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On a particular non-sponsored product-review blog there are requests for donations, but responses are poor.

Currently, there is a simple site-wide donation button like you might find at Wikipedia. It occurred to me that if each individual post had a donation goal to fund the products purchased for the post's review readers may be more inclined to donate.

To give some background, the blog does have some regular readers but the majority of visitors to product-review posts are linked from other sites, or stumble upon them from web searches. So they're less likely to want to support the writer, but likely to desire more posts such as the one he or she landed on be written.

Does anyone know of usage of such a system or the efficacy of it? I don't believe it would be difficult for me to implement, though it would be cumbersome to update old posts with cost estimates.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Probably the most known and working example of alike system is Kickstarter.

People indeed support some project, not the some abstract fund. Concrete project involves people, so they feel the meaningfulness of donation, and involvement in some big idea. It's somewhere in the top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Esteem, I suppose.

Also it close to concept of Abstract/Concrete Paradoxes in Moral Psychology (PDF), which says:

For some reason, participants hold agents more responsible for their actions when a situation is described concretely than when the situation is described abstractly.

Still, I think you could develop great business model, which includes:

  • Shops, which advertize and provide the goods with special price for community
  • Community, who votes for the goods for review and make donations
  • Community auction sellings of the products which were purchased and observed

It just quick thoughts, of course.

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Kickstarter would be a good alternative means to fund such reviews, however there is a lot of baggage associated with running a kickstarter campaign. I was hoping to find a longer-term, passive system to gain funds as this blog is not the primary source of income for the owner. It would also run the risk of watering down the likelihood regular readers would contribute to other campaigns of the writer which would not associated with the blog. Finally, it would be targeting regular readers more than users who stumble upon the blog. – Joseph Coco Dec 20 '13 at 18:02
Well, @user654914, I just showed concrete model could work better than abstract, so donation within post could be perceived more concretely. – Alexey Kolchenko Dec 20 '13 at 18:09

There is a system called Flattr which make you pay a fee up front, and then while browsing hit the flattr-button (if implemented on the site) it will end up in a database. At the end of the month, your flattr hits are divided by your monthly subscription fee and sent to the flattr button owners.

enter image description here

It's another model than "donation" but I'm not really sure it's what your after. However, its worth reading since it's a nice idea.

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Interesting. Thanks for the link! – Marjan Venema Dec 20 '13 at 17:49
@MarjanVenema You're welcome! I don't know if it's an internet hit yet, but it has been around a couple of years... – Benny Skogberg Dec 20 '13 at 17:53
Flattr may be the route to take, though it doesn't show if the funds have been reimbursed to offset the original price of the particular post/review. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how much of the demographic of this blog uses the service. – Joseph Coco Dec 20 '13 at 17:57

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