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I received my first donation on my open-source side project (gourav.io)
404 points by jerrygoyal 14 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 106 comments



I have been running an open source MathJax-based mathematics pastebin[1] since 2012 and I had received 2 donations for it until recently. Then a mathematician tweeted[2] about it convincing others to send some donations. After that kind gesture by him, I received 3 more donations. So pretty sure I can't make a living out of donations. :-) But I still appreciate them because they help in covering a portion of the hosting cost.

Also, I never seriously expected donations for this project because I don't work much on it these days apart from cleaning up spam from time to time, complying with legal notices and occasional maintenance. I added a donation button only to see if someone would use it. Apart from covering hosting cost, I think an important side effect of the donations is that it provides some additional motivation to continue working on the project and develop it further which I indeed plan to do as soon as I can find the time for it.

[1] http://mathb.in/

[2] https://twitter.com/daveinstpaul/status/1345082256361193473


So that's 2 donations in 8 years - or about 0.25 donations per year. And _three_ donations in the last year!

Or 1200% YoY growth!

(VCs please form an orderly queue...)


What kind of legal notices are you routinely dealing with? That's a frightening aspect of maintaining an open source side project I hadn't really considered.


The notices are usually takedown notices to remove content violating various regulations that spammers often post to the website. This issue occurs if my spam filter or I do not detect and remove such content before someone else finds it and submits a complaint about it.

In my experience, this additional overhead comes with hosting a live service that allows user-generated content. Other types of projects where the tool is run offline or where the users take the tool and host it themselves are fine.


Honestly, I think I heard about the website you are using about donations but I wouldn't necessarily put my credit card in there.

It would be trivial for you to also put a PayPal address, which seems safer for one-off donations.

You might also be tempted to put BTC/ETH addresses but I doubt there's many donors that way.


You can pay via PayPal and the author likely receives money via PayPal.

One could cut out the middle man, but at the same time, it's a prettier interface to look at specifically made for the purpose of donations.


I don't see a PayPal logo underneath the 'Pay' button.


I guess it's country-dependent then? I can see debit/credit card and PayPal as options as soon as I click on "support".


I'm stupid , but what exactly do mathematicians do ?

I'd assume economists are a significant portion of them ???


First, to you comment:

Economists are not generally mathematicians, any more than physicists are. I draw that analogy intentionally because in both cases there are subsets of the areas where the lines get a little bit fuzzy and individuals are doing a bit of both.

Second to your question. The shortest answer is that mathematicians create mathematics.

There are significant distinctions in how they typically think about world (e.g. discrete vs continuous) or what motivates/justifies the work (i.e. pure vs. applied) but underlying it all at the core is the act of creation, and of understanding those creations and how they relate to other things.

Many non-mathematicians use some mathematics routinely as a means to an end, but for mathematicians it is much of the end itself.

A couple of people have commented on the ways in which it is like art, and aesthetics is important. Hardy said "Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics." , and I can't think of mathematician who would disagree. Applied mathematicians tend to take motivation from a problem from somewhere else, but also value aesthetics of the solution.


In my head, there's a difference between "arithmetic" and "mathematics".

People (like economists) who add/subtract/multiply/divide _numbers_ are doing arithmetic.

Mathematics is _rarely_ concerned with "numbers" as such - they deal in "truth" and "systems" and "logic" and "patterns".


Indeed! There is a popular saying, "Arithmetic is to mathematics as spelling is to writing." Of course, a mathematician is often good at arithmetic just like a writer is often good at spelling. However, someone merely good at arithmetic is no more a mathematician than someone good at spelling is a writer.

A related story from http://www.ams.org/notices/200410/fea-grothendieck-part2.pdf quoted below:

> There is also a running joke that mathematicians tend to be bad at mental calculations. The story about Grothendieck prime comes to my mind: In a mathematical conversation, someone suggested to Grothendieck that they should consider a particular prime number. "You mean an actual number?" Grothendieck asked. The other person replied, yes, an actual prime number. Grothendieck suggested, "All right, take 57."


I've seen questions of this kind a lot on HN, and I think they really deserve a better answer than what I can come with. Here's my best shot at an answer:

Mathematics is a bit like art. There is no functional purpose to art, people just do it for the sake of itself, and for the intellectual stimulation. Likewise, mathematics deals with building theory on top of previous theory, with no real purpose other than for the sake of building theory and getting intellectual stimulation.

Think of this: Where did that previous theory come from? It was built on top of previous theory, etc. Mathematics is pretty much a never-ending stack of things built on top of each other for the sake of building things on top of each other.

Every now and then (quite often actually), there is some really useful stuff that can be done with this enormous stack of theory, with applications in practical fields like computer science or engineering. In fact the computer was invented as a result of a lot of merely theoretical contemplations about the nature of logic. But for a "pure" mathematicians, the applications are not the main focus of mathematics. For a forum like HN where a lot of folks are driven by doing stuff, this idea might seem rather strange, but it is the same motivation that drives artists and probably many other things.

Then there's of course the applied mathematicians who try to use everything they know about math to work on some real-world problem. Theoretical computer science is often a good example, where we build algorithms that try to improve performance for some practical problem by using mathematical insights into the properties of the problem. But there's also less applied computer science, where algorithms are built merely because they are interesting or beautiful or whatever, and then maybe someone finds a need to apply them, or not.

For those without any formal education in mathematics, here's a little problem that will help you understand what a mathematical proof actually is: Consider some set S containing some elements (anything really, just some stuff). For any elements a, b in S, we define an operation: a + b yields some other element of S (+ here is just a symbol, not necessarily addition). The operation + has only the following properties:

  - (0) a + b is another element of S
  - (1) For any c in S, we have (a + b) + c = a + (b + c)
  - (2) There exists a special element in S, written as 0, such that a + 0 = a, for any a in S
Note that we did not assume that b + a = a + b. In particular, 0 + a might not be a. Assume that there exists an element 0' such that 0' + a = a = a + 0. Use only the properties stated above to argue that 0 = 0'. If it helps, replace "+" with any other symbol.

----

Solution: This structure (a set with an associative operation and a neutral element) is called a monoid. We are proving that the neutral element of a monoid is both "left-neutral" and "right-neutral". The proof proceeds as follows:

By (1), we have 0' + 0 = 0', but also 0' + 0 = by our assumption of 0. Hence 0' + 0 = 0' = 0, which was to be shown.

This solution is fairly straightforward. The next step is to try your hand at something a little more complicated: Define a second operation (-a) which takes an element of S and returns an element of S called the inverse of a, with the property that a + (-a) = (-a) + a = 0, for any a in S. Prove that (-(-a)) = a.


To elaborate on the idea that Math is like art, others have pointed out that despite mathematicians best efforts to avoid practical applications, it often ends up being useful anyways:

http://faculty.cord.edu/andersod/wigner-hammingresponse.pdf


I don't think it's accurate to say mathematics is always art. Two theoretical fields in particular: fourier analysis, which came from wanting to solve heat flow equations, and probability, which came from wanting to win at games of chance, come to mind as applied math migrating to theoretical


So I'm guessing there's a handful of professorship positions, of pure mathematics and getting the published papers.

And everyone else kind of just gets normal jobs in the private sector. I think a lot of quants come from PhD mathematics


There's a handful of extremely accomplished professors, but beyond that contributions come from all over the place. Anyone with a bright idea can contribute. As for getting paid to do it, well, you are probably right, but for many people it is probably also just a bit of a hobby.


I can't remember which TV-series I saw it in, some kind of murder or "who dun' it?" show. But I remember that they had a pretty genuine and true role for a mathematician in that episode.

The mathematician was tasked with calculating the areas of manhattan that would be hit during stormy weather and give a rough estimation of the required drainage for the water to seep away.

That's the rough details, can't remember exactly. However, it always struck me as a job where the "mathematician as a job" fit really well.


Not sure I agree. That task was "quantity surveying, estimating, and arithmetic" not mathematics.

A mathematician would have proved for all cities and terrain topologies there's a critical viscosity of liquid above which it is impossible to effectively drain them, along with an estimate of the lower bound of that viscosity.

<grin>


NSA is one of the largest employers of mathematicians. They look for flaws in crypto implementations.


Was looking forward to using it but, it says my IP is blacklisted. :(


It was the spam filter at work. I have tuned it just now. Would you please try once more and see if you can use it now?

By the way, this spam filter is one of the things I want to fix when I resume work on this project again. Currently, it blacklists IP addresses whereas ideally it should be blocking certain type of content only.


The first donation to my open source project (1) came from someone who went through the trouble of emailing me to ask how they could donate.

Since then, I've embraced receiving donations and last year I ended up receiving more than 10.000 euro. (2)

I (re)donate everything to charity, for reasons (3), but even then it's a great motivator. If it wasn't for the money I would have burned out long ago. It really means a lot when people show their support in such a tangible way.

I recommend everyone to both accept donations, and donate to others.

(1) https://freesewing.org/ (2) https://freesewing.org/blog/bye-2020/ (3) https://freesewing.org/docs/various/pledge/motivation/


I just read your reasons (3), and I think you are pretty awesome. Thanks for doing this!


Hey thanks, that's really kind of you!

Nice work! Just out of curiosity: Which of the price tiers (1) is chosen most regularly?

(1) https://freesewing.org/community/join/


The lowest one is most popular (2 euro per month), but the middle one (4 euro) is almost as popular. The top tier (8 euro) is picked the least, but still has more than half the subscribers of the lowest one.

I've been trying to encourage more "Charityware" for software [0]. My software is free and open source (MIT license) [1] but I also sell it for $5 and donate $3.50 of every sale to a cost-effective charity. My goal is to increase donations to the charity, and asking people for donations wouldn't be as effective. My software now has generated almost over $9,000 in donations.

Personally, every purchase of my software feels rewarding. It's probably not as great as a regular donation, but it's a close second. Furthermore, since my software is pay-what-you-want (with a minimum of $5) people have been often giving more than the minimum. That really feels like a donation.

[0] https://medium.com/@whyboris/charityware-doing-good-with-pro...

[1] https://github.com/whyboris/Video-Hub-App


One thing that always hurts OpenSource project is the fact they have not ability for me to "Buy" it, with an actual invoice or receipt that I can give to my accounting people for the sale...

It is "donation" of a undetermined amount which is a much harder thing for me to clear the bean counters.

So by being able to go to a site, it buy now with a fixed price, and (I presume getting a receipt) you likey having gotten much more income than if you where to have a "donate to me" link with a open ended amount...


This is even more important if you want people in academia to support open source projects with money. It is view as fraud and is illegal to give money to an open source project from a federal grant. If one can buy it and get an invoice, then support is possible.


Congratulations, you've discovered the Enterprise Edition (or Enterprise Support).

People think it needs a shitload of extra functionality, when in reality it just needs some minimal perks and a tag with a LARGE price written on it.


I think the challenge here is that there aren't easy to use solutions for this. For donations there's Patreon, GitHub Sponsors, etc; but for invoices I'm not sure if there's an equivalent that makes sense.

I would guess that the most well known charityware is Vim though I am not sure how well known it is that it is charityware. It has it embedded in the license [0].

[0]: http://vimdoc.sourceforge.net/htmldoc/uganda.html#license


I’m pretty excited about the GitHub Sponsors feature opening up worldwide, think it can actually help foster a culture of contributing back to the people whose work we all use. They’ve got an interesting page where they show you all the sponsorable projects you depend on, sorted by the most heavily depended-on projects first.

Besides voluntary contributions I want to see maintainers refusing to take feature requests and help requests from non-sponsors. Security issues and bugs are always welcome, of course, but it would be interesting to force people to pay for maintainers’ time and attention.

Would also be nice to promote sponsorship as marketing-companies spend tons of money on marketing, and visibly supporting important projects is a great way to do it.


The biggest oppurtunity would be to allow assigning money for tasks and solutions. Like there are so many really good projects with a lot of open issues and good ideas on things to improve a library/framework/project. The ability to say, hey, i am the project owner and i would love to add this cool feature to my library which is complicated, you can donate for this feature, like crowdfunding for software.

Or the other case. I have created many pull requests in the past which had been only a few lines to fix an existing bug but they did never merge it. Sometimes i received notifications for years from other people asking why it is not meged and they had to fork (and maintain) it to fix this bug. Just saying here are 50$ if you merge it would be a life-saver. No more maintaining a fork just to fix a bug which is not a priority of the owner who prefers adding more and more features.

My point is open source does not need to be free work from the maintainer. A platform like github could change the game by allowing people to get a small payment for what they are doing. But not like their actual plan by just giving them money, i want to connect it to a "problem" to solve (resolve issue, add feature, merge pr, ...)


So I am actually building out a site designed to do exactly that. http://rysolv.com/

It lets you crowdfund bounties for outstanding issues on a repo. And whoever resolves the issue earns the bounty.


For bugfixes: yes. For feature requests: this will really amplify Zawinski’s law. Limiting scope is important imho.

http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/Z/Zawinskis-Law.html


Absolutely, and we should reminds eachother to donate, even when it’s just a couple of cents. It’s about the thought that counts and the culture of appreciation when it’s useful to you.


I know that feeling. Few years back someone asked me if I accept Bitcoin as donation for an SDK I wrote https://github.com/namaggarwal/splitwise

It felt so good that I went ahead and create a wallet and he donated me some fractional BTC. It wasn't much at that time but it motivated me a lot.


hope you kept it and sold it a few days ago when BTC hit 40K USD. yes?


Any sane person at the time would have sold it immediately for $50


I guess for me it's more like a certificate than money. I still have it and its worth a lot (more than money)


My first donation still means the most to me: a hamper full of chocolates and a personalised card. That was back in April and I'll treasure it for the rest of my life. The fact that someone's willing to go through those lengths to say thank you is still mindblowing.

Since then, the project that I've been working on opened publicly for donations in November. We're going to hit 1,000 donations today, with ~$13,000 and close to ~$600/m recurring [0].

It's a massive motivator to keep going. The "thank you" messages and financial contributions have turned my time spent contributing to open source into probably my most emotionally fulfilling experience.

[0] https://opencollective.com/ankidroid


I've been learning a new language for the last few years and without Ankidroid, there's no way I would have made as much progress as I did. Being able to study while away from my computer was really a game changer for me. I build my decks with lots of audio, images, and other fancy features of Anki, but I've never had to worry about whether a feature will be compatible with AnkiDroid because everything in AnkiDroid is seamless.

I left a donation - thanks for all of your effort!


I know this feeling, seeing people pay for your free software! It's very rewarding, and also a sign that some people got huge value from your hard work. Even if it's symbolic, or just enough to cover the server costs, it's what motivates me to continue. Still, I wish more companies would donate to support the massive amount of open-source software and libraries we all use every day. I understand that making a company pay for something free is a challenge. But come on, they can pay vast amount of money for getting support for open-source softwares, support they will probably never use... :)

(Project on which I received donation: https://github.com/mockoon/mockoon)


> I understand that making a company pay for something free is a challenge.

I don't know how many times I've heard variants of this. "You can't monetize open source because companies won't pay for it." It's not that hard to get them to support the project if you sell something that's not available for free. It could be as simple as selling a special version of the documentation for $25. That's obviously not at the same level as dropping a $5000 donation, but it's more than zero, and it's a heck of a lot easier for an employee to ask them to pay $25 for a tool they need to do their work than to ask them to donate $5000.


Honestly, selling the company the right to yell at you and a promise to not disappear and take the software with you is probably enough for some of them...


I totally agree. It's probably easier to make a company pay by offering support, training, etc. It's the donation schema that is complicated for them.


Congrats!

I got my first GitHub Sponsor the other day and even though it is just $1 / month it made me feel like a rockstar. Also I got $3 on BuyMeACoffee a few months ago and it was wonderful.

Keep up the good work.


I definitely agree. From a different perspective, I have a few free albums on Bandcamp under a Creative Commons BY-SA, just as a side project. Getting $5 or $20 here or there is really nice — it makes me feel like someone found my music worthwhile to them, which is a good feeling.


I can only imagine how you feel. I find music so much harder than programming and I feel incredibly happy when someone enjoys my guitar playing (I am just a beginner really). You must be really good.


I love stories like this. Most folks aren't in open source for the returns, and any form of gratitude is uplifting and incredibly motivating. I've got my fingers in so many open source pies that it's silly, but I do it because I love it. Yeah, some really big corps use my stuff and a few packages have millions of weekly downloads, but I'm not doing it for the money. It helps keep my skills and thinking fresh, networks me with a ton of people worldwide, improves my soft skills with every interaction, and makes me a better cooperative collaborator. I receive exactly $5.80 a month in donations (via Patreon) and I'm just happy that two people thought enough of my work to send me a few duckets from their hard-earned income every month. I'll happily take that beer money and the personal development that comes with it as a reward.


You can donate to the author here: https://ko-fi.com/gorvgoyl


I doubt I'll ever know how this feels because I don't create a lot of open-source side projects and soliciting donations is illegal here.


Where’s here? Your country or HN?


My country of Finland.


Not true, you can have a donation link on your page and projects just fine.

t. another Finn


How is that compatible with Rahankeräyslaki, which explicitly forbids soliciting money from the general public without a permit?


The iirc court of appeals has confirmed that merely having a donation link is okay.

So you might legally be somewhat limited in what you can write there (like "donate to me SO THAT I can write more code YOU enjoy"), but saying

"Support me / donate to me / Support my work through Ko-Fi"

is entirely fine.


Can you link a court case to support this argument? I was once in an association (ry) and we tried finding out if we could have a donation link on our website and we were told it is not allowed. Even just having a bank account number was not allowed. The only way to receive a donation would have been for a person to ask us proactively and then we could tell _that person only_ our bank account number.

I run a free web service where some users have asked me to set up a donation system but AFAIK it is illegal so I haven't done it. Instead I set up a company and will sell premium accounts with some borderline useless but actual feature that normal accounts don't have, so that it's no longer a donation.


"Donate to me" sounds like a pretty explicit appeal to give money, so I would personally steer away from that to not get in trouble with the law ("rahankeräyksellä [tarkoitetaan] toimintaa, jossa yleisöön vetoamalla kerätään vastikkeetta rahaa" & "yleisöön vetoamisella [tarkoitetaan] suullisesti, kirjallisesti tai muulla tavoin ilmaistua pyyntöä tai kehotusta antaa rahaa keräykseen").

AFAIK, just adding your PayPal details or bank account number to your website would be okay because you would not be making any sort of an appeal.


"Lahjoitukset minulle voi osoittaa tämän linkin kautta"

"Minua voi tukea tämän linkin kautta"

"Lahjoita minulle tämän linkin kautta"

All are acceptable.

And since "lahjoita" is entirely equal to "support" then also

"Tue minua tämän linkin kautta" is entirely fine.

Of course the Finnish justice system is known for being unjust and arbitrary in many cases so your mileage may vary.


Very interesting read as an Estonian. Apart from being legal, we even have a special field on our income declaration form (which we fill every year) that is specifically for money earned through ways like that. If I recalled correctly it's under "Income received abroad -> Salary and other remuneration".

I also run a donation based site (which also has ads) and I declare both of these on the form and pay my share of taxes from it. But it is then fully legal money and I can do whatever I like with it from government perspective.

I don't speak any Finnish at all, but if the wording is so important, wouldn't it work if you ask the money to pay for the services cost instead? Not as a donation to yourself. Servers cost, your time costs etc. Could all be counted as an upkeep of the project.


You have to remember that we're talking about a country whose police considered Wikipedia to be fundraising money illegally with their global donations based system, due to Finnish laws: https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-7144745

I don't think it's a worthwhile risk to take for Finnish open source developers to accept donations and think it won't be considered illegal by the authorities.


If you say something like "Dont worry its not illegal you'll be fine" you really need a link to some proof. :)


https://is.fi/taloussanomat/art-2000001494059.html

https://rescue.fi/article.php/20070131_effi

It was only district court but the prosecutor did not seek the court of appeals (which they legally have to do if there's a chance their view might succeed), leaving the precedent.


Note that Effi no longer lists the mentioned donation details on their website[1] and their verbiage is much more limited now so I don't know how much they themselves count on the court case. I would like to see the actual court case transcripts but they were not linked in the articles, shame.

[1] https://effi.org/yhdistys/lahjoitukset/


So, just wondering - how important is precedent normally in Finnish Law?


Not a lawyer, but perhaps this perspective would work in Finland?

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10863939


Selling software should be okay, but I imagine that's a significant burden to a lot of open-source developers who are not aiming to make it a job.


Is there an easy way to have people donate "to" my project where the money goes straight to my chosen charity but I still get some sort of notification / running total of how much has been donated? I think I'd like to know people were donating - I could ask they tell me but I'd never know if they didn't bother emailing or if nobody thought it worth donating - but I don't want any of the (tax) hassle that might come from personally receiving a donation, even if I always remembered to re-donate it on.


Also received 2 donations in total for my 2FA authentication app for mobile phones (and web runtimes) over a span of over 7 years. Since a few years I haven't madeany contributions to it as my daytime jobs took over and have kids since. Over the years noticed many companies suggested my projct as an alternative, but this caused people to expect me to be their support for lost bitcoins, etc. If there would have been some incentive I might have reconsidered working on it, but recently archived the project.


I still remember the first donation I received from my project [1] back in 2017, yeah it felt amazing. The person who donated also sent me an email with subject "much thanks".

[1] https://github.com/DavideViolante/Angular-Full-Stack


I have been lucky enough to have a monthly GitHub sponsor (even two at one point), as well as several one-time donations through Ko-Fi, all for my Gemini browser, Amfora.

It's pretty exciting to actually be paid for open source, and helps motivate me to continue developing it, knowing there are users who genuinely care about it out there. Although to be honest, I've found the compliments I've gotten over it more rewarding and motivating than any donations. If the donations significantly increased somehow than I think that might flip, but either way I'm enjoying working on it.

https://github.com/makeworld-the-better-one/amfora


It makes me sad to see developers donating time and effort to support an ecosystem (VSCode) built explicitly to spy on users and promote proprietary software.

The fact that VSC's core is released under an open source license is irrelevant to the harm that is being done.


Do you really think any of what you just said will be effective to your target demographic without being far more detailed, containing any sort of sources, or while being this unnecessarily inflammatory?

All the people you wish would care will scoff, dismiss the comment as being looney and that'll be that.

You have to realize that, unfortunately, in every part of life, marketing matters. Got to make a message your audience will appreciate.


Well, any piece of software that requires signing off copyright to a private entity gets a soft blacklist in my book. The project picked a license, asking for CLA is not playing on a level field.

I count the FSF as an exception here, since they provide additional guarantees with their CLA, and it is primarily for enforcement: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/why-assign.html


You seem to have mistaken my comment for one intending to be persuasive.

I wish for people to be informed, not to care. What matters to someone is an individual decision.


Not sure how it is inflammatory to state VS Code spies on users, when according to a GitHub issue[0] Microsoft has been refusing to clearly comply with GDPR for over 2 years now, with the only response being (paraphrasing) "just read the source code" when asked what kind of data is collected.

[0] https://github.com/microsoft/vscode/issues/47284


Can you elaborate? As for as I've seen, disabling telemetry in VSCode is pretty straight forward.


Opt-out telemetry, as opposed to opt-in telemetry, usually violates GDPR. This issue is being discussed at https://github.com/microsoft/vscode/issues/47284

VSCodium is recommended as an alternative https://github.com/VSCodium/vscodium


Last I checked, opting out of telemetry doesn't disable the autoupdate checks (another inadvertent form of telemetry), and also sends a telemetry event when opting out, which is a clear violation of user consent.


Accepting Monero and Bitcoin costs you nothing and is a great way of solicitating donations as cryptocurrency users are historically massive donors.


There's always a time cost with financial things, at least. Some tax authority probably expects you to track and report that income, and will want their share.


This is always the problem with taking "donations" privately. Although innocent, the reality is that a lot of tax authorities look at this as income.

As someone who's primarily a creator, I find it often eye brow raising the kinds of complicated rules which tax authorities create to "level the playing field". Definitely tread carefully.


We are not talking about hundreds or thousands of dollars here, are we?

Do you get in trouble with the Tax Man because you tip your server at a restaurant or gives some spare change to the someone on the street?


Giving? No.

Receiving and not reporting? Maybe, depending on local laws and how zealous the tax enforcer is. This probably falls into the category of "Not allowed, but too small to worry about." That works fine, until they decide to audit you for some other reason.


Sorry, I misread your original comment.

Sure, if the project is successful to the point of receiving significant amounts, having to report it becomes mandatory.

Speaking as someone with an open source project that started due a grant and that I'd love to turn into a full time job: If I were receiving so many donations that it would require me to spend time to report to the tax authorities, I'd put it on the list of "good problems to have".


Obviously it depends which tax system(s) you have to deal with, but in some countries if you are fortunate to already earn over the tax free allowance from your day job, it doesn't matter how big or small the extra (donation) income is from your side-project - it will be mandatory to report it. So you can either comply, which has a cost, or not comply and risk whatever comes from that.


I am talking about the scenario where there would be working on open source is the day job.

Whether the revenue came from big sponsorships, support contracts or donations, it certainly would need an accountant anyway.


$1 from 1000 people is equal to $20 from 50. If the project is widely used, I think the first model makes a lot of sense to encourage giving and to make a sustainable project.

This maybe unrelated, but something people should give some thought to when considering giving to open source projects. I give yearly to the projects I use, and I hope more people support open source this way.


Can relate. I only received one donation for my side project[0] but more than money. It gave me some motivation to continue to work on it, thinking that it's so useful for someone out there that he/she actually gave money for that.

0: https://github.com/rmpr/atbswp


I also recently received a first $5 donation on an OSS project I created and have been supporting since 2017. It was a really pleasant surprise and motivated me to spend a bit more time on the project to move through some bug fixes and feature enhancements. It’s amazing what a small gesture like that can do.


I'd be interested to know by what means the payment was made. Patreon? Ko-Fi? Paypal? Something else?

I'm interested in knowing what options exist, and the various pros and cons. Friction-free micropayments are still (as far as I know) a problem without a universally accepted solution.


In my case I tried out GitHub Sponsors because it seemed pretty frictionless (and was!). If I were more concerned about soliciting donations I’m sure I would look at and probably use other platforms but in my case it’s just a small nicety.

I am however confused about how payouts happen with GH Sponsors — I feel like every time I take a look at the sponsors dashboard it says the payout will be next month. Haven’t received one yet.


I'd be interested in seeing a write-up of your (eventual) end-to-end experience of this. Do you have a blog I can subscribe to?

If you can always put a crypto address or whatever on your site that would be helpful. Recently found a guy who wrote a blog post and a GitHub repo that was absolutely dope. Happy to send him like $50 but I couldn't find an ETH address.

Emailed him anyway. We'll see.


I am receiving $337 per month as of now for https://github.com/chrislusf/seaweedfs

Not something to be proud of if including the time spent to evolve the project.


This is why I started console [1]. Open-source software engineers are severely under paid for the value they're producing.

[1] https://console.substack.com/


Congrats and thanks! you inspired me to add a ko-fi dontaion link to my github project https://github.com/naikus/svg-gauge


I received my first donation ($13) in the summer last year and yes, it was a great feeling! Then I had the experience of immediately raising the bar for donations and hoping for larger ones :)

Congratulations!


I got $2 donation from someone who liked my docker php blog post. It felt great!


fyi, your extension's description is missing spaces after all the commas, which would make it seem very suspicious if I was considering installing it.


Great to see this. Inspiration to keep going.


this is awesome - congrats! first donation of many :)

kudos!



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