Drafting "First Cut" and "Fit" forms for potential new projects


#1

I’d appreciate feedback on these initial drafts of two forms intended to be implemented in CiviCRM.

The “First Cut” form aims to help project representatives avoid spending time filling out the “Fit” form if there is an obvious lack of fit.

The “Fit” form is a more detailed “interview” about the project, going through our requirements etc. It would be submitted to us and someone would get back to the project to discuss any issues.

(I also plan to draft an “Onboarding” form that would be used after it’s been mutually decided that a project will join Snowdrift.coop. This will be aimed at ensuring the project and Snowdrift.coop exchange all the information needed for the project to launch successfully on the platform.)


#2

I really like the clear design for this intake process.

First Cut thoughts

  • “digital goods” — unsure about that term, and just want to make sure it doesn’t turn away anyone who is actually a good fit. E.g. medical research. That’s not exactly a “digital good” in that producing a digital work isn’t really the focus per se, though the publication of the research results could be considered the product at the end…
  • want to make… FLO” — do we not want to start with only projects that are already FLO and exist in some form? Long-term, fine with projects that have little published yet or will be FLO but aren’t now, but I think that’s only for later.
  • “The number of people who currently use” — let’s test this with various examples. The medical research one, maybe the number of people who want the research done and benefit from it is thousands, but the number of readers of the research publications is less… that’s still a good fit, right? Or maybe that’s only for later after initial launch?

To consider adding:

  • Something about believing that funding could make the difference toward reaching the project’s potential (or at least the difference between having or not having effective maintenance)

Project Fit thoughts

  • Crowd Size: maybe this should be framed in terms of what numbers are possible if crowdmatching succeeds at significantly increasing the percentage of the audience that become patrons. So, instead of asking about their realistic hopes, we’re just saying that we think crowdmatching could realistically draw increased support, but if that happened, what would it look like in their case… so, I think this needs wording improvements anyway, but the goal of the question is good.
  • Transparency: Perhaps leave this out for now and let this be the sort of thing we communicate with projects about directly once they are more on board and we’re having dialogue.
  • Use of Funds: I think maintenance counts too (probably we need to update our requirements wiki page to clarify)

#3

I think this is in the same camp as “projects that have little published yet or will be FLO but aren’t now” — potentially good fit later, not for initial projects.

I think this might be covered by “I/we are seeking ongoing monthly support”. For example, Simpletask ticks all the boxes except the last one, because Mark is (as far as I know) pretty happy with his current job and not looking to work on Simpletask full-time. I’m sure he’d appreciate the side income, but I doubt it would meaningfully shift how much time he spends maintaining the software.

So, on reflection, I could see a scenario in which someone wants the side income stream for their current level of maintainership, but isn’t looking to increase that level. I’m not sure it warrants a whole separate box, but the “looking for funding” line might be tweaked a little.


#4

Here are revised versions based on the above and some realtime discussion with @wolftune and @smichel17 while coworking:

I still welcome feedback from anyone, but at this point I think it would make sense for @Salt to start trying these with Kodi and perhaps a few other potential projects we already have connections with, so we can get feedback from real intended users on these forms.

Depending on what’s involved in implementing them in CiviCRM, it may make sense to do that with these versions and then adjust them there based on additional feedback, but I don’t think we should wait for that before sending them to Kodi at least.


#5

The one important bit: This should be a prompt to prioritize the essential overhaul of how-it-works such as addressing the feedback in Ideas on how to present crowdmatching and budget limits

Also, in general, there’s a whole need to have the how-it-works page itself capture the same values we’re expressing in the first-cut form. So, the idea that this is about increasing the percentage of patrons, building greater cooperation… the “are you in?” framing of what we’re asking from patrons…

As is, the page is nowhere near adequate for “do you understand how Snowdrift.coop works?” — so while that is a different topic, let’s prioritize that in conjunction with this outreach.

Would it make sense to get some feedback or otherwise survey projects on their understanding so that our how-it-works presentation gets improved in part through this same outreach?


minor notes:

  • not sure “one or more” is needed
  • “available on a free/libre/open basis” could be appended to the above item instead of a separate checkbox (and perhaps “entirely free/libre/open”, although I see that’s addressed in the secondary form, so not sure)
  • maybe change “enable me/us to produce and/or maintain more and/or better public goods” (so many "and/or"s) to something like “enable production and/or maintenance of our project(s) at a level not possible otherwise” or similar to capture the sense of just “the funding could make the difference”

Overall, this looks excellent. Great work


How to frame situation when a project has a low number of patrons
#6

I think we should not assume growth of an audience. We should be interested in an estimate of people that care currently donating/willing to donate. Otherwise we are asking people just how much they believe in Snowdrift – that’s not that interesting. I guess we want to get a bigger picture in how big an impact we can make, not how much people think we could make an impact, and go with those numbers.


#7

I see what you mean, though it doesn’t actually mention growth of an audience, but just increase in the percentage of the existing audience that donates. However, that is still speculative as you mention.

Maybe we could just ask two things (a) estimate of number of users, regardless of whether they donate anything or not, and (b) about how many people currently donate per year. Those might give us the info we need, without them having to speculate about the effects crowdmatching might have for them.


#8

I think we have to expect that donation behvior is not homogeneous among projects. I think coming up with useful numbers by filling out this form is really hard. The best and quickest way might be to just let the project members make a best estimate? That way we also have an idea how the projects self perception matches reality – once it launches.


#9

to be more clear:

(a) this may be very hard to tell, especially for free software projects

(b) would probably be close to what we are after, depending on details like percentage of few “big” donors


#10

Good points @mray… Anything that asks for assumptions or speculation gets messy.

Yeah, so if they have an adequately sized audience now (best guess, given the difficulty in knowing FLO audience size), and we get the sense (somehow) that there’s potential for doing better with funding and that the audience would care about supporting the project, that’s all we need.

What we want to weed out:

  • Projects with not much audience at all
  • Projects where we have reason to believe nobody actually cares enough to be sustaining patrons — even if crowdmatching was as motivating as we could hope (because they don’t actually care about the project adequately)

What we want:

  • Projects with decent size audience that would care about seeing greater project success

We then show that we can actually increase the patronage percentage by simply seeing it actually happen.


#11

I’m inclined to consider very big projects only. We can’t expect a full conversion of all current donors of some form. Depending on the success of promotion on our side and on the projects side we have will barely break even with their current donor count.

Of course we aim to generate extra growth, but we have yet to cover ground on publicity especially in the beginning.

In order to actually “move” donors we also have to consider active participation from the project to engage people and ask them to change the way they get supported.

Taking all this into account I believe we need to find a project that is big enough to create a success with less than it’s current supporters.

We have got to borrow momentum from the big, because we are all about pushing big and have almost nothing to start with ourselves.


#12

I agree with all of that. But we don’t want to weed out the not-quite-so-huge projects at the First-Cut stage of just having communication. We’d like many more projects to engage with us, give us feedback and thoughts, etc. and from that set we want to pick the largest ones for the select few we actually put up on the site initially.