Problems with donations to Gnome

Hello,

I would like to point on some problems with donating to Gnome Foundation.

  1. As mentioned in another topic: GNOME donation page is very primitive is really primitive and not appealing (gnome.org website is hosted with WordPress, so there is no easy way of directly contributing to that website :confused: )
  2. There is only one way of donating to Gnome. Why donating via well established donating platforms (like Patreon, Ko-fi etc.) is not supported?
  3. (optional idea) Maybe some kind of Bug Bounty would also help with motivating users and external contributors? I am thinking about solution working like https://polar.sh

Reasoning for point 2.
Corrently there are only 2 options of donating. Credit Card and PayPal.
PayPal is problematic because this is just another payment platform which is the most popular in the USA (at least not in my country). So I don’t want to create yet another account for single donation.
Credit Card is universal but not that much, because you allow only dontaions in $ (you should at least accept also donations in Euro), so in my case I would have to: 1. Go to my bank 2. get a Credit/Debit card supporting dollars 3. exchange PLN (polish zloty) to USD 4. and then use my new shiny card for that donation. This is cumbersome to say the least.
There is also another reason to add another ways of donating regularly. Some people want to have all of their recurring donations in one place to give them more control.That’s why I thank, that Gnome Foundation should at least adopt Patreon.

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Hej @pktiuk,

You make very good points about the GNOME website and the donation page itself. The easiest, first: GNOME historically relied on Wordpress for its website. Then the Foundation website (https://foundation.gnome.org) was split off the main website, and the website was rewritten as a wordpress website. This was controversial already when it happened, but there’s definitely a consensus nowadays that it makes contributions more difficult than a static page would. In fact @jimmac has already started work on a static website that you can find here.

As for the donation page, I agree that it’s rather bland today. It doesn’t incentivise potential donors much, and doesn’t give a lot of information. @sonny, @tbernard and the whole STF-funded team did a lot of excellent work in the past year, with the funding of the Sovereign Tech Fund.

The STF has a special set of constraints. In particular it funds infrastructure work which includes libs and utilities. User-facing apps are excluded of the scope that the STF can fund. The Foundation is currently working on creating a coherent set of programs, and will use this to apply to other grants and to expose clear deliverables that the community can support via the crowdfunding page. I acknowledge that it can be frustrating to face that dull page in the meantime, but we really want to avoid coming up with a damp squib: we need to have a clear picture of the fundable work and deliverable, and make sure the various initiatives are not treading on each others’ toes.

Concerning the donation platform, I’m going to take my hat from another foundation, the Matrix.org one: supporting multiple donation platforms is an accounting nightmare. The overhead of having to reconcile all the accounts, in addition to the fees the platforms usually take, make it unappealing for the Foundation to open too many venues. With all that said, it should be possible for the Foundation to accept donations in EUR without too much trouble. I’ll add that to my backlog.

And finally for the bug bounty: good news, there’s already one! It makes sense to me that it should appear somewhere in the redesigned crowdfunding page.

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Thank you for quick and informative response.
I’m glad you someone noticed my concerns :slight_smile:

The overhead of having to reconcile all the accounts, in addition to the fees the platforms usually take, make it unappealing for the Foundation to open too many venues. With all that said, it should be possible for the Foundation to accept donations in EUR without too much trouble. I’ll add that to my backlog.

This is a fair point. Maybe in this case some middle ground could be found. Maybe thanks to some community survey, you could check which ways of donating would be the easiest for wide community. And just choose one platform as an addition to regular Credit Card/Bank transfers.

And finally for the bug bounty: good news, there’s already one ! It makes sense to me that it should appear somewhere in the redesigned crowdfunding page.

I think that my wording was a bit imprecise.
In point 3 I meant not only regular bug bounty (finding bugs for money) but also something more like issue hunt (fixing bugs and implementing small features for money). It could work in this way:

  1. Gnome maintainers see issues in issue tracker which align with team’s vision and mark it as fundable (for example by applying label on GitLab issue)
  2. Users willing to incentivize other people to fix some specific bugs place bounties on these issues
  3. External contributors submit patches dealing with selected issues.
  4. After review and merging, they get reward from bounty.

At least, this is how polar.sh works.