Proposal for donation link in Thunderbird 31

Ludovic Hirlimann lhirlimann at
Tue Nov 19 11:25:18 UTC 2013

On 18/11/2013 22:49, Kent James wrote:
> (This is a resend after earlier copies seemed to fail)
> As many of you know, I am a firm believer that Thunderbird needs sources 
> of income to ensure its future.
> I would like to propose that for Thunderbird 31, we add a donation user 
> interface and mechanism that requests an annual donation of $10 from 
> users. This should be something that appears prominently once after the 
> upgrade, and users have a choice to act/postpone/or ignore (until next 
> major release).
> My own recent experience with ExQuilla is that there are plenty of users 
> who are quite happy to pay $10 per year for email functionality. I 
> believe that we could design a tasteful donation mechanism to capture 
> this willingness from users that would be acceptable to the vast 
> majority of users, and generate substantial income. I would guess that 
> Thunderbird would earn several hundred thousand dollars per year this way.
I like the idea - Getting mor emoney would be a better way to go forward.
> 2) There are many ways that we could provide more substantial support to 
> core contributors that are short of providing income for living. That 
> would include providing equipment, or travel expenses to conferences.
Yeah some areas really need long time work that none of the current
contributors can tackle (read perf here).
> 3) I believe that the major Thunderbird contributors should get together 
> at least annually for an event that is part work and part play.

I'm sorry that I've missed the mini-summit in Toronto, have I know that
I would have of course planned my mozSummit in Toronto. I believe a
meeting should be held once a year at least. We still have funds and we
could use these funds to organize one in 2014 (stopping here before I
become offtopic).
> 4) Certain important but non-development functions are difficult to 
> support with volunteers. There might be a role for contractors in some 
> of those areas, if there was income available.
> 5) I of course am not opposed to finding mechanisms for core developers 
> to earn a living at their Thunderbird work, should the project learn to 
> develop enough income that such a mechanism was ever possible. But we 
> are far from that now.
> Could I have some comments on this?
++ ++ <3 but that's no comment that's constructive.

I more than welcome that. I have questions thought ?  Currently the
model used to drive Thunderbird is module owners right ? How does that
fit with marketing/finances etc .... ?


[:Usul] SRE Team at Mozilla
QA Lead fof Thunderbird

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