A tithe is a voluntary tax, usually paid yearly to a religious organization. I'd like to adopt this concept for free and open source software (FOSS), which in many ways is like a religion.
Please help me start a FOSS tithing movement. I've set up FOSSTithe.org to keep track of company pledges and amounts donated. I also set up a Google group for discussion.
I'll go first: DuckDuckGo hereby pledges to tithe each year to free and open source software projects. I hope to keep this up for many years to come.
This year a DDG tithe amount based on income would essentially be non-existent because income is such, so for this year (and next) I'm changing the pledge from net income to gross revenue.
It's still relatively small this year since we haven't made that much revenue yet, but it's non-zero! Actually, it should be about $1,500 based on about $15K in revenue. If you're wondering how we made any money :), here's the breakdown:
- A few hundred dollars off of context ads from experiments at the beginning of the year.
- ~$9K from sponsorship banners.
- ~$5K from amazon affiliate sales, which is currently the only way we're making money. This happens primarily by using our !amazon (!a) bang.
Nevertheless, our traffic has quadrupled this year, and I of course hope to see significant growth next year. So, in turn, I hope our pledge amount goes up significantly.
In terms of allocation, I'd like to split it 50/50 with half directed by the company and half directed by the DDG user community. For the company side, I'd like to donate to projects that DDG actually uses extensively, e.g. nginx, FreeBSD, PostgreSQL, Perl, etc., perhaps to specific sub-projects like finally bringing FreeBSD to AWS. For the user side, it's wide open, i.e. up to you. Feel free to nominate projects or offer other allocation ideas.
I'm really hoping more companies will join me. Of course they'd be free to make their own requirements and allocation decisions, e.g. 10% of employee time vs income or allocations towards open source bounties, etc. I'll report back with pledge and donation amounts after the end of the year.