I’ve added a widget in the sidebar in which I’m going to list OSS projects I’ve given money to. I have two principal goals for doing this. First, I want to promote software I’m sponsoring. The publicity I provide is quite modest but it is better than nothing. Secondly, I want to encourage other people to also sponsor OSS projects. For sure, the idea here is not to promote a “holier than thou” attitude. I’m not interested in “oh, look I’ve given to this or that project, what have you done?” This is just childish.
As to why I sponsor one project rather than another. There are several principles guiding my choices:
The more I use a project, the more I’m likely to sponsor it.
I am more likely to sponsor small projects than big ones. For instance, although I use Linux a lot, it is unlikely that I will be sponsoring it. I think it is the responsibility of companies like Ubuntu and Red Hat or computer vendors like IBM to sponsor Linux. Another way to look at this is that Linux is already well taken care of. Smaller projects like Anki, for instance, are not so lucky.
I am more likely to sponsor projects which I feel are providing a service which is not provided (or provided well) by anyone else. There are multiple office suites out there so I’m not likely to sponsor office suites.
I have a limited amount of money. So it is likely that projects which ideally I should sponsor won’t get sponsored.