I’ve mentioned before that I write the content that you see here on this site from a program called Journler. Phil Dow, who created Journler listed it as donationware â€” meaning that if you use it, you should donate something to the continuation of the Journler project. Not quite freeware, not quite shareware; that is a hard niche to fill.
I really like Journler, so since money is tight, I donated my time to the project. In this case, I donated my time editing images for icons in the program. In the past, I donated time on documentation to such projects as KOffice, Virtue Desktops, Quanta, and Liquid.
I mention this here because I was helping a friend with her computer and I solved most of her problems with freeware, postcardware, and other opensource software. When I explained all of this to her. She was grateful for saving a few thousand dollars in costs and wanted to know who to thank. Since she is multi-lingual, I suggested that she contact any of these developers and offer to help localize or translate documentation for them.
Remember, cash is not the only thing of value that you have. Your time can be invaluable to an overtaxed developer who decided to give away her/his work out of the goodness of her/his heart.