- I would not be out the $50 all at once
- I would not need to remember at Christmas time to send the money again
- The project would have a steady stream of income (albeit a small one)
- Chances are I would not cancel the donation as long as I was using and loving the software
- At the end of the year the OSS project would get $120 out of me instead of the $100 I had originally planned.
PayPal's transaction rates (for a monthly income of less than $3000) are 2.9% + $0.30 USD per transaction.
So, if I send two $50 donations in one year we are looking at (50 * 2) * .029 + (.30 * 2) = Fees for the project to pay. So that is $3.50 in fees leaving them with $96.50 of the $100 donation.
Now, What if I send $10/month instead?
Well, at the same transaction rate I would have an equation of (10 * 12) * .029 + (.30 * 12) = Fees for the project to pay. So that is $7.08 in fees leaving them with $112.92 of the $120 donation.
So the OSS project would get $16.42 more money out of me in one year by adding recurring donations to their project's website and it would make it more convenient for me to support the projects that I love. Additionally, what are the chances I would cancel the donation?
I would guess that lots of people who would donate to an Open Source project would throw in their money once and then call themselves a "supporter" forever. I'm sure there are many who are willing to, and remember to, donate more than once, but I would guess they are in the minority.
There are several other projects that I support in this way, and it makes me feel good to know that my little bit helps. I have no intention of canceling my recurring donations as long as I continue to use the product or service being provided to me for free.
It sounds weird, but I love these free things so much, I am willing to pay for them.
So what I would suggest is for the OSS developers out there who would want this type of recurring income to get recurring payment links added to their project sites. Then, maybe, as part of Peter's Thank and OSS Developer day, some recurring funding can be set up.
Which Open Source Projects/Developers would you love to help support? CFEclipse? ColdSpring? Transfer? Reactor? Mach-II? Model-Glue? ColdBox? ColdFusion Weekly? BlogCFC? Any of the projects at RIAForge or SourceForge? Or RIAForge itself? The list is endless. We can't all donate to each one, but with "micropayments" we can donate to several.
If 200 people decided to give a project $3/month, that project would net $6271.20 per year after the PayPal Fees. That seems like a pretty good haul, and it would certainly help to pay for all of those hosting fees, travel expenses, and
Please understand, I am not trying to speak for these projects. They may not even want your money. But if they do, I would like my support to be on-going, not just one-time for bragging rights.