Penguin Days in Texas: Open Source for Nonprofits Goes South


Jon Lebkowsky
Polycot Consulting, L.L.C.
512 762-6547 or 512 482-0715

Aspiration: Better Tools for a Better World

Software for a Cause: Open Source Geeks and Nonprofits Gather at Texas Penguin Days to Make Better Software and the World a Better Place

Austin, Texas, October 14, 2005 Software developers, activists and nonprofits gather at Penguin Days ( in Austin and San Antonio to demystify open source software for social change.

Penguin Days explore open source software for nonprofits and help socially-minded 'geeks' find ways to support public interest organizations.

According to Jon Lebkowsky of Polycot Consulting, a local organizer of Penguin Day Austin, "Texas nonprofit and Open Source communities are obvious partners, but they don't always make the connection. Penguin Day will demystify the technology for the nonprofit participants, and help bring those communities together."

Dean McCall with calls the event "One of the really great hidden secrets of the Open Source and Non Profit communities...with the rising cost associated with running a nonprofit it will really be a welcome treat to the San Antonio community!"

Katrin Verclas of Aspiration (, co-organizers of the national movement of Penguin Days, said, “Non-profit organizations are in need of specific software to manage volunteers, raise funds, and mobilize their constituents. Open source software can be less costly for these groups. We convene Penguin Days to challenge software developers to provide flexible and useful open source software. Penguin Days also empower nonprofits to communicate their needs and be active partners in the use of open source technology."

Open source software can be freely shared, distributed, and modified so that organizations can adapt software programs to suit their very specific needs.

Since 2004, Penguin Days have been held in Philadelphia, Portland, Oregon; London, England; Toronto, Canada, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York. Hundreds of nonprofit staff, programmers, and activists have attended Penguin Days.

Penguin Days feature humorous "speed geeks" (modeled after speed-dating) to bring programmers and organizations together to change the world--one byte at a time. Organizers say that here is a growing group of programmers who are interested in making their skills and technical knowledge available for a cause.

The Penguin is the symbol adopted in the early days of Linux as the mascot of this growing software movement.

Texas Penguin Days are scheduled in Austin on November 4 and San Antonio on November 5. Other upcoming Penguin Days are scheduled in Portland, Oregon on October 15 and in Montreal, Canada on November 20.

More information on Penguin Days is at

Registration for the Austin or San Antonio events at:

Austin (Ventana del Soul, 1834 E. Oltorf):

San Antonio (Urban 15, 2500 S. Presa):

The Texas Penguin Days are sponsored by Polycot Consulting, the Austin Community College Center for Community-Based and NonProfit Organizations, EFF-Austin and SalsaNet, and supported with in-kind support from local nonprofits and many volunteers.

About Aspiration: Aspiration,, connects nonprofit organizations with software solutions that help them better carry out their work. We want nonprofit organizations to obtain and use the best software to maximize their effectiveness and impact so that they, in turn, can change the world. We identify what is available and what is missing in NGO software arena, and foster relationships, delivery systems, and sustainability strategies between NGOs around the world.