Defining crowdmatching terms and scope

I think this will really help us move forward.

Crowdmatching
A funding method in which each patron in a crowd puts in more (or less) money whenever the crowd's size or donation total increases (or decreases).

This does not specify the rate, the existence of a budget-cap or goal, or whether the crowd changes are via crowd size (e.g. new patrons) or pledge-size.

We should focus within this definition. Any system where one patron’s input remains unchanged while others change is either not crowdmatching or some sort of multi-tiered crowdmatching (or the two patrons are not in the same crowd).

This doesn’t mean that on our platform crowdmatching must always be active. Pledges could be gathered toward crowdmatching that only turns on at a certain point. A goal could be reached and then crowdmatching is turned off.

Note also by the definition: any time a patron’s donation decreases when the crowd donation increases is effectively anti-crowdmatching. Spread-the-burden mechanisms are not themselves crowdmatching, though we could choose to offer them if it fits our Snowdrift.coop mission.

2 Appreciations
crowdmatching pledge
An agreement by a patron to participate in crowdmatching for a specific recipient
match-rate
The rate at which a patron's donation grows (or shrinks) per a minimal change in the crowd (i.e. per patron or per dollar)

The match-rate could be defined per dollar or per patron (or even a combination or mix). While it could be expressed as a large number (e.g. $10 at 10,000 patrons), it is not a threshold point (and any budget-cap or goal-point is a separate part of a mechanism). All match rates function at the lowest level in practice, i.e. $X per patron or $X per dollar etc.

1 Appreciation

“the crowd’s total donations” = money

so this definition implies a dollar goal (when the mechanism works with a goal, which we already agreed on)

and having a dollar goal increases the crowdmatching effect, since each patron can influence the crowdmatching by donating more than the minimum amount (which helps the projects and our mission)

When we would have a crowd-size goal, the definition would be:

A funding method in which each patron in a crowd puts in more (or less) money whenever the crowd size increase (or decrease).

You see that very clear in the case where patrons increase (or decrease) their pledges, while the crowd-size don’t change. The crowd’s total donations increase (or decrease), so having a crowd-size goal is not crowdmatching, since the amount other patrons put is is not changed.

2 Appreciations

All simple-enough mechanisms we’re discussing have just two inputs that define a pledge: match-rate and max (some limit to a patron’s participation in matching).

Thus, we can classify mechanism options with these 4 categories:

  • both max and rate are set by patrons (so can vary within a crowd)
  • both max and rate are fixed by project (patrons only are in or out)
  • fixed goal is set by project, max is set by patrons, so each patron’s match-rate is max/goal
  • rate is set by project, patrons choose max

None of this specifies whether the rates are based on crowd-dollars or crowd-size or even a mix.

It also doesn’t specify what happens when max is hit (which in some models could be by different patrons at different times)

1 Appreciation

With no other change, if a new patron joins, it means there’s an increase in funding. That does not require that the rate or goals are dollar-based.

But you’re right that a crowd-based goal along with patrons changing their rates would mean no change in matching. But I think the definition should be tweaked to include that scenario, though it does seem to be less clear crowdmatching in a sense.

I edited the first post to be less opinionated on this detail.

1 Appreciation

3 posts were split to a new topic: Confusion about crowdmatching terms topic

then the new patron (1) is matched instead of his donation (X$)

you can say patron based vs. donation based matching

we can agree that both are crowdmatching. i just want to point out that this difference exists

I would define crowdmatching like this:

a) Patrons giving for the same cause are a “crowd”.
b) “Matching” can happen in one way, or in both ways and at any “rate”.
c) “Crowdmatching” is a positive financial relation between a crowd and patron.

By that definition a persons input can remain unchanged and serve as a factor for another person and can still be crowdmatching.

It is equally valid to say:
“the crowd’s total donations” = number people

The goal necessarily is always going to be the product of two factors: people * money.
Any goal necessarily exists of X amount of people.
Any goal necessarily exists of Y amount of money people gather.
In crowdmatching you never have those two separated. Ever.

Trying to find a bias in the definition of crowdmatching for your preference just sparks off topic posts. Please stop derailing this thread and open up a new one or post in the existing ones.

Definition of “matching”?

I think this is partially a vocabulary confusion, where I see “matching” referring to three different (but closely related) things. Let’s use an example. Only the bold / :star: values are used below.

  • There is a dollar goal of $100.
  • Nobody has pledged yet
  • I intend to pledge $10.
    • My pledge would get us 10% of the way to the goal.
      • I would donate $1 unilaterally.
  • @mray intends to pledge $20
    • His pledge would get us 20% of the way to the goal.
    • He would donate $4 unilaterally.
  • We both pledge at the same time.
    • The project is 30% toward the goal.
    • I donate $3; of that, $2 is matching @mray. :star:
    • @mray donates $6; of that, $2 is matching me. :star:
  • Imagine I chose to pledge $20 instead. Then:
    • Like @mray, I would donate $4 unilaterally.
    • The project would be 40% toward the goal.
    • @mray and I would both donate $8; of that $4 (each) is matching each other. :star:

Supporting definitions: Pledged (amount), Donating, Withholding
  • Pledged: Maximum amount I am willing to pay per month.
    • i.e. the amount that I will give when the project reaches its goal.
  • Donating: The amount that I am actually paying per month.
    • e.g. if a project was 40% of the way to its goal and I pledged $10, I would donate $4 that month.
  • Withholding: Pledged minus Donating
    • e.g. $6 in the same situation

Broadly, I would matching as, switching some of my pledge from “withholding” to “donating” due to someone else doing the same thing. How much we each switch is the amount of matching. But there are different ways to measure:

  1. Measured in total $. With my higher pledge, I get "$2 more matching.[1]

  2. Measured in impact-per-matching-dollar. Both levels get “1:1 matching”.[2]

  3. Measured in % of my overall donation. At the higher level, I get “16% less matching”.[3]


  1. At the lower pledge, @mray puts in $2 due to me. At the higher pledge, he puts in $4. ↩︎

  2. With the lower pledge, @mray and I both put in $2 due to each other's pledges; at the higher pledge, we match $4 each. ↩︎

  3. With the lower pledge, I get $2 matching from @mray for my $3 total donation (~66.%). With the higher pledge, I get $4 matching from @mray for my $8 total donation (50%). ↩︎

4 Appreciations

I think your clarification question is fine overall, but the unilateral part is a slight distraction. Nonetheless I agree with your overall definition and ways to measure.

Note https://gitlab.com/snowdrift/wiki/-/issues/4 btw, and I added link to this topic and increased the priority (having these terms clear is seeming to be important for good communication)

Why the unilateral portion is a red herring (it's like "match-yourself")

Well, for simplicity of the math and presentation, we’re not having a -1 patrons or -$pledge calculation added to the formulas. The result is: everyone is in a sense matching themselves.

That’s not really matching, but it’s the one edge case. Within a larger crowd, this is sort of a rounding error. The match-yourself bit is less and less significant in larger crowd. The rest of the matching grows with the crowd and the unilateral “match yourself” never grows.

But (regardless of crowd- vs dollar-) if we added the -1 to the calculations, your comparisons and definitions would still hold. I’m just saying that the unilateral portion isn’t interesting.

So, indeed, withholdings getting released is the matching we care about.

What’s interesting to consider is:

  • the amount of otherwise-withheld matching donations that your pledge releases from others, and at what cost to you
  • the withholdings you provide and that get released at a certain rate in order to motivate others to pledge
2 Appreciations

Unless every patron is forced to give a single dollar, I can’t see how that would be. The donation total may certainly be directly correlated to the number of people, but “total donations” in English refers pretty unambiguously to a financial total - a number of dollars.

Regardless, @Wolftune argued that in any matching system a new patron would increase the number of total dollars anyway, so they’re both compatible with the definition.

But I’d agree that this particular wording does not suggest both equally. (Not that that should matter.)

1 Appreciation

You’re absolutely right, “Total donations” is a financial term . Now why would you think I chose to refer to the last – and not the first two words in “the crowd’s total donations”? :wink:
I just want to pint out that neither – patron nor dollar – goal is implied in any definition.

You didn’t.
You didn’t “refer” to either - you used all four words:

Not that it matters, because focusing on the first two words doesn’t make it any more true. “The crowd” alone may refer to a number of people, but no one said that alone. With or without the source (“the crowd’s”), “total donations” is an amount of money, not people.

At this pint I’m confused about whether there actually is a proposed definition that is not prone to misunderstanding due to different ways of measurement.

“The crowd’s total donation” can be expressed as “amount of people giving amount of money”. I was just trying to note that in the context of crowdmatching singling out either amount as the more important is problematic. The idea of crowdmatching is strongly tied to the combination of both, losing its meaning when either gets discarded.

2 Appreciations