When the KiCad 6 donation campaign was active there were some suspicions about practices of CERN or even about personal motives there. It was unfair and insulting (and anything like that should and will undoubtedly be removed from this forum). But I agree with those who would like to know a bit more about how the money is actually used. Wayne’s and especially Javier Serrano’s posts in the developers mailing list are interesting and informative.
The current impression (We collected and spent (600 hours completed) your money on V6 promises even though it’s clear that we are still fighting fires on V5.0) is probably not going to be great for the next campaign.
The estimated 600 hours has come and gone now by quite a bit of time.
But, I have a feeling that development will accelerate once the core becomes stable.
There still seems to be room for interpretation, but I believe Javier meant that the code which has been written for v6 or is under contract but not written yet will be published and merged only after 5.1 release. Here’s the exact quote:
Money which was raised during the v6 campaign will be spent during the v6 development cycle. Embarking on v6 development too early would result in unnecessary merging costs, as KiCad is constantly moving.
Anyways, the main point was that all money donated for KiCad will always be used for actual KiCad development, “without overhead”.
If there was a way to link a donation to a specific feature you might find more corporate interest. I think this is part of why Linux owns the server market. Industry got involved to take care of their specific needs. They donated money and/or time (coders).