The Non-Profit FOSS Institute (NPFI) facilitates student development of free and open source software (FOSS) that directly benefits the missions of humanitarian non-profit organizations. NPFI focuses on forming triads, which are working relationships among a college instructor/student team, a non-profit, and a software professional.

To this end, NPFI grants are available to support college-level instructors who wish to teach a 1-semester software development course in which:

  • A 4-12-student team develops a software product that serves the mission of a local non-profit organization, and learns modern principles and practices of agile software development.
  • Team members interact with the non-profit on a regular basis (e.g., bi-weekly) to show progress and gain feedback for developing the code and refining the requirements. This approach reflects an agile development methodology.
  • Students use open source tools to develop the code, conduct QA testing, write requirements and user documentation, manage the code repository, and conduct face-to-face meetings with users. For example, past projects have used Eclipse, an Apache server, PHP, Java for Android, 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 student teams.

Knowing that such courses require an unusual amount of time and effort, NPFI is offering a $5,000 grant to instructors who develop and teach them.