NetSquared: state of Open Source Software for Nonprofits

Some audience questions before the start of the session:

  • Is Open Source relevant? Or are open APIs all that matters?
  • Are there underlying values for NPOs choosing tech, or is it just a question of picking what works best

David Geilhufe’s arguments for open source for the non-profit sector: avoid duplication of effort; encourage innovation.

OpenBRR (open business readiness rating)– more appropriate criteria for making decisions on open source than if you use the usual criteria that have been articulated for commercial products.

Zack Rosen on the CivicSpace ecology.
Communities:

  • Drupal
  • CivicSpace Foundation
  • OpenNGO– the CRM portion

Vendors/Service Providers

  • CivicSpace, Inc.
  • CivicActions
  • Echo Ditto
  • …+20 more

In the CRM space, biggest three vendors are Kintera, Convio, GetActive. Then there’s a long tail with the little vendors. But if you aggregate all the vendors, the CiviCRM community is number two, and much more profitable. Tools are advancing exponentially faster. Vendors in the OpenSource space are bidding 10-50% of commercial market leaders. One and two person shops are bidding against market leaders and winning.

The Mambo/Joomla fork. Major developers didn’t like what the people in charge of Mambo did, so they left on masse, and were able to take the source code with them.

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About Paul Resnick

Professor, University of Michigan School of Information Personal home page
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