1. I think an idea like that needs first some advertisement to make people aware of the action.
2. Financial is basically a kind of bottleneck. More money means more manpower and thus more progress. Of course it doesn't help against missing specs besides the horrible work of reverse engineering. Still manpower. So yes, finances can be a sort of a bottleneck for driver development.
3. And I personally would prefer if there was maybe also a kind of choice what to do. E.g. I have an interest in getting GPUs soldered with ARMs afloat, AMD UVD working (and some more energy related stuff, everything else is fairly ok and progressing by official development) and maybe some love for these pesky VIA chips.
Or hire somebody to get BluRay-CSS or whatever it's called decoding airborne. Might not be totally legal in all countries but what can you do if you want to watch the movies you bought on Linux or BSD?
Or make past chips that are still not well supported working. GPUs, WLAN, some USB devices, omg printers(!) and whatever else is still having problems.
I think we should first get in contact with corporations like Red Hat, Canonical, Google, Samsung, Qualcom etc. Let them figure out how we can get much better open source drivers and present them to us. Then we might be able to get some sort of funding for it. A service where you pay per year and your hardware gets a little more priority might work. Or maybe if you pay 30 dollar per year to Canonical...
You would think that corporations would love good free and gratis open source drivers?
I think 1$ a day might be a bit much (giving more than 350$ a year towards one project seems a bit much for most people), 10$ a month seems more the norm in terms of donations (e.g. it is what I give to the EFF each month). That being said I am a fan of the idea of funding open driver development.
As for the original Nouveau pledge drive, seing as I was the person who organized that I can provide a bit of information on what went wrong. Basically I was ahead of my time when it comes to crowdfunding, I was entirely unable to find a non-profit to hold the money for the project. No distribution foundations (such as The, now likely dead, Ubuntu Foundation, The Fedora Foundation), nor newly started, at the time, ventures like the Software Freedom Conservancy were willing to take on the task at the time. This meant that the only option we had was directly putting the money into one of the developers accounts, doing this would have meant incurring additional taxes on the donations. More worryingly though, after talking to the bank used by the Nouveau founder 1000's of payments in the 10$ range to a private account would have been triggered fraud flags and the account would have been closed down for investigation.
So after a long time and consideration it was decided to consider the pledge drive a success based solely on the willingness showed from people, however the money was never collected as there would meant much less than the expected 10.000$ ending up with the developers due to taxation and the risk of disrupting the developer in questions personal finances.
An additional issue that arose afterwards was the concern about who got what inside the Nouveau project. There was a concern that some developers might feel cheated based on how the funds might be allotted, e.g. there was talk about perhaps hiring someone to work fulltime for a month or two, in that case who would that be and would that selection be fair.
I am very proud of the pledge drive, I found it really heartwarming to see that people were willing to put their money down to take a stand for openness. It is naturally sad that we never actually managed to collect the money but I have heard from several sources that it raised awareness about the Nouveau project as well as the issues of Open drivers in general and helped build confidence in later online crowdfunding ventures.