FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

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FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

Frank Trampe
Hi, folks.

As many of you know, FontForge lost its main funding source almost two years ago now. I've been working on a volunteer basis, but my availability has been rather low since I'm forced to focus on paying work. Likewise, I'm not going to as many typography/graphics conferences now that I'm paying out-of-pocket.

Given that we got over 100,000 downloads for the last release, I'm starting to think that it would be worthwhile to try raising money to support accelerated development.

The baseline would involve just putting donate buttons on the release and download pages, but I've heard a few other ideas. So there are a few questions to be asked.
  • How much is ongoing development of FontForge worth to each of you?
  • In which areas would you like that ongoing development to be (fixing this, adding that, ...)?
  • Does adding a donate button seem like the right approach? If we ask for money on a per-release basis, what's the right amount? $5?
  • Are there any other ideas?
  • Are there any potential corporate sponsors/partners that I ought to try to engage?
  • Is anybody involved with a non-profit organization willing and able to act as the "umbrella" (the handler of funds)?

Let me know.

Best wishes,

Frank



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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

Dave Crossland
I like the ardour.org approach

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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

Abraham Lee
Dave,

On Mon, Aug 22, 2016 at 4:43 PM, Dave Crossland <[hidden email]> wrote:
I like the ardour.org approach

It took me a bit to find anything, but are you referring to what they have on this page (right hand side): http://community.ardour.org/communityI like that idea. Any idea what becoming a "subscriber" means? It says free upgrades, but is it more than that? I'm only wondering if there are other "perks" they are offering or is it just a way for people to be recurring funders? Either way, I like it, with or without perks. As a tool that allows one to do their job, I don't think there needs to be perks. Having the software is a perk.

Best,
Abraham

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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

Dave Crossland
I mean http://community.ardour.org/download :)

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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

Frank Trampe
In reply to this post by Dave Crossland
For now, I've decided to experiment with just putting a donate button on the download page. I want to be sure that we exhaust all revenue options that don't adversely impact users before doing anything disruptive.

If we do end up charging for binaries (And I really hope we don't need to do that!), we'll count past donations towards purchases retroactively.

But let's keep this discussion open; we haven't heard from many people yet.


On Mon, Aug 22, 2016 at 5:43 PM, Dave Crossland <[hidden email]> wrote:
I like the ardour.org approach

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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

mskala
In reply to this post by Abraham Lee
Three clicks into the "download" process, with no prior warning, Ardour
hits me with a demand for money.  There's no way I would give money to a
project that did that; it comes across as bait and switch.

The idea of charging a fee for binaries may make sense as far as that
goes, but I hope it would be presented to users in pretty much the
opposite of the way the Ardour Web site does it:  namely, with the price
visible before the first click.

--
Matthew Skala
[hidden email]                 People before principles.
http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/

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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

Jason Pagura
For as long as possible I hope we can keep payment demands to the level of voluntary donations, and clearly stated as such. Remember there are designers in the world for whom even a $1 USD payment would be a hardship, at least initially.

On Wed, Aug 24, 2016 at 9:46 AM, <[hidden email]> wrote:
Three clicks into the "download" process, with no prior warning, Ardour
hits me with a demand for money.  There's no way I would give money to a
project that did that; it comes across as bait and switch.

The idea of charging a fee for binaries may make sense as far as that
goes, but I hope it would be presented to users in pretty much the
opposite of the way the Ardour Web site does it:  namely, with the price
visible before the first click.

--
Matthew Skala
[hidden email]                 People before principles.
http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/

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--
--
Jason Pagura
zimbach at gmail dot com

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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

Dave Crossland

On 24 August 2016 at 14:55, Jason Pagura <[hidden email]> wrote:
For as long as possible I hope we can keep payment demands to the level of voluntary donations, and clearly stated as such. Remember there are designers in the world for whom even a $1 USD payment would be a hardship, at least initially.

Those designers benefit from FF being improved, and I think having them type in their amount is 0 not the suggest $100 is fine.

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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

Abraham Lee
In reply to this post by Dave Crossland
On Wed, Aug 24, 2016 at 9:32 AM, Dave Crossland <[hidden email]> wrote:
I mean http://community.ardour.org/download :)

Ah! I didn't actually try to download it before I sent my last message. Makes sense now. Thanks for clarifying!

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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

Abraham Lee
In reply to this post by Dave Crossland
On Wed, Aug 24, 2016 at 1:10 PM, Dave Crossland <[hidden email]> wrote:

On 24 August 2016 at 14:55, Jason Pagura <[hidden email]> wrote:
For as long as possible I hope we can keep payment demands to the level of voluntary donations, and clearly stated as such. Remember there are designers in the world for whom even a $1 USD payment would be a hardship, at least initially.

Those designers benefit from FF being improved, and I think having them type in their amount is 0 not the suggest $100 is fine.

I completely agree. On a personal note, the more I use free software (including FF), especially as it affects my livelihood, the more I realize that some kind of payment back should be a no-brainer. I, for one, have certainly benefited from FOSS software enough that I see the value in them (and understand the effort to create and maintain them) which makes me want to support those who develop them, even though I can't do as much as I'd like.

Anyway, I guess that's just me rambling when I really could have just said, "Thanks to everyone who helps develop FF!"

Best,
Abraham

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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

Frank Trampe
It's good to be appreciated!

So, perhaps we could take a middle road between the Ardour approach and the one we're testing. We would channel all downloads through a PayPal button, with the success and cancellation handlers both pointing to the actual download page. So nobody would be forced to pay, but everybody would be forced to donate or to positively cancel the donation. From the front page, this would be 4 clicks versus the present 2.

How does that sound?


On Thu, Aug 25, 2016 at 9:28 AM, Abraham Lee <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Wed, Aug 24, 2016 at 1:10 PM, Dave Crossland <[hidden email]> wrote:

On 24 August 2016 at 14:55, Jason Pagura <[hidden email]> wrote:
For as long as possible I hope we can keep payment demands to the level of voluntary donations, and clearly stated as such. Remember there are designers in the world for whom even a $1 USD payment would be a hardship, at least initially.

Those designers benefit from FF being improved, and I think having them type in their amount is 0 not the suggest $100 is fine.

I completely agree. On a personal note, the more I use free software (including FF), especially as it affects my livelihood, the more I realize that some kind of payment back should be a no-brainer. I, for one, have certainly benefited from FOSS software enough that I see the value in them (and understand the effort to create and maintain them) which makes me want to support those who develop them, even though I can't do as much as I'd like.

Anyway, I guess that's just me rambling when I really could have just said, "Thanks to everyone who helps develop FF!"

Best,
Abraham

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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

mskala
On Thu, 25 Aug 2016, Frank Trampe wrote:
> one we're testing. We would channel all downloads through a PayPal button,
> with the success and cancellation handlers both pointing to the actual
> download page. So nobody would be forced to pay, but everybody would be
> forced to donate or to positively cancel the donation. From the front page,
> this would be 4 clicks versus the present 2.
>
> How does that sound?

Well, then I think the link that goes to that donation system should be
called "buy" rather than "download."  I see it as a problem if users are
asked to pay, even with that being optional, in a way that comes as a
surprise.

--
Matthew Skala
[hidden email]                 People before principles.
http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/

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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

Frank Trampe
The reason this adds two clicks is that I want to add an intermediate landing page. If we just have a buy button, particularly with no price, it would scare people away, which I want to avoid. This is the workflow I have in mind.
  • The front page has a download button for the detected platform/architecture, and the main download page has links for all of them. (Nothing changed here.) The user clicks the download button.
  • An intermediate landing page has text like this. "FontForge is free, but we want you at least to contemplate financially supporting it. Click the button below, and, whether you donate or cancel, you can still download FontForge."
  • PayPal stuff happens and redirects to the system-specific download page.
  • The download happens on the actual download page.


On Thu, Aug 25, 2016 at 11:11 AM, <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thu, 25 Aug 2016, Frank Trampe wrote:
> one we're testing. We would channel all downloads through a PayPal button,
> with the success and cancellation handlers both pointing to the actual
> download page. So nobody would be forced to pay, but everybody would be
> forced to donate or to positively cancel the donation. From the front page,
> this would be 4 clicks versus the present 2.
>
> How does that sound?

Well, then I think the link that goes to that donation system should be
called "buy" rather than "download."  I see it as a problem if users are
asked to pay, even with that being optional, in a way that comes as a
surprise.

--
Matthew Skala
[hidden email]                 People before principles.
http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/

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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

Don Jungk-4
In reply to this post by Dave Crossland
Hi Dave,

I use Fontforge from time to time and would be happy to contribute to
the project. But on your web page, it appears that the only way to
donate is to create a Paypal account. If there were a way that you could
directly charge a card, or accept something else, I would send a
donation. I do not want to use Paypal.


Don


On 08/24/2016 02:10 PM, Dave Crossland wrote:

>
> On 24 August 2016 at 14:55, Jason Pagura <[hidden email]
> <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>     For as long as possible I hope we can keep payment demands to the
>     level of voluntary donations, and clearly stated as such. Remember
>     there are designers in the world for whom even a $1 USD payment
>     would be a hardship, at least initially.
>
>
> Those designers benefit from FF being improved, and I think having
> them type in their amount is 0 not the suggest $100 is fine.
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> fontforge-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/fontforge-users
> http://fontforge.10959.n7.nabble.com/User-f8781.html


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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

Dave Crossland

On 25 August 2016 at 12:04, donJ <[hidden email]> wrote:

I use Fontforge from time to time and would be happy to contribute to
the project. But on your web page, it appears that the only way to
donate is to create a Paypal account. If there were a way that you could
directly charge a card, or accept something else, I would send a
donation. I do not want to use Paypal.

In this case you could donate to TUG, which has a libre font fund used for FontForge. 

https://www.tug.org/fonts/librefontfund.html

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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

Frank Trampe
PayPal supports credit card transactions without creating an account.


On Thu, Aug 25, 2016 at 2:13 PM, Dave Crossland <[hidden email]> wrote:

On 25 August 2016 at 12:04, donJ <[hidden email]> wrote:

I use Fontforge from time to time and would be happy to contribute to
the project. But on your web page, it appears that the only way to
donate is to create a Paypal account. If there were a way that you could
directly charge a card, or accept something else, I would send a
donation. I do not want to use Paypal.

In this case you could donate to TUG, which has a libre font fund used for FontForge. 

https://www.tug.org/fonts/librefontfund.html

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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

mskala
On Thu, 25 Aug 2016, Frank Trampe wrote:
> PayPal supports credit card transactions without creating an account.

How universally true is that?  I've certainly made payments with Paypal
and without creating an account, but I've never found it easy to do - it
always routes me through a screen that pressures me to create an account.
On one recent occasion I had to pay a conference fee with Paypal and it
did NOT appear to be possible to complete the transaction at all without
creating a Paypal account.  I don't know if it depends on the account type
of the payee, or on what country the payer is in, or what, but it
certainly looks to me like supporting payers who don't want to create
accounts may require some extra attention.

--
Matthew Skala
[hidden email]                 People before principles.
http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/

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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

Frank Trampe
I checked, and, at least from my American locale, the donate button that I've used allows for credit card transactions even in absence of a PayPal account.

We've gotten several thousand downloads over the past week, and we collected about $18, but, due to the low average transaction amount, we lost $1.84 to fees for a total of $16.16 spendable.

As discussed, I've moved the download for each platform to a separate page so that the user is forced to click past the donate button rather than just scroll. We'll see whether this affects yields.


On Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 12:13 AM, <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thu, 25 Aug 2016, Frank Trampe wrote:
> PayPal supports credit card transactions without creating an account.

How universally true is that?  I've certainly made payments with Paypal
and without creating an account, but I've never found it easy to do - it
always routes me through a screen that pressures me to create an account.
On one recent occasion I had to pay a conference fee with Paypal and it
did NOT appear to be possible to complete the transaction at all without
creating a Paypal account.  I don't know if it depends on the account type
of the payee, or on what country the payer is in, or what, but it
certainly looks to me like supporting payers who don't want to create
accounts may require some extra attention.

--
Matthew Skala
[hidden email]                 People before principles.
http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/

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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

Don Jungk-4
In reply to this post by Dave Crossland


On 08/25/2016 02:13 PM, Dave Crossland wrote:

>
> On 25 August 2016 at 12:04, donJ <[hidden email]
> <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>
>     I use Fontforge from time to time and would be happy to contribute to
>     the project. But on your web page, it appears that the only way to
>     donate is to create a Paypal account. If there were a way that you
>     could
>     directly charge a card, or accept something else, I would send a
>     donation. I do not want to use Paypal.
>
>
> In this case you could donate to TUG, which has a libre font fund used
> for FontForge.
>
> https://www.tug.org/fonts/librefontfund.html
>
Thanks Dave,
It appears to have worked.

Don

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Re: FontForge Funding (Dual Post)

Dave Crossland-2
In reply to this post by Frank Trampe

At that conversion rate with 100,000 downloads per release its 2k per release.

We should have a mailing list for Dowloaders to tell them about new releases and upsell donations


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