A Liberapay team coordinates donations from multiple donors to multiple donees. The donors choose how much they want to give, the team members specify how they want to share the money, and Liberapay attempts to distribute the funds accordingly.
A team account isn't meant to be used by the members of single legal entity, it is designed for a group of independent individuals or organizations who work together on a common project. However, it's also okay to create a team account for a project that only has one contributor, as this allows marking a donation as being intended to support that project specifically rather than the person behind it.
A team account does not store money for later use. Every donation is distributed immediately, either to multiple members if possible, or to a single member when splitting the money isn't supported by the payment processor. Because of these payment processing limitations, the amounts received by the members can be temporarily unbalanced, especially if the team has fewer patrons than members.
If Liberapay team accounts don't fit your needs, you may want to use the Open Collective platform instead, which allows a team to be “hosted” by a registered nonprofit. This “fiscal host” is the legal owner of the team's funds, oversees how they're used, and takes a 5% fee. (We're planning to implement a similar system in Liberapay, but we don't know when it will be done.)
Creating a team
You need to sign into your own account first.
Becoming a team member
Once you have contributed to a team's project, ask its members to invite you. Don't forget to tell them what your username is.
Sharing the money
Teams don't have a hierarchy, all their members are equal and set their own take.
You can change your takes from your teams dashboard. It contains tables that show the nominal takes of all members for the next and previous payday, as well as an estimate of the actual amounts of money they'll receive in the next payday.
The nominal takes are the raw numbers that the members input themselves, the actual takes are computed by the system: first it sums up the nominal takes, then it computes the percentage that each take represents, and finally it applies those percentages to the available income. Nominal takes also act as maximums: the actual takes are never higher than the nominal ones, even if additional income is available.
You may wonder why we treat nominal takes as maximums instead of simple percentages. It's because having maximums allows a team to have unused income (called “leftover”), and that is good in several ways. Firstly, it provides a “cushion” that stabilizes the income of the team's members. Secondly, it eases the integration of new members into a team, because as they increase their takes they reduce the leftover instead of affecting the income of the other members. Thirdly, it allows our software to adjust the amounts that donors actually transfer to the team's members, in a way that balances the donors' contributions over time, thus making the system more fair. Finally, it encourages donating to a team even if it has already reached its funding goal, which is good for the stability of the team's income.
By default all team members have their take set to the special value 'auto', which corresponds to an equal share of the leftover. In other words, the members who set their takes explicitly get funded first, then whatever's left is distributed in equal amounts to the members who have automatic takes.
Regulation of take amounts
When “take throttling” is enabled for a team, its members can't raise their takes higher than a maximum computed on the basis of the nominal takes at the time of the previous payday. This mechanism is meant to encourage inviting new contributors to join the team, by ensuring that they won't take a disproportionate share of the income in their first weeks.
The limit works like this: you can always increase your take to $1.00 if it was below that, you can double your take compared to the previous week, you can raise your take to claim the team's leftover income, and you can bring your take up to the level of the median take in the previous payday. Whichever of these possibilities results in the highest amount is your maximum take for the week.
Takes are not limited if the team has only one member, or if the previous week's takes were all zero (which is the case for any new team that has been created after the most recent payday).
Please contact support if you want to enable or disable the take limits for an existing team. Don't forget to include evidence that the change has been approved by the other team members.
Removing team membership
You can leave a team from your teams dashboard.
Kicking a member out of a team is not implemented yet. Please contact support with evidence that the member needs to be kicked out and that there is consensus on that among the other members.
Closing a team account
A team account is automatically closed when its last member leaves.