
Hi Mark,

can we get the group subject tag as a prefix to the email notification subject to match other notifications please?

Thanks
Andy


moderated Re: Group Sponsorships #update

 

On Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 3:17 PM Duane <txpigeon@...> wrote:
On Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 05:12 PM, Janice wrote:
Is the credit card number held in some kind of file or is it deleted once the donation is paid?
I think it's remembered, BUT you can go to your Account Billing page and remove it after paying, https://groups.io/account?page=billing  (I won't be removing mine since I use it to pay for a group.)

This is right. We don't actually store the credit card information, and it never actually touches our servers. Stripe, our credit card processor, takes care of all of that.

Mark 


moderated Re: Group Sponsorships #update

Duane
 

On Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 05:12 PM, Janice wrote:
Is the credit card number held in some kind of file or is it deleted once the donation is paid?
I think it's remembered, BUT you can go to your Account Billing page and remove it after paying, https://groups.io/account?page=billing  (I won't be removing mine since I use it to pay for a group.)

Duane


moderated Re: Group Sponsorships #update

Janice
 

Is the credit card number held in some kind of file or is it deleted once the donation is paid?  I ask because I'm sure some of my members will ask me.

Janice B


moderated Pricing change date change #update

 

Hi All,

With all the various discussions about the upcoming pricing change, along with me taking time to implement the new group sponsorship feature, as well as all the craziness going on in the USA right now impacting my productivity, I will not be able to implement the needed changes in time for Monday's deadline. So I'm pushing that back to Tuesday, February 2nd at 9am Pacific (Groundhog Day!).

Thanks,
Mark


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

 

Hi All,

Thank you for the discussion. I'm not going to lock this topic, but I think we've discussed every nook and cranny. I need some time to digest things (I would really appreciate the topic summarization feature I've been talking about for years right about now) and figure out if/when/how this would be implemented.

Thanks,
Mark


moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion

Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...>
 

On Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 09:49 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
My objections to allowing people to pay to get into "full" groups is based on assuming that (eventually) the vast majority of groups will be under the new structure.

What is your concern/downside of allowing "full" groups to accept more members? 

--
Sandi Dickenson


moderated Re: Group Sponsorships #update

 

On Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 12:07 PM Andy Wedge <andy_wedge@...> wrote:
On Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 06:05 PM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
If a fee is paid solely by sponsorship reserves, you will not be sent a payment receipt, but you will still get an email notification.
Now might be a good time to reflect on and confirm what happens if insufficient sponsorship funds are 'in the bank' and there is no credit card on file so a group gets downgraded:

https://groups.io/helpcenter/ownersmanual/1/upgrading-or-downgrading-groups/downgrading-a-premium-or-enterprise-group


The same thing happens in that instance. An email goes out to mods saying that there's an overdue invoice and you get two weeks to pay the invoice (minus any remaining sponsorship fees) otherwise the group is automatically downgraded to basic/free. There is no mechanism right now to automatically pay the invoice if additional sponsorship monies come in to cover it. 

Mark


moderated Re: Group Sponsorships #update

 

On Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 01:25 PM, Samuel Murrayy wrote:
both features can complement each other.
They could. But if only Mark's original plan plus this sponsorship plan are implemented, you end up with exactly what I thought was optimal, and what I'd suggested (although not the specifics), namely: Mark's original plan with an enhanced ability for owners to solicit donations/contributions to allay their high fees if they have high member counts. And you avoid all the issues I've brought up involving the paid memberships.
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Group Sponsorships #update

Samuel Murrayy
 

On Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 07:14 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
Fantastic idea. ... It completely avoids all the objections I’ve expressed about member fees, competition, warped forces/space around groups, technical issues like refunds, member fees being disincentives to join groups.io, and a dozen others.
That may be, but my other proposal (about free-member slots) was meant to be separate from this suggestion and in fact both features can complement each other.

This sponsorship button makes it easier to group owners to gather funds without having to set up a financial system (I assume some group owners will active encourage members to click the button) which can be used to pay for premium services, but it does not the problem that the "free-member slots" suggestion was trying to solve, namely to make it possible to have free groups without membership number limits or to have premium groups where owners can limit their costs aggressively without having to turn away potential members who are willing to pay.


moderated Re: Group Sponsorships #update

Andy Wedge
 

On Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 06:05 PM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
Group sponsorships are logged in the activity log
Yes, I can see that from my test $5.00 sponsorship

and a moderator notification is sent out as well.
I received a notification email but there is currently no option in the Moderator Notification panel to control these sponsorship notifications like there is for other types.

Regards
Andy


moderated Re: Group Sponsorships #update

Andy Wedge
 

On Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 06:05 PM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
If a fee is paid solely by sponsorship reserves, you will not be sent a payment receipt, but you will still get an email notification.
Now might be a good time to reflect on and confirm what happens if insufficient sponsorship funds are 'in the bank' and there is no credit card on file so a group gets downgraded:

https://groups.io/helpcenter/ownersmanual/1/upgrading-or-downgrading-groups/downgrading-a-premium-or-enterprise-group

Andy


moderated Re: Group Sponsorships #update

 

Scott,


Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sound like Free/Basic groups are not able to Allow Sponsorships. But, rather Free/Basic groups must upgrade to a Premium group to Allow Sponsorships, and incur a Premium-priced debt before sponsorship funds can be collected to help pay on that new debt.

I'm not sure where you got that impression. Mark said: "Free/Basic groups can allow sponsorships."

He does go on to say that:"Converting from Free/Basic to a Premium group still requires a credit card to be on file when you do it, [emphasis mine] but you can delete the credit card after you've upgraded the group, relying only on sponsorship reserves to pay for premium." I think that applies at a later time, if and when the group owner decides to upgrade to a premium plan, which might not be until the group has accumulated enough in their sponsorship reserve to pay for the upgrade.
My hope was that there would also be a method to somehow allow funds to be collected from members to help support the Groups.io service without having to upgrade a Free/Basic group ...

I think that's what happens if the group owner never applies the funds to an upgrade. Groups.io has the desired support and the group owner didn't need to even temporarily provide card information.
Shal


moderated Re: Group Sponsorships #update

Scott Chase
 

RE: Free/Basic groups can allow sponsorships.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sound like Free/Basic groups are not able to Allow Sponsorships. But, rather Free/Basic groups must upgrade to a Premium group to Allow Sponsorships, and incur a Premium-priced debt before sponsorship funds can be collected to help pay on that new debt.

My hope was that there would also be a method to somehow allow funds to be collected from members to help support the Groups.io service without having to upgrade a Free/Basic group to a Premium Group and incur a personal financial liability. I recommend that this continue to be looked at, so that members of existing Free/Basic groups
in the future can somehow also freely help fund the Groups.io service.

Thanks,
Scott

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