The Ada Initiative's Seed 100 campaign is looking for 100 donors who will each contribute $US512 or more before the end of June.
The money will go to pay start-up costs for the project which was set up in February by Linux kernel developer Valerie Aurora and and open source advocate and developer Mary Gardiner.
Donations can be made at the organisation's website.
The 100 donors will receive souvenirs as a gesture of thanks - laptop stickers and conference lanyards.
The first 25 donors who give more than $1024 will get signed prints done by the web-comic artist Sydney Padua.
Later donors who give more than $1024 will receive a portrait of Ada Lovelace, the first woman programmer in either free or proprietary software in whose memory the project is named.