The Non-Profit FOSS Institute (NPFI) is a 501(c)(3) organization that develops and supports free and open source software (FOSS) products to fit the needs of individual non-profit organizations.

Many of these products are developed by student teams during 1- or 2-semester software development courses.  Throughout this period, the students collaborate with the non-profit using a methodology that we call “client-oriented FOSS,” or CO-FOSS.

NPFI provides grants to institutions whose instructors engage their students with a CO-FOSS project.  The guidelines for NPFI grant applications are shown on our NPFI Grants page.

NPFI’s role in a grant-supported project can include one or more of the following:

  • Helping an instructor find a non-profit and an outmoded clerical activity (e.g., volunteer scheduling) that new software could replace.
  • Helping the instructor develop a requirements document for a 1- or 2-semester project that would customize a (new or existing) open source software product to replace that activity.
  • Helping the instructor find a relationship with the non-profit’s Web hosting company to deploy and support the software after the students are finished.

NPFI’s unique CO-FOSS approach to software development contributes to both the education of future computer professionals and the inventory of software customized for use by non-profit organizations. Because the software is free and open source (FOSS), its source code and documentation are freely available for re-customization to fit the needs of other non-profits.