Katrin Verclas writes
"Open Source Software Makes Inroads into Nonprofit Sector
Washington, DC, February 17, 2004 -- According to a new report released today by the Nonprofit Open Source Initiative (NOSI), nonprofits are following their for-profit counterparts in deploying "free" or "open source" software as an alternative to higher priced proprietary software, such as Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. At the same time, there has been little guidance on how nonprofit
organizations can effectively start using open source software.
"Choosing and Using Open Source Software: A Primer for Nonprofits" describes what open source software is and what impact this type of software has on the nonprofit sector. Developed with a grant from the IBM International Foundation, the Open Source Primer also includes several case studies of nonprofits of various sizes that are using open source software, a process for evaluating whether open source software is right for an organization, and valuable resources and information. Written in non-technical language, it is accessible to a wide audience, including nonprofit managers with little hands-on technical expertise.
NOSI is also releasing a CD with over a dozen free and useful software programs for Windows and Mac users to show that open source is relevant to every nonprofit organization, regardless of whether they use open source or proprietary operating systems.
Michelle Murrain, the principal author of the Primer, says "The movement to use open source software in nonprofits has grown exponentially over the last several years. More and more groups are asking their technology staff and consultants about how they can improve their systems and save money with free alternatives to Microsoft and other proprietary software vendors."
The NOSI Open Source Primer has already received accolades from nonprofit and open source leaders.
According to Mitch Kapor, President of Open Source Applications Foundation, "NOSI has developed a terrific resource that can help nonprofits everywhere understand the significance of the transition from proprietary software to open source."
"Choosing and Using Open Source Software: A Primer for Nonprofits is released under the Creative Commons license which allows it to be freely copied, and is available for download at
About NOSI: The Nonprofit Open Source Initiative (NOSI) is a collaboration of nonprofit technology service providers, consultants specializing in nonprofit support, and open source software developers working to facilitate greater adoption of Open Source Software (OSS) in the nonprofit/NGO sector.