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Doing Good By Downloading

German software developer SoftMaker Software runs an annual program called Load and Help that makes its software suite freely available to download from its website. Each time someone downloads, a € 0.10 (about 13 cents) donation is made to, a charitable foundation that sponsors aid and development projects throughout the world.

Last year, the company received almost 61,000 downloads and raised over $8,150 (6,089 Euros). The donations went to a broad variety of projects ranging from medicines for a children's health clinic in Nepal to disaster aid for flood victims in sub-Saharan Africa. In all, SoftMaker supported nearly 50 projects, details of which can be found on the Load and Help website.

The SoftMaker Office download contains office software, including:

  • TextMaker 2008, a friendly, full-featured word processor
  • PlanMaker 2008, a reliable, full-featured spreadsheet
  • SoftMaker Presentations 2008, an alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint
  • BasicMaker 2008 (Windows only), a BASIC scripting language
  • Unrestricted software, can be used perpetually
  • Seamless compatibility with Microsoft Office
  • Discounts on future versions
  • A collection of 80 fonts for Windows, Linux, and Apple Mac

SoftMaker president Martin Kotulla said, "I enjoy making people happy and this seemed a simple way to double the impact. Just by clicking a download button people are not only getting something for themselves, they're also helping others who are far less fortunate."

This year, Kotulla and company hope to double last year's total. The Load and Help program runs through December 31, 2010. People can participate by downloading SoftMaker Office and track the results of their donations by visiting the Load and Help web site at

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