I remember there was a discussion on donations (initiated by people who want to donate), and the team didn’t want that.

Well, how about this? Many open-source projects use bountysource these days (this is OpenRA’s page for example), where people can sponsor development of certain features (RMG, battle AI, etc.).

Aside from letting people who want to donate in some way, this can also attract other people to contribute to the project (hence it should also be OK with “developer time is better than donations for us”).

As a bonus, bountysource can be integrated in GitHub issue list.

I think for people working on project donations are not threated as something good. Because with money work on VCMI can become duty, not pleasure.
Maybe there is possibility to not donate the project, but to gather money and hire some programmer, that knows boost and can work fulltime for features. But i don’t know what team members think of it.
As for me, i do not need money for coding, I only want to change some things in game that are needed for me also (at my free time).