I saw a note from long-time friend Amanda Hickman this week announcing the release of the "Base Edition of NGO-in-a-box". It reminded me of all the work that's been underway (for some years now) at Tactical Tech to get the NGO-in-a-Box project up-and-running. NGO-in-a-box is probably one of the most impressively organized projects in the social-technology sector ... from the NGO-in-a-Box site:
NGO-in-a-box offers a set of peer reviewed and selected Free and Open Source software (F/OSS), tailored to the needs of NGO's. It provides them not only with software, but also with implementation scenarios and relevant materials to support this.
Each "Edition" has Editorial teams that select the software, and write the documentation, and manage the project. To date they've released NGO-in-a-box Open Publishing Edition, Security Edition, Audio Video Edition, and now the Base Edition that Amanda worked on.
The Base Edition is a great resource if you're starting a new organization, or wondering how free and open-source software might be able to help your organization do more with less. The Base Edition Web site describes it as:
...a collection of essential tools for running a small-to-medium sized NGO. You can use this toolkit to set up and coordinate your office, organize and manage projects, collaborate online and support your campaigns. The Box contains a set of peer-reviewed Free and Open Source Software tools, with associated guides and tutorials, giving you the technical foundations to build upon.
And, if you don't know why you should be thinking about free software yet -- go read my article on the subject!