One of the great things about being a social enterprise is that Stitch is fortunate to have thousands of members who believe in what we are doing, and who make enormous contributions to the Stitch Community to help enrich the lives of their fellow members.
(If you haven't read about Stitch's social mission yet, you definitely need to read this article.)
This is what makes the community work for everyone, and gives real meaning to our saying "built by members, for members".
Because of this, we have been looking for a way to recognize all the contributions that Stitch members make to the community, provide easier ways for all members to get involved, and provide some benefits and incentives to everyone who helps the community grow.
We've written about the goals of having a loyalty program on the Stitch Blog, and received a lot of excellent input from members on the Stitch forums, all of which has gone into the first version of the Stitch Loyalty Program.
The program is based on Stitch Membership Points.
The basic idea is simple: any important positive contribution you make to the community is recognized by rewarding you Membership Points. The more points you earn in your time as a member, the more benefits and rewards Stitch you will be eligible for.
Membership Points Overview
Each and every paying member of Stitch is eligible for earning Membership Points. You can find out about your points from the More top menu:
The red indicator on the menu indicates a new notification that you've recently earned new membership points. Clicking on the Membership Points menu item will take you to the main Loyalty Program page, which looks a bit like this:
This page has three main sections, as shown in the submenu at the top of the page:
- Overview, outlining the overall program and explaining ways to earn points
- Your Status, which is where you can find out about your current status and see your points history
- Invitations, which is where you can find resources for helping the community grow in your area
Each of these pages are explained in the sections below.
How do I earn points?
The Overview page explains that there are currently three ways to earn Membership Points:
- By getting a New Member to Join,
- By setting up a Stitch Event, or
- By simply being a paying Stitch Member
These reflect the most significant ways that each Stitch member can help the community.
By far the most points can be earned by getting a new member to join Stitch. If you invite people using your own personal invitation code, you will earn:
- 5,000 membership points if they become a Premium Annual Member on Stitch
- 4,000 membership points if they choose a 6-month Premium membership
- 3,000 membership points if they choose a 3-month Premium membership
- 3,000 membership points if they become an annual Community Member
- 2,000 membership points if they choose a monthly Premium membership
You will also earn points each time you set up a Stitch Event for other members to attend. The more members who attend, the more points you earn for each event.
And finally, you earn points every time your membership subscription is renewed. The number of points you earn depends on your membership type: annual members, for example, receive more points than monthly members. At a simple level, the more you contribute to the community through your membership fees, the more points you earn.
How do I find out about my points?
You can see your points history on the Status page, which will look a little bit like this:
In this example, you can see this member earned:
- 240 points a month ago for joining on a monthly plan
- 5,000 points when someone joined using their invitation code
- 180 points for hosting a Stitch event
- Another 240 points on their next monthly membership renewal
You can see that as long as you remain a subscribed member, you will continue to accumulate Stitch points to help recognize you for helping keep the community going.
You can also see that you will earn your points much more quickly if you start doing more to help grow the community. There is no limit to how many new members you can invite or events you organize, so you can really can earn a lot of points if you put your mind to it!
We're also planning to add other ways to earn points in the future.
Are my points worth anything?
That's absolutely what we're intending! The goal is that Membership Points are able to provide a real, tangible benefit to the members who earn them.
We are planning on doing this in a number of ways:
- Members who accumulate enough points in a single calendar year will have their subsequent membership fees reduced: by 25%, 50%, 75% or even 100% for those members who make large contributions to the Stitch Community
- Members who accumulate enough total points will be eligible to receive even larger member benefits and rewards, including Stitch merchandise and gift cards
- Members with the most points will also get to play a more important "ownership" role in the Stitch Community, which reflects the contributions they have made. This includes voting rights on important issues for the community, higher privileges in Stitch itself such as access to admin-only features, and greater exposure for their own profiles on Stitch.
The details of what benefits should be included, and what points are required, are something we're actively discussing with our members. Please feel free to check out the conversation here and give us your input! And continue to keep tabs on the Loyalty Program page in Stitch as that's where you'll see these changes appear as they get added to Stitch.
How long do I keep my points?
You get to keep your points as long as you retain a membership subscription to Stitch, whether that is a Full Membership, Community Membership, or Limited (Monthly) Membership.
What happens if I cancel my subscription?
If you cancel your subscription, your points will be lost.
If you choose to rejoin within 30 days, however, your points will be reinstated. That means if your credit card expires and you forget to update your credit card information - resulting in your account being suspended - you can still recover your points by updating your payment information within 30 days. After that point, your points will be permanently lost.
Can I earn points by contributing to the forums?
At this point no, you don't earn points by participating in the forums.
That's something we would like to add eventually, but there are a number of safeguards we would need to put in place to prevent the system from being abused, so it will come at a later point.
Will this "cheapen" the spirit of altruism on Stitch?
This is certainly one of the concerns we had about putting any recognition system in place, and has been a factor in how we've designed the points system.
We don't believe that most members will do things simply to earn points, so this won't replace the spirit that our members already show by helping contribute to the community.
What the program will do, however, is help provide recognition for those members who do the most for the community, as well as raising awareness of the most important ways that existing members can help make the community better.
The entire program is very much a work in progress, so if you've got any feedback or comments, please let us know!