Fundraising for FreeBSD development.

Poul-Henning Kamp
Revision $Id: funding.html,v 1.20 2004/04/16 11:02:27 phk Exp $

Hold it! STOP! WAIT!!

The funding goal has already been reached!

A Big ThankYou to all the donors

And if I may be so frank: "Gee, that was fast!". I am totally surprised about how fast this went, I had expected to more or less do this from month to month, it had never even crossed my mind that people would positively deluge me with money.

I realize that there are probably even more coming still because the B-space that connects all banks is a rather slow and expensive thing to travel.

And that raises the question I had not anticipated until a few days ago: What to do if I get overfunded ?

A lot of you have asked if I would be willing to continue past the six months and the answer to that is: I don't know yet. I will make up my mind about that around September. By then the project and I have had 3 months to get used to the idea and if it works out for everybody (including my accountant and the tax authorities) I will probably be willing to continue past the 6 month mark.

"But! But!! I just convinved my boss to donate and I have the department credit card in my hand right here!!" I hear somebody cry...

If you have mandate to do so, donate to the FreeBSD Foundation instead. They are good guys, they are overworked, are expecting children and have a 1000 other things on their hands, but I am totally convinced that they will use your money to good for FreeBSD, even if their web-site updates as infrequently as mine.

If your mandate only goes to donate to my project, go ahead and do so anyway.

Depending on how much overfunding I end up with and how things work out, I will find a way to make good use of your donation.

If any of you want your donation back or want me to direct it to the foundation instead, please send me an email.

Finally, I would like to also point out that we have a "wishlist" where the FreeBSD committers list stuff they cannot afford to buy on their own: FreeBSD committers wishlist And that if you or your company happen to have surplus hardware, may be able to find a good and FreeBSD enhancing home for it.

And again, a big heartfelt THANK YOU to all the donors!


PS: And those of you inside the EU: please check that your donation has the right sales-tax classification on the donations page. This is really important for my paperwork!

Open letter to the users of FreeBSD.

Hello FreeBSD user,

My name is Poul-Henning Kamp and I am a FreeBSD developer.

You may not have heard about me before, but for the last ten years I have spent most of my spare time developing on the FreeBSD operating system which you use on your computer(s).

This email is about raising enough funds that I can do FreeBSD development full time in the second half of 2004.

The long story short:

I have lost one of my big contracting customers and have therefore the unique opportunity that I have the entire second half of 2004 empty in my order book.

Before I try to fill this timeslot with regular work, I decided to try to see if the FreeBSD user community would be interested and able to support people like me working full time on FreeBSD development.

We have some major development tasks in front of us and many of those tasks are almost impossible to complete on a spare-time basis, but three to six months full time attention of one of our most senior developers would solve the problem.

So this email is an appeal to the FreeBSD user community, to try to raise money for three to six months of my time to make our filesystem and disk-I/O subsystem work properly on both single-user and multi-processor systems.

Rather than bore you with a long email, I will put the rest of this on a FAQ format, feel free to ask me if you have other questions.

0. Sales tax!

I have updated the list of donations with sales tax status, please email me if it is not correct.

1. How much money do you need ?

DKK33000 (USD5500/EUR4500) per month for minimum 3 months, maximum 6 months.

I have two kids and a mortgage to feed (just like most of the rest of you), this is where my budget balances.

(And before any of you get any strange ideas: that is _not_ a price you can expect me to quote if you want me to work on .NET and C#. This is the very best price I'm able to offer on my time, and it only applies for doing FreeBSD work of my own choice.)

If the minimum amount, DKK99000 (USD16500/EUR13500) is not pledged/reached, I will not start the project and any money already transferred will either be returned or passed on to the FreeBSD foundation (according to the donors wishes).

If this becomes a great success I will consider continuing, but until I know how it works out, I want to be able to contain any damage inside the 2004 financial year.

So, I hit slash-dot with this, and that of course pointed out a couple of things I had not explained clearly enough:

These amounts are of course pre-tax. I operate my own registered one man company here in Denmark and I pay approximately 2/3 in tax, so the net result is that I will have approx DKK11000 (USD1775/EUR1475) per month to pay my mortgage and feed my kids.

2. How much money have been donated so far ?

Since the road to hell is littered with good intentions and one bird in the hand is better than ten birds on the roof, I will not disclose pledged donations until they actually become donated donations.

Status so far is that the first month is almost funded on the PayPal donations from the first week. Since it has been easter here in Denmark, my bank has been closed so I don't know about any direct bank transfers yet.
Month Funding requirement Donations Cheesy HTML bargraph
2004-06 DKK99000 DKK99000
2004-09 DKK33000 DKK33000
2004-10 DKK33000 DKK33000
2004-11 DKK33000 DKK33000
overfunding DKK8684

Please see the full list of all donations for details.

3. How do I donate money ?

You can transfer money to my Paypal account: Here's a button which should take you right over there:

Or you can wire the money directly to the bank account I have set up for this purpose:

	    Skaelskoer Bank 
	    Algade 18
	    DK-4230 Skaelskoer
	    Fax: +45 58 15 60 90
	    IBAN: DK8161500001145629

	    Account: 6150-1145629
	    Account holder:  Poul-Henning Kamp
If there is sufficient interest, I may get a direct credit-card accepting web-page (let me know!).

4. How much/little can I donate ?

With paypal I can aggrate transfers to my bank account so there is no practical lower limit there. But be aware that Paypal do cut approx a 4% slice for themselves.

I encourage usergroups and friends to team up and donate together, that way PayPal or the banks make less money and you get more out of your donation.

Bank transfers and bankers cheques are not economical for amounts less than DKK100/USD200/EUR150 due to the banks fees.

5. What do we get out of it ?

Short version: A better FreeBSD.

Slightly longer version: The specific goals is to get the entire disk and device I/O path out from under the "Giant" lock. And at the same time untangle as much as possible of the code to make it "future proof".

Those of you who have followed the arch@ or current@ mailing lists have heard about this work as the "buf-junta" because the plans were discussed and hashed out by the buf-junta at BSDcon'03 and all we need now is somebody with the time to do this.

The really long version

6. Do you know how to do that ?


The CVS repository claims that I have 3602 commits to the FreeBSD kernel since we started on FreeBSD 2.0 back in 1994 and amongst those commits you will find that I wrote DEVFS, GEOM, GBDE, jails and a lot of other stuff.

In my lab I can test this work on i386/amd64/sparc64 and alpha on ATA, SCSI, FC and CF, Zip and USB storage devices.

You will find a couple of papers by me in src/share/doc/papers on your FreeBSD computer, and more can be Found here.

7. What happens if you don't get funded ?

Then I will find other work to feed my kids and my credit-union and then I will do the very same FreeBSD development we are talking about here in my spare time.

It will take me much longer time to do it then, probably on the order 12-20 months calendar time.

8. How are you accountable for the money we donate ?

The full list of donors and size of donations is available here: list of all donations and I encourage all donors to check that their donation shows up on that page.

All donations will be run through a bank account set up for only this purpose.

The books of my company and the anual auditors report will will be available for whoever the FreeBSD core team or FreeBSD Foundation might appoint to audit them.

9. Can I donate without getting our name out in public ?

Yes, of course.

You simply choose and tell me a nickname you want the donation listed under instead of your real identity. Your real identity (as it is known to me) will be in my accounting books, but otherwise only a court order can force me to reveal your real identity.

10. Is my donation tax-deductible ?

No, sorry.

For companies this will be a normal business expense.

(Also see section 11 below about the FreeBSD Foundation.)

This is being run through my company which is not a charity.

Legally what is happening here is that I'm selling my time to the donors.

For Danish donors I will send you an Invoice/Receipt which reports sales tax ("moms"). Companies will get this refunded, private persons not so.

If the donor is a tax registered business in Europe, I will issue an Invoice/Reciept without sales tax.

For Donors outside Europe, no sales tax applies and you will receive a PGP signed pdf file with my receipt for the money once they have arrived in DKK in my companys bank account.

For donations via PayPal I will do batch transfers from my Paypal account to reduce cost, so there may be an additional delay of up to a week in that case before you get your receipt.

11. What about the FreeBSD Foundation ?

I have talked with the Board of directors of the FreeBSD Foundation about this project.

Ideally, this would have run as a project by the foundation and all fund-raising would have gone to/via the foundation.

Unfortunately the board of directors did not feel that they would be able to tackle this task at the current time, mainly due to lack of time on the part of the foundations officers.

As a result this fundraising runs parallel to the foundations efforts.

I would like to stress that there are absolutely no hard feelings between me and the Foundation about this or anything else.

The board of directors have indicated that they may be able to support this project with some amount of money, and I will take them up on that if my own fund-raising comes up short of the goals.

If it is important or even just convenient for you/your company to get a US tax-deduction, or if you are uncomfortable with donating to me under the terms above, I urge you to donate money to the Foundation instead than to me: Money donated to the foundation will be used to the benefit of FreeBSD one way or another, and it may even end up supporting my project in the end.

Please note however that is not legal for the Foundation to receive ear-marked donations, so you cannot donate money to the foundation and say "This must be used for xxx" unless they themselves call for such directed donations, so please do not waste their precious time by trying :-)

You can find more information about the FreeBSD Foundation on their web-page.

(If you have experience with charities/non-profit work, and have some time to spare, I think the Foundation would love some help!)

12. If we donate $CALL, can you fix this problem we have ?

I'd rather not, unless it relates directly to the planned work.

The idea here is to work on the infrastructure bits of FreeBSD, the parts we all tend to take for granted.

But I am sure we can find somebody to work on your problem, don't hesitate to contact me and I will try to work something out.

13. Do I know that my HTML skillz suck ?


Valid HTML 3.2!