From now through December 1, 2015, we are in the process of raising the price of TLS.
New members who subscribe from now on will pay $15/month (or $150/year). New members will pay for an entire year in advance, so they get two months free.
I’ve thought about this a lot. I’ve compared TLS to similar membership sites, and they all charge $20/month or more. Only services with millions of members, like Netflix and eHarmony, seem to be able to run a membership site for anything less. But I don’t think it’s fair to triple the price of TLS overnight. So we’re going to $15.
At the same time, I don’t want to lose anyone. I like all of you, and I want to make TLS affordable if you’re facing some money challenges right now. So I’ve developed some choices for existing members.
Note: Every member will have to go through a renewal process. Legally, I can’t change the price for you – you have to go to our Membership Renewal page to renew your account as well as cancel your recurring payment to TLS in Paypal or your Credit Card.
Existing members have a few options:
1. You may renew your monthly or annual subscription to the new level. That would be awesome! You can sign up and pay either $15/month or $150 for a full year (two months free).
2. If money is tight, or if you haven’t really gotten to know TLS yet, and you’re not sure, you can choose the option of being grandfathered in at $10/month or $100/year (2 free months). Any current member who does this by the end of December 2015 will get to keep this discount rate for one year.
3. If your personal financial situation is really tight, and you just can’t do $10/month, I understand, and I still don’t want you to lose TLS! If you are in this tough situation, I will allow you to continue at the current rate at either $7/month for 6 months, and then go to $10/month for 6 more months, or, if you pay $75 one time, you will stay in for a year. But TLS can only afford this offer for a few people. So, if this is what you need, please email me and ask for the special scholarship discount. To learn more about how this is funded through our Scholarship Fund below on this page.
HOW TO RENEW AT THE NEW RATE
We’ve created a page where you can choose the new rate you want to pay for your membership and renew now. If you’re ready, please visit the membership renewal page now.
If you want a bit more information first, you can:
- Read about how we are doing more for our members here: The Lasting Supper Growing in 2016: Part 1: Great New Stuff
- Learn the history that brought us to this price increase here: The Lasting Supper Growing in 2016: Part 2: How We Got Where We Are
- Read a clear summary of the TLS financial situation: The Price Increase: Why it is necessary
- Learn more about where TLS is headed: A Bit About Our Growth Plan
If money is so tight at TLS, how can we offer this continuing discount? TLS has always wanted to be available to those in difficult financial situations. So we make 10% of all membership receipts available to support members who can’t pay the full rate. For example, 200 members at $15/month brings in $3,000/month. We reserve $300/month to help out members in financial difficulty. This 10% dedication to the scholarship fund could support 37 members at $7/month, or 20 members who didn’t pay at all. But I’ve found that free memberships don’t work very well. Many people who get something for free seem to unconsciously not value it, and not contribute well. So it works best if each scholarship member pays something, and then we make up the rest from the scholarship fund.
Some people are not actively using TLS, but are paying $7/month as a donation to the cause or to support the scholarship fund. If that’s you, please send me an email to let me know, and also let me know if you want to continue your gift at $7/month, or increase to $10 or $15/month.
The scholarship fund is not just for people with financial difficulties. Sometimes, members are in family situations where they must keep their TLS membership secret from their family for reasons of safety, and so can’t create a payment record.
We are in the process of setting up a page on the site to receive donations to the scholarship fund. That will take a bit of time. Right now, though, you can make a gift to TLS (the right side of TLS’s main site), and, if you like, request that the money be earmarked for the scholarship fund.
People ask if donations are tax-deductible. That’s a great question. Sadly, the answer right now is “no.” TLS is not yet incorporated as a not-for-profit, though we may be heading in that direction. We’ll keep you posted about that in 2016.
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