“Freemium” Exists, Causes Philanthropy

March 30, 2011 at 6:59 PM Leave a comment

As bloggers, we at Giving Click pride ourselves on our up-to-minute knowledge of twee new buzzwords appearing daily across the interwebs. However, “freemium” – according to Wikipedia, a “business model that works by offering a basic product or service free of charge…while charging a premium for advanced features, functionality, or related products and services” – is a new one on us. This is especially embarrassing since the term seems to be at least five years old.

Nevertheless, we learn from Mashable that one software company has leveraged the freemium model to raise a cool million for charity:

Atlassian recently announced a donation of $1 million to Room to Read, a global non-profit aimed at improving literacy and gender equality education in developing countries. They did this through their “Causium” campaign, a twist — and portmanteau — of “freemium” and “cause marketing.” The name fits: Rather than just give away its products for free, Atlassian charged a minimal amount of money and donated all proceeds to the non-profit.

Freemium runs on the premise that if you give away a curtailed version of your product, your fans will enjoy it enough to then upgrade to a paid subscription. Causium, for all intents and purposes, is freemium in the sense that Atlassian doesn’t receive any money from the heavily discounted sales. It does, however, give the product a nominal value and help brand Atlassian as a charity-minded company.

Okay, so we missed the bus on “freemium”; at least Giving Click is getting in on the ground floor with “causium.”

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Entry filed under: Innovation.

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