"Joining" vs "becoming a supporter"

Max Mehl max.mehl at fsfe.org
Thu Nov 30 15:49:14 UTC 2017

Hi Gergely,

# Gergely Székely [2017-11-30 16:26 +0100]:
> 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 concur with your point that "joining" is a stronger word than
"supporting". However, as our news item already states [1], it is
necessary because it caused a lot of confusion.

"Joining" implies that an individual becomes a member of an
organisation, and in the FSFE's case this also includes the rights
(voting rights) and obligations (time, in some cases money) [2].
However, this is not the case with our supporters programme (formerly
"Fellowship"), and we don't want to misguide interested people just to
get them to sign up.

But! We don't want to lock down the way into the GA, quite the opposite.
At the last GA meeting we decided to draft a possible path and structure
to increase the membership base and the necessary transparency to join
the association. This way we want to invite motivated and active
volunteers to join the decision making processes and shape the
organisation while continuing to offer a more passive way of support
through our supporter programme.

Again, I agree that the recently changed wording is not ideal for
fundraising but transparency is more important to us than the few
financial contributors we might miss to convince by that :)

I hope I was able to clarify things a bit!


[1] https://fsfe.org/news/2017/news-20171116-01.html 
[2] In our case members are members of the Free Software Foundation
Europe e.V.'s General Assembly: https://wiki.fsfe.org/Teams/GA

Max Mehl - Program Manager - Free Software Foundation Europe
Contact and further information: https://fsfe.org/about/mehl
Support advocacy for Free Software:  https://fsfe.org/donate

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