So you are looking for a business model?
In general a business model describes how you want to run your business (No I never did one).
Wikipedia: “In theory and practice the term business model is used for a broad range of informal and formal descriptions to represent core aspects of a business, including purpose, offerings, strategies, infrastructure, organizational structures, trading practices, and operational processes and policies.”
It must be available to the developers.
You need at least one developer ;).
Depends on what you mean with “to be used freely”.
Whatever you mean with profit, it means you need to earn exactly this profit to be given to the main developers/hosts?
Are the Non-Main developers/hosts?
Maximizing profit? Robbery I guess. No, not really. You need to take the value of the risks into account which makes the profit less worth.
Seriously this is a science by itself. The truth is if somebody thinks he found a working strategy for that he surely will not tell us to copy it ;).
You think about tax benefits right now? Sure if you do a business plan you should consider this as well. I recommend to look for professional help for start-up companies. I’m pretty sure there are some in your city. Maybe there are some sponsor-programs to help the local economy.
The owner of Blender is the Blender Foundation. You can read about that at blender.org. If you look at the homepage you can (partly) see where the “profit” comes from:
Money comes from donations and the online shop
Development power comes from the volunteers
Support comes from a large user community
Time from all the volunteers supporting Blender
Profit does not need to be money. But if you provide a service you usually need to pay for something with money. So it would be good to have some sources for that.
A piece of software is not generating money (or other things) by itself. There are several options for a deal:
A) the right to use it
B) transfer owner chip
E) additional content
F) side business (e.g. promoting other services)
As usually you need to find the balance between what you can get and what you customers are willing to give you for the service you offer.
This does not mean you earn profit from all possible options. E.g. Look at some printer manufacturer. They sell printers for a real low price. It is that low, that it does not or at least very less monetary profit. But they sell the ink with a huge profit.
What is the point? Customers sell a printer only once in a while (except it breaks after short time => they are buying somewhere else) but they buy ink much more then new printers. This sometimes lead to the ironic situation, that a new printer is cheaper than an ink refill.
Even if it looks like a bad example (for the customers), it shows you do not need to make profit from all options.
What with a game?
- usage right = Free => increases the amount of potential players
- additional content = payed => less players for that but money to pay your bills
- site business = ads => less players but money to pay your bills
- transfer owner rights = no go => you would loose your business
- support = free/payed?
- training = by community?