What is Framasoft?
If you have come this far and are eventually ready to participate in our support operation, it is because you already know us in one way or another. But perhaps, since Framasoft has become over time a vast network of sites and projects, do you have only a partial vision?
The directory, tutorials, articles, translations, the Framakey keys, the dvds, the books, the blog, the online applications, the forums… to better understand the work accomplished and the coherence of the whole, now grouped into three main areas, we invite you to browse our new home page as well as our very dense Wikipédia article.
Why support Framasoft?
That is the question! We would like to answer to support software and free culture but the answer would not be very modest. Our disappearance would of course not prevent neither the software nor the free culture from advancing since, as we like to repeat “the road is long but the way is free”.
Nevertheless, we believe that we have contributed significantly since 2001 to making it known and disseminated to a wide audience by creating a strong anchor on the web. This anchor point has indeed allowed many people de découvrir et utiliser les logiciels libres, to question the issues at stake (such as preserving common goods in the face of an invasive private sector and a public sector that is sometimes too cautious), to exchange together, to discover common affinities, or to participate in ambitious collective projects like Framakey, Framabook or Framapad.
If today Framasoft has more than a million visitors per month, several hundreds of thousands of links which point on its network, at the top of search engines for many keywords (starting with “free software(s)”). If Framasoft is capable of federating and giving birth to numerous projects, facilitated in this by the free licenses and by the trust that the visitors bring us after all these years of good and loyal services… It is the result of a continuous evolution that it would be a pity to see brutally stopped.
Framasoft was not made in a day and brings a real added value to the French-speaking free software.
Where will the donations go?
As you have seen, Framasoft does not lack projects or contributors, and we are delighted. But this constellation of sites and services, as well as the accompaniment of the many volunteers on our galaxy presents an important load of energy and work, from the management of the servers to the animation of the various projects. The network is so vast that it is very difficult to maintain by ensuring a good quality of service, and to develop by relying only on volunteers who are often already very busy between professional and private life.
It is for this reason that Framasoft now employs eight employees, who ensure the daily maintenance of infrastructure, administrative management, animation and project support. Donations are primarily used to perpetuate these eight 8 jobs, essential to the positive evolution ofdata.txt.soft. They also make it possible to finance the ten or so servers making up the Framasoft galaxy, and to continue its role in popular education for Free Software and in the promotion of free software and culture.
For what expected effects?
It is up to these permanent staff to ensure that together we can first consolidate and optimize what already exists. Having put some twenty projects into production is a success but it also requires constant attention to ensure that they work well and improve over time. There are also our many projects which are sleeping in our boxes and which could also see the light of day.
But it is especially in the animation and follow-up of the teams, discussion and work spaces, that we could act because the participants would then find more reactive support points and increased availability.
We would also find time to be in better synergy with other free software players. First to highlight them by taking advantage of the impact of our network but also to commit and collaborate on common achievements.
Finally the network would turn technically better than today (where cuts and slowdowns are not rare). For rather than tinkering in a hurry we would have time to do the necessary major work on our servers (including completely overhauling our technical infrastructure).
A final argument concerns Google advertising. It has existed for a long time on two projects of our network (Framalibre and Framakey). Increasing the circle of our donors, and in particular that of our recurrent donors, has enabled us to definitively get rid of them.
What is the current situation?
The association employs eight permanent staff for a network that now includes more than thirty projects deployed.
Independence has a cost and today we are losing money (the decision to remove advertising does not improve the situation). That is why we are relaunching our campaign and relying on individual support.
We could apply for grants and private partnerships, but on the one hand, it would take a significant amount of time for our employees ; with a loss of independence and deliverables to respect, meaning less time for Framasoft projects.
Will one drop of water be enough?
It’s the little streams that make the big rivers. Several hundreds of thousands of visitors frequent our network each month, it is enough for a minority of you to participate so that it becomes not insignificant.
The more of you support us individually and the more you will perpetuate the network and guarantee its independence. The ideal would be to get all of our funding is thus assured allowing us to lift advertising displays and not engage in unbalanced partnerships that would waste our time and integrity.
What difference between Framasoft and April or AFUL for example?
The main difference between Framasoft and other associations of free software is that we don’t really consider ourselves as an association. As explained in the Wikipedia article, there is of course an association that supports and structures Framasoft, but in our mind and in that of visitors, users and contributors, Framasoft is above all a network of sites and projects under free license maintained by a community.
Even if we sometimes associate ourselves with them, we do not produce press releases on this or that subject and we do not intervene directly on the political field on behalf of Framasoft for defend or promote free software. We are often invited, of course, to events on the field, but it is above all to make there in a way popular education around the Free Software by meeting the general public. We therefore invite those who do not wish to do so to join to our association but to participate in our projects.
Our way of defending Free Software is much less to say than to do, and to do on the Internet. Collectively we refine and extend its definition, we make an inventory of it, we inform about its topicality, we produce resources, we open discussion spaces, etc and we relay the calls and the work of the other associations which we consider ourselves as complementary.
Thanks to the participation of several hundred people, we have become in the space of fifteen years one of the main gateways to free software on the French-speaking web. This is our specificity and this is what we wish, together, to preserve and develop.
Why a donation and not a membership?
As explained above, we are not in a logic of massive accessions. All those who want to participate in our various sites and projects are welcome. Anyone who wants to modify and adapt them can not only do so within our network but also outside (if for example you think we are on the wrong track, since the whole is placed under free license ;))
The main objective of the support requested is to allow eight duly identified persons to free themselves from the time fully devoted to the organisation and maintenance of the network in order to allow their energy to circulate better. Membership would not only be administratively time-consuming but would also, in our view, create an artificial distinction between network users.
Framasoft can be seen as a strange, atypical and multiform “free software”. The support we are asking for is then much more like that which participates in the development of free software than that of a classic association.
What is your business model?
That’s kind of the trick question. We do not intend to to transform ourselves and change purpose, we just wish continue our development by making it more effective and quality. If we generate so much traffic it is because our network arouses interest and undoubtedly renders his services. But all this is difficult to quantify and not necessarily “solvent” (by solvent, you mean profitable?) since the resources are freely made available to all. Moreover there is no Framasoft on one side and its users on the other. The border is all the more blurred as Framasoft’s wealth comes directly from the work of its users.
The ideal situation would see Framasoft supported for the most part by its users who adhere, participate and appropriate a project that they somehow consider to be “in the public interest”. That is what we have managed to do and preserve so far. If this proves insufficient then we can consider different levers (sponsorship, partnership, advertising, physical sales, training, etc.), solutions to be carefully evaluated because it would be important not to the time spent putting these things in place replaces the time spent that we wish to free ourselves with this campaign of support.
I’m already a donor. I have a question about my donation (credit card change, tax receipt, etc).
You’re changing your credit card? Your card has expired or will expire soon? You’re changing banks?
The modification is very simple:
- you send us an email with your name/email so that we can suspend the old debit.
- you make a new registration to the campaign via the donation form
Indeed, since we do not (voluntarily) crosscheck personal information and obviously do not have access to your bank details (stored on the bank side only), there is no way to “update” your bank details, you simply need to make a new donation.
Didn’t receive or lose your tax receipt?
Tax receipts are sent by email in March, before receiving your tax return. No need, therefore, to ask us for a receipt if you have just made your donation (reminder: a donation made in June 2018 will be declared on the tax return that you will receive in May 2019).
However, if you wish to obtain your tax receipt earlier, or if you have not received it, you can request it.
You can have more information on your receipt on the dedicated page.
How is my donation money used?
To know everything about our activities, you can refer to our moral and financial reports.
You can contact us through our contact form.