Since the project forked in 2016 our fundraising has been managed through a PayPal account. This has been effective, but it has limited our options for paying for things to places that accept PayPal, and reimbursing expenses to users with a PayPal acccount. The hassle of liberating funds from the account has discouraged their use, and some services the project relies upon are still guaranteed with personal credit cards. As we do not have a business PayPal account (because we are not a business) the account is legally the personal account of a single (trusted) team member. The need to control access also limits financial activities to a few senior team members who already do much for the project. It also means our finances are opaque to the wider team and backers and supporters from our user community.
To improve things for the teaam we have moved fundraising to OpenCollective who provide 501(c)6 fiscal sponsorship to thousands of Open Source projects. Fiscal sponsorship means OpenCollective will hold funds in an account on our behalf, and for a percentage fee that covers their costs they provide an online platform that allows us to receive, manage, and spend funds through a wider range of methods. This will encourage greater use of donations, and in an accountable and transparent way with the legal and admin responsibilities shared among more team members.
To improve things for users we can now accept a wider range of donation methods in addition to paypal (behind the scenes the funds now route to OpenCollective not our own account). The online nature of OpenCollective also ensures everyone making a one-time or recurring donation to the project can be listed as a backer (if they choose to be). In recent years the number of recurring donations has increased and we want those users to have public thanks and recognition. We also receive occasional donations from companies, and while we avoid the obligations of commercial sponsorship, we would like companies who back Open Source projects to stand out from the crowd.
OpenCollective is now live: https://opencollective.com/libreelec/donate :)
Please send Paypal donations to our Open Collective account or use the button below.