You may have seen the round “Contributor” buttons with the ASF feather at ApacheCon this year. To get one, all you need to do is make an individual donation (cash/check/Paypal) to the ASF, and let me know about it, and I’ll give you a button for free.
While we hope that we’ve recognized everyone’s contributions in code, community, and other content, it’s important to remember that the ASF has actual costs in terms of bandwidth, hardware, infrastructure and the like. Separately, our Foundation non-profit status requires us to show broad public support in our donations. That makes it doubly important that there are enough individual, personal, donors to the Foundation – any any level from a dollar or a euro and up.
None of this is meant to pass over the tremendous contributions that our committers and all of our community has given to the ASF over the years. It’s just a realization of the larger picture, and a reminder that there are more ways to contribute than just patches and helpful emails.
Note: If your organization or employer is interested in sponsoring the ASF at a larger level, with the attendant recognition, we’re happy to see that too. Jim has a great overview about Sponsoring the ASF at the Corporate and Individual Level that’s worth a look even if you’re not considering a contribution.
I forgot how good Jim’s slides are as a high level overview of the ASF Sponsorship Program. (You can also read the 2008 version.) I think that often those of us who’ve been around for a while forget how important is for us – the ASF and all it’s communities – to be able to express to the outside world what we’re about, and how you might want to help. I’m really glad to see this lunchtime presentation – also being streamed live – so well attended!
While the subjects of sponsorships are doubly important given the economy these days, I think the metaphor of the ASF’s growing impact on the world of software is the more important message. As an all-volunteer and heavily developer organization, it’s sometimes hard to remember how important the other connections with the world: even if we’re sometimes uncomfortable as developers talking about funding and revenue, they are important things both to how our operations work, as well as how the world perceives us. As Jim so aptly points out, as a group of geeks, we often shy away from talking about the bigger picture, and just focus on our technology or our immediate community.
In other news, a big shout out to Jim Jag for mentioning the other ways you can show support for the ASF, including ASF Swag and other ASF licensed vendors, and the surprisingly successful car donation program. One of the ways to help out is to wear your Apache or ApacheCon tshirts and buttons at other events – and a portion of all profits from these vendors is sent as a donation to the ASF itself.