Talking tech since 2003

Once you have established yourself on the Internet, you will surely find yourself incurring fees and expenses in maintaining your website. Be it for materials for projects, fees for hosting, or simply your time, you will want to be compensated and reimbursed for your efforts. Sure, you could load your site with ads, but that disturbs the design of your site and can make it look cluttered. Because of this, you may want to seek donation from your visitors. However, getting donations to cover all of your costs can often be a futile process.

You have to consider that people are not going to donate if they do not feel that you and your site are worthy of their money. This being, your content or product (such as a donationware application) needs to truly stand out from similar content or products on the Internet. In line with this concept, you also have to show dedication the the content or product that you are providing. If you do not put a significant amount of time and effort into producing your “labor of love”, then people will not see it worthy of donating towards. This being, no one is going to donate money towards a blog that is rarely posted to or an application that is infrequently updated.

One of the most important things about donations is that they are simply meant to help alleviate your operating expenses and costs, as well as to help compensate you for your time and effort. Donations are not meant to make high profits for you, and when they do, you should always put the profits back into your content. If you are looking to profit, you should carefully consider making all or part of your content pay-only. However you should be aware that doing so will limit the number of people who choose to follow and participate in your site.

Because potential donors are not looking to make you rich, you do not want to give them the impression that your site or project is making extravagant amounts of money from other sources such as ad space. Having said this, if a visitor stumbles across your site and finds it to be full of ads, the likelihood of them following your content – much less donating towards it – is slim to none.

With that in mind, there are a few services that you should look into if you are looking to collect donations on your site. The thing is, there are also a lot of donations processors (the people who accept donations via credit card, etc) are not very well known of, and thus people are going to be unwilling to donate using an untrusted sources. Because of this, I highly recommend that you look into using PayPal to accept donations, as people are going to be more likely to donate if they know the processor is a trusted source. Additionally, the fact that many people have existing PayPal accounts means that they will not have to jump through hoops in order to donate to you, and are in turn going to be more willing to donate.


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