Open source software is free? Downloading and using it it, yes, but developing it, not. Let’s help developers to buy their bills with their community contributions.

Why donate?

Open source software is developed by humans who also have to pay their bills for living. In my professional context with Bitleaf, I use much open source software, which adds value to my work and eventually to my wallet. It seems natual to me to send back a share of my revenues to the ones that develop the open source software that I use for free.

I decided to stepwise increase my donations to 5% of my revenue until the end of this year. This is in addition of  several pieces of software that I already develop and publish free for everyone to use on Github.

To whom do I donate?

Next to open source projects I also selected high-quality information sources (blogs) to give donations to, like the Kuketz Blog. This blog is a wonderful source of information about open source, IT Security and data sovereignty.

I decided to not fund open source projects who already have a sufficient business model in place, such as Nextcloud. They run a freemium model thereby probably already generating a steady financial revenue. Thus I focus on projects relying on a donation-based business model.

I started donating on a regular base to:

  • QOwnNotes – a tool I use to manage my knowlege base (similar to Evernote)
  • Kuketz-Blog
  • Liberapay – the donation platform itself

I’ll extend this list with more of the open source projects creating accounts on the donation platform I started using.

Which donation platform to use?

As donation  platform, I recently found Liberapay. It’s a platform developed mainly in France, which pays its bills for development by receiving donations on its own platform! As transaction fees for payments this platform only invoices for the fees they are charged by their financial provider. In addition, Liberapay is fully open source!

This strategy is very different from other famous platforms like Patreon (closed source, high transaction fees, not EU based). Software stemming from within the EU got more important to me with the advent of the new GDPR.

Liberapay seems to receive a lot of attraction recently, which I like. I am looking forward to seeing more and more projects migrating to Liberapay.

I accept donations, too

Next to giving donations as shares from my revenue, I also take donations to fund my development activity for the open source software I publish. For instance, I publish free software to optimize Ubuntu 18.04 for better privacy and usability. Also, I recently published a tool that adds timestamps to files thereby enhancing tracability of file creation time. These are just two of several examples. You find more following the given links to my Github repositories.

Let’s start donating to open source!

If you use open source software (you probably do), please see if that software is listed at Liberapay. If you enjoy my articles and software, you can start supporting me with a few cents right now! Every cent counts because just the number of backers motivates to contribute to the open source community.

Happy donating!

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On my own behalf

Who writes here? What is “Bitleaf”?

This is Mathias Renner. I studied Business Information Systems. "Bitleaf" is a combination of IT ("Bit") and ecology ("leaf").