[Blogger's Note: This originally ran as a item in the Larry the Free Software Guy blog in June 2011. I am repeating it here in order to urge those who use CrunchBang to donate to the distro at the link here, and the way this can be done relatively painlessly -- and how we all benefit -- is explained below. Thanks, and a report from SCALE 10X is forthcoming -Larry.]
During my campaign for Insurance Commissioner of California in 2006 — where I just missed being elected to state office by a mere 46.5 percent of the vote — one of my campaign fundraising materials was a handout with a sandwich on it. It said, in effect, that if you give up one of these a week and send the money — $5 per week, in this case — to the campaign, you could have proper representation in Sacramento.
[It should be noted that, as a Green Party candidate, I did not take corporate campaign donations -- not that any were forthcoming -- so I needed a lot of sandwiches to mount an effective campaign. Thank goodness for FOSS, since I didn't have to buy any software, but that's another story.]
Yesterday’s blog item about the Ubuntu earrings that are being used as a fundraiser for Partimus started me thinking about how some people shy away from donating to groups or, in our case, FOSS projects because they think it takes a lot up front.
Nope, it doesn’t have to. It takes one sandwich at a time. Or coffee. Or dessert. Giving up one of these just once a week, multiplied by a significant number of people, can put some well-deserved projects in some pretty good financial shape.
It’s very simple — instead of having that grande iced mochajavafrappamacchiato at Starbucks today, send the money via PayPal to a FOSS project that you use regularly, as a way of saying, “Thanks.”
Give to Partimus, the project that is putting Linux-based computer labs in low-income schools in Northern California (or buy a pair of earrings). Or the HeliOS Project, since “a child’s exposure to technology should never be predicated on the ability to afford it.”
The possibilities only end at the number of FOSS programs that are taking donations. Go to the programs that you use and look for a “donate” button.
Then give ‘em a sandwich.
[Extra points to whomever can identify which song the title of this blog comes from. No Googling.]
(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)