I don’t link to him often but Jeremy Schoemaker a.k.a. Shoemoney had an interesting topic today in that, perhaps you should replace the “Donate!” button on your site with an Amazon Wishlist! instead. His opinion is that, the donate button with a set amount or one of those buy me a coffee buttons which is practically the same thing doesn’t really allow for someone to give back. While it might feel great donating a couple bucks to someone, personally, I’d feel great if someone were to purchase a product for me that I either want, or need.
I’ve donated some cash here and there to WordPress plugin authors but I don’t do it very much. Have you? Would you rather see a list of items that the person needs or wants and simply buy one of those? How has the donate button performed on your own site?