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Volunteer for the FSF and GNU

por John Sullivan Published on 22/03/2006 15:10
Volunteers are key to the success of projects organized by the Free Software Foundation and the GNU Project. An important part of our role at the FSF is coordination of volunteers. People write to us to say they want to help, and we connect them with tasks that need to be done, projects that need contributors, and ideas that could be developed.

We're also a place that receives and collects the ideas that people send to us for new projects, resources, and campaigns. If you think of something that needs to be done, send it to us at info@fsf.org and we will try to integrate it with this list.

Volunteers and staff at the LibrePlanet 2009 conference

There are many different jobs and ideas listed here, but all are contributing toward the same movement and the same goals. We recognize all the contributors together on the GNU's Who page.

Additionally, we offer unpaid internship positions throughout the year, with summer, fall, and spring terms. Read more about how to apply.

Are you an activist, or an organizer?

  • Join the FSF community team!
  • Join our campaigns and take direct action now, head over to our campaigns center
  • Start a GNU/Linux or Free Software User's Group in your area. Contact us at user-groups@gnu.org for information about how to go about doing this. If you already participate in such a group, you could encourage your group to connect with FSF. Write to us at info@fsf.org.
  • Attend local free software events and government hearings. Right now we post these events either at http://www.fsf.org/news, or at http://www.fsf.org/events. In the future, with volunteer help, we hope to be able to organize and distribute alerts by region. Write to us at info@fsf.org if you see an event you'd like to attend on behalf of the FSF.
  • Organize in your state, region or country, and connect to other free software activists at http://groups.fsf.org. Help us plan and have a presence at events you organize. Write to us at info@fsf.org for materials.
  • Organize member events on behalf of the FSF, either independently or in connection with an existing event. We will be happy to recommend speakers and provide materials and some helpful instructions for how to do it effectively. Contact us at membership@fsf.org with some basic information about the size and kind of event you want to have.

Are you a writer, a ranter, a thinker, a politically minded individual?

  • Speak publicly about free software

    If you enjoy public speaking, we encourage you to look for opportunities to present to your community about free software. This is one of the best ways to get new people excited, even if your audience is small. The GNU Audio and Video is full of free software speeches to draw from.

    If you find yourself doing a lot of speaking about GNU and free software or would like our help with promotion and finding events, look into joining our GNU and Free Software Speakers Program.

  • Write a free software blog. We will be publishing blog entries from people in the community at http://www.fsf.org/blogs. Please let us know about free software issues that are going on in your local community. Is your school requiring the use of proprietary software in order to complete coursework? Do you help people in your town convert their systems to free software? Send your entries to info@fsf.org.
  • Write for our Bulletin. Twice a year we publish a printed newsletter with articles of long-term interest to our supporters. Much of it is written by FSF staff and board members, but we welcome outside contributions as well. Send your article or article proposal to info@fsf.org

Are you local?

  • Stuff envelopes. Sometimes we do mailings, and we have to stuff a lot of envelopes. If you are in the Boston area and want to be available on-call for this exciting work, let us know at info@fsf.org.

Are you a news junkie, a professional web surfer?

  • Be an Issue Coordinator. Choose one of the issues that the FSF focuses on or should focus on and follow it closely over time. If you have a sustained interest in an area such as DRM, Treacherous Computing or Free BIOS and would like to be responsible for coordinating news gathering and posting on this topic, let us know at info@fsf.org.
  • Send us links to and summaries of news stories you read about that are related to free software. We do our best to monitor all of the relevant news, but in the end we depend on people to write to us and let us know that something we should be concerned about is brewing. If you hear about something, let us know at info@fsf.org

Are you a hacker?

  • Contribute code or documentation to an existing project. You can find information for projects that are looking for contributions at https://savannah.gnu.org/people/. You can find information about many different projects with developer contact information in the Free Software Directory.
  • Help with projects on our High Priority Projects list. These are not always GNU projects, but they are always projects that are important to the free software world, often because they do something that replaces a prominent proprietary program.
  • Make your program GNU. If you have written a program that you would like to contribute to the GNU Project, please see the GNU software information and questionnaire.

Are you a GNU/Linux user?

  • Send us information about what hardware your GNU/Linux system runs on, so that we can build a searchable resource for people who want to make sure that they are buying hardware that is compatible with free software. We have started this resource at http://www.fsf.org/resources/hw, but we need a lot of help to get it going.
  • Send us a testimonial describing how you use free software in your business or personal life. We post them at http://www.fsf.org/resources/testimonials. You can send them to testimonial@fsf.org.
  • Contribute to the Free Software Directory. We have over 4,000 packages listed in the Directory already, but there are plenty more that we don't know about yet, and sometimes the entries that we do have fall out of date or have errors. Read the full instructions for how to help.

Are you a web monkey?

  • Be a Webmaster for gnu.org. http://www.gnu.org is maintained almost exclusively by volunteers. We are often looking for more people to help. Complete our webmaster quiz if you are interested.

Are you multilingual?

Are you an artist?

  • Contribute graphics and design ideas. We are always looking for new logos and graphics to use on our web pages and in our printed materials. A recent example is the logo for the GPLv3 process, which was designed by a volunteer. If the graphics are small, you can send them right to us, otherwise please send a link to info@fsf.org.

Are you a law geek?

  • Be a Licensing Volunteer. Help us answer the many questions we receive every day at the FSF regarding the use and abuse of free software licenses. If you are interested, write to licensing@fsf.org and tell us a bit about your background, both legal and with the free software community, if you are interested. Please also run through the GPL quiz and let us know how you do.

Please also don't hesitate to contact our GNU Volunteer Coordinators <gvc@gnu.org> for help in deciding how you can best contribute.

In addition to this list, we keep a general running to-do list at https://savannah.gnu.org/projects/tasklist, and additional information at http://www.gnu.org/help/help.html.

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