Member Appreciation Program

The Guinea Pig Zone Member Appreciation Program (GPZ MAP) rewards members who
   1) add value to the website,
   2) bring in additional traffic to the website and
   3) directly refer customers and/or vendor upgrades to the website.

The idea being a win/win for everyone!

Any profit generated by the site is split equally between the GP Zone (back into the site), Rescues around the world, and the Member Appreciation Program.

What's in it for you?

There are many, many ways to earn points (called ***). As certain point levels are reached, discount coupons are earned. In addition to the coupons earned, member status levels are also earned and displayed with one's profile.

What can you do with your earned coupons?

  • You can use them to purchase products with any participating vendor. See the participating vendor list.
  • You can re-assign your coupon(s) to another member. Perhaps someone in need or just a friend.
  • You can re-assign your coupon(s) to a specific rescue.
  • You can donate your coupon(s) back to the charitable pool. The system will distribute the coupons to the appropriate rescues.

Do coupons have an expiration?

Yes, they must be used within 6 months to keep the reward related to the value of the contribution.

How is a dollar value assigned to a point?

Month 1 (June, for example): Points are accumlated during the month. The total points for ALL users for the month is totalled at the end of the month.
Month 2 (July, for example): Profit is generated during the month. The total profit from the site for the month is totalled at the end of the month.
Month 3 (August, for example): Month 2 profit is divided by Month 1 points: Month 3 $/point. Coupons are awarded to users per level of points achieved.
Moving forward, undistributed points and profits carry forward to the next month.

Member Stats:

- Points earned per month, month by month.
- Total points earned.
- Total points earned and distributed as coupons.
- Total points remaining to be distributed.
- Member status level based on total points earned.
- Coupons awarded in $5 increments.

For Example:

June: Jane Doe accumulates 350 points.
June: Tom Jones accumulates 50 points.
June: Total points accumulated for June for ALL members is 15,000 points.

July: Total profit for the site at the end of July is $3,000. Monies allocated to the GPZ MAP is $1000. Monies allocated to rescues: $1,000. Put back into the site: $1,000.

August: $1,000 / 15,000 points =  $.06667/ point. Coupons are awarded in $5 increments, so it takes at least 75 points to earn a coupon ($5/.06667 = 75 points).
August: Jane Doe's earnings  = 350 pts x $.06667 = $23.33
August: Tom Jones earnings = 50 pts x $.06667 = $3.33

Jane Doe is awarded a GPZ MAP coupon for $20.00, leaving an undistributed point balance of 50 points to carry forward for next month.
Tom Jones has not accumulated enough points for a reward and his points stay in the undistributed total and are carried forward for next month.

Points and profit not awarded in coupons are carried over into the next month and added to the totals for the next month in determining the next months point value for awarding coupons.

So, the more money the site makes, the more valuable the point rewards can be. It's not about quantity, it's about quality. The more the members focus on adding real value to the site, the more everyone benefits. Just accumulating points without helping the site earn money will just dilute your point value. So, you will see in the point awards schemes that it is weighted to those members and those activities that are helping to bring in customers and vendor support.

I definitely reserve the right to make any changes to the system. And probably will to see how it works out over time and adjust for difficulties encountered in the processing or accountability or fairness.

How are coupons given and used?

Coupons can only be used with participating vendors. They must agree to accept the coupons. Upon acceptance, I will periodically send them the funds to cover the coupons redeemed. Keep in mind that VETS can sign up as a vendor. I strongly encourage YOU to get your vet signed up in this program. That way, you can use your coupons on your vet bills. This is especially helpful for rescues.

How are rescues paid in your program?

While the monies allocated to rescues are not technically part of the Member Appreciation Program, this is how it works:

In any given month, one third of the profit earned by the site is allocated as direct payments to qualifying rescues and is paid at the end of the following month (to allow for payment corrections, refunds, etc.).

How does a rescue qualify to be a recipient of the program?

First, they must be registered as a member of the site. Then, they must have their rescue listed in the directory under rescues with all required information. They must agree to the GPZ Terms of Service. If they are a known, well-established rescue, they will be granted immediate participation status. Any participating rescue must include a reciprocal link from a prominant page on their website to this one (part of the Terms of Service). If they are a lessor-known rescue, they must establish a track record with reviews and ratings from other known members. Any rescue already in the program can participate in a private support forum on this site. If any other rescue has doubts about the competency or policies of another rescue, it can be voiced there. While the ultimate decision is held by the owner of this site, all factors and issues are taken into account.

How do you determine which rescues get how much money?

Every month, the monies allocated to the rescues (1/3 of the total profit) is assigned by the population of points earned in that rescue's geographic area as well as the size of the rescue (relative to other rescues in the area). When a member registers for the site, they must indicate exactly or generally where they live. The member can also designate a specific rescue for allocating their points. Every rescue has a geographic area assigned.

If the site earned $3000 profit in a month, then $1000 total is sent to participating rescues around the world the following month. The formula is designed to be fair based on the participating population of members in their area as well as the size of the rescue. A small rescue with a few guinea pigs should not receive the same donation as a large rescue with many guinea pigs and a larger infrastructure. For geographic areas that do not have a rescue in their state, region or country, those points are distributed proportionately to those that do.

How is profit calculated?

Profit is calculated as total revenue generated by this site, less relevant expenses and reserve for taxes. Expenses include items such as software, hosting, security, transaction costs, etc. No salaries or wages are part of expenses.