Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Open Source and "White Label" Applications

Long ago I made the arguement that all these nonprofits that build custom applications really need to get together and form a consortia to lower the costs of application development. Yes, there are many logistical hurdles, but two nonprofits with the same needs can get a custom application by commissioning the work as a consortia than each building a seperate custom application.

As CiviCRM begins to take shape (we released 0.1 and are working on 0.2), it is becoming easier and easier for nonprofits to band together and build "white label" applications on top of CiviCRM. Mark Sherman at the Progressive Technology Project has a problem... his members, grassroots organizing groups, have a common database need which they have all solved in different ways. By banding together they can commission a grassroots organizing platform that will serve their collective needs?

This works really well when the underlying technology is open source. No one owns the technology and everyone owns the technology. As a practical matter, it means a group of nonprofits is not locked into a single vendor and can be assured that they have the rights to do whatever they want with the technology that is produced.

What other unbuilt applications are out there that NPOs could collaborate on?

1 comment:

Larry Keyes said...

I would love to see an open source fundraising application.