I’d like to share a few projects and organizations that I’d love to see reaching their goals this time of the year.
I want to stress how important it is to understand that donating even U$25 or U$5 or whatever you can is important. It’s also an easy decision for many people (I am not saying it is the case for everyone), to donate and make a difference, instead of spending that same money having lunch at the restaurant or taking a cab. You can also ask your employer to chip in – just ask! Your employer could donate to these projects, become a corporate member of the associations I mention, or pay your membership as part of mutual benefits (non-profit tax receipt + happy employee) Just ask. The worse that can happen is you get a “no, sorry”.
“OpenStreetMap‘s Operations Working Group, who have the important role of keeping core OSM services running smoothly, have planned to invest in a new server which will provide [them] with a database back-up. This improvement is at the very core of the OpenStreetMap infrastructure, giving services greater resilience. It means [they]’ll bounce back quicker and easier in the event of a hardware failure. In time the new server will also bring about some performance improvements.” – you can read more details about the fund drive and donate here. I am donating 50€ to this project.
The Debian Administrator’s Handbook was first written in French (and is a best-seller already) by two Debian developers who are translating it to English and possibly publishing it under a free license. The latter will only happen if the liberation fund reaches 25 K€. A physical book is a big helper when doing advocacy for free software. Imagine if instead of just showing the book to anyone interested, you could also show them how to search it electornically, cite it, use it, modify it, circulate it, share it at will ? I donated 100€ to this project.
Become a member of the Free Software Foundation and/or The Linux Foundation. I don’t always agree with everything that is said and done by the FSF, although I consider myself an active member and advocate – I certainly couldn’t do any of my advocacy work without all I’ve learned from the FSF and other fellow members. My membership at The Linux Foundation is a way to contribute to finance important projects (such as paying Linus Torvals’ salary). If you have a local free software advocacy group (such as FACIL or APELL in Quebec), consider joining as a full member or even making a donation – meeting space, flyers, CDs and food/drinks go a long way when networking locally. Becoming a member also increases the organization’s footprint, if nothing else. Numbers speak! This coming year I am sponsoring a student associate membership at the FSF.
- Linux Foundation membership benefits – Become a member
- Free Software Foundation membership benefits – Become a member (referred by me, member #3877)
- Free Software Foundation Europe fellowship form (including benefits)
Do you have any other ideas on where to donate cold, hard cash to further free, open technologies and software ? I’d love to hear them.
Update: I am helping putting together an accordingly “freedom geek” buying guide here, if anyone wants to peek or get inspiration for it.