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Volunteer for the FSF and GNU

by John Sullivan Contributions Published on Mar 22, 2006 03:10 PM
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 also collects the ideas that people send to us for new projects, resources, and campaigns. Send your ideas to us at info@fsf.org and we will consider integrating it with this list.

Volunteers and staff at the LibrePlanet 2009 conference

Additionally, we offer unpaid internship positions throughout the year. 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
  • Connect your free software user group with FSF. Write to us at info@fsf.org.
  • Attend local free software events and government hearings. We post these events either at http://www.fsf.org/news, or at http://www.fsf.org/events and share them with the Free Software Supporters mailing list. 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 https://libreplanet.org. Get started by listing your free software activism group. 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?

  • 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
  • Help post speech videos on audio-video.gnu.org. If you want to volunteer to do this, please write to campaigns@fsf.org.
  • Set an example by switching to a *completely* free software operating system. The easiest way to do that is to install and use one of the free GNU/Linux distributions.

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?

Are you a GNU/Linux user?

  • Send us information about what hardware your GNU/Linux system runs on, to help build our searchable resource for people who want to make sure that they are buying hardware that is compatible with free software.
  • 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.
  • Volunteer as a “Freedom Verifier” to check whether a given distribution contains only free software, so it can be included on the list of free distributions.

Are you multilingual?

  • Be a Translator. To help make our pages accessible to all languages, and contact info@fsf.org if you are willing to help.

Are you a designer?

  • Contribute graphics and design ideas. We are always looking for new logos and graphics to use on our web pages, in our printed materials, and for t-shirts and other items for sale in our shop. A recent example is the logo for the GPLv3 process, which was designed by a volunteer. If the graphics are smaller than 2 MB, you can send them right to us, otherwise please send a link to info@fsf.org. Here are some suggestions for future products that might inspire you.

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.
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