View Full Version : Accepting donations to a free and open source software project

03-16-2022, 05:29 PM
I am trying to minimize fees to collect small donations from people who use our software and want to donate to help the project. I looked into a Paypal business account and Patreon. I imagine people will contribute $5 to $25 one time payments or perhaps sign up for whichever services allow recurring billing for $2 to $5 per month. The money will go to pay for supplies and to buy new technology as it comes out to test with our software. At the end of the year, the key volunteers may get a gift certificate to a coffee shop. To expand, we are looking into selling T-Shirts, mugs, and ball caps, probably from a place that can make and drop ship them on demand. Donations may be anywhere from $500 a year to $2000. If we sell T-Shirts and electronic hardware we can design, it may increase the gross by a few thousand.

What are the best pay methods? What happens if someone pays with paypal but instead of using credits in their account, uses a credit card in France to pay us $2.00 in the US? What are the fees and what's left of that $2.00? I know that people will want to use accounts they already have, so I probably have to have those available, but are there better services that I may convince people to use like Ko-Fi, Buy me a Coffee, or Open Collective? And is there a big enough difference in Paypal and Venmo to have both as options?I know I can have a business Paypal, haven't looked into Venmo yet. I've been reading for days and the options and complexities are overwhelming.