The number of donations raised to 88 last months for a total amount of $2402 given by the community. This is brilliant, as this money helps us work on Linux Mint but it also gives us the luxury to focus solely on the distribution itself without the need to engage in a support-centric business model or in other Linux-related commercial activities.
Together with advertising and sponsorships, donations represent a growing and significant income. We’ve been able to purchase everything we needed, and although we haven’t hired anyone yet, this allowed me to free 3 months from my employer this year and is now slowly giving me the independence I need to either work half of the time or even full time on the distribution in a near future.
We’re heading towards a situation where some people will work full time on the project, and where the income comes from its success and its user base. This is fantastic. It’s not easy to fund an Open Source project, especially without commercial backing, but we’re slowly getting there and this allows us to fully focus on the project itself.
So, there were 88 donors last month and as you can see that’s a lot of transactions to account for, a lot of emails to send and a lot of statistics to maintain. As the number of donations grew it was decided to process donations in batch at the end of each month. This meant that the stats on the website regarding donations were a month late, and that someone sending us money could be left without receiving an email or even a thank you note for as long as an entire month…
To address these problems, we’re going back to processing donations one by one. Donors help us a lot so it’s important that we thank them as soon as we become aware of their donation. The stats on the website are now being kept up to date and a new section on the donors page reports the donations for the current month.
In the background the process was automated so this also represents an improvement for us and less time spent in gathering information when it comes to publish the monthly stats in the end of each month.
We can now show more information, faster and be more responsive than before while spending less time on maintaining the stats. Donations are a very important aspect of the funding of Linux Mint and so it was necessary for us to bring these improvements.
As the leader of this project I would like to apologize to all donors who, in the past, waited for long periods of time without being thanked or in some cases without knowing that we had received their donation.
I also take the opportunity to thank all of them. This community is showing a lot of support for our project and this is extremely motivating.