Even if you want to create a non-profit app, you will still need to find a way to cover the ongoing costs. You will need money for hosting, upkeep, updates, and other household stuff to keep your app running well even after it is built.
Quite simply: you can charge users to download your app. This is an easy way to make money from the app, but keep in mind that it’s a one-time payment while your maintenance costs are ongoing.
If you build in-app purchases into your app, users can spend money directly in the app to enhance their experience or buy products. This can be a good way to make larger sums of money from an app, but can also scare some users away if the in-app purchases are necessary for the user to properly enjoy the app.
If you’ve built an app that others could use, you could consider white labelling. With white labelling, you take the code already written and sell it to others, often in a customised version. For example, if you’ve built a way of tracking your company vacation days, you can remove your own branding and sell it to another company with their branding on it.
You can make money through good old-fashioned ads. Displaying ads in your app can make you money in an easy way, but can also potentially annoy some users. If you choose to have ads there, just be aware of this. However, it can be a good way to get a steady income from an app without much effort on your part to set it up.
Instead of the one-time fee to download the app, users pay a subscription monthly, yearly, or in whatever time frame works for your app. This can give you a stable income, but again, potentially scare users away. This can also be combined with a freemium model where users can pay to get extra features or remove ads or restrictions, but the app is still usable without paying.
Even though scraping data can sound scary, you should consider ethical ways that the unique data your app generates could be utilised. Think about whether the anonymous data you automatically get from the app can be used by anyone - do you have unique information about what age groups take the most vacation time, for example? Could a travel agency be interested in that data? Think about how to keep the data safe and ethical, but don’t be afraid to monetise the data that you accumulate anyway.
There are many ways to make money from your app, but you need to choose the right one for you. Think about how you’re going to make money without impacting your product and the user experience.