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Re: [Debconf-team] PayPal donations, and fees

On Mar 31, 2013 2:59 PM, "David Prévot" <david@tilapin.org> wrote:
> Hash: SHA256
> Hi,
> Le 31/03/2013 14:19, Brian Gupta a écrit :
> > Let's not lose sight of the fact that these donations will be matched
> That’s only true unless we do not raise over the 5000 $ limit (thus the
> encouragement to “include on this page (or link to) the amount of money
> already raised.”)

Fair enough. The sponsors team has committed to weekly reporting. I'm traveling today, and won't be home till Monday evening, but I'll see if a summary can be added to the page. We'll be very lucky/blessed if we can raise the full $5000 amount from individuals, and I would consider it a resounding success if we did. If we do raise $5000 before the end of April, I'd hope we could look to see if any other sponsors wish to join the matching pool. (This is the first time we have tried this, so please bear in mind this is an experiment that could shape future fundraising efforts.)

> > even though so small percentage of the donations will be eaten in fees
> Providing 3 % of (over) 5000 $ to a specific bank like company does not
> seems so small to me, and I’m not sure Debian should encourage the use
> of this kind of service without at least proposing an alternative.

One note for background, this fundraising drive was initially conceived as a US only effort, and thus Paypal made a lot of sense, since the majority of US residents have Paypal accounts, and we wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to donate. It was only shortly before we launched that the question came up if it could be extended worldwide. The decision was that as long as the donations were denominated in USD that this would be fine. (Since the matching fund was funded in USD, and the criteria specified were based on USD donation amounts.)

Please bear in mind that no matter what there are transaction fees. Also assuming donations in the $5-100 range thats between 50 and 1000 individual transactions that would have to be manually processed if an automated system like Paypal were not used. I'm not 100% sure if processing these manually is necessarily the best use of the time of the sponsors-team, but I leave that to the team consensus. (Perhaps there are options we missed?)

That said, we are working on an alternative for Paypal for those countries that don't allow use of Paypal, so we'll see if we can extend this as option for those that are in a country that allows Paypal use, but are opposed to using it. (Bear in mind this may incur higher transaction costs, and may make the progress reports less timely.)


P.S. - I'd be curious to hear what specific opposition people have to Paypal, as my understanding is the FSF uses Paypal to accept donations, and has worked with them in the past to make their service more friendly to the Free Software community[1].

[1] - http://www.fsf.org/news/paypal

> > On Mar 31, 2013 12:01 PM, "Moray Allan" <moray@sermisy.org> wrote:
> >> On 2013-03-30 07:09, David Prévot wrote:
> >>
> >>> Could we know the amount of money (percentage) that will be “donated“ to
> >>> PayPal on behalf of the matching fund initiative.
> >>>
> >>> I mean, on top of the conversion fee: is it something like 3 % ?
> >>
> >> I try to avoid using Paypal myself for reasons unrelated to their fees
> Would you mind sharing those reasons?
> >> However, your message seems to imply that other methods of donation don't
> >> carry equivalent fees, which unfortunately they do.
> You’re comparing two really different things. On one side, a for profit
> bank like company, on the other, a non for profit trusted organization.
> For fairness, I encourage you to compare the PayPal fees to those of a bank.
> >> The debit card plus processing fees there seem to sum to about 4.4%,
> >> meaning that 9.4% of the donated amounts didn't reach Debian, using
> >> non-Paypal payment methods.
> Once checked the actual numbers (on all possible payment ways) — if I
> understood Jimmy Kaplowitz correctly, your numbers are exaggerated —,
> would it be possible to include (a link to) them from the
> monetary-support page?
> Currently, “alternate payment arrangements” are reserved for people who
> “are in Japan, or another country that does not allow PayPal donations”.
> Providing this is a realistic option, especially given the possible
> extra work needed for the accounting, could that be open to people who
> “can’t or don’t want to use the aforementioned payment option”, and
> possibly made as easy as possible to use?
> Regards
> David
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