A lot of my success as a consultant comes from the community. I'd like to give back and support the groups and causes that helped me earn a livelihood.
I was on pace for a record year, but I just learned I'm not getting paid for work I did in October or November due to some very selfish decisions on behalf of management at the company I was working with.
How much to give? I follow the recommendations from The Life You Can Save. I use my pretax income, since most of my charitable donations are tax deductible.
Note I also make donations as a private citizen, so only some of the donations I made this year are listed here.
$100 to Let's Encrypt, making it easy to obtain excellent SSL certificates. I use Let's Encrypt extensively.
$200 to Project Alloy, to give underrepresented people scholarships to attend tech conferences.
$200 to GoBridge, an organization that teaches Go to underrepresented groups.
$50 to the OpenBSD Foundation, which works on libressl (among other things).
$50 to neovim, which works on Vim improvements.
$50 to vim-go, indispensable if you are doing Go development with Vim.
$125 to the Software Freedom Conservancy (which hosts Homebrew, Git, Mercurial and other projects).
$75 to Homebrew.
$100 to PostgreSQL.
$100 to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which supports Signal. If you don't want your donation to support Wikileaks, be sure to choose the right funding campaign.
$200 to the National Immigration Law Center. Many software engineers working in the US are immigrants.
$80 to npm, Inc.
$50 to iTerm2.
$200 to CARLA. Housing is a critical issue in San Francisco. The high price of housing has an adverse effect on our communities and makes it more difficult for people to move here and get a foothold in a fast growing economy. CARLA fights NIMBY cities.
In several cases I wanted to give away money and I couldn't figure out how. It was too difficult to assess an organization's funding situation and figure out how to donate money; many projects and groups that (I assume) would appreciate more money didn't explain how to donate, or what they would do with more money.
At the very least, please add the following to your README:
At the very least, suggest sending money to a Paypal address; it's not tax deductible, but it's easy for people to give to you.