Fundraising Ideas

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This file outlines some blue-sky brainstorming thoughts regarding handling of donations and other income for the Inkscape Project.

Note that these are not vetted ideas - some may not be permissible under our non-profit designation. Others may be permitted but may be controversial (e.g. ads), however we're listing them here as food for thought.

Direct Asks

Donation solicitation

  • We currently already provide a paypal link for visitors to donate to us.
  • Ask Inkscape users and contributors to each ask 5 or 10 of their friends, family, and co-workers to donate to the Inkscape project's PayPal account.
  • Suggest people ask for donations to Inkscape in lieu of gifts. Birthdays, Christmas presents, and other events.
  • Find out which of your friends (perhaps this is true for you also) work in corporations with matching gift programs. Then ask them to donate and get their gift matched for your organization and ask them to ask their co-workers to donate and get their gifts matched.
  • Have Inkscape fans reach out to their friends and family interested in supporting art and/or FOSS. Decide a range or a fixed amount for the ask. Send them a brochure from the organization and an envelope or easy link to make payment.

Re-contact those people who don’t respond in two weeks.

  • Ask people who use Inkscape in their business to send an appeal to their clients and customers, like, “You are one of my best customers. As such, I let you know about sales coming up and good things happening in my store. Today, I want to tell

you about another good thing—what I do when I am not minding the store.” Then go on to describe the group and ask for a donation. Also post the letter on your website with a link to Inkscape's paypal page.


Call for donations to increase the fund by $NNk

Challenge campaign

Set a challenge of raising $10,000. Give part of the $10,000. Then ask your friends to join you in giving $50, $100, or whatever amount you gave. This is most effective because you are not asking them to do anything you haven’t done.

Challenge gifts can be quite small. Tell people you’ll give $5 for every $25 they give, or will match every $50 gift up to ten gifts. For added suspense, make this challenge during a fundraising event. You or the host can announce, “We now have the Dave Buckstretch Challenge. For the next five minutes, Dave will give $5 for every new member that joins Worthy Cause.”

Adoption Campaign

Create a take-off on the “adopt-a-highway” technique by naming budget items of your group as available for adoption. You could develop a flyer that reads, “The following items have been found near death from negligence and abuse. Won’t you help? $25 per month will ensure that our computer is maintained. $100 per month will release our photocopy machine from toiling with no toner and a dying motor. (We can lease a new one.)”

Ongoing subscriptions

Pledge $20 (or whatever) a month, and get two others to do likewise.

Conference Booth

Print nice donation envelopes to include in our conference booths. Give some to conservancy to have at their booths.

Send people to events to man booths with the express aim of raising money and spreading awareness. Maybe do in conjunction with conservancy?

Fundraising Events

Get a famous or popular person to do a special event. Watch the costs on this, or you may lose money.



  • T-Shirts, Hats, Mugs, Buttons, Stickers, Hoodies, Polos, etc.
  • High quality clothing.
  • Raffle or contest items signed by inkscape devs at hackfests

Art auctions / sales

Ask artists to provide their work to the project, either as a full donation, or a split of the proceeds. Then auction signed prints or originals, and offer direct purchase of unsigned prints.

Perhaps the artist can decide the % to direct to specific Inkscape feature(s) of their choice.

Printed version of manual

  • We have already been getting book royalties from Packt, could expand on that with new books?

CD's of Inkscape + Open Clip Art Library

Sell for $20, split 50/50 with OCAL


App Stores

In App Stores, instead of providing the built software entirely for free, provide it for a Suggested Donation.

  • Homebrew
 + Target all the funds to Mac support
  • Windows
 + Target all the funds to Windows support
  • Steam Store

In cases where the store does not provide a "Suggested Donation" option, consider listing it for a fee but emphasize that the same packages are also available from for no charge.

adsense Ads

Simple text ads integrated into the website

Carbon Ads

This is a devel/foss friendly advertising system.

Purchased Ads

Certain pages of the website are devoted to specialized advertisements, provided to specific companies with relation to Inkscape.

Youtube Channel

Showcase work done by users. Show off features under development. Share status about the project.

Build a large enough audience to earn money from ad and other revenue.

Affiliate Links

SEO companies will pay for sponsorship to get dofollow links to their site.

Amazon Commission

Amazon pays 2.5-6.0% commission on affiliate sale.

  • Think of stores or services related to your organization or where a lot of your members shop.

Ask the store to donate a percentage of profits for a certain day or week, or even forever. You can also explore this with mail-order firms. Then you advertise widely to friends, family and members that Joe’s Florist will give 2% of each sale during Valentine’s weekend to anyone identifying themselves with your group.

Instructional Videos

Class tutorials on using Inkscape, with good quality voice over. Revenue comes from subscription fees to access the classes.

Consider using experienced teachers, actors, or artists that can give real sophistication to our materials, paid either upfront or with a revenue split.

Alternatively, let the classes be organized and charged for by a 3rd party group, who donates a portion of their revenue to the project, perhaps in exchange for being linked to from the site.


Service Raffle

Identify a simple but valuable service that one or more members of the group could provide in donation. Sell raffle tickets for $20-50 each - keep it a little high so you don’t have to sell so many and so that the buyers have a higher chance of winning. Encourage people to buy several, by offering discounts for multiple purchases (1 for $20, 2 for $36, 3 for $50, etc.)

Services can include:

* creating logos
* Business card design
* Brochure design
* Christmas or birthday cards
* Graduation announcements

Design Service Broker

Recruit our artists to do contracted design services, with a portion of the proceeds returned to the project. Serve as a broker to match design needs with artists.

Teaching Classes

Teach a seminar on a topic you know: fundraising, drawing, programming, proposal writing, etc. Charge $50-75 suggested donation per person, with a goal of 15 to 20 people. Record a video and provide it online for suggested donation.

Priority User Support

For a recurring fee, we provide prioritized question answering by a seasoned Inkscape pro, up to a fixed number of hours per week.

Technical Support

For a recurring fee, we provide access to a developer to help troubleshoot problems and work on selected bugs as directed by the client.

Custom Interface Spins

We provide builds of Inkscape with some basic interface customizations, such as simplifying it by removing some unneeded functionality. The result is still covered under the GPL. We provide packaged versions for them to give their users or distribute with their product. For additional fee we also allow them to tweak the branding to some degree. We maintain the spin against current master, for an annual charge.

Custom Extensions

We implement extensions customized to their particular service or product, that they can offer from their website, or include in copies of Inkscape they distribute themselves. The extension is covered as GPL, but can be licensed differently for additional fees.

Hosting Services

We provide use of our infrastructure services to projects or companies for an arranged fee or sponsorship payment.

  • Mailing lists
  • DNS
  • @<project>.org email aliases
  • Cloud computing nodes
  • Build systems (Mac, Windows)


  • Sponsor cannot receive any substantial benefits in return, else it counts as unrelated business income (i.e. taxed at 15-45%).
    • E.g. if nonprofit promotes a sponsor's products and/or services it counts as advertising. [1]
    • "Per IRS rules, nonprofits can acknowledge sponsors by mentioning or displaying the following: company name, company logo, product lines and contact information (address, phone number, web address)."
    • "Nonprofits are also permitted to mention slogans and value-neutral descriptions of a sponsor’s goods or services in acknowledging their support."
    • "In addition, nonprofits can display or distribute a sponsor’s products to the general public at the sponsored activity or event."
    • No: Coupons, endorsements, or comparison to sponsor's competitors

Website General Fund Sponsors

Our regular sponsorship levels, with reward being placement on the sponsors web page.

Event Sponsors

Funds go directly towards hackfest travel attendance, or attendance at LGM, SCALE, and other conferences. We will display their logo in our booth banners and handout materials.

Misc Other Ideas

  • Sell your frequent flyer miles to friends or donate them to the organization for a raffle. Watch the rules of the airline on this, but some airlines let you give away miles, and you may be able to sell your miles as long as you don’t go through a mileage broker.
  • Get members and friends to include the group for bequests in their wills.
  • A monthly kid's magazine sold for $20/yr
 + PDF electronic copy for less?
 + Coloring pages
 + Drawing tips and tricks
 + Stickers
  • Certifications / online classes
  • Windows store as option for paid download.

More ideas: