The coming year I want to give a monthly donation1 to projects, creators2 and organizations that I think are worthwhile, changing the recipient every month. I do this because supporting multiple projects continuously is difficult. The costs quickly adds up so that it’s difficult to give support to the wide range of the deserving.
And since I’m a dork who’s enamoured with the French Revolution, I’m using the French Republican calendar for this. This has the added benefit that it starts in September, thus the end of the month coincides more or less with the beginning of this experiment.
I don’t intend this as a performative act, a judgement towards others or a way to profile myself as morally superior. It’s just me sharing something I care about and that’s deserving of attention and support in any way.
Any suggestions for worthwhile projects are welcome!
Why? I’ve been using LibreOffice for some years now, and OpenOffice before that (of which LibreOffice is a fork). The OpenOffice project has become irrelevant since the acquirement by Apache, but LibreOffice is very much an active and thriving project. I started using it somewhere in 2013 when writing my master thesis and have been very happy with it.
Who? Kat Zoekt Thuis is an organization that acts as a network of foster families for stray cats and kittens. They operate mainly in the region of Ghent and Brugers.
Why? Our two cats are adopted through them and are such a wonderful addition to our lives. But the organization works through gifts and voltuneers and doesn’t receive any subsidies. Since we can’t help on a practical level, I decided to help them a little financially.
Who? Apollonia Saintclair is a Swiss artist of erotic - and often weird - art.
Why? I’ve been following her work since my early Tumblr days. Finally being able to get one of her works, as a present for my girlfriend, it felt good to show some support for someone I’ve been enjoying for this long.
Why? Wikipedia turns 20 and has been a huge resource for people of my generation - think of all the school projects that used it! - and for me personally. About almost any subject I could think of there’s a page for me to read and find further sources (something I do more as I get older). All these years I’ve more or less taken its existence for granted. This has changed now and I’m happy to contribute a little financially to this beautiful project.
Who? Mike Duncan, maker of the Revolutions podcasts.
Why? I’ve been listening to his series (and the one before that: The History of Rome) for years now. I’ve enjoyed countless hours listening to him navigating the tumultous historical episodes, always with enough room for humorous remarks.
Who? The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a nonprofit organisation that defends digital privacy, rights and liberties.
Why? The internet and many of the companies and governments that operate on it have warped the initial promise of freedom, knowledge and democracy towards more nefarious, capitalist goals. The EFF has been an institution since 1990 (my year of birth!) who critically examines these developments and defends rights and liberties.
Who? Matt Bailey is an English illustrator and tattoo artist who mainly draws skulls and (naked) women.
Why? I’ve been following him for quite some years on Instagram and I like both his artstyle as his demeanor (he has some nice anti-fascist illustrations too).
Who? Ondergrond.org is a locally hosted Mastodon instance run by and for some alternative Ghent queer people. After my own experiment at hosting Fediverse instances, I decided to join this one because why fumble yourself when someone more knowledgable and trustworthy offers a better experience?
Why? Hosting costs money, simple as that. I know that from my own experience now. I wanted to contribute my part.
Charity versus donations
I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t ponder a little on this decision of mine.
I have a deep aversion towards charity (the Christian caritas), because it originates in a patronizing attitude and tacitly accepting an unjust society. That is to say, in a just society there would be no need for charity. Doesn’t this make me a hypocrite then?
I don’t think it necessarily has to be. I won’t be donating to institutionilized charities or NGOs but directly to the people intended, some of whom do their thing regardless of my donations and often free of charge too. It’s not a patronizing stance but one of support and encouragement.