Is Elive a Commercial Distro?
Absolutely not, Elive is made by a single person just like Slackware and sometimes with the collaboration of volunteers, it has never been a commercial distro. There is no enterprise behind it at all, so if you read somewhere about that, please correct them, saying that Elive is a commercial distro spreads a bad reputation for it.
Elive exists thanks to donations, which is used to pay for services like hosting and especially the work time of his founder and developer, if the donations get better, then I’m also able to pay for extra work like what I did with PrinceAMD in the past.
The reason why donations are sometimes an annoying process is because I’m forced, the resources / donations are not even enough to have a meal every day, some people argue that I should search for a work but this will result in a non-existing Elive, since the time invested on it is full, Elive would never be the same if I would be able to spend only a few hours per week. Even if there's a few people that complain about asking for donations, there’s some good souls that thanks to them, Elive can continue to exist.
As a final point, nobody forces anybody to use Elive, and as said before, the other option is to simply not exist, so let's keep the donations system running to make Elive still exist for those who appreciate it :)
Finally, remember that the Free Software Foundation encourages developers to sell free software.