Committing to Community throughout the COVID-19 Crisis

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Each year the Open Source Initiative relies on the dedicated contributions of individual open source developers and advocates, OSI members, and corporate sponsors. This year, with the global pandemic now affecting so many communities, funding priorities have rightly changed: new initiatives that need dedicated support have emerged, yet many fundamental organizations still need continued support to deliver core services.

Each year the OSI attends over 20 events to meet with sponsors and secure annual funding. With so many events now canceled, our primary channel for fundraising and development has simply disappeared. We recognize many organizations may be struggling themselves and unable to contribute. Individuals too are facing unprecedented pressures, facing professional uncertainties and personal loss.

Yet in one way--perhaps small, but not insignificant--the Open Source Software movement and community is both inspired and inspiring. The Open Source Software community has come together to collaborate, contribute, and co-create to combat the COVID-19 crisis. Every day we're thrilled to discover new communities of practice emerging in response to the demands faced in combating and ultimately curing COVD-19.

  • Fabio Balli from OSI Affiliate Breathing Games was nominated by the European Union as co-curator of the EUvsVirus.org pan-European hackathon connecting civil society, innovators, partners and buyers across Europe to develop innovative solutions to overcome coronavirus-related challenges.
  • OSI Incubator Project ClearlyDefined is working with The Open Source Center at the Digital Impact Alliance to make open source tools that support relief more accessible, deployable, and interoperable. The Online Digital Global Goods catalog tracks over 200 products that support health, development, and better lives.
  • Affiliate DemocracyLab has created the COVID-19 Volunteer Platform to support at-risk families, health care workers, and first responders during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Affiliate Software Freedom Conservancy has shared their Remote Work Tools, to help organizations find the resources to support their distributed staff.
  • OSI members and board directors with leaders from various open source projects and organizations have created FOSS Responders to provide a crowd-sourcing approach to help those in the open source community affected by COVID-19.
  • and so much, much, much, muchmuch more...

If you have the means, and find the Open Source Software community a valuable global resource that can provide meaningful contributions to address those suffering through COVID-19, we hope you will consider donating to support a project you find inspiring.

If you believe our role here at the OSI also merits support through these challenging times, we hope you will also consider donating now.

Stay healthy, stay safe, and thank you for your support.
The OSI Board of Directors


Image credit: "COVIDCommunitiy.png" by Open Source Initiative, 2020 (CC BY 4.0)