I was quite excited to learn about the Debian Nonprofit project at the
Plone conference last week. I am a system administrator for
DiscipleMakers, a relatively small Christian campus ministry in
Pennsylvania, USA. We have had great success using Free software over
the past several years, and we want to help other nonprofits benefit as
well. A collaborative effort like this is definitely something we're
In many respects, my organization is a typical small nonprofit. We have
about 45 staff, including nine full-time administrative staff in our
headquarters. Nearly all of our staff rely exclusively on personal
support raising for their funding.
In the area of computing, though, I think we're quite different from the
average small nonprofit. I am one of two full-time sysadmins, and we
have one full-time developer and another raising his support. We've
been working hard to find free software solutions for our needs.
Our software developer has spent the last year or so working on
"Doulos," an extensible application framework. A beta version is
available at http://doulos.sourceforge.net/ He's well along in
developing a conference registration system built using this framework,
and will work on a receipting system next. We welcome anyone's
involvement in this project.
It looks like there hasn't been much activity on this list of late,
which I hope does not mean that people have lost interest. I would very
much like to learn about how other nonprofits are using free software to
meet their requirements, and I hope to be able to help.