Would you contribute 💰 to Mail-in-a-Box, and what would you want it used for?

Hi folks.

We get asked periodically how to contribute money to this project. Because small contributions would have simply gone into my pocket but not actually have done anything to help the project, I have put off taking any contributions.

But our community has grown a lot in the last few years. I don’t know for sure how many active Mail-in-a-Boxes there are, but I think in the hundreds. Maybe now there are enough users who would want to contribute money that it would be worthwhile to take it and put it to good use.

To me, $400 raised per month, month after month, is the point where taking any contributions begins to make sense, but, realistically, it would have a small impact, and I would predict its impact would mostly be in improving the community side of the project rather than functionality. Raising 10x that is the point where it starts to have a transformative effect on the project.

Assuming we have 200 active users, if 10% of users contributed $20/month, that would be $400/month.

If you would be interested to contribute money on a regular basis, please reply with:

  • How much would you contribute to Mail-in-a-Box on a monthly basis in U.S. dollars?
  • How would you want your contribution to be used?

Based on the responses, we’ll find out if there is enough to actually start.

If you are not able to contribute anything on a monthly basis, please don’t reply, just to keep this thread focused on the question. If you don’t want to reply publicly, feel free to private message me through the forum and I’ll summarize/anonymize the responses.

(Folks have raised legal questions in the past about this. In the U.S., there’s nothing that really gets in the way of taking people’s money (how American, right?). Making contributions tax-deductible is harder, but probably not necessary for us. Spending the money is the hard part for a whole bunch of reasons.)



I think I’d donate once as I said in another topic, as I’d like to say thank you for all the effort made and saved to me.
To stimulate people making regular donations I’d suggest to set up goals to reach with that particular donation.
That may help with the taxation issues as well, as the donation can be made directly to a provider of something the community need to buy or to pay for.
It would be particularly simple to set up with a cryptocurrency as the crypto-addresses are typically visible by everyone, so the management would be very transparent.
(Hope the above can be useful).

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FWIW if I was to contribute a monthly fee I would want more in return. MIAB has not introduced many new features for a long time despite there being many good pull requests. There would need to be a better roadmap for the project with timelines when features will be added.

I could not afford to contribute more than $1-2 per month ($10-20 per year) on top of my hosting fees which is well short of the desired $20 per month ($240 a year).

The money should go to whoever has written the pull requests that get chosen.

There is also “Github Sponsors” to consider.

  • $3/mo
  • Hardening

I had an AIDE setup prior to the OS upgrade that would send me nightly emails on system changes that weren’t excluded from monitoring, which gave me some peace of mind. I’ve been too lazy to reconfigure it, but I’ve since set up TTY/SSH logon email alerts.
A lot of this would be nice behind a button-press.

I think your idea/goal of $20/month is a little too lofty, given that the majority of MIAB consumers may be like me, just trying to roll their own and avoid the more costly expenses of managed providers. I too would make a one-time, or annual contribution in the range of $10-20 a year.

And I agree that the feature set is pretty limited for asking for much more. Look at Plex, which for a one-time $75 to 150 Plex Pass investment, returns a phenomenal set of improvements every few months.

Again, I genuinely appreciate the time you have invested, and would like to send that appreciation back somehow.

I just want to clarify: I’m not asking for money — involving money will make my life harder. What I’m asking is if folks who use the project want to put their money toward making the project better, and I’m giving realistic expectations for how much money would be needed to do things. This is a survey, not a request. :slight_smile:


Hi all. Thanks for the responses. I appreciate that folks want to show their appreciation.

But it doesn’t appear that that will add up to enough for it to make sense to set up a process to take donations. (Which is fine! I’m not disappointed. Now we know.)