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[News] Symbiotic Relationship Between Free Software and Charity

  • Subject: [News] Symbiotic Relationship Between Free Software and Charity
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2007 00:30:32 +0000
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: Netscape / schestowitz.com
  • User-agent: KNode/0.10.4
Why non-profits should use free software (and it's not why you'd think)

,----[ Quote ]
| How does free software address this call for professionalism? We know that 
| free software can be as “professional” (if not more so) than some proprietary 
| counterparts. Also, good free software is often based upon “doing it right” 
| as well. An example of this the way styles are central to the use of 
| OpenOffice.org. It’s a departure from the way MS Office does it; it seems 
| more cumbersome at first, but as you get used to it you realise why they help 
| so much—particularly on longer documents. The security, stability and other 
| oft-trumpeted advantages of free software stem, in part, from decisions 
| to “do things properly”.        



UK children's charity says goodbye to Excel

,----[ Quote ]
| Cognos TM1 will house the charity's budgeting and financial planning data 
| currently held on 2,000 Excel spreadsheets. 



Free software for non-profits?

,----[ Quote ]
| It was essentially the "No one gets fired for hiring IBM" idea. Yes,
| I'm mixing metaphors... sort of.
| The non-profit community touches the lives of one in three of us
| Charities get great discounts from Microsoft (up to 90%!). So, the
| high cost of Microsoft products is less of an issue for them.
| What would it take, then, to convince charities to make the switch?
| The answer is simple, and yet not so obvious: good adaptable case
| management software for human services non-profits.
| The only generalized case management applications for human
| services non-profits are expensive and proprietary


Tactical FOSS

,----[ Quote ]
| ...a non-profit in Amsterdam that calls itself the Tactical
| Technology Collective which has begun creating packages of FOSS
| specifically for non-profits. Funded by the Open Society Institute,
| Omidyar, USAID, Hivos and UNDP/APDIP, the collective aims to assist 
| socially oriented organizations around the world by providing FOSS
| packages, consulting and training.
| [...]
| I still feel this sector lags behind in understanding the value
| inherent in the FOSS approach, but it should be interesting to see
| how "NGO in a Box" catches on. I believe Tactical Tech is working
| in the right market, in Africa and Asia. The entreprenurial spirit
| is very strong amongst third world non-profits, coops, communities
| and micro entreprenurs and FOSS will make a big difference in helping
| these non-profits assist with their missions and connect to a larger
| world. Africa after all is the birth place of Ubuntu.
| The FOSS philosophy is very communal, very social and highly
| collaborative - three perspectives also promoted by the
| non-profit sector.
| All things considered it should be an interesting future.


Charities' Microsoft decision riles open source group

,----[ Quote ]
| Late last year, the Charities Commission, established to develop a
| formal register of charitable organisations, went to tender for
| service providers to implement a Microsoft-based online
| registration system. However, the decision to use Microsoft's
| software was never put to tender. 
| [...]
| Harrison says taking registrations for charities would be equally easy in 
| either Microsoft or open source technologies.
| "In fact, Apache has a better than 60% market share in web servers, so it 
| seems unusual that the recommendation of a consultant would eliminate a 
| majority market player from the project,? Harrison says. 


Declaring Open Source

,----[ Quote ]
| Open source software is what made the Internet possible, which in
| turn made all sorts of new companies possible. From Microsoft to
| Google, our modern Internet was built on open source software.
| Last year, the Center for American Progress decided to see if
| we could get the phrase "open source" introduced into the U.S.
| Code. We set ourselves a simple goal: get some legislation introduced.


Will Microsoft's Katrina Goodwill Go Bad?

,----[ Quote
| The first benefit really goes to Microsoft and its reseller partners rather 
| than to the larger group of small businesses seeking aid. What kind of 
| hurricane relief is that?  


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