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Alternate funding

Freely giving resources does not mean you can't receive any funding for them. There are still a number of ways resources can be funded aside from traditional "all rights reserved" sales.

Compatible with "giving freely"

The following funding methods do not go against the principle of giving freely.

Church-based funding

Ask your church or a group of churches to fund a new project so that it can be freely given when completed.

Crowd funding

Use a crowd funding platform to gather funds from individuals who also believe in your cause.


Fund your ministry via donations, like churches have been funded for thousands of years.

Use cost-effective distribution

New technology has made it easier and more cost-effective than ever to distribute resources:

  • Host conferences online or at a church, rather than an expensive venue
  • Publish ebooks rather than printed books
  • Pay staff a reasonable stipend rather than industry standard salaries
  • Host static apps that don't require a server for authentication and payment processing etc

Cover the costs of production only

Charge only to cover production expenses but make clear that the actual teaching in your resource is freely given, and make it available online for free as well.

Wait for Jesus

“Behold, I am coming soon, and My reward is with Me, to give to each one according to what he has done.

Incompatible with "giving freely"

The following funding methods are not compatible with the biblical principle of "giving freely", but are an improvement to standard commercial funding. You may want to consider them if other methods are not possible for some reason.

Pay if you can

You can openly license your resource but still request for people to pay for it if they are able. This relies on social expectation rather than legal protection.


Most licenses (except for public domain dedication) still apply some restrictions, such as forbidding commercial use. You could choose the restrictions that work for your situation and require anyone that wanted those restrictions lifted to get your permission/pay you.

Temporary restrictions

You can keep your resource restricted until you receive enough payment to reimburse yourself for your time and expenses involved in creating it. Once you have broken even you can then free the resource from copyright. You should especially consider freeing the resource from copyright if you are no longer receiving significant payment for it, as, well, why not?


You could write your own license, allowing anyone to use it as long as they don't share it within your own country. This would allow poorer countries to benefit from the resource, especially since they otherwise might not be able to afford it.

Translation only

You can use the Free Translate license to permit translations of your resource without affecting the license of the original. Most resources are never translated anyway, so in such cases there would be no loss and would allow the rest of the world access to your resource if they need it.

This option requires nothing on your part, as it allows others to translate your resource rather than you having to do it yourself. There are over 7,000 languages in the world, so it's not something you want to manage yourself anyway.

Multi licensing

You can apply multiple licenses to your resource that have different restrictions. For example, you could apply a CC BY-NC license that allows derivatives but not if they are commercial, and then also apply a CC BY-ND license that allows commercial use as long as nothing is changed. Anyone that wanted to both make changes to your resource and to sell them would then first need to get your permission.