Snippets code from my daily experience

July 27, 2008

The importance of donations for indipendent software developers

Filed under: sunday_thought — dafi @ 9:06 am

Today is Sunday so I do some thought…

My bonsai Mozilla extensions are used by many users, I receive many ‘Feature Request’ on related forums and I try to satisfy users when their ideas are compatible with my free time.

Users can donate to me and 5% of donations go to SourceForge, where I host my bonsai extensions.

Since 2005 I’ve received only one donation (5 US dollars) so I think my donation requests have failed.

ViewSourceWith and Table2Clipboard receive many new feature requests but nobody donate to them.

I’ve a laptop ASUS L2420 with 512 Mb (RAM) and 20Gb (HD) and I want to replace it, believe me it is very difficult to run KomodoEdit and Firefox 3 together under Feisty.

I love MacBook (Pro) but it is impossibile to buy it for me at this time, my budget is 300-500 euros (500-800 US dollars).

I found a real PC (not Asus EEEPC) at 500 euro but if I have had some donation…

Suppose all my extensions are daily used by 500 satisfied users and all decide to donate 5$.

After subtracting SF fees and SF donation 5% I receive 3.8$, -3% of paypal fee I arrive to ~3.6$.

3.6 * 500 = 1800$ enough to buy a MacBook (no PRO) with 4Gb of RAM…

But I’ve only 5 dollars…



  1. […] The importance of donations for indipendent software developers Leave a Comment […]

    Pingback by Now users can help me to change my future :P « Snippets code from my daily experience — July 16, 2009 @ 10:05 am

  2. The reason that donations doesn’t is because those asking for donations don’t put a target amount.

    If you had put target amount like this: “I need to buy a PC to continue developing my software. I need X dollars/euros/whatever. Please donate! Thank you.”

    Then you need to advertise it. Engage with your users.

    Most users don’t know the developers. They go the website, download the app and that’s it.

    Engage with them, give them a face, someone that they can empathize.

    Comment by Jerome — July 16, 2009 @ 1:58 pm

    • I’m not sure explaining to users what developer needs is sufficient but your idea is very important.

      I’ve added to VSW description on AMO the section “Why VSW needs contributions” and I hope this can help users 🙂

      Comment by dafi — July 16, 2009 @ 3:06 pm

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