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On Thu, Dec 01, 2016 at 10:30:26AM +0200, Ivan wrote:
> > 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.

Exactly. We have always highlighted this on our donation page.

On the other hand, OpenCollective give us transparency to at least some
degree - all income and expenses are publicly visible:

> 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.

I think some kind of measurement is that we've got $410k from OTF [1]
during last year. During that time we've got also some much smaller
donations, but that doesn't change the above figure much.
This was enough to survive and release new versions, but not enough to
implement everything we've planned for. Some examples:
 - Qubes 4.0 is delayed more and more,
 - we haven't managed to add Gnome support
 - Live USB is still in alpha phase and basically unmaintained
 - a lot of bugs are not fixed (see github issues...)

This is a lot of money. And we don't think it's realistic to collect it
using public donations only. This is why we're introducing commercial
version. But it doesn't mean we don't need your support, on the
contrary! We'd love to continue work on open source project as much as
possible! Not only as a base for commercial product, but also as fully
usable and functional system on its own!

> 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 ?

I think anything >= $10k. We also have some internal overhead of
handling individual donations manually (mostly related to the number of
such donations, not necessary amount), so it doesn't worth for smaller
amounts - here is why we have OpenCollective to handle this.

[1] https://www.opentech.fund/project/qubes-os

- -- 
Best Regards,
Marek Marczykowski-Górecki
Invisible Things Lab
A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
Version: GnuPG v2


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