Gather is community supported software.
It is currently in beta and free to use.
In order to sustain the project, once the beta period is over we will be asking communities to contribute on a sliding scale of
Children are free. No community will be turned away for lack of funds.
A 90-day trial period will be allowed so that communities can fully explore the system before subscribing. This period can be extended upon request to accommodate community budget schedules.
Software is expensive to build and many software companies rely on funding from private investors to get off the ground.
The Gather team has never taken funding from venture capitalists and has no plans to. Instead, initial development of Gather was supported by hobbyist work and the Touchstone Cohousing workshare system.
In order to take Gather to the next level and serve a wider range of community needs, we need more time to work on the system, and this means we need funding. Yet we don’t want to be beholden to the demands of private investors, only the members of the communities we serve.
This is why we are asking for community support.
Hosting costs represent the primary material cost of the system. Funds may also eventually support advertising and travel costs for marketing purposes.
Supporting staff time represents the lion’s share of the system’s cost. Staff time is spent on the following tasks:
The more funds that can be raised to defray these costs, the faster development can proceed, and the more community needs can be met.
Gather is a project of Sassafras Tech Collective, a worker cooperative based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Sassafras and the cooperative movement are committed to valuing people over profit.
Sassafras provides a stable and sustainable home for Gather.
As Gather matures, we are looking forward to exploring the nascent platform cooperative model for Gather. In this model, the Gather system would be owned by a cooperative entity comprised of both the workers who build the system and the community members who use it.
Forming Gather as platform cooperative would ensure its continued accountability to those it serves, rather than investors or shareholders, as the system grows.