Like Free Software? Give 'em Five!

I use a lot of free software that is very important to me. Debian, Vim, Git for Windows, PlantUML, Pandoc, gawk, bash, GNU coreutils, and the list goes on! This software improves my life, both personally and professionally. Yes, it's free as in freedom, but it's also free as in beer. Although I didn't pay anything for it, it is very valuable to me.

These projects come from the work of volunteers. It's hard work! These volunteers dedicate their time and effort to create useful tools that help many people. Don't these volunteers deserve our support in return?

There are many ways to support these projects. You can write code. You can write documentation. You can spread the word. There are many things you can do, but I want to talk about financial support.

I realize that not everyone can afford this, and that's okay. However, I assume there are folks out there, using this software, who can afford to support these projects with a monetary donation. They might even jump at the chance.

For me, five dollars a month is an easy way to show my support to the projects that are most important to me. Five dollars may not sound like a lot of money, but if an appreciable percentage of users contributed like this, it could make a significant difference for these projects.

With that kind of support, these volunteers could dedicate more time to these projects, hire people, pay bug and feature bounties, or improve their delivery infrastructure.

Most projects make it easy to donate. Set up a recurring donation and forget about it! I've used both PayPal and Patreon to set up recurring donations. Liberapay was set up specifically to support free/libre projects. With PayPal, depending on how the organization is set up, you may be able to set up a recurring donation or you may be able to set up a subscription.

Think of a project that you couldn't live without, that is important to you, or important to the world. Visit the project's website and look for a way to donate. Set up a recurring donation or subscription. Sit back and let the feels roll in.

P.S. If you want to support one project that makes a big impact, consider Software in the Public Interest. Check out the list of associated projects!