[From FSF:] Double the movement: Inspire someone to explore free software

theova - over 4 years ago -

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the free software movement are now bigger in important ways than they've ever been before. We have more associate members, more staff working full time to protect user freedom, more volunteers, more software development infrastructure -- and more things to do.

Being primarily funded by thousands of individuals gives us strength and independence. We face financial requirements from the mundane and concrete -- such as significantly increased server colocation expenses for the free infrastructure that supports hundreds of thousands of developers -- to the aspirational and ideological, like the pressing need to refine and propagate our ethical standards and accompanying licensing expectations for network services. For this, we ask your support.

Thanks to the conviction and generous contributions of the free software community, we have built an efficient and effective global network, bringing people together to resist the constant threats to our freedom in the form of proprietary software seeking to subjugate us and our societies to crass commercial ends. We are proud of what we've accomplished together, but our work is not done.

In spite of the very public series of aggressive acts by the world's most well-known tech companies -- especially Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft -- we don't have global critical mass clamoring for free "as in freedom" software and ethical network services. Instead, pundits are focused on breaking up some of the companies, which, while possibly warranted for other reasons, won't fix the immoral power imbalance at the root of the privacy failures and other problems on everyone's minds.

We see every day that the real resistance is growing, but it may not be growing fast enough. As more people are casting around for ways to escape the digital horrors they read about, the FSF needs to be there with outstretched hands: making free software philosophy relatable; supporting ethical development of the software, hardware, and services they need; and helping them find and flex their political strength.

Already, our exceptionally generous community got us to where we are, in a position to succeed if we keep at it. To achieve our strategic goals, we need to connect with thousands of others like you. Please take this moment to publicly share your passion for free software. If each free software supporter inspires just one other, we can double our strength. Here are some ways to help grow our movement:

  • If you can spare a monthly $10 ($5 for students), your contribution in the form of an Associate Membership is the strongest vote of confidence you can give us. For less than a subscription to a Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) controlled streaming service, your membership will serve as a testament that our work is used, read, and making its way through the world. In appreciation, we offer Associate Members many benefits.
  • If you have already been an FSF member and your membership is expired, please take this moment to renew.
  • Inspire someone you know to become a member, or gift a membership to a friend following the instructions here.
  • Donate any amount suitable to your household and have a look at other ways to donate to see if there is a simple action you can take to give support to the FSF.
  • Start a conversation about free software or the FSF with someone you know.
  • Share your victories and experiences with free software online or in person with your community. Please use the images provided and the hashtag #ISupportFreeSoftware to help stimulate other people to do the same.

Your generosity and outspokenness fuel our message and allow us to continue to advocate on your behalf. Our fourteen hardworking staff use your contributions wisely, earning yet another best possible rating of four stars from Charity Navigator this last year. You can read our financial statements and our annual reports online.

Individual financial contributions and spreading the word like this are forms of activism we need much more of if we're to overcome trillions of proprietary software dollars. We need to grow and diversify if we're to make respect for user freedom the default, rather than a constantly endangered niche. We've shown that with your support we can succeed together against far greater resources -- thank you for sticking with us and giving everything you can to bring about a brighter future.

Yours in freedom,

John S., Andrew, Craig, Dana, Dawn, Donald, Ian, Jeanne, John H., Matt, Michael, Ruben, and Zoe

P.S. Your membership or donation to the Free Software Foundation is tax deductible. Your employer may match your charitable contributions, and the FSF generally qualifies for these matches. Our EIN is 042888848.

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