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Wednesday, 01 May 2013 23:57

Campaign to raise funds for free accounting software

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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

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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