Community funding
=================


[...]

ITL will not benefit from of any of the money donated
through Open Collective. Instead, the funds will be paid directly to individual
developers who have been hired to work on the open source edition of Qubes.

[...]

If you are a user of Qubes and want to help us continue working on it, please
donate now [07].


I often donate to various projects I like but I don't know *anyone* around me (friends, acquaintances, ...) who do. It's not because of wealth (you could donate something a low as 10$ to a project you like, which is the price of a meal at a random restaurant where I live). Rather, I see it as a problem related to mentality and then to lack of information: mentality, because open source = free, so why should I pay for something ? And then, lack of information, because when I get over the mentality problem and know that there ain't such thing as free beer, I either
- #1 don't know that a project is struggling
- #2 don't know how to donate
- #3 don't know to whom my money would go if I donate, and how it would be used (ie., transparency).
- #4 don't know what amount to give.
- #5 don't know if the project got enough money for a given period (eg. monthly) with donations from other people.

Your post made a good job at describing issues #1 and #2 (donating only via bitcoin was a burden), and a little bit #3: donations would go to pay a hired dev, but what would he work on ? I like the way development is done now, with ITL people vetoing features/choosing what to develop, as I trust them to know better than me what is needed and what is not. I wouldn't want large donators to impose features and/or bloat the project.

Some kind of report on the current amount of donations and how they were/are used would be welcome too, as most of the projects I've donated to don't do that and just send a "we're struggling" message every now and then in order to trigger donations. That would solve issue #5 and the remaining of issue #3. Some sites have a "donation bar" where you can see if the project has reached (or not) an expected amount of money, that might be something worth considering, that's a good visual cue. I often thought - ah, let's donate - when I would see the end of the month looming, and the monthly donation bar of a project still in the middle of expected funds (of course, you need a cash buffer of at least a few months in advance).

Now with issue #4 - what amount to give. IMO you should make clear how much a dev / devs costs, because I'm sure people think - yeah I'm going to send 10 or 20 bucks - but they have to understand that this amount is probably worth only 1 or 2 hours of paid programming work.

Addressing the "mentality" problem (that there isn't such thing as free beer, that donations are *required* to keep the project running, ...) should be advertised prominently on the web site instead of relying on people clicking on the "donate" tab. The "donate" tab would then have all the details covering the issues mentioned above.

Those are my 2c from experience I have donating to projects. Sorry for the long post :)

Side question: what is the amount of "significant resources" above which one should contact you directly rather than going through Open Collective ?

Ivan

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