I am thinking that paid webinars given by core developers of Darktable (eg. Aurélien) would be a good way to both increase the use of Darktable and pay back the people who are putting their time and effort into improving it. I would keep the number of people small for each webinar (10-20) and the fee quite low (say 5-10 dollar/euro for 1 hour), so to optimise both interaction and accessibility. If the number of requests are high, these webinar could become a regular feature – say once or twice a week – thus providing a somewhat stable income for the developers (perhaps a more effective strategy than Patreon). The webinars could also be made available to the community at large after being recorded, but paying for participating to the live event would give you the possibility to ask questions directly and, for instance, having the developer work directly on a photo you submitted in order to show you how you could process it effectively.
What to do you think?