Types of Sponsorship

Of the many possible ways of sponsoring software there are two that I think will be of most interest. One is corporate sponsorship, the other is private gifts. Private gifts can be given by any individual or company that receives some benefit from my software and wants to say thanks. One way of doing this is through my Amazon wish-list which is associated with the email address [email protected]. Another way is by sending cheques or money orders to the following address:

Russell Coker c/o Dycom
Unit 1B, 99 Bell Street,
Preston, Victoria, 3072

Note that I get unreasonable fees when cashing foreign currency cheques, if you want to send a small amount of money in a currency other than Australian dollars then please put bank-notes between sheets of cardboard in an envelope. Also note that I collect coins and bank-notes...

Advantages of Corporate Sponsorship

A company is unlikely to sponsor software development out of gratitude. Fortunately there are some significant benefits that a company may receive from sponsorship.

The sponsor gets to request features, assign priority to features with agreed completion dates, and the option of receiving credit in the documentation.

It is also be possible to sponsor the writing of a technical paper on the software in question for presentation at a conference. The sponsor would be given credit in the presentation and in the paper, this helps give a positive image for the company and can also make people aware of the features of related products.

Sponsoring the development of new free software programs is possible, this allows a new program to be created to meet your needs but with the ongoing development that you expect from free software. Also such software can be used (and tested/debugged) by other people before your project goes live, thus avoiding the version 1.0 issues. This is the only way of getting custom software development without the risks of untested software!
Also for such work the sponsor gets to choose the license. I believe that the GPL and BSD licences are the best options, but many others are available.
It is also possible for the sponsor to receive the software under a license that is different to the one that is used for public release. This could allow the sponsor to develop commercial products from the same code base but force their competitors to use the GPL if they want to use the code in question.

I can provide commercial support for all the free software I develop via email and phone. This support includes bug fixes, operational support, and training. There are often times when I am too busy to take on further work, so if you anticipate a future need for support you may want to pay me a retainer to ensure that I am available when you need me.
Closed source commercial software development projects are also a possibility, but for any project that does not provide a significant competitive advantage I recommend making software free wherever possible. Free software projects receive bug fixes and new feature contributions from the community, and I will continue developing such programs in my spare time. For closed source projects the development stops when you stop paying.

Projects that can be Sponsored

Applying to Sponsor some Development

If you are interested in sponsoring one of the above projects (or anything else) then send me an email, my address is [email protected]. Please include information on what project you would like to sponsor, what work you want done as part of the sponsored development, the time period in which you want the work completed, and all contact methods (in case anti-spam measures get in the way of communication).
Copyright © 2006-2007 Russell Coker