A long time ago I wrote an article about my experiment to get some patronage (funding) for my Emacs work via Gratipay. The idea behind the service was simple - lots of small patrons (sponsors) can make a big difference for a creator and their projects (e.g. 500 people donating $5/month). That particular service quickly failed, but today there are many other services like it out there, and I’ll cover here the few I like and I’m currently using.
One main issue with patronage services is that they typically take a sizable cut of your earnings/donations, with the famous Patreon being the classic example (5-12% depending on your plan there). On top of their default cut such services might also add extra fees to wire you the money you’ve gathered via their platform. I get that they are running a business, not some charity, but it still stings a bit. That’s why I was extremely happy when GitHub launched their GitHub Sponsors service, where you get every dime that was donated to you. I’ve never been fond of Microsoft, but with their deep pockets I guess they are one of the few companies that can operate a venture like this at a loss for the sake of getting some goodwill from the broader developer community. Needless to say that today GitHub Sponsors is my preferred patronage service. If you’re considering becoming a patron of my work I’d recommend doing so via GitHub.
Still, GitHub Sponsors has the downside of being linked to GitHub accounts, and I realize well enough that not everyone has/wants one. That’s why I’ve selected ko-fi and Paypal, as my backup patronage options. I still maintain a Patreon account as well, but I definitely don’t like them as much due to the service fees cited above. With ko-fi there are no fees and with Paypal I believe there are no fees as well, as long as you’re both Paypal users.
So, to wrap it up, if you like my writings here and my work on Emacs projects like:
- Prelude - An Emacs distribution built on top of GNU Emacs 24
- Projectile - Project Interaction Library for Emacs, that stays out of your way
- clojure-mode - A major mode for programming in Clojure
- cider - A Clojure programming environment for Emacs
- inf-clojure - Simple interactions with a Clojure REPL
- guru-mode - An annoying companion on your journey to Emacs mastery
- crux - A collection of useful extensions for Emacs
- rubocop-emacs - Emacs integration for RuboCop
- zenburn-emacs - The Zenburn color theme, ported to Emacs
- solarized-emacs - The Solarized color theme, ported to Emacs
Please, consider supporting my work at one of the following patronage services:
Note that CIDER also has an Open Collective, which you might consider supporting instead of me directly.
I recall a few people asked me in the past how will donations help me work more on my OSS projects, provided I already have a full-time job. Obviously, until donations become sizable their main impact would be showing some appreciation for my efforts and keeping me motivated to spend my free time working on OSS, rather than binge-watching TV shows or spending more time with my family and friends. A bit of extra cash can also help with:
- hosting expenses
- hardware expenses (e.g. getting gear needed for development/testing purposes)
- travel expenses for conferences related to my projects
- unpaid leave from work to focus on some project(s)
Long-term my big dream has always been to accumulate enough backing to be able to work full-time on open-source projects, but whether I’ll achieve this dream or not is entirely up to you.
That’s all I have for you today. Thanks for your support!