A method for open source software development funding

<p>One major problem of open source development is funding it. In talking to some people at the nTEn NTC it came up that there are certain aspects of the <a href="http://www.civicspacelabs.org/" target="_blank">CivicSpace</a> suite of tools that are not funded, particularly porting <a href="http://www.citizenspeak.org/" target="_blank">Citizen Speak</a> to <a href="http://www.civicspacelabs.org/" target="_blank">CivicSpace</a>/<a href="http://www.drupal.org" target="_blank">Drupal</a>.</p> <p>Jo Lee and Dan Robbinson (<a href="http://www.civicactions.com" title="http://www.civicactions.com">http://www.civicactions.com</a>)told one session that it would cost about $5500 and take a month to port citizen speak over. Jo Lee later told me, no funding has been identified. I told her i would fund it if i could, but more importantly I would pledge $100 towards the funding of it. The day before <a href="http://www.organizenow.net" target="_blank">Rich Cowan</a> loosely outlined a way to organize distributed funding for open source software development (he suggested tweaking <a href="http://www.mantisbt.org/" target="_blank">Mantis's</a>, the bug tracking software, feature request functionality). I will try to outline it a bit here.</p> <p>A need/project is identified. Multiple people are interested in seeing it developed, none of these people individually have enough money to fund it. So lets take the citizen speak porting as an example:</p> <ul> <li>The project gets outlined </li><li>the cost (or total needed to complete it) is identified </li><li>People then pledge to pay for a piece of the development, but they do not pay the pledge until the goal has been reached. </li><li>Once enough people have pledged and the goal has been met everybody pays, the development takes place and the ap is made available. </li></ul> <p>So can someone (<a href="http://www.nosi.net/" target="_blank">nosi</a>? or <a href="http://www.opensource.org/" target="_blank">open source institute</a>) create a tool that facilitates this? I will pledge $100 towards the creation of the tool. ;-)</p>