It seems that the free and openly-distributed currency has garnered The Document Foundation increased visibility, as well as financial resources.
Italo Vignoli, one of the company’s founders, reported a surge in bitcoin donations once it was announced that the non-profit organisation would accept the virtual currency.
He said that the site’s total donations “registered a spike immediately after the announcement, with bitcoin being the most popular option for a couple of days”.
“After that timeframe, bitcoin has slowly slipped behind other options, although is still a visible source of donations,” he added.
Although it does have a few corporate sponsors, The Document Foundation runs primarily on charitable donations.
“The entire LibreOffice project, with the exception of software development – which is backed by companies or by skilled volunteers, is based on donations.”
Donations allow the Document Foundation to disperse its resources in a number of ways.
“Money pays salaries, consultants, infrastructure, community development, marketing, certification, and other expenses such as travel to events,” Vignoli told CoinDesk.
The software is similar to Microsoft Office, Vignoli said. He added: “LibreOffice is the largest free software project targeted to the end-user. Its available on Windows, Mac OS and Linux and documents are standard and interoperable with Microsoft Office.”
According to The Document Foundation’s website: “it is an independent self-governing meritocratic entity, created by former leading members of the OpenOffice.org Community.”
Donations in bitcoin are on the rise, likely influenced by the currency’s boost in price. A recent effort to raise money for Typhoon victims in the Philippines raised over $60,000 in bitcoin’s current price.
Additionally, bitcoin entrepreneur Roger Ver recently made headlines by donating $1,000,000 to the Foundation for Economic Educations (FEE) after making a bet on bitcoin’s value over two years ago.
Tenets of bitcoin
“As a project, we are always looking for new sources of donations, and several project members pointed us to virtual currencies as a viable option,” says Vinoli.
It’s clear from Vinoli that the aims of the Document Foundation echo the core tenets that bitcoin is built upon.
“Free software is a different way of building applications, based on collective – or distributed – intelligence. Although the community is huge, it is always looking for new and different ways to sustain the operational costs of the project through donations.”
The Document Foundation’s contribution page is located here.
Donation image via Shutterstock