Since 2003 NOSI has provided the nonprofit sector with information and education designed to help nonprofits leverage the benefits of using free and open source software (FOSS) in their work. As the author of the groundbreaking “Choosing and Using Free and Open Source Software: A Primer for Nonprofits,” NOSI provides nonprofit staff and decision-makers with both tools and information, allowing them to assess free and open source software's capacity to support the needs of their organizations.
The merger will allow the two organizations to focus their collective energies on growing free and open source capacity in the nonprofit sector, working with developers, integrators, and end users. A number of open source tools, including the Firefox web browser, the CiviCRM platform, and a range of open source web publishing systems, have reached a state of maturity that makes them excellent options for nonprofits. But much work remains to be done in supporting the creation and sustainability of FOSS options in a number of other mission-critical software categories. Aspiration and NOSI welcome the challenge.
Michelle Murrain, NOSI's Coordinator says “Aspiration and NOSI have worked hand in hand over the years to help nonprofit organizations learn about and implement free and open source software. This is a natural fit, and I'm excited to consider the kinds of projects we'll be undertaking together.”
Aspiration Executive Director Allen Gunn says “Aspiration works to see better tools created to support nonprofit missions. While as an organization we strive to be license-agnostic, we see free and open source software as an ever-more critical component of nonprofit technology infrastructure, and NOSI has led the way over the past 5 years in advocating and educating nonprofits and funders about free and open source software. Working directly with NOSI will forward Aspiration's mission of better tools for a better world."
Aspiration and NOSI will immediately turn their focus to the 2008 Nonprofit Software Development Summit, taking place November 17-19 in Oakland, California. The event will provide a venue for the full range of stakeholders in nonprofit software development to meet, share knowledge, discuss pressing issues and strengthen community ties. We encourage anyone interested in nonprofit software to join us for this unique summit.
NOSI will operate as a program of Aspiration, retaining its advisory board and programmatic direction. Michelle Murrain will return to the Aspiration board, with a focus on representing the NOSI community. The organizations will share staff and fundraising capacity, and the new Aspiration will be better able to educate the groups they work with about available free and open source options. This work will be carried out by maintaining the NOSI Primer, enhancing the Social Source Commons, and continuing to host Penguin Days across the country and around the world.