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Hey folks, just wanted to post this because I noticed it today.

Many of you all probably know about Stallman, and have heard the FSF from his books and the many projects that they support. It’s a non-profit that supports software users rights and promotes, you guessed it, free software.

As with most nonprofits, the funding for the FSF comes in the form of membership - a monthly/yearly contribution in exchange for being a member. For some publishing companies, this means access to their journals, but for the FSF, you get a bunch of other things. Here is a list of the ones you all might be most interested in:

The membership cost is $10 a month, or a lump sum of $120 dollars a year. If you are a student, that price is halved.

The best part about this? Because FSF is a 501©(3) charity, your membership fee is tax deductible.

Also, if you want, you can optionally receive a slim USB membership card that is loaded with Trisquel Live.

The Free Software Foundation does a lot for us, and they are about $370k under their goal for the end of the year. Please consider becoming a member, to help them continue their work.

Join Here

(kindly reshared from reddit)

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    Note that you can also simply donate any amount, without necessarily becoming a member or paying monthly: https://my.fsf.org/donate

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      So, how much of this money goes to the people actually developing free software? I don’t really care about “outreach,” which to my knowledge is where most of the money goes.

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        Indeed. I was a member of the FSF years ago, but then they started spending money on ‘DDoSing’ genius bars and other misguided campaigns:

        [1] https://mobile.slashdot.org/story/08/07/26/1827208/fsfs-defective-by-design-targets-apple-genius-bars

        (I can understand if people find Apple unethical, but please don’t make other people who need a repair’s lives miserable by fully booking out all Genius Bars.)

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          Exactly. If I had the cash, I’d just give it to one of the groups doing actual FOSS development. Also, possibly a talented coder who thoroughly knows one of those projects to improve it for a specified period of time. Seems to be best way to spend the money.

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            I think Mozilla does a yearly fundraising round for companies doing open source software development.

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          Suggest tag: Fundraising.

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            Oh no let’s not, can we not? That opens the doors to kickstarter spam, gofundme spam, etc. Tin cans belong elsewhere barring the occasional exception–let’s not set an unfortunate precedent.

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              And doubles as a neat filter for you.

              I hate that we regularly see posts here about how raising money for free software is a problem, but once people go around and raise, it’s also not okay.

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                I would make the same suggestion if we had a bunch of posts talking about how much our tools suck (which they do and which we have had) and then somebody suggested a tag for “buy software tools here”.

                When evaluating tags you need to think about the abuse as well as the little itches that would be scratched, and a fundraising tag starts to look suspiciously like it would encourage the type of “fund me” spam and project advertising that infects places like HN and imgur.

                Once in a while, sure, but having an official tag signals normalization and acceptance of a behavior. Please think about these things.

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                  I would make the same suggestion if we had a bunch of posts talking about how much our tools suck (which they do and which we have had) and then somebody suggested a tag for “buy software tools here”.

                  I’m not going to follow you down that path.

                  Once in a while, sure, but having an official tag signals normalization and acceptance of a behavior. Please think about these things.

                  Well sure. And I’m very fine with that behaviour.

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                    Well sure. And I’m very fine with that behaviour.

                    We agree to disagree then. Carry on! :)

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                  What makes this call for donations look bad (if it really is about raising money for free software as you suggest) is that it doesn’t mention how the money would benefit free software. It only briefly says what the foundation does – promotion and support of users' rights. I’m not interested in handing out promotion money. And I’m not sure I see how they support my rights, or even if such support is relevant. There are much more practical problems that need to be addressed.

                  EDIT: I agree with angersock in that fund me spam isn’t cool, not for me, not here.

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                    A minor clarification–I don’t mind a fundraising drive here for the FSF, this time. What I was against was specifically having a tag saying “this is content we want to have submitted all the time”.

                    Also, the FSF does support projects (at least nominally) that are alternatives to proprietary stuff. Our colleague @JordiGH would probably have more insight on that due to their involvement in Octave, if they’d like to share it.

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                      Well, there’s not much to it. There’s a certain administrative overhead with handling donations, and the FSF just handles that for us for 10% of the donation money. Because of the tax situation involved with a 501(c )(3), the FSF can only give us the money directly if we bill it the foundation for some sort of service. Recently our lead developer jwe has done this in exchange for cleaning up the exception-handling mechanism in the Octave codebase.

                      We don’t get a lot of money from donations, just a small, steady trickle. Certainly not enough to support a developer full time, which would be the ideal goal. Then again, we’ve never really tried a concerted fundraising campaign for Octave. All we’ve done is put the donation link on our webpage. The donation money that goes to the FSF through membership fees does not go into our Octave fund. Those are handled separately.

                      The FSF’s financial statement, at a glance, does not seem to separately count how much we’re getting through the directed donations, but I know that Octave is getting more than half of all the directed donations.

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                      Aside from not perfectly written, what qualifies this posting as spam?

                      Also, while the posting could go into lengths (and bore you even more), it does say what FSF uses the money for:

                      It’s a non-profit that supports software users rights and promotes, you guessed it, free software.

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                        Aside from not perfectly written, what qualifies this posting as spam?

                        The fact that many people here (including me) do not want that kind of content. There are surely other places to go if you want fundraising news. The FSF, EFF, and other similar organizations are more relevant than average, but I’d still rather not see this become a place where fundraising is socially acceptable.

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                          Aside from not perfectly written, what qualifies this posting as spam?

                          It’s an unsolicited advertisement. Whether or not you agree with the FSF’s mission statement, purpose and execution, it could be argued that it’s spam.

                          Personally I’m not convinced this is the right place for this sort of thing, partly because it opens the floodgates for other sources people may feel are worthy, but mostly because this would probably be more relevant to a forum dedicated to open source.

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                      I agree for the same reason. Bad idea. I’ll add another from the community’s prior discussions on what Lobsters is and isn’t. This is mostly a site where people discuss technical articles or real stuff that’s deep. This isn’t a HN-style site where people constantly push products and services. I mean, there’s a release tag but it’s good that’s not a third of the front page at any given time. Best to let people do that stuff elsewhere so we can focus on really interesting stuff. Only exception I’d make is if the design criteria itself is worth discussing like JackPair or that tamper-proof computer recently.

                      Another angle I’m not seeing is literally the best reason not to do it: so few people are reading these articles. You get almost nothing from a donation call on Lobsters vs other places where large numbers of like minded people are reading. Why waste the space and attention here then?

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                    Forgive my ignorance but what does the FSF actually do? I’ve encountered them in real life and listened to them preach about the importance of free software, which I’m onboard with. Besides evangelizing, do they have a tangible mission?