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The NonProfit sector doesn't have the same economic structure as the commercial software industry, which means either they poach OpenSource initiatives funded by commercial interests, take on shoddy and unsustainable one-off volunteer projects, or rely on the AttentionEconomy? to develop only mass-scale homogeneous consumer-level FreeSoftware. Neither of these really fit the pragmatics of serving clients in the NonProfit who are often not the people that constitute the "mainstream," and thus would be otherwise serviced by commercial solutions.

That being said, in practice, most NonProfits rely on commercial software because it mitigates their risk. What's needed is some way to create a StableBase of developers that will sustainably develop (i.e. not exercise their RightToLeave mid-way through the development cycle) software for the NonProfit sector, and that means given the lack of capital within this sector, an investment must be made to centralize what scarce capital there is.

References

Peizer, J. (2003). Realizing the promise of open source in the non-profit sector. Open Society Initiative. Available from http://www.soros.org/initiatives/information/articles_publications/articles/realizing_20030903

CategoryOpenSource? CategoryPoliticalAction


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