If you’ve participated in the gift economy, you may have encountered a pay what you want product or service. The developers of a free WordPress plugin may have featured a tip jar. Some musicians post albums and allow you to set the price. You may pledged a monthly donation to Wikipedia or even Nation Public Radio.

What happens to the money after you donate it can actually be quite complicated. Particularly, if product or service provider accepts payments across tax jurisdictions. Without an crowd of accountants and tax attorneys, it would be impossible to satisfy every jurisdiction’s laws.

Distributing the money you donate becomes increasingly complicated when the product or service provider is, in fact, a group of volunteers. Who receives pay for their contribution?

Graitpay exists to help solve these problems. It is a work in progress, but is making a path forward into the gift economy.

Extracted from: https://gratipay.com/Gratipay/

Our mission is to cultivate an economy of gratitude, generosity, and love. To that end, we provide payments and payroll† for open work through gratipay.com.

Extracted from: http://inside.gratipay.com/big-picture/mission

The “open company,” as an entity (an abstraction), freely gives and freely receives. The constituents of that entity mediate their relationship with the entity by determining, each for themself, what labor and resources they put in, and what money they take out. By giving the individual control over both variables and making the result public, the locus of negotiation is shifted from between the entity and the individual in competition with other individuals, to a negotiation internal to each individual in collaboration with the other individuals.

Extracted from: http://inside.gratipay.com/big-picture/brand/

Gratipay is an open company rooted in the open-source cultural tradition. These brand guidelines articulate our collective self-identity, and act as a guide when we hash out identity-formative decisions. In managing the Gratipay brand together, our goal is to care more about our mission than about numbers and growth, and to care more about people than about our mission.

Extracted from:http://inside.gratipay.com/big-picture/product

What product are we building to further our mission according to our values for our customers? Our product offers payments and payroll for open work. Companies and organizations apply to join Gratipay as a “team,” and then they can use Gratipay to collect voluntary payments from their customers, and distribute payments to their team members. We process payments every Thursday.

Extracted from: https://gratipay.com/about/

“Open work” means that your company or organization makes it easy for any individual to do your work for you without asking you first, and as a result to share in any revenue you generate. Basically you need to have a public issue tracker with documentation for self-onboarding, and be willing to use our payroll feature once we bring it back.

Extracted from: https://gratipay.com/about/features/payroll

We’ve invented a system called “Team takes” to solve the problem of compensating voluntary labor. Essentially, in our solution, everyone sets their own compensation. Our first version of this system worked great! Now we are revamping it to better fit with existing tax and labor law.

Extracted from: https://gratipay.news/gratipay-year-four-95863e3f0b64#.82oymtnv0

We built relationships in the security and the collaborative economy communities. And, of course, we collected $60,562.84 from 726 participants, and sent out $113,065.37 to 1,090 people and teams.

That’s not nothing.

Our own team is stronger than ever. We have people managing customer support and security triage. We have folks working on product development and accounting. Perhaps most encouraging, we quietly passed a milestone two weeks ago when we completed our first payments cycle with founder Chad Whitacre offline (attending OuiShare Fest in Paris!). We’ve rotated this responsibility among three people for several months now, but this was the first time that Chad was completely unavailable.

Photo by The hills are alive*

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