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GNU Herds pledgebank

From: John Sennesael
Subject: GNU Herds pledgebank
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2008 13:57:11 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20071202)

As job site complement,  we would like to add a new feature to GNU Herds,
to be able to sum lots of 2 cents to create a user's predefined job offer.

Please, let us know if you think we must not develop such feature or if we 
must do something special.  As usual we will adapt to your requirements.

Dave Crossland wrote:  (draft)
> Here is the recipe for any user to kickstart the development of a free
> software project with no initial funding.
> 1. Estimate the cost of the initial development of the project, "£A"
> 2. Estimate the number of people who want that development work done
>    and are willing to pay for it, "B"
> 3. Divide £A by B to make £C.
> 4. Set up a pledgebank-joboffer for your project for 2B people at £C cost.
>    (more people pledge than pay)
> 5. Publicise the pledgebank until enough people sign it
> 6. Collect their money - perhaps using the SFLC Conservancy or your
>    own USA 501c3(?) non-profit organisation to make payments tax
>    deductible in the USA and encourage corporate donations.
> 7. Post a job ad on or similar for developers. Pay
>    them Google Summer of Code style.
> 8. Enjoy.

> Its Tiemann's original business plan for Cygnus, as told by David
> Harding [1] and combined with the newer pledgebank concept.
> [1]:

Feature development is a priority for us.  Later I will do what be needed to 
get the GNU Herds project being officially part of The GNU Project and to 
transfer my copyright to the FSF.
It would be interesting if donators could sign up with an account and 'deposit' an undefined amount of money, then receive back credits to distribute among projects/pledges/whatever whenever they want to.

For example:
Someone could donate, say, $500, and give $50 to 10 projects whenever they feel like it, instead of making 10 separate donations, and getting charged the paypal fee 10 times.

The advantage of a system like this would be:
    1) You can donate to multiple projects/pledges with only 1 paypal fee.
    2) This would allow for micro-donations. People can donate $1 or less to as many projects as they want. Since normally, a low donation would be absorbed by paypal fees.
    3) People would feel like they have more control over their donations, which might encourage them to donate more.

A site with a similar system exists:
The author of that site has written an interesting article reflecting one year of the site's operation which includes some interesting observations related to the dynamics of donations:

I have been involved with that site and community for a few years now, and I'd love to see a similar system implemented for Free software.

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