December 2, 2014
Dear FreeBSD community,
I’m writing to you today because I know you are passionate about FreeBSD. You care that it’s innovative, secure, stable, reliable, well engineered and documented, and loved.
For 14 years, the FreeBSD Foundation has been providing funding and support for the FreeBSD Project and community worldwide. We are fully funded by donations from people like you. That’s why I’m excited to tell you that we’ve kicked off our year-end fundraising campaign!
This has been an exciting time for the Foundation and FreeBSD community. As you may have heard, we kicked off this fundraiser with the largest donation we’ve ever received. Whether you are a developer, writer, advocate, organizer, user, or investor, this donation is a positive reflection on the work you are doing for FreeBSD.
Our goal for 2014 is not only to raise substantial funds, but also to grow our community investor pool from our current number of 933 donors to over 2000 donors. Last year we had 1732 community investors. Increasing the number of investors will help ensure a stable and consistent funding stream to support FreeBSD over time. This not only helps keep us a public charity, but it shows the world that we have a strong community supporting FreeBSD.
Your investment in the community provides a wide set of opportunities for people worldwide. Thanks to you, individuals have the chance to learn and gain employable skills, work in areas that follow their interests, and be part of an inclusive and welcoming community. Your support also advances FreeBSD so that it is a perfect research and development platform, working everywhere from academia and start-ups, to Fortune 500 companies.
Speaking of gaining employable skills, I have an inspiring story to share with you from Jan Koum, Co-Founder and CEO of WhatsApp. Jan began using FreeBSD in the late 90s, when he didn’t have much money and was living in government housing. He said one of the main reasons he got a job at Yahoo! was because they were using FreeBSD, and his involvement with the Project provided the required skills needed for the job. Years later when he co-founded WhatsApp, he used FreeBSD to keep their servers running. He believes that FreeBSD helped lift him out of poverty. To say thank you and shine a light on the work being done by the Foundation and FreeBSD Project, he recently made a $1,000,000 donation.
The story highlights how working with FreeBSD and its positive community environment can lead to great accomplishments. It shows how with enough support, FreeBSD can continue to offer people incredible opportunities that not only can help move people out of poverty, but also assist more startups and companies in creating something successful.
This year your donations helped FreeBSD by:
- Funding development projects to improve FreeBSD, including: Native iSCSI kernel stack, Updated video console (Newscons), UEFI system boot support, Capsicum component framework, IPv6 support in FreeBSD, Auditdistd improvements for FreeBSD cluster, and adding modern AES modes to OpenCrypto (to support IP/SEC).
- Providing release engineering support, resulting with on-schedule releases.
- Sponsoring BSD-related conferences including BSDCan, EuroBSDCon, AsiaBSDCon, NYCBSDCon, MeetBSD, Developer and Vendor Summits, and the Grace Hopper conference to recruit more women to the Project.
- Providing travel grants to FreeBSD developers and contributors to the above conferences, to provide face-to-face interaction with other FreeBSD people, to work together to solve problems, implement new designs, and learn from each other.
- Purchasing hardware to build and improve FreeBSD project infrastructure.
- Educating the public and promoting FreeBSD, including bringing on a full-time marketing person.
- Funding a new FreeBSD magazine
- Protecting FreeBSD IP and providing legal support to the Project.
For 2015, we have identified some areas that we want to grow, to increase the impact of FreeBSD on our world. Some of the areas of growth will be:
- Funding more project development, like improving the binary package build, distribution, and verification mechanism, improving automated testing, and updating development and performance analysis tools.
- Supporting and improving the FreeBSD security advisory triage, notification and release process.
- Increasing our FreeBSD marketing efforts. Efforts include providing more marketing literature to educate people on FreeBSD; recruiting more people to the Project; promoting FreeBSD and The Foundation; helping fundraise; and encouraging more testimonials. This not only includes assisting advocates in the US, but also offering this material in multiple languages to FreeBSD advocates who represent the Project at conferences around the world.
- Providing resources and travel grants to help get more FreeBSD representatives to conferences around the world to give presentations on FreeBSD.
- Funding more FreeBSD research projects.
This is an exciting time for the Foundation and FreeBSD. We’ve had huge successes this year and are in a tremendous stage of growth. We need your donations now to help us sustain this growth to better support the FreeBSD Project and community.
Please help us continue and increase our efforts for FreeBSD by making a donation today.
Thank you for your support. We can’t do this without you!
The FreeBSD Foundation