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Donations.

From time to time, I visit crowd funding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to see if there are any interesting campaigns running. Over the years, I’ve poured quite a lot of money into various projects, mostly computer games, but also some hardware related campaigns.

Even though most of the crowd funding drives I pledge to are successful in terms of raising the money they need, not all of them manage to deliver on their promises. Games might be delivered with a lot less features than promised, or not at all. So far, I’ve been fortunate, with the majority of my pledges actually resulting in me getting something in return. But the likely imminent failure of the Jolla Tablet means I’ve spent almost $300 I might as well have put on fire.

And that got me thinking. Why do I spend money on things that don’t even exist? There are plenty of people and organizations that provide software and services I use every day. And while I’m at it, why not give a few bucks to various organizations that rely on donations to do their great work around the world?

So this December, instead of – or in addition to, we’ll see what Kickstarter and Indiegogo manage to lure me with this month – pledging to fuel the dreams of wannabe entrepreneurs around the world, I’ve decided to donate a small amount to various organizations and individuals who are already delivering services and software of value to me.

All the text below is shamelessly ripped from Wikipedia. But since they are on the donations list, I sort of paid for it. Kinda.

Mozilla

Mozilla is a free-software community, created in 1998 by members of Netscape. The Mozilla community uses, develops, spreads and supports Mozilla products, thereby promoting exclusively free software and open standards, with only minor exceptions. The community is supported institutionally by the Mozilla Foundation and its tax-paying subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation.

Mozilla produces many products such as the Firefox web browser, Thunderbird e-mail client, Firefox Mobile web browser, Firefox OS mobile operating system, Bugzilla bug tracking system and other projects.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a free-access, free-content Internet encyclopedia, supported and hosted by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Those who can access the site can edit most of its articles. Wikipedia is ranked among the ten most popular websites and constitutes the Internet’s largest and most popular general reference work.

Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger launched Wikipedia on January 15, 2001. Sanger coined its name, a portmanteau of wiki and encyclopedia. Initially only in English, Wikipedia quickly became multilingual as it developed similar versions in other languages, which differ in content and in editing practices. The English Wikipedia is now one of 291 Wikipedia editions and is the largest with 5,024,480 articles (having reached 5,000,000 articles in November 2015). There is a grand total, including all Wikipedias, of over 37 million articles in over 250 different languages. As of February 2014, it had 18 billion page views and nearly 500 million unique visitors each month.

SomaFM

SomaFM is an independent Internet-only streaming group of radio channels, supported entirely with donations from listeners. SomaFM originally started broadcasting out of founder Rusty Hodge’s basement garage in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, as a micro-power radio station broadcast at the Burning Man festival in 1999. The response to the project was sufficiently positive that Rusty Hodge launched it as a full-time internet radio station in February 2000.

SomaFM takes its name from Soma, the “perfect pleasure drug” from Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel Brave New World, and the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco, known colloquially as SoMa. SomaFM’s twelve channels reached a peak listenership of 10,000 concurrent listeners by 2002, and now reports nearly 6 million “listener hours” every month.

Notepad++

Notepad++ is a text editor and source code editor for use with Microsoft Windows. Unlike Notepad, the built-in Windows text editor, it supports tabbed editing, which allows working with multiple open files in a single window. The project’s name comes from the C increment operator.

Notepad++ is distributed as free software. At first the project was hosted on SourceForge.net, from where it has been downloaded over 28 million times, and twice won the SourceForge Community Choice Award for Best Developer Tool. The project has been hosted on TuxFamily since June 2010. Notepad++ uses the Scintilla editor component.

PuTTY

PuTTY is a free and open-source terminal emulator, serial console and network file transfer application. It supports several network protocols, including SCP, SSH, Telnet, rlogin, and raw socket connection. It can also connect to a serial port (since version 0.59). The name “PuTTY” has no definitive meaning.

PuTTY was originally written for Microsoft Windows, but it has been ported to various other operating systems. Official ports are available for some Unix-like platforms, with work-in-progress ports to Classic Mac OS and Mac OS X, and unofficial ports have been contributed to platforms such as Symbian, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.

PuTTY was written and is maintained primarily by Simon Tatham and is currently beta software.

Médecins Sans Frontières

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, is an international humanitarian-aid non-governmental organization (NGO) and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, best known for its projects in war-torn regions and developing countries facing endemic diseases. It was founded in France. The organization is known in most of the world by its localized name or simply as MSF; in Canada and the United States the name Doctors Without Borders is commonly used. In 2015 over 30,000, mostly local, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, logistical experts, water and sanitation engineers and administrators, provided medical aid in over 70 countries. These doctors and nurses decided to volunteer their time to solve issues of world health. Private donors provide about 80% of the organization’s funding, while corporate donations provide the rest, giving MSF an annual budget of approximately US$610 million.

Médecins Sans Frontières was created in 1971, in the aftermath of the Biafra secession, by a small group of French doctors and journalists who believed that all people have the right to medical care regardless of race, religion, creed or political affiliation, and that the needs of these people outweigh respect for national borders.

International Red Cross

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide which was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering.

The movement consists of several distinct organizations that are legally independent from each other, but are united within the movement through common basic principles, objectives, symbols, statutes and governing organisations.

Save the Children

The Save the Children Fund, commonly known as Save the Children, is an international non-governmental organization that promotes children’s rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries. It was established in the United Kingdom in 1919 in order to improve the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic opportunities, as well as providing emergency aid in natural disasters, war, and other conflicts.

In addition to the UK organisation, there are 29 other national Save the Children organisations who are members of Save the Children International, a global network of nonprofit organisations supporting local partners in over 120 countries around the world.

Save the Children promotes policy changes in order to gain more rights for young people especially by enforcing the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Alliance members coordinate emergency-relief efforts, helping to protect children from the effects of war and violence. Save the Children has general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

SOS Children’s Villages

SOS Children’s Villages is an independent, non-governmental international development organization which has been working to meet the needs and protect the interests and rights of children since 1949. It was founded by Hermann Gmeiner in Imst, Austria. According to the Financial Times, the 2004 turnover of SOS Children’s Villages altogether was US$ 807 million, and it was ranked 33 out of a 100 global NGOs for “global accountability”.Its international umbrella organisation, SOS-Kinderdorf International, was founded in 1960, after national associations had been established in France, Germany and Italy in addition to the original Austrian association. Over a hundred national associations across the world have since been established.

World Wide Fund for Nature

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization founded on April 29, 1961, working in the field of the biodiversity conservation, and the reduction of humanity’s footprint on the environment. It was formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States.

It is the world’s largest conservation organization with over 5 million supporters worldwide, working in more than 100 countries, supporting around 1,300 conservation and environmental projects. WWF is a foundation, with 55% of funding from individuals and bequests, 19% from government sources (such as the World Bank, DFID, USAID) and 8% from corporations in 2014.

The group’s mission is “to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.”Currently, much of its work focuses on the conservation of three biomes that contain most of the world’s biodiversity: oceans and coasts, forests, and freshwater ecosystems. Among other issues, it is also concerned with endangered species, sustainable production of commodities and climate change.

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