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[school-discuss] Funding Linux Labs, Projects, Causes for Schools


About a year and a half ago I was working at Mandrakesoft when I met
Doug Loss at the NY Linux Show. I was so turned on by the thought of
linux in schools that I wanted to make it my crusade at Mandrake.
One thing led to another and I didn't get a chance to do it.

I came back to San Francisco, regrouped and started working on a new
company 10 months ago named Affero. Affero is set up as a online service
which enables fundraising online for Non Profits, Projects and Causes.
The system works by "giving back" for the support one receives on
mailing lists, newsgroups and forums. Here is an example: 

Steve needs help, his server just crashed and his boss is upset and
Steve needs to fix the problem fast. Steve goes to a mailing
list/newsgroup and asks for help. Pete, responds to Steve's question
and gives him an answer that fixes Steve's problem. Steve is relieved,
and so is his boss. Steve wants to say "thank you" to Pete, so he clicks
on the Affero "customized" link in his email message (see mine below
"Help me raise money for Open Source"). 

This "customized" link is actually a profile of projects Pete cares
about. Clicking on the link takes Steve to a web page where he can thank
Pete as well as donate $10 to the projects Pete has selected, which in
his case, includes the OSEF, SEUL and ABC Elementary-Linux Lab.  Steve
is grateful because Pete helped him and provided him with valuable
information. Pete is pleased because the projects he supports received
funding, which motivates him to answer more questions in the future.

Here is what we could do?

I have spoken to Doug since our first meeting and we have been
discussing how we could use the Affero platform to raise money for linux
labs in schools. Here are some of those ideas.

1. Host lists with the Affero link inserter.
2. Link up education sites to the lists.
3. Notify LUGS that they can link to these lists to help raise money by
answering questions and be recognized for it.
4. Notify Corporates that if they ask questions on these lists and give
money they will be recognized.
5. Link existing projects to the new lists so we don't disturb current
online project communities.

Questions we have been asked before:

Q: How much does Affero cost?

A: Affero charges a 10% fee on top of the donation which is charged to
donor.  We are trying to lower that cost and will do so when the
economies of scale allow it.

Q: Why not use Paypal? 

A: We are very aware of the service paypal offers. We hope to work with
in the future. We wish paypal cared as much about Open Source as we do.  
Our platform is not just a transaction engine. Besides recognizing the
volunteer we will soon be 
able to track questions answered, donations etc. to create hall of

Q: Why would I want to use Affero when I can just go to the project

A: Please notice inside the Affero profile we have a link that directs
you to
the project.  Why do we do this? We want individuals to learn more about
project and if they want to give directly. The only problem in doing 
so the volunteer is recognized for their support.

I look forward to your thoughts.


Chris Reed

Affero Web site: http://www.affero.com
Affero License: http://www.affero.org/oagpl.html

Help me raise money for Open Source
Office: 415 371 9900