FairPay is a revolutionary new logic for revenue relationships in our increasingly digital world -- it was designed to make for-profit digital business more effective, but also promises to dramatically enhance revenue generation for non-profits.
The Internet has given new power to consumers. FairPay accepts that power and works with it to shift relationships from a short-term, zero-sum focus -- one that no longer works effectively for anyone -- to an ongoing win-win focus that seeks to maximize the co-creation of value over a relationship. It creates a new focus on the fairness of pricing and value propositions on an individual basis -- an "invisible handshake." This FairPay handshake is particularly relevant to non-profit services. What better sector to benefit from the fairness and cooperation that FairPay elicits?
A museum example
I joined the Whitney Museum not long ago, and was offered a complex menu of membership levels and optional features:
- There was the usual set of levels based on number of people and features to be included, with a set price for each. This made it easy for me to pick a level, but offered only a crude basis for the museum to seek more share of wallet.
- There was also a "Curate Your Own Membership" program that let me choose from five series of premium features -- with any one included, and added ones offered for $40 each. The five series were billed as Social, Learning, Insider, Family, and Philanthropy, with a short phrase explaining the apparently non-overlapping of features in each. That was a nice touch, adding some of the spirit of FairPay, in that it was meant to enable me to better customize my value proposition. The problem was that they made me an offer I couldn't understand. Not having been to any of their events, and not knowing the exact topics, how could I know which I would want? I doubted I wanted enough to buy extras, so just picked one that sounded OK. Great willingness to customize the value proposition, but not very effective at it.
Before looking at other examples, let's dig a bit deeper on the issues here. The problem is there is no real dialog about value, so no real optimization of the value proposition. I have been to the museum several times since joining, and have had no real interaction with the organization. They must know my attendance record, and that I have gone to none of their special events, but I have no hint of that. If they want a bigger share of my wallet, they are not targeting me well at all.
A win-win customer journey with a loyalty loop centered on value
Such post-pricing is an important foundation of FairPay, which adds other key features to generate rich customer journeys that center on win-win value. Modern marketing has come to realize that the key to success is not in individual transactions, but in maximizing return business. Transactions roll into customer journeys, and creating "loyalty loops" in those journeys brings the return business that maximizes Lifetime Customer Value (LCV). FairPay drives those loyalty loops to center on value, to fuel deeper and more effective relationships.
FairPay does this by combining post-pricing with a new supercharged variant of Pay What You Want (PWYW) pricing. Non-profits often apply PWYW principles to donations, but in the digital age, even profit businesses are finding PWYW can sometimes be surprisingly effective. FairPay adds a new balance of powers to make this more effective. The new balancing factor is that the consumer pays what they think fair, knowing that the organization will track that, and make or withhold future offers depending on how fair the price seems to them, based on full consideration of the particular situation.
(A very similar example of how this can work is described in my post on FairPay pricing for premium tiers for the NY Times -- journalism has much similarity to non-profit cultural enterprises. Another post takes a broader look at the issues for journalism that are also very relevant to non-profits.)
[Update 1/24/18: A further example explores how FairPay can make the Metropolitan Museum's Pay As You Wish pricing policy more fair for both patrons and the museum.]
For a full introduction to FairPay see the Overview and the sidebar on How FairPay Works (just to the right, if reading this at FairPayZone.com). There is also a guide to More Details (including links to a video).
The big picture -- How "customers" make non-profits sustainably win-win
FairPay was developed because the invisible hand of Adam Smith no longer works well in the digital world. FairPay turns instead toward this new invisible handshake -- an agreement to work together in good faith to build a relationship that is win-win.
If non-profits cannot justify support of their mission on the basis of fairness, what basis do they have? If fairness is the basis, what better process for justifying support than FairPay?
Making it happen
FairPay processes are not difficult to build and put into trials, but still require a degree of effort that might challenge the technical resources of smaller non-profits. This represents a major opportunity for a shared platform that can be used by many non-profit organizations. For example, Tessitura Network is a consortium of over 500 arts and cultural organizations that provides a common e-commerce and CRM infrastructure. A shared FairPay platform (and shared tracking of fairness) could benefit many of its members.
I am working on FairPay as a pro-bono project, and would be happy to assist non-profits in exploring how it might work for them. (I can be reached at fairpay [at] teleshuttle [dot] com.)
(FairPay is an open architecture, in the public domain.)