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A guide to open source for the social sector

Calling all nonprofits! Do you want to implement open source software but don’t know where to start? We’ve got good news; you can easily get started by consulting our new guide.

A guide to open source for the social sector

GitHub believes in breaking down barriers for anyone looking to implement open source software. From large multinational corporations to regional nonprofit organizations, open source software can be adopted, configured, and customized according to the needs of any company or organization.

That’s why we’re thrilled to announce our new guide to open source for nonprofits and social sector organizations!

Why we created an open source guide for the social sector

When organizations are looking to have a big impact with somewhat limited resources, open source can help by improving collaboration, increasing efficiency, and reducing costs. And open source doesn’t just help an organization reach its own goals; by allowing work to be distributed, adapted, and reused, other social impact organizations can also benefit.

Ultimately, this can accelerate work being done across all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are the building blocks for creating a more peaceful and prosperous world for all.

A screenshot of an open source guide developed by GitHub for organizations in social sector

Leveraging this technology for social good can have a far-reaching impact on people and the planet, as well as for organizations themselves. Some examples include:

How organizations in the social sector can use the open source guide

Working with nonprofits across causes, sizes, and geographies, we’ve seen how big of a positive impact increased adoption of this type of software can have. And as we have seen more and more nonprofit organizations shift to open sourcing their projects, we wanted to provide a way for teams to be easily onboarded.

That’s why in this guide you’ll find:

  • How open source can help your organization.
  • How to implement, contribute, and maintain an open source project.
  • How to build an engaged community around what you’ve created.

Whether you’re still considering open source software or are ready to dive in, our open source guide can help you get started.

How we created an open source guide for the social sector

This guide was adapted from an open source training we developed for the United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT). GitHub staff members developed and led the training as part of a GitHub Social Impact Skills-Based Volunteering project. Read the case study here.

Special thanks to Belinda Vennam (@bvennam), SKi Sankhe (@megamanics), and Joshua Ku (@therealkujo) on developing and leading the open source training for OICT.

Bring open source to your organization

If you’re ready to take the next step into open sourcing your organization and are a nonprofit, bookmark the open source guide and then see if you’re eligible for a free GitHub Team account.

GitHub nonprofit accounts are designed for official nonprofit organizations that are non-government, non-academic, non-commercial, non-political in nature, and have no religious affiliation. Qualifying nonprofits, 501(c)(3) or equivalent, are eligible for a GitHub Team account with unlimited private repositories and unlimited users. Learn more about GitHub nonprofit accounts.

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