PLEASE - More items on free plan for non-profits!

I work for a very small non-profit, as in only two part-time employee and a board that is completely volunteer based. I am easily able to keep my bases under the record limit to stay on the free plan. For example, my largest base has under 400 records (limit is 1200 for a free plan).

I really love AirTable, but there are so many “upgrades” (upgrades that really seem that they should be included in a base plan) that I can’t use since I’m on the free plan. There is no way that we can be a paying client. We operate on a very small annual budget. Can’t Airtable offer some minimal upgrades to non profits that are on the free plan? For example, I can’t even send an email confirmation to people that are filling out my form because I’m on a free plan. Yes, I could integrate with something like Zapier, but that is making it unnecessarily complicated to do something so simple.

I wish there was an option for non-profits to get some of the pro upgrades, even if it meant lowering the record limit. Again, my current largest base is under 400 on the allotted 1200 max.

Yeah, this would certainly be nice. I really like to see broad access to non-profits for systems that advance our communities.

But, imagine a world with 10 million 501Cs. Should Airtable’s paying customers help to subsidize all of them? What if some of the non-profits are engaged in activities incongruent with the Airtable organization or with many of its paying customers? Should Airtable’s stockholders bear 100% of the discount burden?

These are tough questions, but they’re realistic. In my view, contributions to accommodate access to the tech needed to do a better job for the non-profit should be burdened by the community it supports most. Perhaps there are stakeholders and benefactors that might be receptive to picking up the tab for a few pro accounts.

Another avenue is this organization which helps you broadcast your needs using Google grants.

I mean other platforms offer upgraded benefits at no cost to non-profits, so I’m not sure how this would be different. There are a few other tools that I use, and I have access to upgraded plans because we are a non-profit.

Airtable does offer a discount for non-profits. It still isn’t free, but it is something.

True, and most other platforms do not attract hundreds of thousands of non-profits.

How do you know that? Do you have the stats on the number of non profits that use AirTable vs the number of non profits that use other platforms that offer upgraded discounts to non profits? I would think that if I’m using other platforms, other non profits are as well.

I feel like you and I are getting into the weeds here, and that is not the point of my post to this forum. I am grateful that AirTable offers a free version, but I hope that those who make the decisions on pricing at AirTable will consider offering some additional upgraded options at no cost to non profits, even if it means restricting the base records number in order to get those upgrades. So, I could choose to upgrade at no cost if I want, and I would have access to some upgrades, but my base record numbers would maybe be more restricted.

I do not. But the extrapolations to arrive at sensible market predictions are straightforward.

In the US there are 1.6M 501C organizations and six times that for all 501 orgs. It’s a sizeable number. (for example, a publicly-traded company) has about 3.5% of its users in non-profit organizations. That’s roughly 400,000 users. Airtable has a fraction of this user base, but still, at 250,000 customers is likely significantly north of 1.2M users, possibly higher. At a 3.5% uptake by non-profits, that’s about 39,000 users and all of them are able to get favorable pricing already.

Yep - I can see your point - you want the small data sized version with more advanced features and there are two essential cost factors to consider - Airtable probably has a much bigger list of factors it uses to guide its economic/business model.

  1. Market cannibalization; how many small-data users will simply set up a proxy 501C status to avoid paying the pro plan rate?
  2. Added SaaS complexity that Airtable must add to their platform to support a new (dynamic) service level?

I cannot be certain, but I believe there are significant numbers of small-data users on Airtable. It stands to reason that no-code platforms tend to attract lots of businesses and people with simple data processing requirements. But like a Pareto curve, the long [heavy] tail of small-data users is far bigger than you might suspect.

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Yes, I love the way the tables can be linked. It helped solve some big organizational problems for me when planning our annual conference. Just wanted to put this into the community forum. I’m assuming that actual AirTable staff are reading these message boards to see what their members want, so here’s hoping maybe they will add some upgrades for non-profits in the future. I can always hope, right? :woman_shrugging:


Yes - they are listening, and probably more so when I make contrarian assertions based solely on economics and free-market forces. :wink:

What a lot of NPO’s have to deal with is that they have a lot of volunteers doing way less than 40hr/wk of work. When services charge per user the pricing metric is really problematic. I know this is complicated, and maybe not worth it, but an alternative price structure for NPO’s would be nice. Like charge per record, or usage based. That way it’s not free, but you also aren’t paying for 30 users, all of which are volunteers, using the system for 1hr/week. This is certainly not an airtable-only issue.


Yes! This is 1,000% true! For 99% of the year, our volunteers will spend 0 hours using AirTable. I am the primary user, with maybe one or two others who use is VERY sporadically. I would say that 95% of the year, I am the only one who is using our AirTable bases.

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Yep - agree - this is also known as “concurrent licensing”, a model that pretty much vanished post-dot-bomb but certainly applies in the non-profit world.