Once a project has the kind of patron numbers we’re hoping projects will get, that project’s presence on Snowdrift.coop will unambiguously communicate that crowdmatching is working. But before that point, we need to think about how to frame the situation in a way that both (a) encourages more patrons to join that project, and (b) gives even those who aren’t interested in that project per se a positive feeling about crowdmatching.
We also might need to consider introducing some rules for staying on the platform, so that if a project joins but then fails to attract a meaningful number of patrons within a reasonable period of time, they don’t get to stay on the platform.
I’m thinking that some sort of “stage” framing may help. Maybe something along the lines of “attracting a crowd”, “growing the crowd”, and “maintaining the crowd”. Maybe projects could specify their own thresholds for these stages, depending on what level of support makes a meaningful difference for the project, and how big their audience is. “Attracting a crowd” would mean you’re working toward a crowd big enough to provide a basic meaningful level of support. “Growing the crowd” means you’re working to go from a basic level of support to a level that enables improvements, new public goods that couldn’t otherwise get started, etc. “Maintaining” means you’re getting the support you need to do what you want to do. You’re not trying to add to what you do, e.g. hire more people, or work full time vs. part time, etc.
I think a framing like this plus some reasonable time limit on getting past the “attracting a crowd” stage may be what we need so that all projects on Snowdrift.coop at any given time show crowdmatching in action, and not crowdmatching either not being given a proper try, or having been tried unsuccessfully.