The Non-Profit FOSS Institute (NPFI) facilitates student development of free and open source software (FOSS) that directly benefits individual non-profit organizations. Each project is organized as a triad, which is a loose relationship between a college instructor/student team, a non-profit client, and a software professional.

To help ensure success, NPFI grants are available to help support a software development course where:

  • An instructor-led student team develops/customizes a software product that serves the mission of a local non-profit organization, while learning modern principles and practices of software development.
  • Team members interact with the non-profit in an agile style to show progress and gain feedback at each stage in the product’s development.
  • Students use modern tools to develop the code, conduct QA testing, write documentation, manage the code repository, and conduct face-to-face meetings with users. For example, past NPFI-supported projects have used Eclipse, an Apache server, PHP, JavaScript, jQuery, Android Java, MySQL, Git, and Google Hangouts.
  • The completed software is posted in a public repository (GitHub for example) under a GPL-style open source license, allowing it to be reused by future FOSS projects.

Managing such a course requires an unusual amount of time and effort. As such, NPFI offers a $5,000 grant to the instructor’s home institution.  NPFI grants can be used in a variety of ways, such as supplementing the instructor’s salary, supporting a student to install and oversee the software’s initial deployment, or purchasing a mobile device for testing or running the software after the course is completed.

Grant applications are reviewed when received.