With the year coming to an end, an excellent opportunity for those trying to reduce their taxes is presenting itself and that is to make a tax-deductible donation to non-profits recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. Notably, if you do a standard deduction, this will have absolutely no tax benefit to you but if you itemize, then making a donation to a 501(c)3 non-profit is a no-brainer.
Here are just just a few worthy organizations but there are likely many I have missed and for sake of space cannot list them all…
The Mozilla Foundation is by far one of the premier non-profit organizations in the United States that has a global presence in order to further openness, innovation, and opportunity to ensure the continued health of the Internet. In fact, Mozilla nurtures an amazing line up of open source products, projects and initiatives which you can find here.
Free Software Foundation
The Free Software Foundation is the principal organizational sponsor of the GNU Operating System. Their mission is to preserve, protect and promote the freedom to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer software, and to defend the rights of Free Software users.
The GNOME Project was started in 1997 and has grown to become one of the most widely used desktop environments for GNU/Linux and Unix-like operating systems with millions of users worldwide. GNOME is dedicated to creating free software and this year is leading a campaign dedicated to increasing privacy, control and freedom for the software they ship to users.
Python Software Foundation
The Python Software Foundation (PSF) is dedicated to supporting the Python Community and recognizing its developers while also maintaining the copyrights and other intellectual property for the Python Programming language. The Python Programming language benefits millions of users worldwide since it is a widely used programming language that has allowed developers to create amazing software.
Apache Software Foundation
The Apache Software Foundation provides organizational, legal, and financial support for a broad range of open source software projects. The Foundation provides an established framework for intellectual property and financial contributions that simultaneously limits contributors potential legal exposure. Through a collaborative and meritocratic development process, Apache projects deliver enterprise-grade, freely available software products that attract large communities of users. The pragmatic Apache License makes it easy for all users, commercial and individual, to deploy Apache products. Clearly the ASF plays a key role in the greater Open Source Community’s success.
The Debian Project is an association of individuals who have made common cause to create a free operating system. This operating system that we have created is called Debian. Debian powers untold number of servers and desktops worldwide and is very popular and plays a important role in the Linux ecosystem.
Like I mentioned there are clearly many worthy organizations and projects to donate to some may or may not be tax-deductible but the list above are all places that you can make tax-deductible donations in the United States. While getting a tax-deducation should not be the primary motivation I do think it will encourage some to support these important organizations.
I would also like to encourage people to donate/contribute to the following equally important projects…
Ubuntu is one of the top Linux desktop operating systems and is strongly gaining a share of the server and cloud markets it is widely known as being a user friendly desktop with frequent updates and a great community behind it that supports the users. Ubuntu is supported by Canonical Ltd. which does accept donations towards the costs of the project.
nginx [engine x] is an HTTP and reverse proxy server, as well as a mail proxy server, written by Igor Sysoev. For a long time, it has been running on many heavily loaded Russian sites including Yandex, Mail.Ru, VKontakte, and Rambler. According to Netcraft nginx served or proxied 12.44% busiest sites in December 2012. Here are some of the success stories: Netflix, WordPress.com, FastMail.FM.
LibreOffice is the power-packed free, libre and open source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and GNU/Linux, that gives you six feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base. Support and documentation is free from our large, dedicated community of users, contributors and developers. Note: You can make a tax-deductible donation to LibreOffice if you live in Germany
FreeType Project creates a free open source library for rendering fonts which is widely used on GNU/Linux, iOS, Android and GhostScript. The project is clearly beneficial to so many platforms and any donations help cover costs of the project and support the developers.