Just a comment, probably useless, but:
I presume most linux users who try ardour for the first time will get ardour from their distro’s repos. Based off ubuntu’s popcon stats:
#rank name inst vote old recent no-files (maintainer)
61 ardour 72591 326 72132 107 26 (Debian Multimedia Team)
334 ardour-i686 4948 28 4901 16 3 (Debian Multimedia Team)
576 ardour-altivec 17 0 17 0 0 (Debian Multimedia Team)
326 people regularly use ardour; 72591 have it installed. If you could pickup some more donations from these people, maybe the project would be in better shape financially.
Now, I think everyone gets prompted, the first time they export a file to think about making a donation. But no-one’s going to do that; they are still playing around with the software at that point, and they probably have not yet decided whether it actually constitutes a useful part of their workflow yet.
On the other hand, if you prompt someone for a donation on, say, the 25th or 50th time they export a file, then maybe you’d have better luck. By that time, it’s clear someone is actually seriously using the software, not just testing it out. And at that point, maybe they’d be more willing to think about contributing.
Public Radio has a good funding model for a a completely free-to-access service. About half of the money the local station by me makes is listener donations, most of the other money comes from organizational donations. I don’t know if there’s anything you can take away from how they fund-raise to apply to the ardour project, but maybe there’s something there.
Anyways, I sure hope you can scrape together enough funds to keep the project going in it’s current incarnation. I can contribute a bit myself (I"m one of those people whose annual subscription lapsed), but I know I’m not going to put the project over the edge myself.
Thanks, either way, for all your hard-work!