This is the
1% Project.

The software running most of the Internet and that professional developers use day in, day out is fundamentally undervalued. Together, we need to change that.

The 1% Project

My name is Scott Robinson. I'm a professional software developer who lives in England. I've written a few small things and gave them away for free under open source licenses. Each day I arrive at work and primarily work with PHP on various types of systems. Each time I install a package with Composer, debug something with Xdebug or write a unit test with PHPUnit - I immediately save hours of time by using the work that others have done to write software for free.

Every single time I use one of these programs, I should be writing an email to thank the author because if I had to write each of them myself I would have to firstly become an expert in each area of those tools, then write each which would realistically take years to do. How much does the privilege of using those programs cost me?


The very software that powers the Internet in a broader sense, like nginx and Apache are open source projects. As end users, we pay nothing to be using these applications to serve us websites to book a holiday, watch a movie and find funny GIFs of cats.

There are plenty of examples of people I admire writing about this subject, Joe Watkins recently did, as has Derick.

Making a Difference

The tools I mentioned earlier and plenty of others save me so much time and allow me to do my job in a much better fashion that I feel it's time to make a stance and instead of merely talking about the problem - I wanted to take action. Most days I'll pick up a coffee on the way to work or the way home, I'm going to give that up.

For the next calendar year, until September 30th 2020 - each month I will donate 1% of my paycheck to open source projects. I plan to rotate the projects I support through the year but encourage more people to consider doing the same. If more of us can make such a gesture then we can really start to make a difference to the actual lives of people we should be supporting and thankful for.

In reality 1% of your paycheck is a very small amount - please consider doing the same and supporting open source. Together we can make a difference and the projects we love can survive.

It doesn't have to be cash. 1% of your free time can help.

If you cannot genuinely afford to give 1% of your income away, that's understandable and I'm certain there are people where their situation dictates they can't afford to do so. I'd highly recommend that if this is the case for you, why not send an email to the maintainers of one of the packages you use and say thank you. If you can offer time, why not consider solving a few open issues or helping with documentation?

Supported in September 2019

You can read about September's donations in the blog post 'First Month Success'.

Logo Use & Taking Part

Please feel free to use the 1% Project logo when referencing the project. If you plan to also follow donating 1% of your income to open source projects, tell people about it. Blog about the projects you're supporting and why - the extra publicity for the projects will be just as welcome as your financial contributions. I'd even suggest having a /1percent URL on your blog with information about the open source packages you're supporting. I've pointed to this site.


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