The original Certificate of Incorporation ensures that the ASF operates as a public charity. The most important action the ASF does is providing useful software products to the world, for free. Many parts of the The Apache Way are a happy coincidence of altruism and selfishness. Many contributors believe in our service to the public, and contribute from a belief that we can make the world a better place. They work side by side with contributors who are simply “scratching their own itch”: people who simply want to fix their own problems, but who find it’s often easier to do that in concert with others as it is to do alone.
The ASF is a public charity, and its purpose is to give away all of the software projects that it hosts. The point of this charity is for the public good - which includes everyone. Thus we use the pragmatic Apache License to ensure maximum freedom of all users who may choose to use our software.
The ASF will never charge for the use of its software. All Apache projects provide all code and basic mailing list support for free, without any requirements (other than basic netiquette when participating on our mailing lists). The ASF even has a dedicated Always Free page explaining this.