"Joining" vs "becoming a supporter"

Daniel Pocock daniel at pocock.pro
Fri Dec 1 10:32:40 UTC 2017

On 01/12/17 10:28, Carmen Bianca Bakker wrote:
> (Re-sending this e-mail because I wrongly addressed the first)
> Op 30-11-17 om 16:26 schreef Gergely Székely:
>> I think it was not a good idea at all to change the "Join the ..." to
>> "Become a supporter".
>> My point is that "being a member" of something (even if just an
>> associate one) suggests a much stronger bound than being just a
>> "supporter".  So I think using phrases as "Join the FSFE", "become a(n
>> associate) member" etc is way more compelling for most of the people.
> I agree partially.  There is a small problem, however:  Previously, it
> was unclear that one could "join" the FSFE without making financial
> contributions.  Upon clicking the "join" button, you were prompted to
> make a donation, and this was the only way into the fellowship.
> And upon joining the FSFE (i.e., becoming a fellow), you would not have
> equal status to all other FSFE members.  Staffers and members of the GA
> would have a say in the FSFE's goings-on, whereas fellows didn't, not
> really.  Thus "joining" the FSFE was kind of false advertising.

It is even more than that: because the "Join" click was immediately
followed by a request for a recurring payment, people would be very
likely to feel the recurring payment is like a membership fee and gives
them a right to vote.

> Thus the logical solutions were twofold:
> 1. Allow people to become fellows without making financial
>    contributions, and grant fellows voting rights.
> 2. Change the wording to better reflect reality.
> Understandably, option 1 isn't very appealing.
> However, I would be in _full_ support of reinstating the usage of
> "fellow" for volunteers who contribute time and effort.  But then, maybe
> "volunteer" also cuts it?
>> I really miss this inviting spirit from fsfe.org.
>> (Also, why is no similar banner on fsfe.org in the last two months of
>> every year?)
> If you can contribute such a banner, we would be extremely happy to add
> it.  Unfortunately it's outside of my abilities.  I'm not a web
> developer.
>> I think recruiting members and encouraging people to donate is
>> important.  So it worth making extra efforts to doing it right.
> I agree 

Another idea that was raised: keep the "Join" buttons and the "Join"
page, but make it very clear on the page what people can do, e.g. give
them boxes they can tick:

[ ]   I want to become a financial supporter but not voting member

[ ]   I want to volunteer

[ ]   I want to apply for a job or internship

[ ]   I want to attend meetings in my town

[ ]   I want to become a voting member



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