So, for the last nine months, we have been giving members the opportunity to purchase Star Memberships at a fixed price. And it has worked more-or-less how we expected it to work. We knew fewer people would purchase these memberships because (for some) a fixed price represented a greater expense. In terms of Democratic Underground's bottom line, it was basically a wash: Our income from member subscriptions went down, while our income from advertising went up. But there has been one enormous problem with the new approach: There are many people in this community who clearly want to become Star Members but who feel they cannot afford it. The DU Administrators have spent months discussing this issue, and have considered dozens of possible ideas to make memberships more affordable including tiered subscriptions or subsidized subscriptions or special senior rates or whatever. But every time we had a new idea, we kept coming back to the idea of just letting everyone pay whatever you want to pay.
So, the new price to become a Democratic Underground Star Member is: Whatever you want to pay.
The DU Administrators have read all of your concerns and complaints about our fixed-price subscriptions, and this new "pay-what-you-want" approach should address those concerns. Ability to pay should no longer be an obstacle to becoming a DU Star Member. You can sign up for a recurring monthly subscription, a recurring annual subscription, or a one-time online payment. Or you can even print out a form and send us a few bucks through the U.S. Postal Service. You pay whatever and however you want to pay.
The DU Administrators feel very positive about this change, but we are admittedly a little bit concerned about what it may mean for our bottom line. If this new pay-what-you-want subscription system leads to a significant drop in our overall revenue, then we will be looking for ways to cover the deficit. The most likely thing would be to bring back the quarterly fund drives like we used to do. Hopefully it will not come to that.
So, if you are not currently a DU Star Member, we hope that you will take this opportunity to become one. We want every DU member who wants to become a Star Member to have the opportunity to become one. Just click this link to get started: