This is a follow-up post to my Software Developer’s Guide to the Donation Button post, a rather lengthy one at that. To make the key points easily digestible I offer you my 10 Golden Rules for Donate Buttons which should guide potential donees (those receiving donations) whether they should be using a Donate Button or not.
The rules don’t leave a lot of room for acceptable uses of a Donate Button, this is on purpose.
- If you don’t need donations, don’t ask for them.
- If you own a business, don’t ask for donations for anything in the same business domain, period.
- If you greatly benefit from your free work in other ways (traffic, marketing, paid work, etc.), stop accepting donations.
- If you can’t explain exactly how donations help your work, don’t even imply that they do.
- If you just want to earn some money, sell something. Anything.
- If receiving money is a source of motivation for you, donations will be counterproductive.
- If you want your work to be appreciated, accept physical gifts, not monetary donations.
- Don’t beg for donations and don’t appeal to your user’s bad conscience. No free project that deserves to survive needs money that badly.
- Don’t expect or demand anyone to donate, ever. Not even Mr./Ms. Got-Rich-From-Your-Work. You decided to give your stuff away for free, remember?
- Every new Donate button makes all others a little less attractive, and less beneficial overall. The purpose of your Donate button should far outweigh its detrimental effect on others.