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News and Resources from the Community

User Guide to Using the Linux Desktop

IOSN has produced an introductory end user guide to using the Linux desktop.

This guide is meant as an introductory guide on using a modern personal computer (PC) running the Linux operating system. It provides a self-learning guide on how to use a modern Linux desktop system. It assumes that the user has no prior knowledge of Linux or PC usage.

The guide is formatted for use as printed material, with the acompanying slides to be used by trainers.

The training materials are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Fundraising and Donation Management Compilations

Compilations of applications and resources on donation management and fundraising tools can be found at these two useful sites:

  1. http://www.rlweiner.com/resources.html
  2. http://www.tfraise.com/listings.aspx

Tom Fraise also has a comparison matrix downloadable from his site, allowing you to compare applications according to a number of criteria.

SMS Tools

There are a number of lists of tools and strategy on using short text messaging for advocacy and other nonprofit work.

AdvoacyDev generated a list of SMS Tools.

On Mobile Active, we are compiling resources and articles on using SMS for advocacy. Aspiration and Green Media Toolshed are hosting the site in conjunction with a strategy meeting of activists in Toronto in September 2005.

It includes a rich set of resources, articles, case studies, and tools.

Power to the Edges: Trends and Opportunities in Online Civic Engagement

Power to the Edges: Trends and Opportunities in Online Civic Engagement -

http://www.pacefunders.org/power.html

This report from the affinity group PACE - Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement is a snapshot of the current state of online democracy in the age of connectivity brought about by the Internet and other digital information technologies.

The implications of online democracy for nonprofit organizations are significant and challenging. The report authors urge nonprofits and the funders who support them to become more nimble, integrate online and offline activities, leverage and strengthen activists networks and brandish a new set of leadership skills that are facilitative and inclusive.

FLOSS and NGOs: A Compilation of Resources and Community Events

Link: Non-Profit Use of Open Source | Doc Searls' IT Garage.

Taran mentions the NOSI Open Source Primer, written by Michelle Murrain, Aspiration's board member. There has been a plethora of resources lately on free and open source software (f/oss) and NGOs; a brief compilation of the most noteworthy is below. There are also a number of organizations, both here and internationally, that are beginning to form a lively ecosystem of development, support, and community for f/oss and NGOs. These include certainly NOSI, Tactical Tech, us here at Aspiration, the LINC Project, Bridges.org, Mahiti.org, Commons Group and Community Bandwidth.

Here are some of the noteworthy resources on f/oss that we have been involved in or that have come across my radar.

Several are compiled here at what is the very beginning of an Open Source Almanac that first saw the day at the Advocacy Developer Convergence. It needs some love soon.

Phillip Smith, our colleague in Toronto at Community Bandwidth has released a very interesting article called "What Not-for-Profit Organizations Need to Know about Free Software.

Mark Surman started it all with the The Commons Group's Choosing Open Source: A Guide for Civil Society Organizations. Developed by Commons and the APC, this guide provides civil society organizations with both an introduction to open source and a framework for finding software that will meet their needs. Designed to be accessible and helpful to non-profit managers and others responsible for high level technology decisions.

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p>There is, of course, the NOSI Guide, as aforementioned. The Nonprofit Open Source Initiative's (NOSI) Choosing and Using Open Source Software: A Primer for Nonprofits describes what open source software is and what impact this type of software may have on the nonprofit sector.

It includes:

Choosing a Content Management System: on TechSoup.org

TechSoup has a new, excellent article out on choosing a content management system. This is article is the third of a very thorough overview of content management systems for nonprofits.

"Choosing a CMS" goes briefly over the requirement gathering process, outlines a series of otions for organizations ranging from enterprise solutions to those for small organizations; and gives an example of a decision matrix on how to choose the right system. It is a very nice overview that can get you started.

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