We are experimenting a different model in France as we have chosen to ONLY go for volunteer contributions (for the moment) so we don’t have any trial period, and we never say either that the platform is free, we say that it’s accessible on a volunteer contribution base and we explain how we work to people.
The first experiment we are running on this “gift economy business model” are super positive, I need to write a post on the French feedback as it can be interesting also for the community.
But basically, we have decided to avoid having commercial activities (and employees if we manage) in the non-profit and “Commons” area, and build a network of “providers of the Commons” that can invoice clients directly (and give back to the Commons).It makes the “non-profit” mission super clear and enable us to get tax reduction of 60% for people giving us money. we probably will create a commercial entity at the end that will be owned by the non-profit.
So we are experimenting various models now:
- User A (a volunteer run buying group of 40 members) is asking the final buyer to “give a tip for Open Food France”, and they give us that as a donation (probably 30-40€ I think after 4-5 small sales, which is pretty good actually given the amount of sales!)
- User B (a non-profit buying group of 150 families taking a commission to pay the hub manager): after a few moth of use they will give us 150€ but he also is paying for a first development (1000€) and he is involved in the governance of the project and has asked for us 20K€ in a call for proposal… waiting for the answer.
- User C (an independant food hub manager based in Spain selling fruits he picked up himself directly to buying groups in France) I have spent 2 days working with him in setting up his hub, he is going to pay me for my job (as a provider of the Commons) and will make a donation to the OFFrance non-profit (maybe 500€, not yet done but that’s what he said) + he will finance two other dev that he needs + he said he would give the non-profit at the end of the year something like 0,1 to 0,5% of their turnover (which is pretty big, so should be a reasonable amount of money…)
We just need to open a bank account now
In all those three cases, I just have spent time explaining the whole project, the values we defend, how our Common is governed, and both for my work in supporting them and for their contribution to the cost of running the platform (servers, admin system maintenance, contribution to the global mutualized tasks, etc.) I explain the work done and let them the choice of how they want to contribute.
So, sharing that experience, I’ll answer your question above @lin_d_hop
Which payment gateway?
From my investigation, the best option I have found for France is called HelloAsso (which is a zero commission platform with both one shot and regular contributions, and a design encouraging people to “give a tip to the platform”) not sure there is an equivalent in UK but worth investigating!
On international level, the best option for me remains Donorbox. I had (with @Kirsten also) discussed with OpenCollective but I’m not convinced by their model to be honest, it’s very expensive, there are so many options now with super low commission…
Where does this make sense within the admin interface?
Should donations be between user and instance OR enterprise and instance?
Should a user be asked for donations for all their enterprises?
Should managers and owners both be asked?
Sould each manager be asked regarding the same enterprise.
I would suggest to have a button somewhere on the main page, but I’m not sure any money will come from there, as people don’t ususally enter the site by the main page, but by a shop.
Maybe a model like the Loomio one could be interesting. in Loomio, you can use it for free and then Loomio can ask your users to give money. Or you can choose to pay a monthly subscription (they have two offers) and then no message is sent to the members of the Loomio group.
In our Case A, there is a design issue today: to ask the members to give to Open Food France, the hub manager created a product called “donation to Open Food France”. But why HelloAsso, which has a similar model, works? Because they have designed the “tips” process. So ideally if a hub choose that model, we should have a step at checkout where we add a given amount or pourcentage to the global amount of the order and let the user change this “tip” if he wants. See the 9,60€ on the right, that’s the tip for HelloAsso that you can change. So we can design a default tip but let the final buyer free to change this amount.
This model is really super efficient, people are free to give nothing, so they are happy to give something!!! HelloAsso ONLY work on that business model.
If a hub doesn’t want that we ask his members/buyers a tip, then he can pay a monthly fee (see instance business model)
So for me:
either the owner of an enterprise pay a monthly fee ad/or is asked for a free contribution (maybe after the closing of a sale?) I’m not sure when and how the donation should be asked in that case… for me it’s more a one to one discussion. But in my experience, the Case C, the owner manages 11 enterprises (one per buying group that he delivers) and case B manages already 4 enterprises, so it’s very commons that an owner manages a lot of enterprises… And my intuition is that the human connection and discussion works much more better than an automatic email or button But if at some point we need to automate I would say after a sale (so linked to an OC where you manage all your enterprises shopfront) having a donate button in a pop up maybe, and maybe twice a year an email explaining the project and inviting to contribute.
either his buyers are asked to give a tip at checkout.
Here are my thoughts Hope that helps!