Donationware

Donationware is software that is free to use, but encourages users to make a donation to the developer. Some donationware programs request a specific amount, while others allow users to determine what the program is worth and send in an appropriate donation. Unlike shareware, which may provide limited functionality until a registration key is purchased, donationware is fully functional. Therefore, donationware is more similar to freeware, which is free to use, but retains the author's copyright.

Some donationware programs make subtle requests for donations, such as an option in the menu bar. Others are more blatant, and may prompt you for a donation each time you open the program. This dialog box should disappear once you have made a contribution. Most donationware programs allow you to donate to the developer via a credit card or PayPal account.

If you find a certain donationware application program to be useful, you can be sure the developer will appreciation your donation. Just make sure that the website you use to donate is legitimate and provides a secure (HTTPS) connection.

Updated May 25, 2012

Definitions by TechTerms.com

The definition of Donationware on this page is an original TechTerms.com definition. If you would like to reference this page or cite this definition, you can use the green citation links above.

The goal of TechTerms.com is to explain computer terminology in a way that is easy to understand. We strive for simplicity and accuracy with every definition we publish. If you have feedback about the Donationware definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us.

Want to learn more tech terms? Subscribe to the daily or weekly newsletter and get featured terms and quizzes delivered to your inbox.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe or change your frequency setting at any time using the links available in each email.

Questions? Please contact us.