The cancellation of FOSS events amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on organisations and projects that either rely on events for funding or to promote their work to potential donors and sponsors. Responding to this disruption, FOSS Responders has come together to crowd-source support for FOSS contributors and organisations affected by the global pandemic, especially in the face of event cancellations.
In its research, FOSS Responders found that over 173 events have been cancelled, postponed or pushed into virtual events since the outbreak began.
Conference cancellations have caused financial loss, unmet fundraising trajectories and missed business opportunities. For example, the Open Source Institute, the organisation that ratifies open source licences, has indicated that it needs $600,000 to meet its funding goals for 2020 while the Drupal Association has had to layoff employees after cancelling events and needs to fundraise $500,000.
FOSS Responders said it has raised a $115,000 support fund, which is made from individual donations and generous donations from its partners (DigitalOcean, Ethereum Foundation, GitHub, Google, Linux Fund, Indeed, Open Source Collective, Open Collective, Sentry and the Sloan Foundation).
FOSS Responders recently organized its first funding event called UPLIFT! by FOSS Responders. This event was hosted on the open crowdfunding platform, Open Collective.
During this funding event, FOSS Responders gave out its first awards to FOSS organisations.