April 11, 2022

First I’d like to start by giving a shout out and a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has given us a financial contribution this year! We truly couldn’t do the work we do without your support. The FreeBSD Foundation is 100% funded by donations, and we are grateful for every dollar we receive.

Your financial support makes a huge impact on FreeBSD and its community. In fact, you are helping to make a difference in the greater good. Your contribution allows us to provide opportunities for folks to learn new skills, join a larger and welcoming community, and of course, contribute their own skills and experience to improving the world’s best operating system. FreeBSD offers unparalleled opportunities with no strings attached. 

I’m happy to say we met our 2021 fundraising goal of $1,250,000 and have increased this year’s goal to $1,400,000. We did so because for the last couple of years, our budget has been around $2,000,000. As we gradually increase our goals each year, we are drawing small amounts of money from our long-term investments to cover the differences. This was a decision we made a few years back when we received a couple of large donations. The budget increases have been mostly to cover our growth in supporting more software improvements and FreeBSD advocacy efforts.

I know some folks may wonder what it is we do and why we need the funding. Our purpose is to step in and fill the critical needs of the FreeBSD Project. We have software developers on staff who can quickly step in to fix bugs, review patches, and implement new features and functionality. We grew this team last year to help improve FreeBSD security, tools, and support on tier 1 architectures. We also advocate and teach about FreeBSD around the world, both in-person and online. Last year we added another advocacy person so we could increase FreeBSD marketing and training content to recruit more users and contributors to the Project. We also help connect developers with commercial users, organize FreeBSD events, and engage in legal engagements on behalf of the Project. Finally, we purchase and support equipment to support the FreeBSD infrastructure located around the world.

More specifically, by having our own staff, we are able to better support FreeBSD in a number of ways including:

Operating System Improvements: Providing staff to immediately respond to urgent problems and implement new features and functionality allowing for the innovation and stability you’ve come to rely on.

Security: Providing engineering resources to bolster the capacity and responsiveness of the Security team providing you with peace of mind when security issues arise.

Quality Assurance: Improving and increasing test coverage, continuous integration, and automated testing with a full-time software engineer to ensure you receive the highest quality, secure, and reliable operating system.

New User Experience: Improving the process and documentation for getting new people involved with FreeBSD, and supporting those people as they become integrated into the FreeBSD Community.

Training: Supporting more FreeBSD training for undergraduates, graduates, and postgraduates. Growing the community means reaching people and catching their interest in systems software as early as possible. More training provides job seekers an additional set of in-demand skills and employers a bigger pool of skilled candidates.

Face-to-Face Opportunities: Facilitating collaboration among members of the community, and building connections throughout the industry to support a healthy and growing ecosystem and make it easier for you to find resources when questions emerge.

You can find out more about how we spend our money by reading articles in this newsletter, blog posts on our website, and the FreeBSD quarterly status report.  We also promote our work, as well as the Project’s on social media, so please follow us there too.

You can also check out our technology roadmap that is helping drive some of our efforts and growth https://freebsdfoundation.org/blog/technology-roadmap/. Make a positive impact on FreeBSD by donating today at https://freebsdfoundation.org/donate/!

— contributed by Deb Goodkin