donation : money : small amount : recurring

Jelle Hermsen jelle at
Thu Jun 28 00:59:56 PDT 2012

Hiya all,
Let me summarize, because I believe we have forked off into different 
arguments and points to which we don't necessarily disagree with, but 
are multiple sides of the same coin: community involvement (possibly 

David says
> We need to employ the various skills and knowledge types within the
> already established community.
> Why go outside to gain benefits that we may well already possess?
> Why can't we determine what's required and all of us just put in to 
> pay that bill.
> And I'm not in this particular aspect for the money, anyway.
> The open ethic is what works for me.

Petr said:
> Because majority of people, including me, consider donating for the
> specific reason of reducing personal taxes.

Juan Francisco states:
> You can create a company online but you can't _maintain_ the company
> without a hard work 

Pierre asks:
> I'm in North Carolina. Other
> DragonFliers are in Germany, Greece, Spain, UK, or possibly other 
> countries.
> What do the laws of other countries say about donating to American
> non-profits?

And finally Mayuresh notes:
> "it's not just for tax savings, it's more about believing in a project"

First of all I think it's safe to state that we're talking about 
community involvement here and I believe it's important to add that 
there are multiple levels of involvement.

- On the bottom level there are people who have low-involvement, 
low-recurrence. They are the lot who like the project, but might hop 
onto something else "shiny and new" whenever, say a new *BSD releases 
with a nice feature set. Nothing wrong with that I'd say. I think there 
are a lot of people who sympathize with the project, but are not 
necessarily looking to become involved. I think setting up something 
like Flattr could be advantageous. These are not the people who will 
regularly check a page for hardware that certain devs need, so I think 
David's solution - albeit very useful - would not involve this group of 

- Then there is a group of people who would like to be involved, but 
somehow can't find the time. Busy jobs, family lives, saving the world 
on daily basis...etc. These are the people who might use DragonFly BSD 
professionally, but don't have much time to get involved in the project. 
Setting up some kind of membership with monthly donations could be a 
nice solution for this group. i Think the way the people behind Trisquel 
GNU/Linux have set this up is quite nicely ( ). You can easily create a recurring 
PayPal-payment, and although they are a quite small Linux distro they 
managed to get 43 members.

- And then there are the people who have high-involvement and 
high-recurrence. More then with money they can support the project with 
their time. Coding, bugfixing, advocating, showing off their Dragonfly 
tattoos. I think that it's important to have a clear path for the people 
who want to donate time. I believe it would help if there was a 
community team, or community leader who would involve mostly in the 
social side of the project and making sure people who want to donate 
time receive a warm welcome.

Anyway, I'm totally with David and Mayuresh that tax-savings and money 
are not what really matters. But I do believe money could help the 
project tap it's unused potential, and more importantly I think there 
are many people who could get involved on some aspect of the project 
(not necessarily in coding). DragonFly BSD has been mostly about 
technological achievements and features (and rightly so), but it might 
be a good idea to also treat the community with the same vigor.

Petr said that most people would consider donating because of tax 
benefits. Starting a non-profit is one thing, but achieving 
tax-deductable status is a whole 'nother ball game, because that means 
getting the 501(c)(3) status. This comes with quite a burden. Regarding 
donations from other countries I can safely say that it's a pain. Even 
in the EU you'll have to get charitable status in each country and this 
would mean that you would (to cover the EU) start a sister-non-profit in 
at least one EU-country. I've dived into this, because I helped the FSFE 
achieve tax-deductible status in the Netherlands and researched 
everything so they can do the same in Belgium.

If you all do decide that monetary donations would be a good thing I 
would be happy to help out. A big chunk of my work is in e-commerce and 
ticket order systems, so I can definitely help out with the web / 
administration site. It wouldn't be too hard to set up recurring 
payments through PayPal and sent monthly receipts for those.


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