[development] Asking for donations in contrib

Daniel F. Kudwien news at unleashedmind.com
Tue Jan 13 23:13:34 UTC 2009

> I've heard the name ChipIn (http://www.chipin.com/) tossed 
> around a few times in relation to developing on a donation 
> basis, and I'm wondering how it works out for developers, 
> users and the community.

Yes.  It is a great way of coordinating a "community fund"-alike thing.  For
example, see http://drupal.org/project/wysiwyg.

I even asked in #drupal whether I can (should) write a patch for
drupalorg.module that would add a ChipIn inline (macro) filter, so every
project maintainer was able add a ChipIn widget on their project pages if

> It would be great if I could fix bugs for free but use 
> donation drives to sponsor new features. That would probably 
> be better than selling customizations directly, because it is 
> less expensive to individual customers. Do you have any 
> suggestions or criticism on this idea? :)

Having worked with some Drupal projects that badly need some community
funding, I can see both the need AND the false assumptions of associated
fundings.  As long as we are not talking about scheduled events like the d.o
redesign sprints that are - in their nature - ultimative, a community fund
for a contributed module always means that any contribution to it only
speeds up the actual, ongoing process.  However, financial contributions to
a fund do (and can) not guarantee that something will be done in the end.

In this regard, FOSS and funding are not exclusive.  But, if you consider to
get some funding from the community (i.e. users of your module), then you
should not rely on it.  I had to deal with maintainers on drupal.org who
made me think that they deferred all improvements to their modules until the
next big "sponsor" hit the issue queue.  That is certainly not the way it
works.  So if you want to setup a ChipIn, then do it rather by-the-way,
please.  It means that you ask the community to help you getting things
done, but it does not imply that nothing will be done if no one contributes.
Anything else would hurt the Drupal community, and Drupal's world domination
after all.

The more Drupal's user-base and our community grows the more I think we need
a "proper" process of dealing with this issue.  I separated those two
audiences on purpose, since I believe that we will never be able to turn
everyone into a "real" community member.  To keep it short and to the point:
donorge.org (Warning: Spam site now), which was capable to funnel a custom
amount of all contributions to one project (f.e. the Drupal Association),
looked very promising.  I think that we need something like that to allow
for "modularized" donations - following Drupal's nature.


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