Patreon is one of the methods to donate that is given on the ubports.com donation page. According to Patreon, 158 patrons are giving $US 1,148 per month to the UBPorts Foundation. Sure, that's not going to pay a salary, but, to me, it is a significant amount of money toward running servers and infrastructure. However, I don't know if that's true, because I don't know what the operating costs are. I am blindly donating because I want to be supportive, not because I am trying to pay an amount that I think the software is worth to me. What are the operating costs? If that was clear, maybe more people would be likely to donate. A graphic popped into my head: a thermometer where the level in red is the annual cost, and the red turns green from the bottom up as donations come in.
The question of charging a fee for FOSS is an old one. It cannot be easily answered. There's a lot of philosophical debate about it in the history of FOSS. To me, FOSS is one of the greatest accomplishments of humanity. A shining knight standing to face the history of industrial economies. I'm just saying that charging money doesn't just slowly smother UBPorts. It's no longer FOSS. It doesn't matter if you charge $US 10 or $US 1,000. It's no longer part of this amazing community of altruistic creators.
Do you want a fee to use Linux? Wikipedia? Every forum and website you use to troubleshoot the problem with that driver that doesn't quite work right in Linux in the latest new bare hardware you bought? When someone posts a solution to a problem in a forum, they do not charge money. They are freely giving their intellectual property. This is all part of this network economy that the Internet is enabling. To me, UBPorts is my best hope for a phone in this economy. I will do what I can to voluntarily give of my time and money.