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Tutorial - "What is Open Source"

Open Source In Nevada Nonprofits

Two groups with a profound sense of community

This is the collaborative home for two groups with a profound sense of community  the dedicated volunteers and staff of nonprofits (lovingly called Do-Gooders) and the technically savvy evangelists of the Open Source movement (perceptively referred to as Open Geeks). All across America Do-Gooders and Open Geeks are realizing the breadth of their common interests (see Open Source - Geeks, nonprofits parlay community at Penguin Day) and the impact on their communities that working together provides.

This site's goal is to cross the digital divide by using open-source technologies to enrich the lives and opportunities of the least privilege Nevadans similar to the way proprietary technologies have enriched the lives of the most privileged among us.

The tactic is to unite Do-Gooders with Open Geeks to implement a paradigm shift to cost effectiveness in providing services and technical empowerment to all Nevadans.

Example: Reno Host Lyons affiliate delivers free computers and software to children

The Cigar Lyons have a mission: Give children a chance to become part of the 21st Century by giving them computers in their homes. Schools are able to provide an introduction to technology but because of their limited budgets, not the chance of total immersion. Without experimentation, many potentially talented students will miss an opportunity to show what they are capable of doing or learn advanced techniques.

With a combination of donated computers, open source software, partnerships with local organizations and lots of enthusiasm, the Cigar Lyons are changing the lives of children with their Computers for Kids program.

Collaborative Environment

This Open Source for Nevada Nonprofit's web provides a collaboration platform for discussing how to reduce the cost of operations for nonprofits by utilizing open source technologies. Success stories, technology alternatives and implementation options are discussed below.


Do Gooders Contributing Editor - Sheri Elpern -
Open Geek Contributing Editor - Jeff Elpern -
Do-Gooder quasi-geeky Contributor - Gary Lyon -

Please contact us if you would like to become a content contributor to osnv-nonprofit.

Open Spurce in the Community and Voluntary Sector

Key Articles

How open source is getting nonprofits out of a squeeze

"Efforts across the country to recycle old computer hardware have earned the support of communities looking to supply families, schools, and nonprofits with IT connectivity. Now the same principle is being applied to software, as nonprofits caught between data collection and storage requirements and IT licensing costs turn to free and open source software.

"FreeGeek (motto: 'Helping the needy get nerdy since the beginning of the third millennium') of Portland, Ore., is well-known in the area as a positive resource for transforming toxic IT trash into tech bootstraps for the less privileged and groups that serve them. The group's Collaborative Technologies effort takes it to another level by seeking out open source, free, and old software to use along with the tossed and rejuvenated tech gear. The group provides consulting for all of its clients, but only some of the more affluent nonprofits have to actually pay..." More at How open source is getting nonprofits out of a squeeze

Replace Microsoft Office with OpenOffice

This article is from It has great advice about the transition.

"If you're thinking about buying the latest version of Microsoft Office, it's going to cost you $399 for each PC you own (or $239 if you qualify for an upgrade from an older version). If you need at least five copies, you might qualify for some kind of volume discount, but even then you'll probably still pay $200 plus per license. For a 25-person shop, that's somewhere in the $5,000 dollar range. Or, you can forget Microsoft altogether and install OpenOffice  a free office productivity suite that runs on all major platforms  and use your money for more pressing needs."

More at Replace Microsoft Office with OpenOffice

Open Source - Geeks, nonprofits parlay community at Penguin Day

* Open Source - Geeks, nonprofits parlay community at Penguin Day

A couple of days before software movers and shakers got together to talk about changing industry with open source at [[OSCON]], geeks and do-gooders and do-gooder geeks gathered to talk about changing the world with open source at the second Penguin Day event held in Portland last weekend.

Choosing and Using Open Source Software

"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:

  • several case-studies of nonprofits of various sizes that are using open source software,
  • a process for evaluating whether or not open source is right for an organization,
  • and useful resources and information.

More at Choosing and Using Open Source Software

Non-Profits on E:

How Non-Profit Organizations are Using the Internet for Communications, Fundraising, and Community Building

This study draws on research and literature from the disciplines of media studies, information technology and marketing theory to construct the argument that non-profit organizations can benefit from new developments in digital media technology and will have to adapt new strategies as a result of these technologies.

It explores current issues and debates within the non-profit community regarding the use of the Internet and investigates the opinions and attitudes expressed within these debates. Further, it examines the way non-profit organizations are currently implementing Internet tools and strategies and gives an overview of some of the underlying technologies.

The point of departure is that the activities on the Internet are taking place within an organisational and societal context that both enables and defines communication, the structural process associated with community. This communication and its underlying technology, are subject of study and form the starting point of this investigation.

More at Non-Profits on E:

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