Unicode’s “Adopt a Character” Campaign

In December of 2015, Unicode launched their Adopt a Character campaign, whose goal is to raise funding for the purpose of encoding a large number of remaining scripts, along with encoding additional characters for scripts that are already encoded. In other words, to help Unicode do its important work. The Unicode Consortium has 501(c)(3) tax status, meaning that donations are tax-deductible in the US, and if your company supports matching grants, you can leverage that to significantly increase the effective donation.

There are three levels of sponsorship: Gold (USD $5K), Silver (USD $1K), and Bronze (USD $100). All sponsors receive a very nice certificate. Gold and Silver sponsors can also choose to receive a custom-engraved thank-you gift, though doing so will reduce the amount of the donation.

I decided to adopt the very appropriate U+1F421 🐡 BLOWFISH character at the Silver level, and my certificate is shown above. I declined the custom-engraved thank-you gift, mainly because I wanted to ensure that my donation would be maximized. (I am very curious about what the gift looks like.) Also, my employer, Adobe, kindly offers a 1:1 matching grant for employee donations, so my effective donation will eventually become USD $2K.

Click here to see the growing list of adopted characters. Interestingly, and as of this writing, I am still the sole Silver sponsor.

If you have a favorite character—or character sequence, such as a particular flag—I encourage you to consider adopting it, or to adopt a character on the behalf of someone as a gift, being sure to check whether your employer offers matching grants to maximize the donation. After all, it is for a very good cause.

Disclaimer: I am Adobe’s primary representative to Unicode, meaning that there may be some amount of perceived bias, but I also put my money where my mouth is by adopting a character at one of the higher levels.

Edited on 2016-04-20 to add that effective 2016-04-18 all character adoptions are permanent.


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