Home Business IT Open Source Campaign to raise funds for free accounting software

Campaign to raise funds for free accounting software

The Software Freedom Conservancy has launched a campaign to raise funds for developing a free and open source accounting system.

Based in New York, the Conservancy is a non-profit that helps promote, improve, develop and defend free and open source software projects.

The organisation's executive director, Bradley Kuhn, a well-known figure in FOSS circles, said in a media release that the campaign aimed to raise $US75,000 to fund a full-time developer for one year.

"In my 10 years of non-profit management experience, I've found that good free software for non-profit accounting is sorely lacking," Kuhn said.

"Existing systems are either focused too much on meeting the needs of for-profit companies, or they are just inadequate for various non-profit complexities."

The developer who is chosen would initially re-evaluate existing free software solutions for their viability as a non-profit accounting system solution.

He or she would then build upon the best available system a solution that would help non-profits around the world manage their finances better.

"To keep their books and file their annual government filings, non-profit organisations (NPOs) often maintain complicated home-grown systems," Kuhn said.

"Further, most NPOs use proprietary software — fundamentally at cross purposes with their underlying missions of charity, equality, democracy, and sharing. Conservancy, as a non-profit charity dedicated to the advancement and improvement of open source and free software, seeks to address this problem."

Kuhn said that if the project succeeded, it would save the non-profit sector many millions every year. "But the more powerful effect of a free software solution will be to increase the agility and collaborative potential of the sector — a boon to funders, boards, employees, and the populations they serve," he added.

The initiative has been endorsed by Fractured Atlas, The Free Software Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, GNOME Foundation, OpenHatch, Open Source Initiative, QuestionCopyright.org, and Software in the Public Interest.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.