Part 3: We want to do more for you!
We must do more.
Over 15,000 individuals joined the Free Software Supporter mailing list in 2011 to follow our progress and to help us do more for free software. Over 22,000 verified signatures were added to our statement opposing Microsoft's Restricted Boot. Over 130 individuals donated to help us mail 200 cardboard bricks to Nintendo executives in opposition to their terrible Terms of Service and Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) on the Nintendo 3DS. And we joined with thousands of others in the US to oppose Internet blacklist legislation. Time and time again, we managed to make sure the free software message was heard around the world.
Our campaigns managers, Matt Lee and Josh Gay, not only design and carry out our advocacy campaigns — they also do a large share of our public relations, fundraising, web development, and graphic design. In 2011, they answered over 1,500 emails from members, the public, and reporters. They overhauled and relaunched the Free Software Directory. And they worked diligently on campaigns to end software patents, eliminate DRM, promote free document formats, support the GNU Operating System, and promote free audio and video formats.
But, for as many actions as they were able to launch last year, there were also missed opportunities.
Matt wanted to do much more to improve all of our web sites, making them more useful and attractive places for people new to free software to learn about it and for those more experienced to keep up on the latest issues they should be acting on. He wanted to work on some new publications, including case studies of prominent free software users and better handouts explaining the basics of free software and the problems of DRM and software patents. He wanted to attend more events on behalf of the FSF to meet and work with others in the community, and he wanted to blog more frequently and effectively about important free software issues.
Most importantly, he wanted to design a new GNU hat to be sold through shop.fsf.org, because it's January in Boston and it's hard to type when our heads are so cold.
Josh wanted to do more too. He wanted to build stronger connections with other organizations whose work overlaps with ours. He wanted to spend more time talking with and writing for major publications to ensure that the free software message is always heard in mainstream discussions of technology. He wanted to spend a few more years turning the Free Software Directory into a fully sentient being powered by Semantic MediaWiki. He wanted to get the history of free software into museums like the Smithsonian, and he wanted to focus more time on promoting free software in educational institutions.
To do even more than last year, to do more for free software, we need to grow. Another campaigns manager would be a huge help and would give us almost enough to field a softball team against the local Microsoft office. Over the last month, we've seen some of our peer organizations receive grants in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. There's a good chance we can also get such funding, but someone needs to have the time to pursue it without neglecting other important work that must be done.
Your donation puts us in a position where we can be successful.
Here is how you can help Josh and Matt:
- Become an associate member. Average donations of members are $169/year, and memberships start at $120 or $10/month. When you donate $500 or more, you can be listed on our Thank GNUs web page.
- Donate any amount
- Add our fundraising widget to your site or blog
- And simply let your friends and co-workers know about our fundraiser!