Voluntary payments for FP

Hey everybody,

during the last year I thought about product lifetime of FP. If the FPs should work as long as possible, there must be some economic benefit for development and support of a phone which should work as long as possible. In Germany, the GLS Bank (a bank for ethical banking) starts a contribution of about 60 EUR p.a. for every customer to secure fair banking while reducing the interest rate. As well, the tageszeitung in Berlin makes it possibe to contribute voluntarily for the website with the goal that no pay wall will be installed.
So I think a project like fairphone could go in the same direction to stay as indepent as possible and provide work and security for everybody who is working there. I can imagine to pay 30 euros a year just to keep the business running while I am happy about my FP 1 and my wife is happy about her FP 2.
What do you think? Could the fairphoners intall a possibility to pay voluntarily?

Nice summer holidays to everybody!



It is always possible to make a donation to a company.

AFAIK Fairphone doesn’t take donations. At least they didn’t - maybe that changed since they were looking for investors a while back. Fairphone always argued that even donations could make you dependent and they always wanted to stay as independent as possible.

I get it, if they allow donations than a big firm - let’s call them Koogle - could pay them big sums of money. Fairphone would then “have to” do something with all that money, so e.g. they buy a mine in africa to be better able to ensure good working conditions there.
Then - at a time when Fairphone needs lots of money, e.g. after an earthquake destroyed big parts of their mine - Koogle could say they would only continue donating if in return Fairphone would install hidden Koogle spyware even on the Koogle-free OS version…

That may of course be a very far-fetched story, but all in all that’s how the world works.


But what if they only allow private persons (which have bought a Fairphone and want to support the company) to donate at maximum 10€/month? That wouldn’t make the company dependent from single people or companies like Koogle and Vacebook, but they would have more opportunities to change the electronic industry.


That is the way I thought about it. And a “signed” donation is better for planning volumes. On the one hand you can do more development, on the other hand, it may be possible to support chinese workers not only while producing the FP but for a longer time. Workers could get more independent, the project would be more interesting, more support. And it changes a little bit our way of commerce. Little steps maybe, bbut why not?


As a “workaround” you could donate directly to causes that Fairphone supports, like Solutions for Hope (didn’t find a donate-button there either though) or to fund 3rd parties that work on cool things for the Fairphone or developers that try to port your favorite OS…


Donations come and go. A contribution is more than this. It is to make a whole chain of producing better. Donations are good and sometimes needed, but I cannot give up the thought that they are alms that cannot be planned. And donations are not that necessary, where fair exchange is enabled. This is the more fact when other companies don’t do that way. Some capital must be there, without one can badly survive for long. I am member of so many cooperatives that make this experience. Finally I think a contribution is more stable because it is like a payment for work often not adequately paid. And if it became usual to pay in that cases, it would be an invitation to anybody who uses the product. The invisible work gets visible. Donations do not work this out and often stay infrequently. Fairphone and initatives like that need have to provide an income for everybody who works on producing less but better goods. Even if many people are interested, only that will secure the ideas of this project. Else one has to sell new products one day or to leave. The logic of the systems remains even if the ideas are quite good. This is at least reality until an unconditional basic income will be launched.

Sorry. Forgot to thank for the tips. :slight_smile:

Any voluntary donation or contribution would contradict Fairphone’s goal to show the electronic’s industry that a fair phone is possible for them too. If Apple or Samsung see that Fairphone can only survive by donations/contributions they will for sure say that they cannot do it the same because they have a different business model.


I doubt that the big players will change their business models until they have economic disadvantages. In fact, it needs another business model. If there is none, profit maximizing will go on, maybe under better conditions. Another business model could establish the best conditions.
Imagine, there was a phone usable for 30 years (well I know, there is none yet). It would be very expensive, that few people would buy it or ruinous for the developer. Only leasing or permanent payings would make such a phone possible. And as it would be difficult so win many users for such a model, a voluntary subscription could be the beginning with the possibility to do more.
I dont’t see any contradiction to FP’s goal, in fact, it underlines the possibility to make a phone fair and to add an increasing lifetime of products.