So you have this website going or some source code on github, and like to earn a few bucks. Donations, right? Hold on, there are a couple things you should consider before you add that Donate button!
UPDATE: If you prefer a concise, to the point summary of this post, you should read the follow-up post The 10 Golden Rules for a Donate Button.
In case you haven’t noticed, you won’t find a Donate button here or on my other websites. It may seem strange that the guy who never had a donation button of all people should write a guide to the donation button.
I consciously decided against having a donation button. You’ll find a number of reasons in this post, and maybe at the end of it you come to agree with me that Donate buttons are over-used, and the more developers offer them the fewer donations reach those developers who actually need and/or deserve donations the most.
I also wrote this as guidance particularly for individual indie or open source developers who are accepting donations or considering to do so, because donating to an individual is fundamentally different than donating to a (charitable) organisation or a software project (team) as a whole. You will also get some ideas on how you can improve your donation acceptance rate and which alternatives for voluntary compensation and appreciation exist.
Rule Number 1: Be a charity or a business. Never both!
I sell commercial products, both my own and third party products for which I receive a commission fee for each sale. I am self-employed, I make my living from those products and a few select contract jobs for people I know personally. It is fair to say that I’m running a business.
For me the question of whether I should ask for donations boils down to this: should a business be asking for and accepting donations? Continue reading »
Continue reading »