How to Donate to the FSF

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The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charity, like the Red Cross. Like most charities, we ask for donations of money, which we use to pay staff to promote the cause of free software. Buying manuals, CD-ROMs and t-shirts from the FSF also helps us do our work.

How Individuals Can Donate

Programmers, technical writers, web developers and sysadmins can contribute their skills to the GNU Project--by writing software and documentation for GNU, or helping to operate our facilities. That is the most direct way to contribute.

But if you can't donate work, we hope you'll donate money to the FSF instead (see address below), or by becoming an Associate Member of the FSF. Please mail your check to:

Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor
Boston, MA 02110-1301

We also accept credit cards. Please write to contact the FSF donations clerk to give us the information--but please do not send your credit card numbers in unencrypted electronic email!

If these methods are not convenient, please contact the FSF donations clerk to talk about other methods of sending money.

If you live outside North America, you might also consider donating to our sister organizations, the Free Software Foundations in Europe or in India.

After we receive your donation, we will send you back a receipt which you can use to show that you are entitled to a tax deduction on United States income taxes.

Give to GNU the United Way

As a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, the FSF is eligible to receive United Way funds. When donating to United Way, you can specify that all or part of the donation be directed to the FSF.

On the donor form, check the "Specific Requests" box and include the sentence, "Send my gift to the Free Software Foundation, 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301.".

If your employer has a policy of matching United Way donations, you can take advantage of that. We especially appreciate the donations from Microsoft matching the United Way donations of their employees.

Become a Patron of the FSF

The Free Software Foundation wants to acknowledge its supporters and contributors in a more visible fashion. You can now become an "official" supporter of the FSF. When you donate to the FSF, we will list you on our "Thank GNUs" web page.

If you donate in a year:

How Companies Can Donate

Many companies use GNU software for their work. If your office uses GNU software substantially, you might feel that the company ought to donate to the FSF. If you think so, we suggest you first talk about the idea with the other people in your company who use GNU software, and together decide the best way to ask your management to contribute.

There are a number of ways a company can support the FSF. It can give money with an outright donation of funds, or through purchases--especially CD-ROM subscriptions or a Deluxe Distribution.

Donation of office equipment and supplies can also be useful, if that is convenient for you. Ask <> to find out whether what you have is useful for us.

Donating computer hardware is also sometimes useful--especially certain equipment that we specially need, or a new fast machine that can run a GNU system. Ask <> to find out whether certain hardware is useful.

But more computers are not our primary need today. Ten years ago, when computers were very expensive, it was hard to find enough machines for our staff to use. Nowadays even a fast PC with a very nice monitor costs less than paying a programmer for one month. Therefore, our main need today is for funds to pay more programmers.

The best way for a company to donate is whichever way management will agree to. Supporting the FSF through purchases does not have to be done by the top management; many managers have purchasing authority. So please consider various ways and see which ways can work in your company.

There are free software support companies in the US which work on developing certain GNU software packages. Doing business with them does support a part of the GNU project. However, most of these companies do not donate funds to the Free Software Foundation. So we hope that you will consider supporting the FSF directly, as well, even if you are a customer of these companies.

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