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FOSS Responders: The Free & Open Source Community comes together to support struggling contributors & organisations

A collective raises $115,000 to support the community during the COVID-19 crisis and asks all users of free and open source software to join them for a funding event on 22 May.

FOSS Responders, a group of individuals passionate about Free and Open Source (FOSS), has come together to crowd-source support for FOSS contributors and organisations affected by COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the face of event cancellations.

The cancellation of FOSS events has had a significant impact on organisations and projects that either rely on events for funding or to promote their work to potential donors and sponsors. 

Conference cancellations have caused financial loss, unmet fundraising trajectories, and missed business opportunities. For example, the Open Source Institute, the organisation that ratifies open source licences, has indicated that it needs $600,000 to meet its funding goals for 2020 while the Drupal Association has had to layoff employees after cancelling events and needs to fundraise $500,000.

According to FOSS Responders’ research, Over 173 events have been cancelled, postponed, or pushed into virtual events since the outbreak began.

FOSS Responders has responded to this profound disruption by raising a $115,000 support fund, which is made from individual donations and generous donations from its partners (DigitalOcean, Ethereum Foundation, GitHub, Google, Linux Fund, Indeed, Open Source Collective, Open Collective, Sentry and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation). 

Join the UPLIFT! funding event
On 22 May 2020 between 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM (UTC-07:00), FOSS Responders will be asking individuals and companies to join with them for its first funding event called UPLIFT! by FOSS Responders. This event will be hosted on the open crowdfunding platform, Open Collective. 

“During this funding event, we will be giving out our first awards to FOSS organisations,” says Alyssa Wright, Director of Partnerships and Community at Open Source Collective. “This will benefit large foundations, such as Tor and Electronic Frontier Foundation, to smaller teams, including Berlin Buzzwords, which runs a German Open Source data management event, and Open Source Matters, which supports Joomla, a popular open-source CMS. 

The first $5,000 in donations will be matched by Indeed, the worldwide employment-related search engine for job listings, during the event and Open Collective has waived its platform fees until the end of June to support this initiative.

About FOSS Responders
FOSS Responders is a group of individuals who came together to support and celebrate the Free and Open Source Community affected by the COVID-19 economic fallout. Some of the companies that individuals work for have partnered with or donated to the FOSS Responders fund and they include Aspiration, CodeFund, Drupal Association, Facebook, Gitcoin, GitHub, GitLab, Indeed,, Open Collective, Open Source Collective, Red Hat, Sentry and Storj Labs.

FOSS Responders programs in support of the Free and Open Source community:

  • Volunteer matching: Projects need more people to help during this challenging time. FOSS Responders has established a FOSS Matchmaking Center where volunteer opportunities are listed and volunteers can donate their time and talents.
  • Amplifying project funding needs online: Projects and organizations need financial support to remain sustainable during this challenging time. FOSS has listed the needs and how individuals or companies can contribute.
  • FOSS Funder Events:  FOSS Responders hosts FOSS Funders event to connect the needs of projects and organizations to organizations with available funds. The first event will be on May 22nd, 2020.
  • Online Community Management Resource Center: FOSS Responders has aggregated the many highly valuable tips and tricks shared by industry experts into a response center.
  • Cancelled Events List: Anyone can find out through the FOSS Responders database all of the cancelled, postponed, or virtual-only conferences affected by COVID-19.

Media Contacts: Alison Yu

FOSS Responders

Chris Thornett

onebite ( on behalf of FOSS Responders

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