Project financing

Hello all,

I wanted to create a topic in which it is about the finances.
For an instance (or more) it needs server and domains, both costs money and that can be depending on the size and duration very much.

I often think about how to cover the costs, I do not want to enrich myself with the project but would also like to not pay everything out of pocket.
Advertising I do not find good because to get enough money there it is always associated with tracking.
Donations are almost never made, at least in my environment.

  • How do you handle this?
  • Would you also like to have your costs covered?
  • Or would you even like to make a profit and then grow the project?
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I’m receiving some donations via Librepay from people. This doesn’t cover the cost at all - but it is a warm feeling in my heart seeing that people like what I’m doing. Also one of my servers is sponsored via one of its users.

A better title might be “Howto finance instance hosting” unless you refer to financing a development project.

You may follow a similar path to (no need to be a cooperative for that), where - after a grace period - members are expected to pay a small amount for their membership. They managed to get 1.33k users together. Stability, continuity, branding and such can all provide the proper incentives for people to join in this model.

Read more: Terms of Service and Privacy Policy -

yes I know that @heluecht it’s nice to see that it is appreciated, but so far there was only one user with me

A better title might be “Howto finance instance hosting” unless you refer to financing a development project.

No not directly also existing projects. For example, I already have some instances on offer.
Currently I pay everything out of my own pocket but would soon have to buy a larger server that costs but monthly 50 € more.

Yes, I have already thought about something like that, but in Germany I would have to found a registered association and unfortunately there are some hurdles.

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Is that a requirement in Germany? If you would just have an OpenCollective or something, and then - based on an incoming donation - grant access for a member… wouldn’t that suffice and be legal?

Either it needs a registered association or a business to be allowed to earn money. There is a small allowance for private people but that is legally regulated really strange.

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I wonder if e.g. with OpenCollective, or maybe with other organizations, you can delegate that obligation to the other organization. OpenCollective has Fiscal Hosts for that under which collectives are created. So the fiscal host is the entity that is allowed to earn money, which through their model and platform they send to the proper location. I know there are other organizations like this that take the burden of starting a business entity away from FOSS projects, for instance.

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Ah ok I did not know that, very interesting. The question whether this is accepted in Germany or not.

Since the Internet is still new territory for Germany and some still think that will not prevail, we probably still have many laws that just aim at conventional companies.

You need some legal body for receiving money and this whole stuff. Otherwise it would be legally bound to a single person.

I think, what Arnold means is that it is different if you host a project which you develop OpenSource or if you host an instance of the project.
In the first case you could e.g. apply for

If it is about instances on offer and you are somehow in contact with the people, simply build an e.V. with at least 7 people and you can receive payments with or or [DE] Steady – People-Powered Media

If it fits to be “Gemeinnützig”:
You can build a registered charity in founding (“Stiftung in Gründung”) with exact 7 people,
In that case, I have an example of a charter (“Satzung”) for the software project redaktor.

That’s what I mean, it’s not so easy to commit 7 people. Because it then also requires meetings, the offices must be filled and elections must be held.

I have often thought about the association, I would have a statute as good as ready but no one wants to commit and pay membership fees.

Ok Steady is really scary with all its third party suppliers.

The only real thing, it would require in terms of law is:
The 7 people need to meet one time physically in 12 months and could do elections then and it needs to be logged on paper and signed.

Personally, I need to do server things for a publishing house quickly but then our plan is

__Satzung.pdf (134.5 KB)

yes would be nice to have something like that but as i said no one i know wants to join a Association

Nice statute, even if the style of the headlines I personally do not like so much

One could see whether Feneas would be able to create some kind of sub accounts for financial purposes. Feneas is a legal body and has got a bank account. Question is if they can collect money for other projects.

I think I have to say that I am very critical about using third party providers.

Feneas uses and I think the result speaks for itself:
Results for | Webbkoll -

Would you also like to have your costs covered?

Yes, I have this need.

At the moment I just pay servers myself

But this is not really a sustainable solution

My need is for servers of users and robots that can pay a small fee to cover the costs of the server, for example using crypto

The crypto is then used to pay hosting costs. I use Hetzner right now in Germany

My servers are about 3 Euro a month per server. So I am wondering is this exempt from all the bureaucracy? If so, I could code up an accounting system that gives each tennant usage credits and then use the payments to pay the bill

If this is legal (?)

Sounds more like a business now, something like a web hosting provider.
For this you have to create a trade in Germany. And if you want to sell something abroad you need a tax number for each country.

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Couldn’t this be a non-profit? Or is that what the associations, elections and offices refer to?

5 or 10 :euro:per year for a user may actually give peace of mind that an instance isn’t going to go down, and that there is room for profit for the hardworking admin if they retain many users.

Have you looked into btcpayserver and lightning? This can make for fast, private, cheap payments.

yes that is what I am referring to

yes such small things would be great but people have probably already become too accustomed to “the internet is free (costs no money would actually be more correct)”.

One thing I haven’t seen, which is more common on things like Discord or Twitch are badges that show something like supporter or donor. That might encourage some to support even if they choose not to display such a badge themselves.

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