See other ways to help the project (documentation, translation).
- There is an official FreeCAD team account; donate via credit card, Paypal or SEPA bank transfer. Any money received here is split equally among the listed developers. This is the best option as it helps developers directly. The Liberapay platform is also open-source and doesn't take any percentage on your donation.
- There are official FreeCAD accounts on several funding platforms: Github sponsoring, openCollective. You can donate there via credit card or paypal. The money gathered there is managed by the FPA.
- There is a Bountysource account; donate money to the FreeCAD project as a whole, or offer a "bounty" to address a specific issue or bug. This is an interesting option because your donation can be used specifically in a particular area. However, using the Bountysource money is a more complex process for us, and there might be a delay between donating and seeing your donation used effectively. Warning: there have been recently a series of issues regarding bountysource and we recommend not using the platform for the time being. We recommend checking its wikipedia page for up to date information.
- Support the web hosting costs by donating directly to Jürgen Riegel's paypal account. Jürgen is the original developer of FreeCAD.
- Some developers will do a specific task for money or can be sponsored to spend time working on FreeCAD. There have been a couple of successful experiments in the past, such as the Path Workbench or Ian Rees's funding experiment. At the moment, the following developers can be sponsored:
- Yorik via Patreon or Liberapay (Draft, Arch, BIM, IFC)
- Kurt Kremitzki via Patreon or Liberapay (infrastructure, servers, packaging, Debian/Ubuntu)
- Lei Zheng aka Realthunder via PayPal, Liberapay or Patreon (App Link, Assembly3)
- Lorenz aka looooo via Liberapay (FCGears workbench, Conda packaging)
- Amritpal Singh aka amrit3701 via Liberapay or Patreon (Rebar addon)
- Brad Collette aka sliptonic via Liberapay or Patreon (Path Workbench)
- There might be other developers interested in doing specific work for the project; if you would like to accelerate the development of an idea or feature, consider employing a developer. It's up to you to build up an idea, discuss it on the forum, and find developers interested in doing it. You can offer a job in the Job offers subforum.
- Modelling jobs are also welcome. Not every experienced FreeCAD user is a developer. Experienced users can help you migrate your projects to FreeCAD, which contributes with popularizing the software in organizations. See FreeCAD used in production.
At the moment FreeCAD is a very small project with a limited team of developers. Most of us have day jobs, and work on FreeCAD during our free time. Having more money would not change this situation significantly. However, some of us have a more flexible work schedule where money can make a difference.
There is also the problem that we have no structure (foundation, association, NGO, etc.) to collect money. Setting up such a structure represents a huge effort (lawyer, accountant, reports, administrative tasks). The small team of FreeCAD would spend all its time doing this instead of developing, even if we could collect enough money to support it. This article explains the problem pretty well. We are however evaluating joining an umbrella organization, which may remedy the situation greatly.
This is the time of crowdfunding, where all kinds of projects and ideas can sometimes raise a lot of money and interest. Why not invent something new that could be done for FreeCAD with money, or help with finding better solutions? Feel free to discuss it on the forum, About funding and all that.