I'm not a coder, and this may be a complete waste of your valuable time. I don't know what your various (whatever the plural for ethos is, see HERE
) are. I was just sitting around contemplating the demise of one of my favorite apps, which relied on donations, and got to brainstorming. Forgive me if these aren't new ideas or are stupid, I'm just trying to help.
So I was thinking that if you coder types track the number of hours you put into your work, then display that along with # of downloads, # of paid users, and the resulting yearly income, also broken down to an hourly pay rate, that you might be able to guilt some folks into paying you for your work. This could be a display that gets updated any time you release a patch or update. Heck, it could be updated in near-real time, I guess. It could be on the website, in the installer, or in the "about" section of the GUI menu, or all three. Decide what you believe a decent wage is and have that displayed and make it change color depending on whether the goal is met or not (like they do on crowdfunding sites).
Another idea that occurred to me is the concept of group rates. I've seen plenty of deals on multiple licenses, for businesses. How about a deal like that, but for individuals? Have a website where people can sign up to set up or join groups and get a discounted price on the software, which varies depending on how large the group gets. Have a timer for each group that gives so many days/hours to join the group to get the discount, then the software will be purchased at the specified expiration date. The advantage to the user would be significant savings, the drawback being the wait. If people want to pay full price right away, of course they can.
Of course the first idea would expose you to public knowledge of your income, but I think people would appreciate the honesty.
Hope this makes some sense. I'll respond to any replies if anyone thinks it's worth the time to do so.