Stitch recently rolled out some changes to how Stitch Membership Points can be redeemed for rewards.
There is a bit of background to why we've made these changes, so we decided it would be best to explain why we've introduced these changes in a short video:
In summary, the changes are as follows:
We are trying to re-emphasize that Membership Points are intended mainly as a way to recognize Stitch's amazing contributors through higher levels of trust, and greater access to many system features, rather than as a way to provide rewards. Another way of saying this is we want the emphasis of points to be on how much someone has given to others in the community, rather than how much they want to receive.
At the same time, we don't want champions who are already doing an incredible amount for the community to also have to carry the financial burden of helping keep the community running, so if you're a Community Champion you'll still be able to redeem Membership Points for your own Stitch membership
We are removing the ability to redeem points for someone else's membership, for reasons we explain in the video above
Because of the change in emphasis of the point system, the number of points you can earn or redeem in any 12 month period is restricted to 100,000 points. This is enough to provide for a Full Stitch Membership for 12 months if you wish to do so.
There is no limit on the number of status points you will earn, however, and we will be placing a greater emphasis on lifetime achievement in terms of status points in future updates to Stitch. In other words, you've still got a lot of incentive to keep contributing, even after you've earned enough to cover your membership!
When it comes to helping out another member who might face financial difficulties that prevent them from joining the community, it's worth knowing that we've worked very hard over the last couple of years to introduce a range of ways to help people participate in the community even if they can't afford to join as a Full member. (Given the Stitch Community is now a registered not-for-profit charity in both Australia and the US, it's important for us to discharge our responsibilities by ensuring that members who receive assistance are the ones who need it the most.)
The Stitch & WipeOutLoneliness Assistance Program, where members who face financial difficulty can apply for assistance
The Stitch Volunteering program, where anyone who is willing to contribute regularly can receive a complimentary membership for at least their first year
The ability of any Limited member to get the same rights as a Full member for a month, just by suggesting an activity for members in their local area
The ability of anyone to be able to purchase a gift card from the Stitch store, to pay for someone else's membership
and, of course, the ability for Limited members to be able to participate in all the Public activities, discussions and groups in the community, all for free.
We know that it can sometimes feel like a surprise when things change unexpectedly, but we hope the video and this article help explain things and you can understand why the changes were necessary.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.