i think some features of kdenlive need to removed to make the stabilizing a bit easier, such as its broken recording features. There is currently on linux no good recording library/program and to be honest it should not be the feature of kdenlive. We should concentrate on getting the basics to work solidly and efficiently first before adding such features, maybe making them plugins as well and not built in to the program.
As for fundraising, why not try crowdfunding such as kickstarter?
I am not really familiar with kdes architecture but i do recall some weird dependencies such as semantic-desktop. I think there is a lot of simplifying to be done.