One of my side projects (mydevportfol.io) is a web app that lets users developers/programmers build a portfolio based off of their github profile.
From the outset this is something that I wanted to see if I could make some money off, but I wasn't sure if it could even get to that stage.
After playing around with some different pricing models, I eventually decided to just let people pay what they want. This was part of a decision to "sunset" the app so I could focus on other projects.
A few weeks later, I was shocked to see that someone had donated €49 for a portfolio.
I was genuinely stunned.
It was a massive boost and snapped me back to development, fixing bugs and usability issues and planning more features.
In the past few weeks I've had a few donations (see screenshot), nothing spectacular but it's such a huge boost to check out the stripe dashboard in the mornings and see that (sometimes) my morning coffee is paid for!
I'd encourage anyone to add a donation button or some other method for accepting money. If you've built something that even a few people in the world really like, they WANT to give you money. They appreciate the effort that you went to.
And of course, you can always pay that forward in future when you find something that someone has built and you get the satisfaction of making a dev smile cos you bought them a coffee.
Ps: that large donation was from someone on my email list. If you aren't collecting emails, you should start. I don't spam my list, I just give them relevant updates to the products they told me they're interested in.