[itsquad] Loomio group plan update

HgO Public Seen by 219

We received this very long mail to inform us that Loomio is changing business model : if we want to keep using their service, we will have to PAY :money_mouth:

In short, if we choose Option 1, we will have to pay at least 22€ / month, or 220€/year (because there is a discount of 50%, we need to take action before 29th May).

Of course, they forgot to mention Option 5 : install your own Loomio server. Although I don't know how much it is easy to install / maintain.

PS : I didn't copy/paste the links, because well… there were A LOT of links :sweat_smile:


I am reaching out to you today to let you know about upcoming changes to Loomio. Please read this e-mail in full as it contains important information that may affect how you use this service.

Loomio 2.0

Many of you told us that you would like a mobile app version of Loomio, and we listened. We are currently working on a mobile-first Loomio experience and can’t wait to share more about this and other new features with you!

Changes to subscription plans

Since launching in 2012, we have helped more than 100,000 groups collaborate, engage with members and reach decisions together. We feel honoured to have walked alongside many of you on this journey.

Our goal is to continue providing you with an excellent service, while also developing the Loomio platform so it can work better for you. Our vision is to help organisations like yours work better collectively, now and into the future.

As you can imagine, there are real costs to hosting, supporting and developing Loomio software. So that we can continue development and support for Loomio, we have implemented new pricing plans at loomio.org/pricing.

As a social enterprise and worker cooperative – paid subscriptions are our lifeblood and help us sponsor unfunded community groups.

What this means for you

Your group is currently on one of our legacy plans and we need to clarify plan status to ensure no disruption to your Loomio use. We are asking you to upgrade to a paid subscription plan at 50% off rate (locked in for life), apply for special rates or ask us to continue getting Loomio for free, paid by us.

Please select one of the options below. More information is available in Help Subscription pricing.

Option 1: 50% off all paid plans for life - limited time offer to 29 May 2019

Upgrade your group to a current paid subscription plan. In thanks for your active support, we are offering a 50% discount off paid plans, for your group for life! Use coupon code LOOMIO50 when you upgrade. Applicable for commercial and funded non profit organizations including political parties.
* Small (up to 50 people): $US 24.50 per month ($245.00 per year)
* Medium (up to 500 people): $US 74.50 per month ($745.00 per year)

Option 2: Member organization

If your group is a volunteer or member supported organization, apply for special rates on annual plans with the Member supported application form. Applicable for some activist organizations, co-housing groups, community groups, collectives, sports clubs and spiritual groups:

  • Small (up to 50 people): $US 98.00 per year
  • Medium (up to 500 people): $US 149.00 per year

Option 3: Unfunded community group

We sponsor Loomio free to unfunded groups such as activists, hobby groups, classroom education, families and friends.

If your group has no funds, apply for a free sponsored plan with our Community Application form.

Option 4: Move the group to a subgroup

If you have several groups, you may wish to consolidate these under a single group subscription. In most cases we can move groups to become subgroups of a parent group. To do this, please contact us.

Act now to avoid disruption to your service

We will soon be shifting all legacy groups to trial status, with limits on the number of threads and people invited. If your group has already exceeded the limits, you may not be able to invite new people or start new threads.

Please either upgrade your subscription plan or apply to continue using Loomio by 29 May 2019.


If you have any questions about these upcoming changes at Loomio, please don’t hesitate to ask. We would love to hear how Loomio is working for you via email reply, or book a time for a call here.

Thank you for your ongoing support.


Renaud Van Eeckhout Wed 8 May 2019

In short, if we choose Option 1, we will have to pay at least 22€ / month, or 220€/year (because there is a discount of 50%, we need to take action before 29th May).

Actually, it's Option 2, "Member organization" => Medium (up to 500 people): $US 149.00 per year. And Vert Ardent had a big discount (from 19€/month down to 5€/month only).

Unless I'm wrong, self-hosting would mean having to create the accounts again? Wouldn't yunohost/Discourse be an option to investigate instead then?

Where did you receive that? I didn't receive anything for the Liège group :|


HgO Wed 8 May 2019

Really, that's how they did ? Because that wasn't clear if we had to pay the membership AND pay a subscription with some discount.

Unless I'm wrong, self-hosting would mean having to create the accounts again?

You are wrong : we can export the data (in theory, I never tried, but there is an option in the group menu.

Where did you receive that?

I don't really understand why, but I received a mail from contact@loomio.org Other pirates were in copy (Pascal, Vincent, tierce, Paul and Jonas Dg)


Ilja Baert Wed 8 May 2019

I would prefere the selfhosted/discourse option as well. Loomio is a decision making platform, but we use it more as a forum.

@landermeeusen what do you think about this? The situation makes it a bit forced, but I think it would be a good way to look for an alternative to loomio.

@vanecx Did liege already experimented with discourse?

One problem I see with "self-hosting as an alternative before 29th of may" is that we'll need to move quicker than we can. So I would prefer a short term solution where we will probably pay, with a focus on getting to a self-hosted solution on the long term (not necessaraly loomio).


Renaud Van Eeckhout Wed 8 May 2019

Really, that's how they did ? Because that wasn't clear if we had to pay the membership AND pay a subscription with some discount.

The memberships mentioned in Option 2 are how our organization works. Option 1 is for for-profit organizations and publicly funded parties, Option 2 is for non-profit and membership-funded organisation (like us). Option 3 is community stuff with no funding.

@vanecx Did liege already experimented with discourse?

So technically it works fine, we don't seem to have encountered any issues. But we were too few to try it out completely, and as we were running out of time, we postponed moving to Discourse for after the elections.

Just a correction : we don't have to have an alternative ready for 29/05 (this would be super short), but from that day, we might experience limitations on creating new threads and/or adding new members. So our Loomio group would still be functional and we could give use some weeks additional time after the elections, unless some people already want to move forward now - which is very risky :sweat_smile:


HgO Wed 8 May 2019

@vanecx Well, then if it's only 5€/month, I'd be fine with that.

@iljabaert I wouldn't be against switching to Discourse or Mattermost. I'm currently testing discourse as a participative platform in Braine-l'Alleud. It's really easy to maintain (I installed through Docker), and very intuitive. I don't know yet if it's easy to use for non-tech users, though. EDIT : Also, the rights management is more organic than in loomio. You can define admins and modos, but there is also a trust system : the more you participate, the more you increase your trust level (lvl3 can do more things than lvl0 for instance).

However, I would like to take the time for this kind of decision ^ So yes, either we switch to free plan, or we try to get Option 2.


Renaud Van Eeckhout Wed 8 May 2019

Well, then if it's only 5€/month, I'd be fine with that.

But that was more than a year ago, they didn't have that plan for non-profits then, so we're Option 2 if we want to pay.


Ilja Baert Wed 8 May 2019

BTW, it's true that hosting costs money, we've been using Loomio for a while and it helped us a lot, so I definitely don't oppose giving them money (just so my stance on paying is clear as well)


Hobbes Wed 8 May 2019

I'm very new here, so bear with me if I state the obvious :-)
If just a discussion platform is needed, then there are many alternatives: from plain mailing lists to web platforms like discourse, mattermost, but also matrix (with or without federation),... But then we loose all history, and everyone has to subscribe again.
If the more advanced features of loomio are needed, or we want to keep history, then there is no choice: it's loomio. There are alternative to loomio's own hosted service, for example https://framavox.org/ . If self-hosting, the deploying method of choice seems to be docker: https://github.com/loomio/loomio-deploy. Framasoft also documented their own installation for framavox: https://framacloud.org/fr/cultiver-son-jardin/loomio.html
I don't know what's already available, but if there's already a dedicated server somewhere, it might (or might not) be able to handle loomio. So it might be free (apart from the time to set it up of course)


Ilja Baert Wed 8 May 2019

I'm very new here

Welcome! I think I saw you here before, but didn't properly welcome you, so Welcome!

from plain mailing lists to web platforms like discourse, mattermost, but also matrix (with or without federation)

Eheheh, we have #ppbe-everywhere:matrix.org for general stuff and #ppbe-internetz:matrix.org for more IT-like stuff (or at least, that's how I use it :/ ). Feel free to join!
I don't think we need advanced Loomio features. In the past we experimented with different tools a lot, which led to an explosion of accounts and tools. In the end only a few remain, loomio is one of them but, as I said, we use it more as a forum then anything else (which is why it's also a seperate thing than, say, Matrix).

But then we loose all history, and everyone has to subscribe again.

Yes, these are good points... I think short term will be to stick to loomio(.org) anyhow, but this is a concern we'll need to take into account if we decide to move.

There are alternative to loomio's own hosted service

Problem is that we'll be needing new signups as well, with no added benefit for the users AND we're stuck to a 3th party again... Somehow this feels like a step back to me. However, if selfhosting would be deemed infeasible, then it may be good to have this as an option.

I don't know what's already available

Eheh, all IT costs (including servers) are listed on https://wiki.pirateparty.be/ITSquad . But if we need a new server, we can always spin one up. We've already been trying to cut some costs, but it needs to stay practical as well ofc.

@hgo I feel we desperatly need a new IT-meeting... (after elections ofc) We'll need to discuss how we're gonna handle tools in general and how to handle sign-on/accounts (single-sign-on?, how will accounts be created, what kind of tools will it allow...). Then we have this loomio thing, we have the pads that need to move...


Christophe Cop Thu 9 May 2019

Provided we can come with enough funding : I'm willing to provide some monetary support , but we then should really need to reconsider how we get some steady funding from our 'members' in order to continue using the platform.
If hosting ourself is an option : it requires time and effort of someone who is willing and able to do that, and needs to be able to hand over the maintenance if that person decides to stop - . So does that outweigh the costs loomio will be charging?
We had our own platforms in the past (liquid democracy, get opinionated), and they all stranded...
So i prefer the option that is most viable and has more chance to persist over time.


HgO Thu 9 May 2019

@iljabaert Yes, we need a IT meeting, but I'll have less time starting from June as I'll start working :/

I think everyone is saying the same thing : let's try to have the loomio membership (option 2), which would cost us about 10€/month (it's 150 US dollars / year, so about 130€ / year). I think that's a fair price, and that'll help the loomio team developping the project.

We must apply through this Google form : https://forms.gle/yg2HpRZkmYmGEyBq7

I agree that having a new server with loomio would be more maintenance, and I'm almost alone to do that (and I'll have less time in the next month).

In the meantime, we should explore other solutions, like Discourse or Mattermost…


Lander Meeusen Fri 10 May 2019

Too bad that there's going to be charges. :(

On the other hand this is an occasion to evaluate our communication. To do that properly and inclusively we'll need time. (Questions I have: what do people think of Loomio? (pro's/con's) What other platforms are available? (I'd like to add https://citizens.is/. It's used by the Pirateparty in Amsterdam. https://yrpri.org/community/705) What do we need in a platform? (discussion, voting, ...?)

So I agree with most of what's being said: keep Loomio for now, pay for it and start looking and thinking about other options.


HgO Sun 12 May 2019

I started a pad for the Loomio membership application form : https://pad.pirateparty.be/p/loomio-application


Ilja Baert Sun 12 May 2019

I answered the other questions too


HgO Fri 17 May 2019

Thanks to those who answered ! I'll send the form tonight ;)


HgO Sat 18 May 2019

I just sent the form, and it was super fast :o

I got a coupon code. @patrickinstalle I'll send it to you, with a link to do the payment.

Unfortunately, we can only get the discount for a yearly subscription… That means that if we decide to self-host or try alternatives, we will do it next year (or pay for "nothing")


Renaud Van Eeckhout Sat 18 May 2019

Thank you :)

We wouldn't be paying for "nothing", as we would still have Loomio available if the other options ended up not being good enough after all, and/or giving a little bit too much in the next months makes up for not having contributed for a tool we use since a few years already.


Lander Meeusen Sun 19 May 2019

Thank you for taking care of it. A year should give us enough time to come up with a plan. Should we open a new thread? Or maybe two separate threads: what do we need in an online platform? / What options are out there (pros and cons)?


HgO Tue 21 May 2019

Ok, this was unexpected, but the Loomio team decided to offer us the plan upgrade :astonished: :tada: :confetti_ball: :


Thanks for filling out our Member supported application form. It is very good to hear about your work and how you are using Loomio :-)

We would love to support and encourage use of Loomio in your community, so I have upgraded your Loomio group to the Medium plan for 12 months, for free.

The cost of your group is funded by Loomio, and we hope you can make good use and encourage your members to use Loomio in their workplaces and communities.

Is there anything else I can help you with?

Warm regards,


Florence D. Wed 22 May 2019

Salut je ne comprends pas les discussions en anglais donc je n ai pas suivi mais en gros on reste sur loomio et c est gratuit c est ça ?


Renaud Van Eeckhout Thu 23 May 2019

Oui, c'est bien ça. Ils avaient demandé à ce qu'on passe à un tarif payant comme tout le monde, on remplit le formulaire, et en réponse ils disent qu'ils nous offrent le truc pour 1 an.