I was thinking about Snowdrift.coop from the point of view of a project seeking funding, and it occurred to me that the dependability of Snowdrift.coop’s own funding should probably be a big concern. In other words, as someone running a project, I would not want to invest a lot of effort and reputation in asking people to support my project via Snowdrift.coop if I didn’t feel confident that Snowdrift.coop itself had the ability to function reliably on a consistent ongoing basis.
This led me to question the idea that Snowdrift.coop should be funded exclusively through crowdmatching, on the same basis as other projects, and should not take any portion of donations to other projects. Imagining myself as a representative of a project interested in seeking funding on Snowdrift.coop, I can imagine that I might much prefer to have Snowdrift.coop take a small portion of donations to projects such as mine, if that enabled Snowdrift.coop to function as a reliable platform I can depend on.
This of course would still be in the context of being a nonprofit. Snowdrift.coop would not be taking a cut in order for anyone to get rich, but only to ensure that Snowdrift.coop could actually function reliably.
It could be used as a backup to crowdmatching. As Snowdrift.coop’s crowdmatching funding grew, the cut could be reduced and eventually eliminated.
Snowdrift.coop is not like a typical project of the sort that would be invited to seek funding on Snowdrift.coop, where once public goods have been created the work is done until new or modified public goods are created. It requires consistent ongoing time and attention to keep Snowdrift.coop functioning. As soon as we have even one real project on board, this will become a critical issue if we still depend entirely on volunteers.
The potential crowd of people willing to pledge to Snowdrift.coop may be a lot smaller than the potential crowds of people willing to pledge to projects that are primarily about creating public goods, and not about running a platform. To be excited about pledging to Snowdrift.coop you have to really understand the funding issue for public goods and care about it. To be excited about pledging to LibreOffice, just as an example, you just have to use and appreciate LibreOffice and feel good about doing your part to sustain it.
I’m thinking that it may be too risky to just hope that once we have a couple of popular projects on board, enough people will also pledge to Snowdrift.coop to enable reliable ongoing functioning, and soon enough. We may really need to consider a plan that makes it a bit more certain that, to the extent crowdmatching is successful for projects that come on board, Snowdrift.coop will have adequate funding to sustain and build on that success.