A fundraising idea:
Have a “pay what you want” option when getting a LetsEncrypt cert, where the amount can be (and usually would be) zero, and display that amount in the cert details shown to the browser user when they click on the green lock icon.
For full combinatoric privacy coverage, there can also be an option to create a cert whose details say that the issuee has chosen not to reveal their payment status – and this option would be available to everyone, whether they paid anything or not.
Thus the possible things one could see when looking at a cert’s details are:
- Issuee paid X amount for the cert (where X could be zero).
- Issuee does not wish visitors to know anything about payment status.
So if a giant company is paying zero, well, that’s fine, but then they either have to declare that fact on every web page to sufficiently curious web visitors, or they have to visibly choose not to reveal.
I realize that the various cert issuance interfaces are not all equally amenable to including payment flow in the UI, so I’m hand-waving on some of the implementation details here. But this is in principle possible, and for any given interface – at least of the ones I’m familiar with – I can think of some ways to make it work.
Also, a related idea: give donors – those who donate the old-fashioned way, via the web site – a unique code that they can (optionally) use when obtaining a cert, such that the cert would show that it is associated with a donor and (again, optionally) show the amount.