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Ask a question. Give advice. Share resources. Looking for software or hardware recommendations? Want to know how others are using text messaging in their work? Trying to find examples of IT policies? The NTEN Discuss forum is a great resource for all of the above and more! It's the general discussion list for the NTEN community, and folks all over the US (and the world) are sharing their questions, answers, and news about nonprofit technology.

Looking for organizations who have contributed to open source

  • 1.  Looking for organizations who have contributed to open source

    Posted 8 days ago
    Hi everyone!

    I'm looking for examples of organizations in the nonprofit community who have contributed to open source projects and/or have released any internal project code / plugins as open source.

    Related to this, I found this thread from a few years ago by @Mark Root-Wiley that speaks to Wordpress specifically:
    https://community.nten.org/communities/community-home/digestviewer/viewthread?GroupId=571&MID=31391

    Also this article from NTEN:
    https://www.nten.org/article/the-how-and-why-of-nonprofits-contributing-to-open-source/

    Thank you everyone in advance!

    Jason




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    Jason Shim
    Director, Digital Strategy
    Toronto, ON
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 2.  RE: Looking for organizations who have contributed to open source

    Posted 7 days ago
    Hi Jason,

    I don't know if this is what you're looking for, but a group of YMCAs formed Open Y (https://openy.org/) as a base for YMCAs to create websites from. So it's pretty org-specific, but the code is freely available: https://www.drupal.org/project/openy.

    Heather

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    Heather Jewell
    Manager, Fund Development Capacity Building
    Toronto, ON
    heather.jewell@gmail.com
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  • 3.  RE: Looking for organizations who have contributed to open source

    Posted 7 days ago
    I tried. In the early 2000's I developed a retail reporting data warehouse for the Goodwill that I was working at, all in open source (LAMP). I developed it with portability in the specs, so that it could work with any Point of Sale system that could export the data. I slapped a GNU license on it and let the other 200 Goodwills know that it was theirs for the asking, with optional setup and training for a reasonable reimbursement. No takers. One inquiry, but they passed because I didn't have one of the reports they wanted...

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    Peter Campbell
    Senior Strategic Consultant
    Marcum Technology / Raffa - Marcum's Nonprofit and Social Sector Group
    Washington DC
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  • 4.  RE: Looking for organizations who have contributed to open source

    Posted 7 days ago
    @Peter Campbell - Thanks for sharing your experience at Goodwill - in retrospect, what do you think was the biggest barrier to adoption?


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    Jason Shim
    Director, Digital Strategy
    Toronto, ON
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 5.  RE: Looking for organizations who have contributed to open source

    Posted 7 days ago
    Goodwills (and social service organizations in general) are complex environments with inadequate staff and funding. My reporting system was designed for thrift, automated the reporting that we all had to do to our membership agency, and had other strategic advantages. But taking on a project like that is a big challenge. We were the first Goodwill to actually bar code the donated goods, and one of the most innovative when it came to technology. My peers were generally not making big investments in tech and likely had trouble envisioning the path to change. For example,I know that the Goodwill across the bay from me only gave email accounts to the executive staff at that time.

    This being 2004, there was probably also some fear of open source software, and reasonable concerns about whether they had the capacity to use a homegrown system like mine.

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    Peter Campbell
    Senior Strategic Consultant
    Marcum Technology / Raffa - Marcum's Nonprofit and Social Sector Group
    Washington DC
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 6.  RE: Looking for organizations who have contributed to open source

    Posted 7 days ago
    When I was at the Jewish Women's Archive we funded a lightweight archive based on Fedora (I know, sounds like a contradiction in terms) that was open sourced and has since morphed into the Hydra project that powers the Digital Public Library of America, among many others. Exhilarating to know that our poorly financed seed has gone so far.



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  • 7.  RE: Looking for organizations who have contributed to open source

    Posted 7 days ago
    @Ari Davidow Thanks for the heads up on Hydra! (no pun intended) Linking here for others following the thread - https://hyku.samvera.org/

    Your mention of funding - I'm curious to learn more, was there a specific strategy / initiative / fund that focused on open source software development at the Jewish Women's Archive?

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    Jason Shim
    Director, Digital Strategy
    Toronto, ON
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 8.  RE: Looking for organizations who have contributed to open source

    Posted 7 days ago
    @Heather Jewell - Yes, Open Y is along the lines of the kind of thing I'm looking for! Thanks for sharing!

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    Jason Shim
    Director, Digital Strategy
    Toronto, ON
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 9.  RE: Looking for organizations who have contributed to open source

    Posted 7 days ago
    Edited by Emily Frazier 7 days ago
    Hi Jason,

    My company has extensive experience working and contributing to open source software across multiple platforms. Not sure exactly what your use case is, but based on your comment about the Y being sort of what you're looking for, we have a platform cooperative (meaning those who join the cooperative own the code and have the opportunity to directly oversee new features etc) that is open source and currently provides a web platform as well as an app and equipment reservations system, with integrations and automations with CRMs and other software. While it is mostly used by community media centers, the web platform in particular is applicable across the board (and is built in a combination of Drupal + react both of which are open source). You can find out more here: https://localeyz.io/

    The reason it is priced is to make it extremely easy to be up and running without in house developers, but it is also open source for those of large tech expertise. Hope that helps, and feel free to reach out at emily@firstturnmedia.com anytime!

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    Emily Frazier
    First Turn Media | Founder
    Localeyz Cooperative | Founder
    emily@firstturnmedia.com
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 10.  RE: Looking for organizations who have contributed to open source

    Posted 6 days ago
    My main work project is the curration, publication, dissemination and facilitating the fabrication of open source assistive technolgy hardware (Open AT). We connect makers to build Open AT for people with disabilities in their community, and have hosted over 60 events and served over 1000 people last year.

    http://www.makersmakingchange.com

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    Chad Leaman
    Director of Development
    Burnaby, BC
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  • 11.  RE: Looking for organizations who have contributed to open source

    Posted 2 days ago

    Hi Jason,

    We use both CiviCRM and Drupal. I am a big supporter of open source because the work that we do for our organization can be used and leveraged by other organizations, and vice versa. We shifted over from Nation Builder to CiviCRM last year. Here's the link to my blog post about it, and also a link to the newly released video about how nonprotits are using CiviCRM.

    Instead of using many different softwares to manage events, memberships, fundraising, and mass emails, we can do this all in CiviCRM, and use it as our database of record. It has not been an easy process, but it has been well worth it. You just have to be flexible, and creative when it comes to solving problems.

    The other important aspect is collaboration between developers and nonprofit staff. The nonprofit staff can articulate the problem that needs to be solved, what it needs to look like in the front end, and the developer can help to build this out.

    Happy to answer any questions that come up!

    Best regards,

    Roshani



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    Roshani Kothari
    Technology & Digital Operations Director
    Plastic Pollution Coalition
    Washington, DC
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