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[school-discuss] ANN: Calendula - fundraising for nonprofits and schools
One of the most important pieces of software at work in most nonprofit
organizations is the fundraising management system. This was true even
before the current economic climate, it is an imperative now. Fundraising
management systems in the form of specialized databases help NPOs track
their donors, prospective donors, and help manage their events. Many
charities, schools, and educational groups can't survive without healthy
relationships with their supporters, a relationship made easier with this
The Calendula project is just getting started, and hopes to address this
If you work for a non-profit, here's the justification for supporting a
* In 2002 (and in a shaky economy) U.S. citizens donated almost
$50 billion in individual donations to nonprofits. Nearly all of
this money was tracked in proprietary software systems by the
nonprofits which received the respective gifts. Some of the
most popular proprietary systems are Raiser's Edge, Donor2,
Paradigm, and GiftMaker Pro.
* High quality, proprietary fundraising systems generally costs
$5000 to $20,000. This significantly adds to a nonprofit's
administrative costs and reduces the amount of money going toward
* Smaller and mid-sized nonprofits are blocked by a financial
barrier to the technological enhancements that are enjoyed by
larger NPOs that can afford the top proprietary systems.
* Proprietary databases are not based on any standard in terms of
their operations and user interfaces. A typical development
director will only stay in his or her job for 3 years before
moving on to a different organization. This means they will have
to be retrained to use the database system at the new organization
or they will attempt to either buy or develop a crude system on
their own to get their job done. This adjustment period costs the
nonprofit money. If there were an open fundraising database
standard, development directors could hop from job to job without
the need for more training in the system.
If you're a software developer, here's why you might be interested in this
* We hope to make a system that can be generalized. While we want to
address fundraising needs first and foremost, we also want to build
an infrastructure that can be used for other application that deal
with the human contacts a foundation makes: action centers, political
organizing, conference planning, general contact management.
For-profit Corporate-oriented CMS solutions rarely are adaptable to
the unique needs of nonprofit organizations.
* We will use state of the art technology, and we want to support as
many development languages as possible. But, what languages we can
support depends on what developers show up to work with us. If you
have a favorite language you want to be able to write non-profit
fundraising and contact management solutions, join us so that we
can support your language.
* We will use state of the art Free Software database technology
underneath. If you are excited about challenging data design
problems, we can use your help immediately!
* It's an opportunity to get on the ground floor of a new project.
The project development site is located on FSF and GNU's savannah.gnu.org.
There you will find the initial requirements doc, the initial roadmap, and
a draft database schema. The targeted development tools for the first
incarnation/prototype are wxpython and postgreSQL.
If you are interested in getting involved visit:
To sign up for the development mailing list, please visit:
BTW, the GNU endorsement isn't fully officially yet, but it should be
soon. Folks from the FSF and the GNU project have been working with us on
getting started and they are very excited about it.