Mechanism proposal: PATRON-ONLY

Projects setting their goal creates problems. Here is a PATRON-ONLY approach that dodges the issue by handing over the keys to the Patrons:

1. Patron decides what amount to pledge
2. Patron decides towards what @goal to pledge (never less than the actual)
3. Projects can add customized presets for @goals in the pledge form
4. Project collect donations from pledges on a per patron basis every month.

note: goals not expressed in patrons or $ yet :wink:


  • Consensus about a goal is an emerging property
  • Patron role is a more active and has more control
  • Projects can promote “THEIR” goals as possible presets
    … probably more


  • Patron role is more demanding (set two values)
  • We need to iron out possible gaming levers (like intentionally pledging @ very low values…)
    …probably more
1 Appreciation

I think I’m missing the rest of the mechanism. Since the graphic is a little ambiguous, what happens to the money once the pledge and goal is set?

Am I to assume that everything else is handled the same way as the “Goal Scaling” mechanism?

Yes, basic assumptions like a monthly payout remain.

Right I’m not talking about those basic assumptions, I know it’s still monthly payout, goals are tried to be reached, etc.

But where is the rest of the mechanism? Is this just a tweak to the Goal Scaling one or is it something new? Your answer was confusing. (To me)

I think this is the part that needs expounding. The whole core of the mechanism is in this step. Right now it doesn’t even seem to include crowdmatching at all. It’s just people giving money monthly, with a desired goal tagged. How are patrons matching each other? How is the snowdrift dilemma overcome?

2 Appreciations

Consider our current live model with one tweak: budget caps don’t kick you out, you just stay at your limit and stop matching. Isn’t that similar to (but simpler than) this new proposal?

The reason I/we opposed that was because the matching is deceptive. Like “I’m not actually getting matched by the other patrons because a bunch of them are at their budget limit”.

So, in the example, there’s the awkwardness that the maxed-out patron is still being counted in the other patrons’ numbers. The extreme case would be most or all patrons are maxed out, and then the premise that a new patron joining is getting matched would be wrong.

Maybe there’s a way to show prospective patrons what matching offers are active, but I think overall this is not a direction we would actually choose.

2 Appreciations

Patrons contribute to the growth of a projects support – on their own terms. The accumulated support is directly connected to the support of other patrons – on their terms. If a supporter stops supporting it affects all other.

Here is more detail on the collection;

  • the project has a varying success in getting patrons and funds, trying to increase both.
  • patrons invent their own contract on how much they give and at what speed they raise their donation and until what point – all along the properties of the project.
  • the project is passive and just receives.

Does that clarify it more? I’m not trying to be nebulous about it.

I would not call those similar. Patrons setting a range makes a huge difference for example. You can support a project until it is insanely successful with just five dollars. You’d just match $5@ Or $5@500 – you decide.

You seem to talk about your own example here, not what I’m proposing. :face_with_monocle: , right? Please stick to the proposal. I don’t think the exact problem you see applies.

Maxed out patrons contribute to both success factors (patrons/donations) by just being part of the whole crowd. We just let patrons decide how far matching goes. So far our alternatives are:

(A) – let their purse decide, aka: as long as your money does not run out you’re in
(B) – let the projects decide, having an incentive to gather much & quick

Letting patrons decide runs the “danger” of them maxing out “quick” – but they still help people that DO care about matching even further. And that’s – within reasonable bounds – the vast majority, otherwise people could just Paypal themselves into oblivion…

My proposal does not let go of people that reach their limit, keeping them in the crowd. And at the same time it creates a collective idea of a goal – without giving up control to any party.

2 Appreciations


look at the “maxed out” yellow patron. When that patron leaves, all other shown patrons would pay less !!

1 Appreciation

I understand that if I have a high-goal (I’m not maxing out), that I’m donating more because of the presence of all active patrons.

But if any portion of the other patrons are maxed out, then when I pledge, I get no matching from any of them. The premise that we’re all matching each other is gone.

In short: any model that lets patrons sit at maxed-out amount but still count in the crowd-size has the same problem as the tweaked-current-model that I mentioned above. It harms the basic concept that we’re all in this together, all matching each other.

After some separate chats, I think this proposal is similar to some others I’ve seen thrown out. In a sense, the patrons who are maxed out already are a foundation, and others are working toward “stretch” goals (and we could maybe prompt the foundation patrons to consider opting-in to higher-budget, same-match-rate to help continue further matching). And @mray emphasized that perhaps new patrons could be required to pledge to goals that haven’t been already met.

Instead of random order of patrons, it would help me feel comfortable with this if the maxed-out patrons were segregated to the bottom of a chart, so like if I could see the stat of the total maxed-out patrons. Thus, I would know when I pledge, that they won’t be matching me (unless the crowd shrinks), and I’m in this part of the crowd that is still pushing toward higher goals.

This is a UX issue, but I wouldn’t like the sense that when I pledge, I can’t readily tell what portion of the crowd will be matching me.

Yes, but there’s more to it. After all, you are still getting matched by others who are not maxed out. I would state it as, anybody can choose to join at an already-reached level and get matched without withholding anything for matching, leaving no incentive for patrons to join after them.

Scenario: If patrons do that, the project income is not likely to reach as high.
  1. Say new patrons pledge@1000 until the project is @ 2000.
    • The new patrons are donating 100% // withholding $0.
    • If I pledge, I will only be matched by gray.
  2. Or maybe they pledged@3000, also until the project is @ 2000.
    • The new patrons are donating 67% // withholding 33%.
    • If I pledge, I will be matched by gray and all the new patrons.

In both cases, I would be donating $60 // withholding $30. In (2), the project is getting less money, but there’s more matching available if I join. I assume that this will make me, and anyone else considering pledging, more likely to do it. Therefore, the project is more likely to reach 3000.

Is that a problem? It’s a matter of ambition. If we are shooting for a way to make the status quo more sustainable, I’d argue not. But I think we’d like to shoot higher than that — I want FLO to out-compete proprietary stuff.

The thing is, this proposal relies on new patrons independently having the ambition to reach a higher goal (scenario: 3000). Which nobody has right now (thanks a lot, status quo).

Edit: Moved my proposal to a new thread: Mechanism Proposal: Stacked Goals

2 Appreciations

Why would you want to know? – In what way would it change your decision to set up your pledge and @goal?

You’re right. Since nobody can dictate what a sensible goal is, patrons are free to make up their mind. This is where I see offering the options to projects to communicate and invite people to share their dream. Not having a free-for-all form field makes a huge difference. Projects could advertise the @3000 variant or any other, and do so more or less convincing. But ultimately it remains outside the controls of a project.

The way I see my participation (not presuming this for anyone else per se), I’m focused on what effect my decisions may or may not have on whether other people are contributing. I feel motivated to take decisions that I see as encouraging others or where others are joining me in acting together.

I’m asking myself, “what is this agreement I’m buying into?” And if it’s unclear, like “everyone is setting their own match-rate and their own budget cap, and some portion are already maxed out”, the complexity of making sense of it all leads me to hesitate. I imagine this sort of situation generally losing me, I’m just unsure what to think, so I leave and go put my attention elsewhere.

Whereas the current MVP model where all patrons are the same, I can readily understand. I get it right away, and then I can think for a moment and decide to pledge.

You’re literally agreeing to what your pledge says. You’re willing to be part of a bright future, defining “bright” and “part” to your liking.