Free Apps & Software for Non-Profits

In accordance to the Countrywide Working day Calendar, February is Cost-free & Open Source Software program (FOSS) Thirty day period. Open up resource (OS) computer software can be a great resource for non-revenue businesses that have to have technology, just as a for-financial gain small business does, but frequently have much less means to pay back for highly-priced solutions.

So, what is an open up resource application? You likely currently use some of the most well-known open source packages without the need of even knowing it.

  • WordPress (running a blog and web page style)
  • Firefox (internet browser)
  • Android (cellular device working program)

These are all open up supply computer software. OS software program developers (aka the copyright holders) make the supply code accessible to any individual to look at or edit. The program or app is also no cost for any person to use, duplicate, or give away. OS software package is frequently made in a community collaboration. For case in point, if you click on on About Firefox in the browser’s Support menu, you will see that the Firefox web browser “is designed by Mozilla, a global local community doing work to hold the Net open, general public and obtainable to all.”

The concept powering this way of creating software package is the theory that programmers, who perform for a for-earnings business and the business itself, are concentrating on defending their possession and revenue in addition to, or as an alternative of, earning the software package the maximum top quality it can be. OS advocates think that a more substantial team of programmers, who rely on peers to uncover and eliminate difficulties in the code, will produce a additional valuable and increased good quality merchandise for everybody.

The significant edge of open up resource application, of system, is that it is really absolutely free. The truth that the code is public usually means that hundreds or even hundreds of programmers and people might check, consider, debug, and enrich the app you eventually use. Listed here are the best 5 motives open up resource advocates give for the advantages of open up resource computer software, in addition to the zero-greenback rate tag:

  • Safety: the much more people today who can see and check a established of code, the extra probably protection flaws will be discovered and set.
  • Trustworthiness: it is peer reviewed, with bugs fixed quickly instead than in significantly-long run variations.
  • Id: it can be tailored.
  • Small-useful resource depth: open up resource software can often be operate on the older desktops widespread in non-gain workplaces.
  • Flexibility of alternative: No commitment until you are sure (attempt as many different offers as you want-they are totally free!)

There are downsides, however. The most frequent, in my working experience, is that there in all probability is not a assist desk or tech guidance cell phone amount for consumers to call. The assistance desk for an OS software package system could be the exact blog or site exactly where programmers and testers down load code and examine bugs that they uncover.

Under is a checklist of some OS apps and software, which numerous non-earnings businesses will uncover helpful. They are all greatly utilized, award-successful deals. Just recall, that isn’t going to indicate they are all automatically right for YOUR non-revenue. Think about who on your personnel (regardless of whether in-business or consultants) will

  • set up the computer software
  • retain the software package and any information
  • coach new buyers
  • use the program on a normal basis

Look at also irrespective of whether this software package requirements to “chat to” other computer software in your firm. Will the packages be compatible? If you have current info that will have to have to be transformed to the new offer, who will do that?

Now that we’ve cautioned you about the dangers, listed here are our beloved open up supply program offers:

  • LibreOffice: place of work efficiency suite which include word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, databases, and many others. primarily based on, and successor to OpenOffice. Awarded Greatest Cost-free Office environment Suite by CNET Journal
  • GIMP: GNU Impression Manipulation Software photograph and graphic editor. Operates on GNU/Linux, OS X, Home windows, and much more. Named a Best Free of charge Computer software Choose for 2013 by Laptop Magazine
  • Audacity: digital audio editor produced by a professor and a college student at Carnegie Mellon University. Selected as 1 of Personal computer Entire world Magazine’s 100 Best Products of 2008
  • Shotcut: cross-system movie editor and encoder. Named a TechRadar Obtain of the Working day
  • Thunderbird: email and chat consumer designed by Mozilla (maker of Firefox). Laptop Entire world Magazine’s Most effective 100 Merchandise in 2005 and 2008
  • KeePass: password supervisor. Advisable password supervisor by the German Federal Workplace for Information and facts Protection and the French Network and Information and facts Safety Agency. KeePass has the best rating in the password management grid of G2 Crowd
  • Rocket.Chat: multi-system web chat, online video conferencing, and workforce communications. InfoWorld Journal BOSSIE 2016 Award

1 of the largest non-profit needs is for a constituent relationship administration (CRM) method that lets the business to preserve track of donors, potential customers, volunteers, and other constituents as perfectly as communications with constituents. Listed here are the free and open source CRMs you might investigate when it is really time for a new CRM at your non-gain.

  • Suite CRM (previously Sugar CRM) is one particular of the most well-liked, despite the fact that it is not unique to non-profit
  • CiviCRM has been developed specifically for non-income organizations

If you want to understand extra, numerous non-revenue and charitable corporations market the open source computer software movement. In this article are a handful of of the largest and longest-lived:

  • Apache Program Foundation: offers assistance for the community of Apache open up-source application items
  • The Doc Foundation: German charitable basis established by a significant team of free program advocates
  • The Eclipse Foundation: an impartial non-revenue funded by member dues to allow for a vendor-neutral and open up group to steward the IBM-designed Eclipse Challenge
  • Totally free Application Basis: works to make sure freedom for computer system customers worldwide, especially by endorsing the GNU totally free operating method
  • Linux Basis: supports quite a few open up supply assignments, like the 25-calendar year-old Linux working process
  • OpenCourseWare Consortium: all over the world community of instructional establishments, corporations, and people who boost openness in instruction, which include collective progress and use of open educational products
  • OpenHatch: matches future open source program programmers with communities, equipment, and schooling
  • OpenSourceMatters: features economic, legal, and organizational support for the Joomla! material management process for web sites
  • Open Supply Initiative: represents the open resource neighborhood, maintains the Open Resource Definition, and produces open-resource licenses

The label “open up supply” is reported to have been coined at a tactic session held in 1998 shortly right after the announcement of the launch of the Netscape internet browser resource code. In the almost 20 many years considering the fact that then, the Absolutely free and Open Source Computer software sector and items have matured. Non-gains can get gain of the higher-quality, totally free* program readily available for productiveness, constituent administration, and other important jobs.

*Just don’t forget, not all no cost software program is cost-free or safe and sound to use.


Resource by Chris Bouchard

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