Eliminating the Pricing Levels

One suggestion that came out of responses to my recent blog post about creating a free “Lite” version of DONATION (and other posts I made on a couple of software development/business forums) was to reduce the pricing levels. I like that idea, because it would reduce the confusion about payments, and reduce support for me when people exceed the number of donors for their pricing level.

As most of you probably know, currently Full Licenses (for the initial year) are $60 for under 200 donors with donations, $90 for under 500 donors, and $110 for unlimited donors. For the network version, it’s $110 per simultaneous user (not per computer it’s installed on). The Annual Renewal fees are half of each of those prices.

I did some investigation in my database of users and payments, and found that the average Full License price paid this year so far was $69, $137 for the network version. The average Annual Renewal price was $36, $63 for the network version. (Not surprisingly, the average Annual Renewal prices are not far off from half of the annual Full License prices.)

So, I’m thinking that I could change the Full License pricing to be $80 for the regular version (unlimited donors) and $150 for the network version (unlimited simultaneous users). The Annual Renewal prices would again be half those amounts. That would be a slight increase for those with under 200 donors, but a decrease for everyone else. (And an increase for network version users with only one simultaneous user.)

What do you think? Would the slight increase for those with under 200 donors scare any existing users away? What about new users? Probably my closest competitor is Donarius, which is $60 for unlimited donors, $45 for max 100 “active donors” (which is a complex definition). But they charge extra for extra features, like gift in kind receipts, personalized letters & receipts (which I think is equivalent to my mail merge features) etc.

And of course, if anyone thinks the $80 Full License, or $40 Annual Renewal is too much, they could consider backing down to the free Lite version.

I’m also thinking that the Lite version would replace my current free license criteria (under 50 donors, under $5,000 total annual income from all sources, no paid staff using the program). Anyone who currently had a free license could either switch to the Lite version, or pay, when their next renewal date came up. (That’s assuming, of course, that they did want to continue their eligibility for support and upgrades – otherwise, they could just do nothing and keep using that version.)

Your thoughts? Thanks.

16 thoughts on “Eliminating the Pricing Levels

  1. Hello Dan,

    that sounds quite reasonable. I would have no trouble with this as the new, simpler, pricing structure is still excellent value for anyone when compared to the pricing structure of other commercial donation/church software. And, don’t get a swelled head, hah! hah!, but your support is the best and worth every penny!!!


  2. Hi Dan

    First glance, my thought was “oh, oh” but reasonably speaking, I’m with Klaus, it is excellent value for all that is provided. Frankly I am praying for the time when our ministry has to pay the larger amount for your program because that would mean we are growing in the work the Lord has called us to do.

    Finally, in this complicated world, simplicity is a good thing.


    Jill, Titian Ministries, in Canada

  3. I agree with your suggestion, Dan. As I stated in the earlier discussion on the Lite proposal, our church cannot believe the terrific value DONMATION provides and the $80 ceratinly woudn’t be a problm for us. Nor do I think it will deter many users who are now familiar with the program. It will certainly make your life simpler!

  4. I think that the program is certainly worth $80 and likely most would not have a problem with this – the support is exceptional and it is by no way overpriced at $80.00.

    I do have one question though Dan – would the multiple organization fee of $20.00 increase, or remain the same if you do make the change you are suggesting here to $80.00 for the first organization?


    • Good question, Margie. I haven’t thought hard about that, yet.

      One option, given the $20 price increase for smaller users and the fact that most organizations with additional databases have only one additional one, I think I might just eliminate that extra charge. Again, that would eliminate some complications for both the users and myself. (I’d still have to give additional license keys though, for additional organizations’ databases.)

  5. Good evening Dan.

    Sounds good to us. Our church would have no problem with the price increase, especially with all the support we receive. You have helped me out a number of times and I appreciate that very much.

    This is your business as well, so don’t sell yourself short. You do a lot of work to earn your money.

    Thanks a million.


  6. Given the economic downturn with its accompanying high unemployment rate and corresponding downturn in charitable giving, our church is in the middle of a very serious budget crisis this year. I would hate to see the price of this software go up by 33%.

    • Frank, is $10 added to the renewal price (up from $30 to $40) really going to make or break your decision as to whether to renew?

      Or is it more the “optics” of doing it now?

  7. I agree that the proposed pricing still represents a very good value for the cost of the program/renewal. But I must agree with Frank that small churches (like ours) are really feeling the pinch of the economic/unemployment situation right now. Seems to me the prudent thing would be to postpone the increase by maybe a year.

  8. I am normally pretty negative about price increases and am also negative about vendors that change things around every few months.

    Having said that, I certainly believe the product and Dan’s excellent support are worth he increase proposed.

    So.. I am definitely in for $80 (a bargain) but I would really like to see things settle down. The downside of constant change is that I keep wondering if the product will continue to be a viable, affordable product for the long term… i.e is Dan making enough money to continue the effort or are the changes a way to try to save a sinking ship? So.. perhaps a single fee will cause some stability.

    • Good points David. But I think I can answer them.

      First of all, I am making a reasonable living, and Cooperstock Software is in no way a “sinking ship”. I’m just trying to improve and simplify things.

      Although I have explained the current average payment levels to you advisors who read the blog, and that this is thus an increase for the average user, in the announcement to ALL users, this will be posed primarily as a simplification, which decreases the price for many users, while increasing it only for those who have under 200 donors. That’s all entirely truthful (which is important to me!) and I don’t feel it’s necessary to point out that my expectation is that this may bring in a bit more revenue on average. But it may not, given that the option to go back to the new free Lite version will appear at the same time.

      Finally, there has not been a price change since May 2008. So this is not “every few months”.

      Does that make things seem better? Thanks.

  9. Fair enough.. I didn’t say prices change every few months.. I said “things”.. probably still an exaggeration..

    Still a great product.. and BTW.. I looked at Donarius a few months back just out of curiosity.. not even in the same league with DONATION. DONATION is light years ahead in terms of ease of use and flexibility and features.


  10. Only God knows how many demos of church programs (american and canadian)I tested since 1998 and I found that your program stands out clearly from all competitors by its simplicity, speed and power (lacking in Donarius). Your price changes make sense, but for the potential people needing a church management program (like Membership Plus) and not only donation program, you could perhaps charge for an added module.

    • Thanks, Tom. I don’t at this time have any plans to add further modules to make it more like MembershipPlus in features, though I guess one never knows about the future. I think what attracts a lot of previous MembershipPlus users to DONATION is the simplicity, and not doing a bunch of things they don’t need. If I have optional modules that do more of those things, it’s harder to be clear about the simplicity.

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