True Fan Handling Process

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Process Documentation Standards

Summary and Rationale


This process deals with:

  • Responding to new subscribers
  • Responding to cancellations
  • Sending mass emails to True Fans
  • Posting a numbers graph of True Fans
  • Having True Fans put up their profile
  • Making it easy to communicate with True Fans to involve them in activities
  • Handling regular communication to True Fans


Without a standard process, inconsistencies can quickly arise and certain tasks can fall through the cracks. Also, much time much be spent on drafting multiple emails with similar content and having to decide what to do about certain situations. By having a concise plan about how and what to do about all these things, we achieve a far more streamlined process, clear answers to questions from TFs, and overall, more consistency in messages to, and treatment of, all TFs. We want to involve the True Fans in our work as some of the core of our community.


To be determined by ED or other administrative staff. Currently handled by Parker Bonnell. Well defined process allows to be taken on by a remote collaborator.


This differs depending on the particular process. See specific types below for details.



Process Types

Documentation of Statistics

  • Graph of True Fan numbers shall be updated and posted visibly on a monthly basis.

Email Handling

Most contact with True Fans comes through email. Before handling the various types of messages, a few steps should be taken to configure your inbox to best receive and sort the messages. The following steps are tested and proven to work, but don't hesitate to suggest other options if you see something that could help with organization or handling of emails.

  • Currently, all messages flow through, so this is the source to work from when forwarding or setting up filters. Permission from the current caretaker of the account will need to be granted before it can be used, or the caretaker can set up automatic e-mail forwarding to your personal inbox. The address at opensourceeco@gmail is prone to change however, once 501(c)3 status is achieved and we have access to free version of Google Apps.
  • If not already established, set up email filter to direct all incoming True Fan messages to separate tag. Use message from subject line that occurs consistently between message types (“new subscription” to new signups, etc).
  • Attach corresponding labels to mark them as True Fan emails, and have sub-labels to distinguish between types. (TF/NewSub, TF/Cancellation, etc).
  • If desired, set up multiple inbox system to send all TF emails to separate box.
  • Use separate color star for TF email chains that require follow-up.

New Subscriptions

  • When new subscription email comes in, use the subscriber email address provided in the message from Paypal to send the new subscriber a new join True Fan Emails email.
  • If desired, create a canned response in Gmail with this template to save time.
  • Modify custom fields in the email--for now just Name, but also possibly custom Tier-based gift message if that plan is implemented.
  • Send email using handle

Cancelled Subscription

  • Auto forwarding for attention. See Automatic Forwarding.
  • When a user cancels, use subscriber email address to send cancellation True Fan Emails, again making sure to modify custom name field.
  • Follow-up as needed if they reply.

Monthly Financial Download

  • At the beginning of each month, go to Paypal to download the last month’s transactions.
  • Filter out non-payments and non-True Fan related entries, and sort remaining entries by type (Donation or Subscription or Payment).
  • Import these three categories to their respective sheets in the current year's spreadsheet at Paypal Finances
  • Update graphs and summaries in overview spreadsheet at Paypal Finances as needed.


There are also random donations that come in to the project. Set up accounting for this.

  • Respond to these immediately just like True Fans.
  • Log them by adding to our Dear True Fans and Supporters list

OSE Swag Process

  • This involves rewards to large True Fans subscribers, so this should be set up.


  • How do you use Campaign Monitor step by step to:
    • Input new names, categorize as True Fans?
    • Send mass emails?
    • {Kavitha}Create a new mailing list?
    • {Kavitha}View list of True Fans?
  • How do you tell when someone was added to Campaign monitor?
  • {Kavitha}Where is the current list of True Fans outside Campaign Monitor? Is this a Google doc? Is it the same as the "Dear True Fan" and "Supporters" lists? Need links.
  • {Kavitha}If for some reason we stop using Campaign Monitor, can this process be continued with Gmail or other mailing system? How do we port the mailing list from Campaign monitor, into say, Google Contacts under the opensourceeco@gmail address?
  • {Kavitha}Details of OSE Swag?

RACI Cubed

  • Responsible for doing work - The True Fans Ambassador. Parker. To True Fans and any Donors.
  • Accountable - Parker to True Fans and ED to keep True Fans informed on progress. 24 hour work week response period to new Subscribers, Donors. Monthly update of TF numbers graph. Financial accounting on OSE Finances, on a monthly basis at time of monthly payment
  • Consulted - this process, approved by ED, is sufficient to define process, and then it's taken on automatically by Responsible person
  • Informed - Reporting to community. Response emails forwarded to ED. ED can see entire list of emails. World sees process. World sees True Fans numbers. OSEMail communicates to True Fans and World the weekly updates. World sees message from True Fans on True Fans wiki page.
  • Instructed - any outside collaborator can examine entire process, access relevant info, and execute the same to relieve or share process with current Responsible party.
  • Inspired - process is made part of community process so another person can be inspired to take on the work.