Open source projects play a important role in software market nowadays. Mostly open projects are created for non-profit purpose. But, any developers behind an open source project need to survive their life. For this reason, open source project can easily be inactive for many reasons. How to continue your open source project? The solution is to monetize your open source project without being evil. Here ITGeeg list 4 ways to monetize open source project to support your continuous great job.
Join the affiliate market is a most profitable solution to get fund for your open source project. You can recommend related products to your project fans. Or you can even sell your own products. For example, you may can sell web hosting on your official project website if you are running a open source CMS. Other ideas like offer commonly used software like Somoto toolbar, which is owned by Somoto Inc. Good products are value added to your project and will bring you considerable income.
Get donate from community is also a option if you want to support your mini project. Sure, some large project (such as Wikipedia) can also survive on community donations. But this is not reliable in most cases. Only popular project with large numbers of users get reasonable possibility to survive on donation. You can use the Paypal to build a donation button on your website.
Provide Premium products
You can provide premium services or products to your users just like many open source projects did. Remain most of your products for free but charge for premium functions do not deviate with the open source concept. The Zend Framework is doing this thing. Zend Framework is designed to eventually pull you into the Zend Studio suite and Zend Platform altogether.
If your open source project is not so easy for use, provide training course is a good idea to get money for supporting your project. You can also provide certification. The Symfony is one of a good example. The Symfony has been around for quite a while.