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

On Mon, 3 Jun 2002, Christopher Reed wrote:

> Hello,
> 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.

Just to add a few comments in.  I have also been working with Chris on
this.  What Affero is working on is very promising for the community, if
it is able to take off.

> 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.

As of this time, OSEF is still pending IRS tax exempt status, though we
are working with Affero to see what will still be possible.  The latest
installment of the IRS saga, was a definition of Open Source, and dealing
with the funder getting a beneffit (use of the software), for the donation.

> 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
> the
> donor.  We are trying to lower that cost and will do so when the
> economies of scale allow it.

This is actually very comptative with other "fundraisers" who normally
charge in the 25% range.

> Q: Why not use Paypal?
> A: We are very aware of the service paypal offers. We hope to work with
> Paypal
> 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
> fame's.
> Q: Why would I want to use Affero when I can just go to the project
> directly?
> 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
> the
> 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.

I am also interested in other peoples thoughts on this.  Both myself
personaly, and the OSEF board have been very interested in it, though we
have been concerned about the way it will be viewed/accepted by the
community as a whole.


> Sincerely,
> Chris Reed
> Affero Web site: http://www.affero.com
> Affero License: http://www.affero.org/oagpl.html
> --
> Help me raise money for Open Source
> http://svcs.affero.net/rm.php?r=creed&p=Projects
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Office: 415 371 9900
> http://www.affero.com
> reed@affero.com
> reed@christopherreed.com

Harry McGregor, CEO, Co-Founder
Hmcgregor@osef.org, (520) 661-7875 (CELL)
Open Source Education Foundation, http://www.osef.org