When is it appropriate to ask for donations?

_bigblind profile image Frederik πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»βž‘οΈπŸŒ Creemers ・1 min read

When is it appropriate to ask for donations? I've seen developers with donation links in Github READMEs, or on project websites, and even pinned tweets. Would it be appropriate to add a donation link at the end of an article on DEV?


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All these cases sound like instances where somebody is creating (what they think is) value for someone else, so it seems fair to ask for donations.

At the end of the day when work is being done somebody always pays. Sure, sometimes it's the creator who's giving work away for free, but we should not require that of people.

You might not think somebody's contributions are valuable, fair enough, I'll probably agree in the case of anything short enough to fit inside a tweet, but because it's a donation, you can actually make that decision for yourself, contrary to your data being sold by some website you visited that turned out to be useless.

Donations are a very transparent business model that aligns monetary incentive with buyer satisfaction, what's not to like?

Of course the story changes if we're talking about UX rather than ethics :-)


IU agree, whenever you feel you're providing value, you should feel free to add a donation link, but I've seen some blowback against people doing it.

I'd love to hear your views on the UX side of things.


Well I'm no UX-er, far from it, so my opinion in this respect is purely personal.

I'd say donation requests draw the attention away from the main 'content'. This makes it 'harder' to consume the content, thereby devaluating it.


edit: I tried a thing!

No more risky click?


Hi Russ,

You can embed youtube videos like this

{% youtube eyNAlLO1KlE %}


I'm always a bit afraid to click on Youtube links without context, but I'm glad I did this time :D.


IMHO as the "beneficiary" of several open source or free-to-use products, I find that I'm okay with the donation button appearing once there is something usable. If the product meets its use-cases and improves my quality of life I usually circle back and click that button.

On software code products specifically (libraries, apis, etc.); most developers seem to ask for donations that cost about the same as or less than a single beer at your local pub, which I find more than reasonable. So bottoms up to those awesome developers out there making life easier for their fellow developers! 😎🍺


Just throw it on there.

The people that would call you greedy don't matter, and are displaying greed themselves not willing to share the wealth.

Whoever is actually willing to donate to you will have a pretty good reason to drop down their hard earned money.

So don't feel bad πŸ‘ Just be a good person πŸ˜‡


Shouldn't you ask about donations from people that actually use and need your projects?


When people start asking to donate to you, IMO.