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Charitable Fund for Angels

I've started a new charitable fund for BookMooch Angels.

The goal is to give an extra point to reward people who act as Angels, helping books get from one country to another.

I've just given 20 of my personal points to this charity, and another 30 points from my general-purpose BM charitable fund.

If you love what Angels do, please
click here to give some of your points to support them.

Admin Mark had the idea, and I really liked it. Initially, the idea is for Mark to be able to give an extra point to people who act as Angels and who ask for the extra point. Over time, Mark will likely delegate that administrative role to someone else.

One reason for setting up this fund is that in 3 months' time, international mooches will cost 3 points (they cost 2 points today) and so the incentive to be a BM angel will be lower, as an Angel earns two points for each book they ferry onwards (they spend one point to get the book, then get 3 points when they send it, for a net total of 2 points). This is explained in a recent blog entry: Coming: 3 point intl mooches

-john

John Buckman
3 years ago

Comments



Fabulous idea, I just donated some points to it to get the ball rolling ;0)
Jo Harpley
3 years ago
I like the idea. It does help the angels, of which I am one.

But the extra points will also mess with our ratios.

A suggestion that the angels could ask for a waiver on the mooch ratio limit, if/when needed.

I get smooches for angeling, but that has also messed with my ratio.

Please consider this.

marmalade
3 years ago
 A suggestion that the angels could ask for a waiver on the mooch ratio limit, if/when needed.

I get smooches for angeling, but that has also messed with my ratio.

Please consider this.

It's definitely something I'm watching, and Mark and I have discussed possibly adding an admin-override for the mooch ratio of specific users.

I'll continue to watch the situation and think of ways to promote Angeling.

Mooch Angels are definitely in my thoughts!

-john

John Buckman
3 years ago
Ok, now this is awesome. :)
Belladonna1975
3 years ago
The Angels thank you, John, and also those who have donated points. Speaking of which, will go do that now....

Michelle

michelle
3 years ago
Question: how exactly will this work? I angel-mooched a book yesterday for someone; however, it was not through an "offical" angel-request, but an angel-request on the LibraryThing BookMooch group.

How exactly will you know if the person asking for points is indeed acting as an angel? Or is it just anyone who asks the charity for a point and says it's as an angel?

Heather
3 years ago
Hi Heather,
I think being an Angel on the official Angel List might be a place to start....otherwise, suggestions?

Michelle

michelle
3 years ago
Okay, donated. BTW, I am planning to revamp the Angel list page by putting in tabs and having the individual countries in smaller groups so supplicants don't have to scroll down the whole page to find an Angel. I am looking at making it a little more user-friendly. I also am interested in the answer to the question of how the points will be distributed. Does the recipient of the angel's services recommend them for a point?
Cara
3 years ago
How will you know which transactions are angel transactions vs a regular international transaction? Currently this all takes place through private email, or at least the vast majority of mine do once I have an established relationship with someone. Is this going to happen automatically or are we going to have to beg?
Becca
3 years ago
Michelle, who has posted above, is the current head of the Bookmooch Angel Network.

She has agreed to help with planning out how points can best be distributed and to help manage the new fund as well.

There are a number of ways to distribute points, one could send a weekly or monthly tally for instance.

My sense is that the generosity of those who support angeling will keep the new fund healthy and that there will plenty of points available to fairly compensate all of those kind enough to act as an angel.

mark
3 years ago
As a Canadian Moocher I use Angels a lot to get books so am delighted to see this Charity set up to compensate these wonderful generous people. I will go mooch some points now & see how it proceeds & what the Angels think.

Thank you John for all you do for BM

Gerri
3 years ago
Many times the first book I Angel goes through the Angel forum
Angel Requests
but then I will ask for a second mooch and that goes through email. I think a mooch turn over of a few days or week to an international country should be enough of "proof" except that sometimes I'll mooch several books and they come in at different times, sometimes even over a month.

Also there are certain people that know me and will request directly from me first because of trolling of the forum, and they know I am online. Of course we could retroactively put a post on the forum for the already mooched as an Angel book. I think turn over is the best way to show it is a Angel book.

Also just like you give "Adjustments" for International books in the ratio, maybe you could put a Angel credit adjustment too.

Amy W
3 years ago
I do not favor anything that relies on the forums here. NO offense, but they are horribly designed and I cannot stand to use them. That's why I post over at LT. All of my new transactions are generated by people finding me via the official angel list. If they subsequently use me we just do it through email. Please do NOT make me use the forums here, I would probably sooner stop angeling.

Sorry, but I run my own business and one of the primary functions of my website is the forum. I loathe poorly designed forums.

One way to do it would be to remove all of the existing bookmooch angel listings, and create like 50 new ones that were all the "official" ones. They could be monitored for activity, maybe cross-referenced with the list of official angels.

Becca
3 years ago
Thank you for supporting the angel network.
Cindy
3 years ago
You are full of good ideas today Becca! ;)

I have been just reposting the book after I receive it. I would definitely start using "official" angel listings instead for tracking purposes.

Belladonna1975
3 years ago
Thank you!!!
orialla
3 years ago
I have been an Angel for as long as I am on BM. Sending Worldwide from the whole of Europe!

But please listen to what Marmalade says:
quote
A suggestion that the angels could ask for a waiver on the mooch ratio limit, if/when needed.
I get smooches for angeling, but that has also messed with my ratio.
unquote

I am not an Angel anymore but regret it very much. But what will I do with the points if my ratio prevents me from spending them???

If you find a solution for that I will become an Angel again in a minute!

Zjanette
3 years ago
First of all, thank you for this brilliant idea.

the angel system is a wonderful thing, and I have relied on angels a few times to get books I wanted, and have angled my self a couple of times.

I will donate points as soon as I am finished posting here.

But I would like to add my voice to the requests for finding a workable system to distribute these points.

I have done all my angel transactions through LT as well. I usually offer to angel for someone if I see a request, and think that I can afford it. But I do like to select the requests I respond to myself. I am still not sure I would like my name to appear on any list, official or otherwise. This might be a silly personal feeling, and might not make any difference, but I just makes me feel more comfortable with angeling.

I do like the idea of doing this through the angel network listings.

Conachair
3 years ago
Sounds great! This will help encourage BookMooch Angels in the Philippines to become more active again. Now, several, including myself gave up responding to Angel requests in forums (at LT, here, at our BookMoochers Pilipinas page on Shelfari, etc.) since international postage has gone up, (though I still respond to angel requests I receive directly in my email inbox and they're often from BookMooch friends I couldn't say no to).

On behalf of Filipino Fallen Angels, thanks for this John.

czar
3 years ago
If an angel requests a book in their own country and then re-posts it for a member to mooch in another country this will have a benefitial impact on the angel's ratio.

In other words, the angel's ratio will go down and they will be able to mooch more books for themselves in the long run, more so the more often they act as an angel. And so those who have angeled in this way in the past (as I believe most have), will have lower ratios today based on their past angel mooches sent to other countries.

Michelle will be in charge of point distribution, and I'm sure she has some good ideas on how people should best communicate their tally of points needed. As there are several ways people can act as angels, I'm sure she will find ways to keep track of each way to be sure everyone is fairly compensated.

mark
3 years ago
Fine. But I mooch from the whole of Europe in able to send the books overseas.

If I restrict myself to the Netherlands it would be very easy to be an Angel. The easy way out so to speak.

But I trust you will keep an eye on things and I just made up my mind to become an Angel again after two days of sulking. ;)))

Zjanette
3 years ago
After reading these comments (mostly positive!) I am pleased that the Angel Charitable Fund has so much acceptance. It is a great idea to encourage angels who need a little extra compensation for what can be super expensive and/or complicated angel mooches, I am focusing on the word "Charitable" - I hope this isn't a free-for-all giveaway to be distributed among all angels or a pay-out for absolutely every angel mooch, it is a CHARITY to help out angels in need, right?
At least that is what I am hoping for. So when I donate to the fund, it is not with the idea that I am investing and expect a return for my "money".
I angel mooch regularly for people who frequently smooch me extra points for particularly heavy packages, so even though the standard points I receive don't "cover" the expense, the good will and smooches make up for it. In cases like that I don't need or want charity.
But for people in other countries with fewer members (like China,Spain or Venezuela) the possibility of helping our 'little' angels to send there would be a great motivator to get more books for them!
I'm not a computer geek, and know little about programming, but I am confident that an equitable program will be developped to provide help as needed. Please, everyone, give the plan a chance - like many innovations, there will be glitches and a few misunderstandings, but like most every other innovation on BM, eventually the bugs will be fixed and the plan will work!!
Glenda Hamilton
3 years ago
But the extra points will also mess with our ratios.

Sorry, have I missed something here? How can extra points given/smooched/charitied to you affect your ratio, when the ratio is purely the result of the 'ratio points' from books mooched over the 'ratio points' from books sent?

crimson-tide
3 years ago
I'm with you Glenda. I don't need points or charity.
But maybe, someday, I will need charity when it comes to my ratio.
Zjanette
3 years ago
crimson-tide, When you get extra points/smooches, it allows you to get extra books. That is where the ratio gets "top heavy".

Take a look at my ratio. 1.4:1

But if you look at my actual book to book ratio, it is over 2:1
My international ratio is more like .5:1 or 1:2 very acceptable because I send more internationally than I mooch.

That was possible from extra smooches (yes, I also smooch others, but not in equal numbers). True, not all smooches come from angeling, but most do come because of angeling.

THAT is why I requested that there be an exception for angels if their bookmooch ratios go over 2:1. I've got aways to go, but I don't like the idea of being penalized for being nice & being helpful.

marmalade
3 years ago
Re-posted from the LT forum:

Good Morning!
I HATE posting things before I give things alot of thought - I am really much more of a "lurker" than a "poster" - but I just wanted to assure everyone that the doors are wide open in terms of how this program will work.

There have already been alot of valid points posted on both forums (such as, just off the top of my head, the need to accomodate the different kinds of Angels, the need to help the Angels who need it the most, the suggestion that a message board or forum thread be used for tracking, etc.). There will be a few of us working on this program from the start, and I foresee the need for volunteers for gathering the data, brainstorming, and back-up - so there's a ways to go before things are set in stone.

Ideally, I'd like to rely on a modified "honour system" (we can't check everything), but with some safeguards against fraud. Please keep the ideas coming, and we'll do our best to see that things get underway a.s.a.p., and that there is transparency and fairness regarding point distribution.

Thanks for your enthusiasm and support :)

Michelle

michelle
3 years ago
Thanks for that explanation marmalade, it is an indirect connection.
Yes, you do have a long way to go, and as you send more internationally than you mooch I can't see it being a problem. Could be more of an issue for the non-US Angels I guess (of which I am one). :-)
crimson-tide
3 years ago
c-t, that is why I requested the 'over-ride' of the ratio for Angels. Non-US angels do a lot, too. The costs are astronomical in many places and with the new "security charge" for packages coming into the US via airmail, I would also add ridiculous!!

But that's just my opinion.

marmalade
3 years ago
I'm not too sure a special ratio bump would be needed for those who act as angels, it would be very hard to implement fairly I think.

And as mentioned above, most angels (those who mooch from their own country and then send to another country), will have their ratio improved (lowered) every single time they act as an angel, so will indeed by able to use those nice smooches that come in to get more books for themselves.

The general idea of the fund is to be sure angels do not lose points by angeling as they have been. They are already going to a lot of extra effort, so should at least receive as many points as for a standard international send.

I'm sure some people have chosen not to act as angels as they did not want to lose points from having done so, so there are hopes this will help expand the pool of people willing to act as angels, in part to give those who regularly angel a bit of a break.

To address a couple of points raised from others in parallel discussion on this topic:

While full automation could be implemented, there are some who do not feel the need for being compensated, and, as above, as there are many ways to act as in angel, it would be hard to cover them all through any kind of automated system.

I am confident Michelle and those who help her will be able to distribute points without making people feel uncomfortable about asking for them.

mark
3 years ago
Hooray for you and Mark! My charity used angels to get books to the Philippines, we could not have got the quantity of American particularly), Canadian and Chinese books without using these marvellous generous people! I applaud the idea! Gill
tennantfamily
3 years ago
What if, when the angel mooch reached its final destination (when the moocher might normally smooch the angel) they could notify "the angel team leader" and that would generate an angel credit?

In this way, the angel wouldn't be "asking" for the extra credit, but would be "rewarded" or "thanked" for the angel mooch.

marmalade
3 years ago
As a follow-up to my Hooray! could I suggest three further tweaks please?
1. I often look at all the charity info in order to give points to charities short of points and using those they get actively. It would help if each charity page had a "back to charities" button at the bottom, as I spend a long time scrolling back and forth to check.

2. Also doing this I noticed the Angel charity is doing very nicely, but the points list says the donors of points have received points from the charity??? Is this a miswording?

3. Please can we demote charities who are being given points but are totally inactive?
If charities were asked to log in physically at least once a month, they could be removed if they then do not log in and fail to respond to an automated email asking them if they are active still. (This could happen with all accounts and those not responding be put on vacation automatically.)
Charities like
Books for Schools last here 828 days ago having 5834 points some given very recently,
The Public Libraries Charity fund USA last here 1211 days ago with 5640 points to date,
I found one charity active and with only ONE point. This seems crazy to me. One or two of us who run charities put a status message when we no longer need points. It seems common courtesy to me for charities not to abuse points given them by leaving them stacking up.

tennantfamily
3 years ago
Gill and Mark,
I looked at the charity page, and didn't see any "hand-outs" The listing "charity received" is actually a list of points received from the donors... a pretty impressive response to what is a real need! I am sure that no points have been given out yet, because Michelle and Mark are still working hard to set up a plan.
As for inactive charities, wow that is an eye-opener. John will need to address this too, ( you sure have a lot on your plate right now, John!)
Glenda Hamilton
3 years ago
Hi, Yes I realised they were donations as they all add in and the totals are more. It is just the wording is weird: for example at random the last entry:
781 +40 821 received points from charity Kirsten C. (USA: AZ) 2011/01/22

See? It says "received points from charity" rather than "donated points to charity" or "gave points to charity". Odd?

Yes, I am constantly shocked at the number of inactive charities. I have been in toucvh with Mark W. about closing mine down, but a prominent notice (it's just below the angel charity) means people did stop giving points I could not spend. A little HTML goes a long way!
If you want a recommendation for people deserving points I would like to nominate the angels I used, Mary sent boxes and boxes for us 20+ at a time and always gave points back too, Melinda took no points and just sent them a load at a time without them being mooched till I stopped her when one lot got taxed. An ordinary Canadian BMer acted as an angel on occasions too and EdwinBC a few from China. Gill

tennantfamily
3 years ago
I meant to add the 10,000 points unused in those two charities alone should go some way to balancing inflationary points!
tennantfamily
3 years ago
This makes me quite happy :-) I angel mooch generally 1-3 books per pay period (2 weeks). Depending on where the books are headed, it can get quite expensive and having extra compensation to make up for those times is more than appreciated. I need to remember to make a list of books that are wishlisted next time I go to Half Price. I was looking at their clearance and they had lots of good books. Maybe next time I'll pick them up anyways :-P
Lisa
3 years ago
"received points from charity" means "received points from the charity function of Bookmooch" not "received points from *a* charity". When I have been given points by another moocher (refunds for multi-moochers or something) I get the notice I have "received points from charity". Could be worded better perhaps.
Cara
3 years ago
Yes, better wording possible is all I meant.
tennantfamily
3 years ago
Great idea John! I'll be happy to donate some points! :-)
Donna
3 years ago
What exactly is a Bookmooch angel? Just someone who sends books internationally? I have been doing this since I signed on, sometimes I make out okay, but most of the time even with 3 points, I lose money. It's just nice to be able to share the books that wouldn't otherwise be able to get overseas.
Googlebutts
3 years ago
@Googlebutts When there's a book that's available "only to my country", someone from another country who wants that book can try to find a person willing to mooch the book locally then list it for them to remooch, the go-between is the "angel".
Aude
3 years ago
Look at
BookMooch_Angel_Network for further information!
tennantfamily
3 years ago
A good idea when putting in the initial request to say, "if you can't send it abroad, please will you hold it for me whilst I locate an angel?". Otherwise you may well lose it to another moocher before managing to re-request through the angel.
tennantfamily
3 years ago
What if, when the angel mooch reached its final destination (when the moocher might normally smooch the angel) they could notify "the angel team leader" and that would generate an angel credit?
In this way, the angel wouldn't be "asking" for the extra credit, but would be "rewarded" or "thanked" for the angel mooch.

Thank you marmalade for this suggestion.

My concern: I have Angeled for people here and there that I have "picked up" from the BM forums and I regularly angel for someone in Italy but am not an official BookMooch Angel as I cannot afford to do this for everyone. How would I benefit from this Angel Charity?

I really like the suggestion Marmalade made about the person who receives the Angel package sending a message to the Angel Team Leader to generate a "thank you" credit. I like this because I really don't want to have to ask (or, as I see it "beg") for extra points to make it worth my while to be Angeling for someone.

ZzzKATzzzz
3 years ago
A good idea when putting in the initial request to say, "if you can't send it abroad, please will you hold it for me whilst I locate an angel?". Otherwise you may well lose it to another moocher before managing to re-request through the angel.

I've had this problem in the past and this definitely would help us out. Thanks Gill & Mark Tennant for suggesting this. I've given permission to the woman I regularly Angel for in Italy to ask this when she sends her requests out and she puts in the message my user name so they can reserve it for me. It's worked quite well for us and our success rate for the Angel mooches has improved.

ZzzKATzzzz
3 years ago
I'm missing something on the math here. After the international point change, it will still cost the Angel 1 point to mooch the book from his/her own country, and the Angel will still get 3 points for sending it internationally, so won't the Angel still be getting the two-point reward? Isn't the cost only going up for the person receiving the Angel mooch, who will have to give the Angel 3 points instead of two? Do I have this mixed up?

That said, I applaud those who participate in the Angel program and am in favor of rewarding them.

Carly
3 years ago
Absolute point value of the angeling will still be the same, but unless they get smooched or compensated by the Angel charity fund that's being set up, after the change the 2 points they have left won't be enough to make a full international request themselves.
Aude
3 years ago
It is listed there under Bookmooch charitable funds at http://bookmooch.com/m/charity_log_given_detail?name=charitable_fund
tennantfamily
3 years ago

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