Avogadro is an open project, and we’ve benefited greatly from community and volunteer developers. I hope that will continue to expand in the coming years. That said, having $$ around can decidedly improve a number of aspects of the project.
The University of Pittsburgh (my university) has contributed in the last year to writing a complete manual (http://manual.avogadro.cc/) as well as converting $$ that we previously spent on commercial software into paying students to write code.
I’m curious about other people or departments. Would you be willing to financially support Avogadro? I have a very short (4-question) survey:
P.S. Assuming there’s suitable interest and support, I will investigate mechanisms (e.g., forming a foundation, using services for assigning bounties, etc.)