The journey with KiCad began when some CERN employees recognised the need for high-quality FOSS PCB design tools to facilitate effective sharing of designs. In order to structure our contribution to KiCad, back in 2014 CERN and the CERN & Society Foundation initiated a donation programme to finance external lead developers working on new features and fixing bugs.
However, the best way for CERN to continue supporting KiCad is, as it has done for other EDA/CAD tools, to hire a commercial company (KiCad Services Corporation, KSC) to support CERN users through a dedicated group in CERN’s IT Department.
As KiCad now offers two alternative donation options, our previous donation programme has become redundant and closing it is a logical decision. In other words, all regular donations will be suspended and one-off donations will no longer be possible through our website. The remaining money from this platform will be used to subcontract development tasks to KiCad lead developers, as we have already been doing.
For reference, should you wish to continue to support KiCad, you can now donate through an KiCad website or through the Linux Foundation. In both cases, the KiCad project exclusively decides how money from donations is used.
CERN's journey with KiCad so far has been filled with both challenges and incredible rewards.
A Special thanks must go to the KiCad community and all its donors for taking part in this evolution. It would not have been possible without you.