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I am trying to implement a donation system for a website/app that isn't going to generate any money.

Once a person donates to the project, I was thinking I could give them a badge/icon that would be displayed in their profile. It would visually look similar to Twitter verified icon. On hover, it could say something like "this person has donated to support this project".

This badge would be shown for 1 year since the user donated. It might have multiple colors that show approximate amount user has donated. However, it would still stay low-key in UI design and not be in-your-face.

Would this be a good idea? I am afraid this might create some sort of unequally between users. What are other possible pitfalls?

  • Would it be bad if this inequality exists? It could encourage people that did not know about this particular action to take a look themselves. If it is presented clearly and in a transparent way (that you don't take the money but donate it to a useful thing), I do not see pitfalls here. Did you have something else in mind? – Jan Jan 2 '17 at 16:08
  • @Jan It is just that I haven't seen any other apps that do this. Usually it is somewhere at the bottom of About page where donors get mentioned. I was mainly wondering why not? Is there some great taboo? I was thinking this could be something similar to what great online freemium games do with players. They let them buy cosmetics, but not in-game advantage. – Teodors Jan 2 '17 at 16:43
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It is always a good practice to thank your donors and to reward them. For other users, a badge can be an incentive to donate.

However, I would not make the color of the badge dependent on the amount of money. I think it is better to convey the message, that every donation is appreciated the same. Otherwise a "poor" user could be discouraged by the fact that he is not able to achieve the best status on your website. Maybe he won't donate at all because of this.

  • I agree, only a badge if donated, not dependant on the amount or the number of times. Maybe set a minimum (reasonable) amount so users dont trick the badge system. – Alvaro Jan 2 '17 at 16:40
  • At my university there was a big wall of donors. It was split in 3 or 4 parts of bronze, silver, gold and maybe platinum donors. It was meant to show who donated thousands, hundreds or millions. Obviously, every donation is appreciated, but at the same time. If someone donates a lot of money seems in order to show that. This has nothing to do with status. I think. You don't get any more features. With "color" I meant something like a shade. Lets say default icon color is blue, then a larger donation would be closer to purple. It wouldn't stand out unless you pay attention. – Teodors Jan 2 '17 at 16:57

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