F-Droid Opencollective, Funding, etc

I created an opencollective for F-Droid a few days ago: https://opencollective.com/f-droid

Opencollective is a free software funding platform (as in opencollective is built with free software and it’s used to fund free software projects among other things).

If you are interested in more details how it works, this is a good place to start reading I think: https://docs.opencollective.com/help/about/terminology

One of the interesting things about opencollective is that it supports acting as a fiscal host for us (through another organisation called OpenSource Collective) so they can hold money in f-droids name that collective admin can pay out to contributors at some later point.

This comes with a 10%(?) fee as far as I understand, so it’s not a perfect solution but one that’s easy to get started with.

On a related note, I applied for a 10.000 USD mini-grant for fdroidserver related work through mozilla open source support initiative during FOSDEM which is paid out through opencollective (without fees)).

I’ve been looking into how to accept money as f-droid for a bit now and came across 2 other options

  • https://commonsconservancy.org/ this is related to NLNet, and was explained to me as a foundation hypervisor which we could run our virtual F-Droid foundation on top of, without worrying about all the legal and financial things happening in the backgound. This is (so I’ve been told) without any associated fees.
  • pEp foundation (https://www.pepfoundation.org/) can apparently fulfil a similar role, I haven’t looked into this at all, but I’ve talked to someone from pEp at FOSDEM.

I you are an F-Droid @contributors you might want to sign up at opencollective and post your username, so I can add you as a core contributor there. This is mostly cosmetic (i.e. people see at opencollective who’s a f-droid contributor) until you want to receive money collected through the f-droid collective.

As soon as we have figured out how this thing works properly we can add it to out website, make a blog post about this, to encourage people donating there.


thanks for all this! Also, in related news, I have prototyped improving
the donation support in F-Droid to highlight the free software services:
Liberapay, OpenCollective, and free software crypto-currencies. Then
the rest will be ‘demoted’ to regular links rather than recognizable
buttons. Then also, like Fastlane/Triple-T, I think F-Droid should get
donation links from the project’s FUNDING.yml file, which is a standard
started by the GitHub Sponsors project.

@Bubu about pEp, @uniqx and I thought a great thing for them to run
would be a checkupdates server. That is, if they are willing to run
some production infrastructure. I suppose we could run a checkupdates
server on their CI setup, and have it merge via merge request.

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Does OpenCollective meanwhile have a privacy respecting way to withdraw money? The reason I’ve stopped using Liberapay is that they don’t (they only support PayPal & Stripe). IMHO that should be an important point for F-Droid.


Do you know of a better service for withdrawing money? OpenCollective uses Stripe also. That’s a super tough one, money transfers are highly regulated around the world, for good reason. Private money transfers are perfect for tax evasion, money laundering, and theft.

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IBAN would be nicer, but IBAN doesn’t work in most of the world, including North America, where OpenCollective is based (Gratipay was too). Liberapay is based in France, but their IBAN service pulled the plug on them.

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Unfortunately not. But a company with “that guy” in its back (look who’s funding it: Peter Thiel, also funding PayPal IIRC) at least raises an eyebrow. Stripe might be slightly better than PayPal privacy-wise, and there’s obviously nothing “ideal”… And yes, I know that IBAN isn’t available world-wide – and that Mangopay kicked Liberapay out (giving a reason that would as well apply to Flattr, which they’re backing still).

There are some open issues on OpenCollective concerning SEPA for withdrawal. Problem is there’s no API for that, so those are stalled. Some instances offer it based on manual process, though.

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I think we still need to setup a call with NLnet to discuss their preferred “fiscal sponsor” organization. Who would be interested in joining?


Awesome work guys :clap:

Could you please PM me to discuss anonymous donations in Crypto?



Sorry, I do not know whether I should start a new topic.

Regarding API, why would I use alternative platforms? I use this PayPal link. Do alternatives offer these features? They did not last time I checked.

@jasp we are a small, mostly volunteer organization with no paid admininstration time. Right now, we are emphasizing donation methods that a) respect user freedom and b) are not so much work to administer. Things like PayPal and bank accounts require official, incorporated entities (like F-Droid Limited). These require tax filings every year. We are working on getting help with all those admin things.

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What about Software in the Public Interest?

I can’t think of any core contributors that are US-based, so having a
US-based org would probably create admin work in a place where none of
us are based.

Using US-based services does not involve being US-based yourself; you just do not get donation tax benefits, except for Canada, Mexico, and Israel. Let me quote part of the application process:

Generally the process starts with informal discussions between project representatives and one or more board members, initiated either by the project representatives or the board members. These discussions carry no commitment on either side and are an opportunity for the project and SPI to establish if proceeding to a formal application makes sense for the project.

if the number of active installs of LineageOS is taken as metric (arguably a bad metric due to the high number of unknowns and only counting users and because LineageOS usage and F-Droid usage differs) then the numbers of US, Canada, Mexico and Israel combined do not reach the number of India.

(https://stats.lineageos.org/ unfortunately is down so using a screenshot of web.archive)

Duck and cover.

It looks like there is a partnership between Verein zur Förderung Freier Informationen und Software and Software in the Public Interest, so IBAN transfers would be possible.