[Noisebridge-board] Differentiating affiliate and member donations on Paypal

Kelly hurtstotouchfire at gmail.com
Sun Dec 26 22:30:35 UTC 2010

Replies inline.

On Sun, Dec 26, 2010 at 17:10, Rachel McConnell <rachel at xtreme.com> wrote:
> I think that a system for managing memberships and donations ought to
> have the following features:
> 1. a way to list the current members
(+categories of membership)
> 2. member identifier that doesn't HAVE to be associated with other
> identifying info (such as name or email) but that is associated with
> their membership status.  This one is hard b/c there has to be SOME way
> of doing the association with an anonymous member to the actual person,
> and if it's not written down somewhere, it has to be in someone's head.

This isn't really necessary. I'll just use a pseudonym in the system
if we have a genuinely anonymous member. Right now there's no one.
Most people's electronic payment methods de-anonymize them anyway.

> 3. automatic reminder emails (to those whose email address is associated)
> 4. automatic tracking of received payments
> 5. way to list members with late payments who need to be followed up with
> 6. reasonable* security around member info
> What other features do we Need?  It's hard to evaluate systems without
> knowing our requirements.

Our requirements should be tailored to taxes and non-profit
requirements. That means we need to track donations separately from
income sources and track each income source separately. I would also
say that as much automatic feeding as possible (i.e. from paypal, WF
and Square) is a requirement for the treasurer's sanity.

I would describe 3-5 differently. Most accounting systems are
invoice-based, and this is reasonable. In that model, dues
expectations are tracked via invoices, so we want the ability to make
invoice templates, repeating into the past and future. We want to be
able to view pending invoices for a given person, as well as in total.
We need a way to reconcile incoming payments to invoices. We want an
easy method for retrieving invoices that could be associated with a
given line item of income (right now I just search by name every time
and it's ok but it wouldn't be hard to do better). We also need to be
able to have income that's not associated with invoices. So far
there's no use case for 3, but it's a pretty reasonable feature to

> I reviewed the Hackerdojo code that they use to manage memberships (and
> other things).  It is mostly a wrapper around Spreedly, which is a
> wrapper around various payment gateways (such as Paypal).  The
> hackerdojo system fails on 2 and 6, although these could be added
> easily.  It uses, as noted, Spreedly for handling 3, 4, and I think 5.
> It requires that all payments go through Spreedly, which I think is a
> nonstarter for us.
> Kelly do you have a list anywhere of systems people have evaluated?  I
> can start up a spreadsheet otherwise.

No list, and no prior evaluations as far as I know. There were a few
suggested options that sounded promising in that past thread I posted
asking for suggestions.
> Rachel
> * 'reasonable' is gonna be hard too, I think.  e.g. I would not want our
> member info to be associated with our Google accounts, but I also don't
> really want it to be in an encrypted database on someone's server that
> they have sole control over.
> Jeff Tchang wrote:
>> I have not personally used it but I took at look at the functioning demo.
>> Here is a list of things that made me want to use it:
>> - You can add contacts and track their donations
>> - It can generate a donor report
>> - It is multiuser and seems to have a good deal of functionality above
>> and beyond what we need
>> On Sun, Dec 26, 2010 at 1:29 PM, Andy Isaacson <adi at hexapodia.org
>> <mailto:adi at hexapodia.org>> wrote:
>>     On Sun, Dec 26, 2010 at 01:22:07PM -0800, Jeff Tchang wrote:
>>     > I wanted to setup http://civicrm.org/ to help manage this. What do
>>     you guys
>>     > think?
>>     I have a horrible allergy to the acronym "CRM". :)
>>     Is the software good?  What features does it have that would be useful?
>>     What problems does it solve?
>>     -andy
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