Taking donations for Apps

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by tyr2, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. tyr2 macrumors 6502a

    tyr2

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #1
    I'm planning to release my app for free on the App Store. However I'd like to be able to take donations from anyone who might want to contribute.

    Is anyone else doing this, does anyone have any suggestions as to the best method. Currently I was just thinking about having a link through to a PayPal page but I was wondering if anyone had any better ideas?
     
  2. Fontano macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    #2
    I have a bad feeling for you, that Apple won't keep your app up, if they find out you are doing that. The will view it as an attempt to bypass: their cut.

    IF they do allow it, then a PayPal URL link will probably be your best bet, or a link back to your home page for the app, which would allow people to access a donation form that way.
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    That's an interesting point... you might be more covered if you make it clear that donations are used for your general development activities and do not constitute payment for or recognition of that particular app, or something else weasily like that. But yeah, it does seem like it would be seen as a controversion of Apple's pricing system.
     
  4. Pring macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    #4
    I'd suggest looking at implementing advertising in your app. If users like it they can click the link to an ad (though under terms and conditions of most ad supplies I don't think you're allowed to prompt them to randomly click).
     
  5. forcesteeler macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #5
    Two ways to be successful. Either its totally free or its a paid app.

    Just make it .99 cents.

    Putting a donation link will have your app token out of the store.
     
  6. robotspacer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #6
    Are you guys sure they won't allow it? I thought that too at first, but I've definitely seen apps that have donation links. I can't remember which ones offhand, but I don't think they've been pulled...

    I do think you'll probably make more money if you use ads or sell it for 99 cents, but sometimes a donation link is preferable. If you do go that route, I'd have an obvious but not overly intrusive donation button somewhere. It should either open a screen in your app or a page on your site... on that page you can briefly explain why someone might want to donate (it will allow you to improve the app, etc). Then have links directly to PayPal or any other sites where you'll accept donations.
     
  7. tyr2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    tyr2

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #7
    Thanks for the views everyone.

    I've had another read through the iPhone Developer License Agreement, it states that if you intend to charge end users a fee of any kind for the app it must go through through as a paid for app.

    However I wouldn't be charging for the app specifically, no extra functionality would be unlocked and the user wouldn't get anything specific for donating. Rather it would be just a 'tip jar' to cover development costs etc.. I'm not sure what Apple's view on this would be but by your comments perhaps a negative view should be expected.

    Perhaps the link should be just of a generic 'More from this developer' style that links to a webpage with my other projects and also a donation page. There's at least one app I know of that does this.

    Due to the license around the data I'll be using in my application I can't charge for the application, but I think a donation towards costs would not break the spirit of the license. The data is from the BBC Backstage project.
     
  8. ace2600 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #8
    I'm iffy too on the donation idea. But what about a $0.99 (or whatever) membership? You could just send out a newsletter or something monthly and say that's what they get in return for the fee. It may still be a front for you getting money, but it may be convincing enough to not offend any of the other parties (Apple or BBC).
     
  9. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000

    Hawkeye411

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Canada EH!!!
    #9
    If your gonna offer it in the App store, just charge .99 and let Apple have their cut. You are bound to make more money that way than have you would by having people "donate" to you. LMAO
    :):apple:
     
  10. Greencardman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #10
    I see no problem in having a donation link. After all, other developers use advertising in order to be able to give an app away for free, so you should be able to encourage donation. Its not a required donation, so I really don't see a problem. Why would apps with advertising get out from under Apple's cut but apps with links to donations not? Personally, I think apps should have a donate button right in the store, but thats neither here nor there.

    Anywho, I suggest you put it in there. Maybe direct them to your site. You should also check out a new donation service called tipjoy http://tipjoy.com/faq/
     
  11. cpatch macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #11
    I'd say that the BBC license makes it pretty clear that even soliciting or suggesting donations specifically related to the app is a no-no:

    2.3 YOU MAY NOT DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY CHARGE USERS SPECIFICALLY FOR ACCESSING BBC CONTENT OR OTHERWISE COMMERCIALISE SUCH CONTENT, NOR ATTEMPT TO RE-SELL THE BBC CONTENT IN ANY WAY.

    This also makes putting ads in the app out of the question.

    About your only option is to have a general page on your site that isn't tied into the app and have a Paypal tip jar link on that page with a "Support development of more apps" title. I wouldn't expect much income from it though.

    Craig
     
  12. firewood macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #12
    Are there any apps already accepted by Apple and in the app store, where the developers web site asks for donations of any kind?

    .
     
  13. tyr2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    tyr2

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #13
    Thanks again everyone, interesting points.

    Hmm you're probably right.

    I think this is probably what I'll settle for. I'm not writing the app with a view to earning any money from it, it's just an exercise in developing for the iPhone. However it would be nice if people could contribute if they felt that they wanted to, I understand that probably very few people will though!
     
  14. Greencardman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #14
    Ok, absent anything that says donations are not allowed, that language doesn't prohibit donations. A donation is neither charging indirectly nor reselling the content. A charge is not a donation, because one is voluntary and the other is not. An indirect charge could mean a donation if you decided to take it that way, but if they had wanted to say that they should have included the word "donation." Rather, I think they meant requiring you to buy something else before you can access the content, eliminating the possibility of someone saying something like "this charge isn't for BBC content, its for our content, and BBC content comes free."

    A donation is a donation. If its not required, its completely voluntary and I still don't see a problem with it.
     

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