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01 May 2013, 14:57

Fundraiser for free software NPO accounting software launched

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Conservancy campaign logo

The Software Freedom Conservancy has started a fundraising campaign to create an open source, free software accounting system for non-profit organisations (NPO). Conservancy's goal is to raise $75,000 to fund a developer for one year to first evaluate existing technologies and then build a solution designed for non-profit accounting on the best available open source system.

Conservancy Executive Director Bradley Kuhn says many non-profit organisations use proprietary software to file their obligatory annual reports with governmental organisations. According to Conservancy, this is "fundamentally at cross purposes with their underlying missions of charity, equality, democracy, and sharing". The software package Conservancy is trying to create will be mostly aimed at US non-profit corporations, but it should also prove a good basis for other localised versions.

The Software Freedom Conservancy's fundraiser has received support from a number of open source non-profit organisations such as the Open Source Initiative (OSI), the Free Software Foundation (FSF), the Mozilla Foundation, and the GNOME Foundation. OSI President Simon Phipps said that his organisation shared many of Conservancy's experiences "in navigating the financial management needs of non-profit organisations". He added, "we have many NPOs as members and we welcome this useful initiative by Conservancy."

The page for the campaign at the Software Freedom Conservancy web site includes further details of the organisation's plan and background information explaining why the organisation regards the project as essential. As a registered 501(c)(3) charity, donations to Conservancy are tax deductible in the US. The organisation says that, should the project not be funded successfully: "it's expected that work will simply proceed, but more slowly and take more time."



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