There are quite a number of not-for-profit and charitable organizations supporting the open source software movement. These are some we think you should know about.
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.
The Cloud Native Computing Foundation's (CNCF) mission is to promote adoption of distributed computing and "cloud-native" systems, which it defines as being container packaged, dynamically managed, and microservices oriented. A project of the Linux Foundation, CNCF hosts the Kubernetes cloud orchestration system and other cloud-native open source projects.
Digital Freedom Foundation sponsors annual events to promote free software, hardware, and content. Its events are Software Freedom Day, Document Freedom Day, Hardware Freedom Day, and Education Freedom Day.
The Document Foundation is the home of the LibreOffice free and open source office suite. It is an independent, self-governing, meritocratic entity, created by former leaders of the OpenOffice.org Community, in the form of a charitable foundation under German law (gemeinnützige rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts).
The Drupal Association fosters and supports the Drupal content management software project. It helps the Drupal community with funding, infrastructure, education, promotion, distribution, and online collaboration.
The Eclipse Foundation hosts a large community with hundreds of open source projects, nearly 1,400 committers as members, and eight collaborative working groups, including Internet of Things, LocationTech, and Science. The foundation provides a set of services and best practices to enable vendor-neutral collaboration on open source technology.
The Free Software Foundation's (FSF) mission is to defend computer users' freedom and rights. It promotes the "development and use of free (as in freedom) software and documentation" and campaigns against digital rights management, software patents, and other threats to computer user freedom.
The Free Software Foundation Europe's (FSFE) is a sister organization to the FSF. Its goal is to help people understand how Free Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination. It fosters Free Software adoption, encouraging people to use and develop Free Software, and providing resources to enable everyone to further promote Free Software in Europe.
The GNOME Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports the GNOME project and its contributors. The foundation provides resources and infrastructure, steers releases, determines what software is part of the project, and acts as the project's public face and voice.
KDE eingetragener Verein (German for "registered association") is a nonprofit organization that represents the open source KDE Project in legal and financial matters. It holds the KDE trademark and other property for the KDE community, as well as organizing events and generating sponsorships to support KDE development.
Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and is supported by leading technology companies and developers around the world. The Linux Foundation is the nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux.
Founded in 1999, Linux Professional Institute (LPI) is a Canadian nonprofit organization that advocates for and assists in the professional use of Linux, open source, and free software. Its purpose is to "enable economic and creative opportunities for everybody by making open source knowledge and skills certification universally accessible."
The Mozilla Foundation is dedicated to the idea that the internet must always remain an open and accessible global public resource for everyone. Operating as a social enterprise, the foundation is the sole shareholder in the Mozilla Corporation, which makes the Firefox browser software and other open source tools.
NetBSD is a free and highly portable Unix-like open source operating system. It's available for a wide range of platforms, from large-scale servers and powerful desktop systems to handheld and embedded devices, making it ideal for rescuing old "end of life" hardware.
OASIS Open is where individuals, organizations, and governments come together to solve some of the world’s biggest technical challenges through the development of open code and open standards.
The Open Bioinformatics Foundation advocates for open source software within the biological research community. Among its activities, it supports conferences, runs hackathons, and participates in the Google Summer of Code.
The Open Education Consortium is a worldwide community of hundreds of universities and associated organizations that advocates for the free and open digital publication of high quality university‐level educational materials to improve educational access and effectiveness.
The Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL) is a Germany-based worldwide organization that supports open source software in the machine, machine tool, and automation industries. OSADL coordinates the development and financing of open source industrial projects on behalf of its member organizations.
The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) supports collaborative development of open source geospatial software. Major GIS-related software projects are involved in the organization; furthermore it provides financial, organizational, and legal support to the open source GIS community.
Open Source for America (OSFA) seeks to educate decision makers in the U.S. federal government about the benefits of free and open source software. OSFA encourages government use of open source software and serve as a voice for the open source community to the federal government.
Open Source Matters (OSM) is a nonprofit organization, incorporated in the United States, created to serve the financial and legal interests of the Joomla project. OSM engages in regular self-assessment to ensure it is accountable to Joomla and acting in Joomla's interest.
The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a nonprofit corporation formed to advocate for the benefits of open source and build bridges across the open source community. It maintains the Open Source Definition and approves OCD-conformant licenses.
The OpenStack Foundation promotes the global development, distribution, and adoption of the OpenStack cloud operating system. As the global independent home for OpenStack, the foundation serves more than 60,000 individual members from over 180 countries around the world.
The Oregon State University Open Source Lab is the home of growing, high-impact open source communities. It hosts more than 160 open source projects, including those of open source leaders including the Apache Software Foundation, the Linux Foundation, and the Drupal content management system.
The Software Freedom Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that promotes, improves, develops, and defends free, libre, and open source software (FLOSS) projects. By providing infrastructure and non-development support services, the organization enables FLOSS developers to focus on their projects.
The Software Freedom Law Center provides free legal services to free and open source projects, including licensing, copyrights, patents, trademarks, and nonprofit governance, as well as education, consulting, and training.
Software in the Public Interest (SPI) is a nonprofit organization that handles non-technical administrative tasks for select open source projects so their developers can focus on developing and distributing open hardware and software.