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Re: [Debian-sponsors-discuss] Donations to Debian are too difficult

On Sun, May 5, 2013 at 7:31 PM, Michael Shuler <michael@pbandjelly.org> wrote:
On 05/05/2013 05:05 PM, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> On Mon, May 06, 2013 at 12:14:36AM +0300, Vladislav Zorov wrote:
>>>> If it's possible to accept PayPal, an even better solution would be to just
>>>> use PayPal's donate button, thus most users will only need one click and
>>>> their PayPal password, avoiding the point where most users abort their
>>>> payments (the credit card details entry form). I understand if there's an
>>>> ideological reason to not accept PayPal, but neither Debian nor SPI said
>>>> anything about it.
>>> That's a good question for debian-project.
>> I bet they have a good reason, let's wait and see :)
> I don't think there's any particularly good reason not to accept
> donations via PayPal. There are various good reasons not to use PayPal
> in general, but from a strictly Free Software-specific point of view
> (which IMHO is the only one value horizon Debian should have) they
> aren't worse than reasons not to use any other bank out there. As a data
> point, many other Free Software projects (e.g.: Tor, GIMP, KDE, the FSF,
> OSI, SFLC, Software Freedom Conservancy, etc) accept PayPal donations
> without much of a hassle. They all seem to value more the simplicity for
> donors than other concerns; and I don't think that any of those project
> values Free Software any less than we do at Debian.
> In terms of fees, PayPal fees would actually be better than the fees
> that Debian pays to at least some of other Trusted Organizations that
> currently accept donations on behalf of Debian (e.g. SPI). As such they
> would be more respectful of donors' money, because a larger share of the
> donation will actually reach Debian.
> Last point: we wouldn't need to rely on any Trusted Organizations to
> take care of PayPal money, we would "just" need to coordinate with the
> Debian auditors for proper accounting --- I haven't spoken with them, so
> that *might* be a problem, but I don't think it would be.
> Just thinking out aloud,

To add an additional thought, why not use the services of one of
Deb{ian,Conf}'s major sponsors, and why not offer multiple one-click
donation options to give users a choice?


For what it's worth, I've had a similer conversation with SPI about the fact they don't take Paypal, when we were initially exploring our options for setting up the "Matching Drive" for DebConf13 [1].  SPI currently doesn't support Paypal, as there is some fear that the bank account tied to a Paypal account could be frozen by Paypal. (I'm guessing this is a very rare scenario, but can't speak on the details.) 

SPI said they could likely work around this issue by setting up a separate bank account to handle Paypal contributions.

I believe SPI would be willing to accomodate Paypal support if there was a formal request from the Debian project.

(Personally I am in the camp that we should allow multiple "one click" payment processors, but at a minimum support Paypal.)

We did end up using Paypal (through Debian.ch)  for the matching fund [2] and as far as I can tell the sponsors-team running the program was happy with the service. (they were able to easily track and update live stats for donation targets.) Other than one issue where a country in question didn't support "Paypal donations" it was about as painless as these things can be. 

I'll add that Debconf13 is still taking individual contributions via Paypal, but they just aren't being matched. [3]


[1] - http://bits.debian.org/2013/04/dc13-fundraising.html
[2] - http://blog.debconf.org/blog/debconf13/dr_dc13_matching_fund_completes.dc
[3] - http://debconf13.debconf.org/payments.xhtml

Kind regards,

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